Scary. Soiled. Scandalous. And basically shitty. This is how history not-so fondly remembers New York City of the 1970s. Drug use was rampant all across town; employment was not. Crime rates soared; faith in America’s greatest city plummeted. Bryant Park was referred to as “Needle Park,” and the 6 Train was appropriately termed “Mugger’s Express,” a place where armed bandits were known to have jumped turnstiles in a quest to rob hapless straphangers for free. Sorry kids, “Dave and Busters” and “TGI Fridays” were most definitely not the names of wholesome corporate establishments residing in Times Square, although such monikers likely echo those of the pimps and prostitutes (respectively) who once worked its corners. And when the financially devastated city teetered on bankruptcy in 1975, the nation’s president famously told New York to “drop dead.”
The editor is one of the many heroes of moviemaking who are underappreciated by mass audiences. That means discriminating cinephiles who want the low down on their favorite choppers often find themselves with no way of getting the goods.