When the Motion Picture Academy looked back at 1972, it gave its Best Picture award to The Godfather. There are only five times I think the Academy got that prize right—and '72, like '92, is one of them.
1. The Godfather
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Written by Coppola and Mario Puzo, from a novel by Puzo
"Now who's being naive?"
2. The Ruling Class
Directed by Peter Medak
Written by Peter Barnes, from his play
Jesus, Jack the Ripper, and the House of Lords.
Directed by Robert Altman
Written by Altman and Susannah York
This isn't usually classified as a horror flick, but it's one of the few films that genuinely scared me as I watched it.
4. The Candidate
Directed by Michael Ritchie
Written by Jeremy Larner
"You're the Democratic nominee!" "You make it sound like a death sentence."
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Written by Anthony Shaffer, from his play
"The shortest way to a man's heart is through humiliation."
6. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
Directed by Luis Buñuel
Written by Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière
At this point in his career, Buñuel was mostly horsing around. But he was good at that.
7. The King of Marvin Gardens
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Written by Rafelson and Jacob Brackman
"Do you think that you're the only one who's entitled to be selfish?"
Directed by Joseph Anthony
Written by Horton Foote, from a story by William Faulkner
"I could never have guessed Fentry's capacity for love. I suppose I'd figured, coming from where he came from, even the comprehension of love had been lost out of him back down the generations, where the first Fentry had to take his final choice between the pursuit of love and the pursuit of keeping on breathing."
Written and directed by Larry Cohen
A strange little art-film/blaxploitation hybrid, starring the always enjoyable Yaphet Kotto.
10. Cries and Whispers
Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman
One of the most painful pictures I've ever seen. Part of me thinks it should be much higher in this list. Another part doesn't want to include it at all.
11. The Heartbreak Kid (Elaine May)
12. Fat City (John Huston)
13. The Getaway (Sam Peckinpah)
14. Frenzy (Alfred Hitchcock)
15. Bad Company (Robert Benton)
16. Play it Again, Sam (Herbert Ross)
17. Love in the Afternoon (Éric Rohmer)
18. Deliverance (John Boorman)
19. The Mechanic (Michael Winner)
20. Junior Bonner (Sam Peckinpah)
Of the films of 1972 that I haven't seen, I'm most interested in The Culpepper Cattle Co. and The Mattei Affair.