I SEE BY THE old digital grandfather clock in the hall that '70s are winding down. It seems like only yesterday that "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" was opening at Keith's, "Patton" at the Apex and "M*A*S*H" at the Trans-Lux, to mention only three prominent first-run houses that succumbed to the business vicissitudes of the decade.

Ten years ago, terms like "Dolly Stereo," "the bottom line" and "may the Force be with you" had entered the vocabulary. And with the passing of years, even some of the decade's movie titles have become unfamiliar and tend to run together. Here's a snap quiz to illustrate the point. The answers and the remainder of the test may be found on Page H11. Part I:

Complete the following titles. Two points for every correct answer. A point off for every mistake.

"Bring Me the Head of . . . (a) Billy Jack," (b) Fritz the Cat," (c) Jonathan Livingston Seagull," (d) Alfredo Garcia," (e) Harold and Maude."

"Zabriskie . . . (a) In the Afternoon," (b) and the Bean," (c) Point," (d) in Wonderland," (e) and Moskowitz."

"Slow Dancing . . . (a) in Needle Park," (b) in the Big City," (c) of the Living Dead," (d) Express," (e) Body Snatchers."

"The Honeymoon . . . (a) of the Finzi-Continis," (b) From Outer Space," (c) Wars," (d) Quintet," (e) Killers."

"Dog Day . . . (a) Warriors," (b) Afternoon," (c) of the Condor," (d) Inferno," (e) Deluxe."

"Saturday Night . . . (a) Sex Shop," (b) Klansman," (c) Fever," (d) Exorcist," (e) Death Wish."

"Looking for . . . (a) Husbands," (b) Midway," (c) the Ritz," (d) Lenny," (e) Mr. Goodbar."

"The White . . . (a) Night Porter," (b) Boys in the Band," (c) Buffalo,c (d) Tycoon," (e) Derby."

"Lost . . . (a) Horizon," (b) the Revolution Without me," (c) Summer of '42," (d) Tango in Paris," (e) Files of J. Edgar Hoover."

"Not a Pretty . . . (a) Lipstick," (b) Smile," (c) Convoy," (d) Picture," (e) Man Called Horse."

The decade which produced those titles began with big problems. While the American movie industry needed fresh blood, it followed the successful 1969 leads of "Easy Rider," "Alice's Restaurant," "Medium Cool," "Goodbye, Columbus," "Women in Love" and "Midnight Cowboy" up many a feckless, self-indulgent dead-end, like the ironically titled "The Last Movie," "The End of the Road" or "Getting Straight." At the same time, most of the studios had conventional flops on their hands. (In retrospect, it's easy to see that Warners, for example, had more to gain by being patient with Brian De Palma after "Get to Know Your Rabbit," "Francis Ford Coppola after "The Rain People" and George Lucas after "THX-1138" than by encouraging Lucille Ball to star in "Mame.")

Nevertheless, the flops had a way of adding up. Between 1970-72 the major studios absorbed losses of about $500 million, shelved dozens of finished projects and cancelled others.

The simultaneous success of "The Godfather" and "Cabaret" in March 1972 triggered an artistic and commercial resurgence in American filmmaking that is still going on, despite an occasional seasonal lull, like this season's. "The Godfather" overtook "Gone With the Wind" and "The Sound of Music" as the top-grossing American film within a year of its release. Three years later "Jaws" surpassed "The Godfather" within one long hot summer. Two summers later "Stars Wars" replaced "Jaws at the top within a matter of weeks. The most recent Variety update of all-time box-office hits showed that 12 of the first 14 places are occupied by movies released in the '70s. And of the first 68, 50 were made in the '70s.

During the decade, the earning potential of a popular new movie became almost limitless -- enhanced by altered moviegoing habits and a certain lack of competition: Steady customers may now return frequently to a favorite film rather than patronize the movies in general. It's also enhanced by supplementary sources of revenue -- not only nontheatrical exhibition and network television but also cable television, videocassetes, records, books, toys, clothing items, the replication of the original hit through sequels. The longevity of the James Bond series, still going strong as it moves into a third decade, may be repeated by "Star Wars," "Superman" and perhaps by the new prototype being prepared by Steven Speilberg and George Lucas, a futuristic adventure spectacle called "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

The best movies of the decade? It's about to end with a new classic, the splendid adventure fantasy "The Black Stallion," introducing a director of extraordinary ability and feeling in Caroll Ballard. And, in the order the titles come to mind, the '70s were distinguished by "Patton," "M*A*S*H," "The Wild Child," "Fiddler on the Roof," "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," "The Last Picture Show," "The Godfather," "Cabaret," "The Sorrow and the Pity," "The Emigrants," "Mean Streets," "Sounder," "Blume in Love," "Phantom India," "American Graffiti," "The Sting," "Cesar and Rosalie," "Amarcord," "The Adversary," "Chinatown," "Sleeper," "Nashville," "Jaws," "Last Tango in Paris," "Love and Death," "Going Places," "Smile," "Cries and Whispers," "Taxi Driver," "Small Change," "The Bad News Bears," "Rocky," " carrie," "Star Wars," "Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000," "Smokey and the Bandit," "We All Loved Each Other So Much," " the Turning Point," "The Rescuers," "citizens Band," "Bread and Chocolate," "Annie Hall," "Hot Tommorrows," "The Deer Hunter," "Superman," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "An Unmarried Woman," "Manhattan," "Breaking Away," "Down and Dirty," "Real Life," "The Conversation," "Femmes Fatales" and "Get Out Your Hankerchiefs," among others.

There also were dubious sensations: the hard-core classics with Linda Lovelace, Marilyn Chambers and Georgina Spelvin; the tendentious black exploitation films "Sweet Sweetback" and "Super Fly"; Bertolucci's overrated, overpublicized "Last Tango in Paris"; the Wertmuller craze with "Swept Away" and "Seven Beauties"; the onslaught of disco with "Saturday Night Fever."

The best of the worst? Always a rich category, but who can deny the transcendant preposterousness of "The Concorde -- Airport '79," "Exorcist Ii," "The Trial of Billy Jack," "Slow Dancing in the Big City," "Moment by Moment," "Hurricane," "Mandingo," "Lost Horizon," "The Passage," "Bobby Deerfield," "Midway," or "Airport '75"?

Within the past two years, dissatisfied executives at United Artists, the most stable distributor of the decade, and 20th Century-Fox have formed production companies, Orion and The Ladd Company, under the distribution banner of Warner Bros., which now looms as a superdistributor in the '80s. A number of independent producers and packagers -- Ray Stark, Elliott Kastner (the "Missouri Breaks" deal-maker), Lorimar, Mel Simon -- already originate more films each year than the so-called studios, which now concentrate on financing or distribution.

Spiritually, filmakers like Lucas, Spielberg and Ballard have to represent the wave of the future. Their work has a valorous, exuberant, heartening quality that contrasts radically with the glum self-absorption that now seems to ail Coppola and Altman. "Star Wars" was probably the morale booster of the decade in more ways than one. What should one make of the fact that Bruce Cook, the biographer of the late Dalton Trumbo, despairs of the abilities of Martin Scorsese, Lucas and Speilberg in the current issue of American Film, then dismisses Spielberg as "the purest neoconservative of the group." What a stingless insult! If anything, the times seem to call for some rousing, inventive reaction. Right, Jane and Tom and Jerry?

American films are in a far better strategic position than they were at the end of the '60s. most of the talent, including a significant percentage of the foreign-born talent, is concentrated here. The audiences are back, and the business is better rationalized. Assuming that greed, vanity and drug usage are kept within manageable bounds, it should be a fascinating and prosperous decade. The industry could accommodate and finance a far greater talent pool than it's inclined to encourage, but in the '80s the growth of new financing sources and reproduction systems is bound to expand production anyway. What may be necessary is effective distribution systems serving specialty markets for the "small" but worthy films -- "Citizens Band," "Real Life," "On the Yard" -- which the majors often neglect or brush off.

To see if you've been paying attention all decade, here's the remainder of the test; answers on Page H11: Part Ii:

Name the last 10 Oscar-winning Best Films, 1969-1978 inclusive. One point for each correct title and a five-point bonus for naming them in chronological order. Part Iii:

Name the top dozen box-office hits of the decade. One point for each correct title and a 10-point bonus for the correct descending order. Part Iv:

Identify the speaker and circumstances of the following quotes from Academy Awards ceremonies. One point each for speaker and situation.

(a) "If I'd known this, I would have put on that eyepatch 35 years ago."

(b) "Words seem, oh, so futile, so feeble. This is a very emotional moment for me. I can only thank you, thank you for inviting me here. You are wonderful, sweet people."

(c) "There's a lot to say, but I'm not going to say it tonight."

(d) "Just think: The only laugh that man will probably ever get is for showing his shortcomings."

(e) "There's a little matter I'd like to tidy up . . . . I'm sick and tired of people exploiting the occasion of the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal political propaganda."

(f) ". . . the prodigal, pure, human kindness of it must be seen as a beautiful star in the firmament that shines upon me at this momemt, dazzling me a little, but filling me with warmth and the extraordinary elation, the euphoria that happens to so many of us at the first breath of the majestic glow of a new tomorrow." Part V:

Certain permorers were subjected to humiliations beneath the call of duty in the pursuit of their art or the director's whim. Match the names in the first group with the films in the second group that had them at a disadvantage. One point for each correct match, plus a bonus point for naming the offending director. Group One

(a) Glenda Jackson

(b) Vanessa Redgrave

(c) Peter Firth

(d) Geraldine Chaplin

(e) Ann-Margaret

(f) Roman Polanski

(g) Donald Sutherland

(h) Liv Ullmann

(i) Linda Blair

(j) Giancarlo Giannini Group Two

(1) "The Exorcist"

(2) "The Tenant"

(3) "1900"

(4) "It's Alive!"

(5) "The Serpent's Egg"

(6) "Alien"

(7) "Tommy"

(8) "Seven Beauties"

(9) "Lisztomania"

(10) "Welcome to L.A."

(11) "The Devils"

(12) "Equus"

(13) "Joseph Andrews"

(14) "Cold Turkey"

"(15) "The Music Lovers" Part VI:

Which of the following books did not become movies of the '70s? Two points for each correct answer. A point off for each error.

(a) "Fear of Flying"

(b) "The Abbess of Crewe"

(c) "Atlas Shrugged"

(d) "No Beast So Fierce"

(e) "A Clockwork Orange"

(f) "Pentimento"

(g) "Ragtime"

(h) "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

(i) "The Bell Jar"

(j) "St. Urbain's Horseman"

(k) "The French Lieutenant's Woman"

(l) "Catch-22"

(m) "Leaving Cheyenne"

(n) "Play It As It Lays" Part Vii:

Match the description with the appropriate performer. Two points for each, plus a bonus point for naming the relevant movie if applicable.


(a) Cabbie of the decade.

(b) Amateur criminal of the decade.

(c) Film composer of the decade.

(d) Amateur pilot of the decade.

(e) Swimmer of the decade.

(f) Odd couple of the decade.

(g) Monster of the decade.


(1) Mark Spitz

(2) Mia Farrow

(3) Barbara Streisand and Kristofferson

(4) Karen Black

(5) Lois Chiles

(6) Nancy Walker

(7) James Coco

(8) Burt Bacharach

(9) King Kong

(10) Robert DeNiro

(11) Robert Redford and Paul Newman

(12) Shelley Winters

(13) S. Prokofiev

(14) John Williams

(15) Sylvester Stallone

(16) Lily Tomlin and John Travolta

(17) Richard Kiel

(18) Al Pacino

(19) Harrison Ford

(20) Jaws The Anwers:


80-140: Excellent.

70-79: Good.

64-69: Acceptable.

63 or Below: Stay-at-Home.

Part I:











Part Ii:

"Midnight Cowboy"


"The French Connection"

"The Godfather"

"The Sting"

"The Godfather, Part Ii"

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"


"Annie Hall"

"The Deer Hunter"

Part Iii:

"Star Wars"


"The Godfather"


"The Exorcist"

"The Sting"

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind"

"Saturday Night Fever"

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

"Smokey and the Bandit"

"American Graffiti"


Part Iv:

(a) John Wayne, accepting this Oscar for "True Grit."

(b) Charles Chaplin, accepting an honorary award at ceremonies in 1971.

(c) Jane Fonda, accepting her Oscar for "Klute."

David Niven, reacting to the appearance of streaker Robert Opel at ceremonies in 1973.

(e) Paddy Chayefsky, criticizing Vanessa Redgrave's anti-Zionist remarks at ceremonies in 1977.

(f) Lawrence Olivier, accepting an honorary award at ceremonies in 1978.

Part V:

(a) 15, Ken Russell.

(b) 11, Ken Russell.

(c) Sidney Lumet.

(d) 10, Alan Rudolph.

(e) 7, Ken Russell.

(f) 2, Roman Polanski.

(g) 3, Bernardo Bertoulucci.

(h) 5, Ingmar Bergman.

(i) 1, William Friedkin.

(j) 8, Lina Wertmuller.

Part vi:













Part vii:

(a) 10, "Taxi Driver."

(b) 18, "Dog Day Afternoon."

(c) 14.

4, "Airport "75."

(e) 12, "The Poseidon Adventure."

(f) 16, "Moment by Moment."

(g) 20. CAPTION: Pictures 1 through 27, Top section, top to bottom from upper left -- "The Exorcist," "The Deer Hunter," "Rocky," "The Black Stallion," "The Last Picture Show," "fiddler on the Roof," "Manhattan," "Chinatown," "Nashville," "Citizens Band," "Superman," "Sounder," "and "Annie Hall."

Bottom section, top to bottom from upper left -- "The Godfather," "M*A*S*H," "McCabe & Mrs. Miller," "Patton," "Star Wars," "Breaking Away," "Smile," "Close Encounter of the Third Kind," "The Rescuers," "Jaws," "Cabaret," "Carrie," and "The French Connection." By Glenn Mosser and Jim Forest -- The Washington Post