Well, it’s about time we had a buzzer beater in one of these things, right?
None of the championships have been blow-outs per se. But a little excitement in the final game never hurt anyone.
For the longest time, Young Frankenstein wasn’t just putin’ on the Ritz. It was putting on a clinic in its shellacking of The Godfather Part II. But just when you thought the Corleones were out, they got right back in it. And once again, it was the Twitter contingent that put The Godfather Part II over the top — to win the Midwest Film Journal’s 1970s Fall Blockbuster Tournament by ONE FREAKING VOTE over Young Frankenstein by a final score of 44 to 43. (The split was 39-33 for Frankenstein on Facebook and 11-4 for Godfather on Twitter.)
At #7, The Godfather Part II wasn’t the lowest seed to win the title. But after #8 Inception in the final summer-blockbuster tournament, it’s a consecutive ruckus-making rabble-rouser from the middle seeds.
Will a similar underdog make some noise in the 1980s for the trifecta? Find out on Monday, Oct. 12 — when a full field of 64 fall blockbusters from the ’80s hit the floor for battle. And as the concluding tally for the 1970s decade reminds you: Be sure to vote on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/midwestfilmjournal/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/MWFilmJournal).
Until then, here are some notes on the 1970s Fall Blockbuster Tournament, with a final bracket embedded at the bottom.
We had the first-ever pornographic title to compete in the tournament (Behind the Green Door), as well as the tournament’s first documentary (In Search of Noah’s Ark) and the first IMAX-exclusive film (To Fly!).
Rules are made to be broken. Up to this point, every single film to compete in a box office tournament had gotten a vote — no matter how deeply it had been lost to time or dropped in stature. But not a single person voted for In Search of Noah’s Ark over Rocky on either Twitter or Facebook, garnering the inaugural goose-egg. (Rocky won that one 50-0.)
While we’re at it, here are the largest percentages of victory in each of the first three rounds:
Round 1: Rocky (100% of the vote against In Search of Noah’s Ark)
Round 2: The Godfather Part II (100% of the vote against Love Story)
Elite Eight: Young Frankenstein (86% of the vote against The Towering Inferno)
And the closest matches in each of the first three rounds:
Round 1: The Towering Inferno over The Aristocats (24 to 21)
Round 2: Young Frankenstein over Close Encounters of the Third Kind (27 to 18)
Elite Eight: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest over The Exorcist (31 to 22)
This was the first tournament in which none of the #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. Three of the four — The Exorcist, The Sting and Superman — all fell in the Elite Eight (to, respectively, Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky and The Godfather Part II. The first to bow out was Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which lost to Young Frankenstein in the second round.
The year with the most entries in the tournament? 1976, with In Search of Noah’s Ark, King Kong, Rocky, Silver Streak, A Star is Born and To Fly! However, only one of that half-dozen (Rocky) made it to the second round. (1974 and 1979 each had five.) The year with the fewest? Only Cuckoo’s Nest contended from 1975.