Top Ten 1976

1. Taxi Driver
2. Harlan County USA
3. All The President’s Men
4. Small Change
5. Heart Of Glass
6. Network
7. Cria Cuervos
8. The Marquise of O
9. Assault On Precinct 13
10. Daguerreotypes


He really does need to know if you’re talking to him; goodness knows, movie watchers have never gotten tired of the conversation between themselves, Robert De Niro‘s madness and the gorgeous camerawork in Martin Scorsese’s best film, Taxi Driver. Despite the fame of the mirror scene, De Niro’s work in this film is far from mannered posturing or method-indulgent tricks. It’s a fascinating examination of solitude, filmed by Scorsese with bright colours and grand sweeping camera movements as if it were a perverted MGM musical. De Niro has given many great performances in his formidable career, but few of them hit the bone as deep as this one, and rarely has he shown us his soul since.

Honour Roll: Woody Allen, The Front; William Holden, Network; Donald Sutherland, Fellini’s Casanova; Nicol Williamson, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution


It’s not exactly the most fascinating performance of her career: you could probably find more chilly depth in Bonnie And Clyde or enjoy the campy tragedy of Mommie Dearest, but Network definitely shows the amazing Faye Dunaway at her most fiery and energetic. Her role as the sad reality of the working woman in 1970s corporate show business probably has less impact now than it did at the time, but the performance is still quite impressive and her delivery of Paddy Chayefsky’s callous, rapid-fire dialogue is never off for a second.

Honour Roll: Audrey Hepburn, Robin And Marian; Bulle Ogier, Maitresse; Sissy Spacek, Carrie


News media had a terrific year in the movies in 1976, with television reporting getting parodied in Network (which sadly is no longer a parody) and newspaper journalism getting the razor-sharp treatment in All The President’s Men. Lording over the feisty Dustin Hoffman and handsome Robert Redford’s investigative reporters is a scene-chewing Jason Robards as their mouthy editor and boss. Robards joined a select few actors in movie history by winning two Oscars in a row (including the following year for Julia), but this is by far the more fascinating role of the two.

Honour Roll: Robert Duvall, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution; Harvey Keitel, Taxi Driver; Herbert Lom, The Pink Panther Strikes Again; Laurence Olivier, Marathon Man


The most fascinating performance of the year in this category has to be the haunted intelligence of Jane Alexander, who brings a hell of a lot of complexity to her scenes in All The President’s Men as a woman who has secrets to spill to the two heroes. Alexander made a career of these kinds of wise, morally upright women, culminating in the lead role in the brilliant Testament before turning her focus more towards politics.

Honour Roll: Jodie Foster, Taxi Driver; Lee Grant, Voyage Of the Damned; Wendy Hiller, Voyage Of the Damned; Piper Laurie, Carrie


Martin Scorsese, Taxi Driver

Honour Roll: Werner Herzog, Heart Of Glass; Sidney Lumet, Network; Alan J. Pakula, All The President’s Men; Eric Rohmer, The Marquise of O