In honor of ‘Licorice Pizza,’ let’s look back at 1973

Paul Thomas Anderson grew up in the San Fernando Valley, which played an important role in his 1997 breakthrough film “Boogie Nights,” which looked at Valley’s porn industry during the ‘70s and 80s. In his new United Artists release “Licorice Pizza,” Anderson returns to the SFV for a nostalgia-tinged comedy-of-age story set in 1973 starring Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim. Both young performers received strong notices with the L.A. Times’ Justin Chang declaring Haim as the true star of “this boisterous, bighearted movie and its raison d’être.” And Bradley Cooper has earned positive notices for his funny turn as hairdresser turned film producer Jon Peters, who ironically was a  producer on Cooper’s 2018 “A Star is Born.”

So, what was the world like in 1973? It was the year of Watergate, Roe Vs. Wade and “The Exorcist” hitting the big screen. Let’s travel back almost half a century to look at the top films, TV series, songs, books, and historical and sporting events. And fair warning. You may cringe when you see what the No.1 best-selling fiction book was of 1973.

Top 10 box office films
“The Exorcist”
“The Sting”
“American Graffiti”
“The Way We Were”
“Magnum Force”
“Last Tango in Paris”
“Paper Moon”
“Live and Let Die”
“The Devil in Miss Jones”

Top 10 TV series of 1973-74
“All in the Family”
“The Waltons”
“Sanford and Son”
“Hawaii Five-O”
“Kojak” and “The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour” (tie)
“The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “Cannon” (Tie)

Top 10 singles
“Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Old Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn
“Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce
“Killing Me Softly with His Song” by Roberta Flack
“Let’s Get It On” on by Marvin Gaye
“My Love” by Paul McCartney & Wings
“Why Me” by Kris Kristofferson
“Crocodile Rock” by Elton John
“Will It Go Round in Circles” by Billy Preston
“You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon
“Touch Me in the Morning” by Diana Ross

Top 10 fiction books
“Jonathan Livingston Seagull” by Richard Bach
“Once is Not Enough” by Jacqueline Susann
“Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
“The Odessa File” by Frederick Forsyth
“Burr” by Gore Vidal
“The Hollow Hills” by Mary Stewart
“Evening in Byzantium” by Irwin Shaw
“The Matlock Paper” by Robert Ludlum
“The Billion Dollar Sure Thing by Paul E. Erdman
“The Honorary Consul” by Graham Greene

27th annual Tony Awards (March 25, 1973)
Best Play: “That Championship Season” by Jason Miller
Best Actor (Play): Alan Bates, “Butley”
Best Actress (Play): Julie Harris, “The Last of Mrs. Lincoln”
Best Featured Actor (Play): John Lithgow, “The Changing Room”
Best Featured Actress (Play): Leora Dana, “The Last of Mrs. Lincoln”
Best Musical: “A Little Night Music”
Best Score: Stephen Sondheim, “A Little Night Music”
Best Book: Hugh Wheeler, “A Little Night Music”
Best Actor (Musical): Ben Vereen, “Pippin”
Best Actor (Musical): Glynis Johns, “A Little Night Music”
Best Featured Actor (Musical): George S. Irving, “Irene”
Best Featured Actress (Musical): Patricia Elliott, “A Little Night Music

45th annual Oscars (March 27, 1973)
Best Picture: The Godfather
Best Director: Bob Fosse, “Cabaret”
Best Actor: Marlon Brando, “The Godfather”
Best Actress: Liza Minnelli, “Cabaret”
Best Supporting Actor: Joel Grey, “Cabaret”
Best Supporting Actress: Eileen Heckart, “Butterflies Are Free”

 25th Primetime Emmys (May 20, 1973)
Best Comedy Series: “All in the Family”
Best Drama series: “The Waltons”
Best Variety Series: “The Julie Andrews Show”
Best Comedy Actor: Jack Klugman, “The Odd Couple”
Best Comedy Actress: Mary Tyler Moore,” The Mary Tyler Moore Show”
Best Drama Actor: Richard Thomas, “The Waltons”
Best Drama Actress: Michael Learned, “The Waltons”

Historical events
Jan. 22: Roe Vs. Wade: The Supreme Court overturns the ban on abortion; Lyndon Johnson dies at age 64
Jan 27:  U.S. signs Paris Peace Accords with Vietnam

Feb. 11: The first U.S. prisoners of war are released by Vietnam
Feb. 27: The American Indian Movement occupies by Wounded Knee, South Dakota

March 29: The last U.S. soldier leaves Vietnam
April 3: The World Trade Center officially opens
April 30: President Nixon announces that White House counsel John Dean has been fired, and WH staffers H.R. Haldeman and John Erlichman have resigned along with attorney general Richard Kleindienst.

Aug. 11: DJ Kool Herc gives birth to hip hop in New York City

Sept. 11:  Chile’s democratically elected government is brought down by a military coup. President Salvador Allende commits suicide during the coup. For the next 16 years, General Augusto Pinochet leads the military junta is backed by the U.S.

Oct. 10: Spiro Agnew resigns as Vice President of the U.S., while pleading no contest on a charge of income tax evasion.
Oct. 20: The Saturday Night Massacre.  Audiences were glued to their TV sets in shock when President Nixon’s attorney general Elliot Richardson resigns after he refuses to carry out the prez’s order to get rid of Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox. Deputy attorney general William Ruckelshaus also resigns. Next in line at the DOJ, solicitor general Robert Bork, fires Cox.  Almost immediately there are calls for Nixon’s impeachment.

Nov. 20: The beloved, Emmy Award-winning “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” premieres on CBS and is still going strong every year.
Nov. 28: The U.S. Senate votes 97-3 to approve Gerald Ford as the new VP. On Dec. 6, the House of Representatives votes 387-35 to confirm him. He’s sworn in that day.

Jan 1:  CBS sells the New York Yankees for a cool $10 million to a 12-men syndicate led by George Steinbrenner

Jan. 14: The Miami Dolphins, which had perfect season, wins the Super Bowl 14-7 over the Washington Redskins

May 5: The legendary Secretariat wins the Kentucky Derby. The horse will go on to win the Triple Crown for the first time since 1948

May 10: The New York Knicks beat the L.A. Lakers 102-93 to win the NBA title

Sept. 20: The Battles of the Sexes: Tennis great Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs 6-4, 6-4, 6-3, a much-ballyhooed televised match

Oct 21: The Oakland Athletes win the World Series for the second time in a row defeating the New York Yankees 5-2 in the seventh game.

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