I personally feel the 70s, which is well represented in your choices, was the best time for crime pictures.
I wholeheartedly agreed with him. Then today, A.O. Scott's review of this classic 1975 Sidney Lumet film was posted on the N.Y. Times web site:
If you had to consider one film that epitomized that decade, there would be few better than Dog Day Afternoon. Reviewer Scott describes it well, here. I would only be guessing as to why that particular decade was so good at producing memorable films of this genre. Perhaps, it was the aftereffects of Viet Nam on a generation, Watergate, the introduction of gas lines at the filling stations, recession, and the urban decline of cities across the nation that spurred the juices towards the distinct content produced. Other filmmakers have done well of noting this in their later films. The initial one that comes to my mind, though, is Quentin Tarantino's first film, Reservoir Dogs. If any 90's film had that 70's crime vibe, this was it. From the music used, to the characterizations, to the various references of that decade, it's all there:
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Strange... Living through that decade as I did (I graduated high school in '72), I was probably one of the most happiest people when the 80's arrived (mostly, I wanted to be so through with that period). But now later in life, I choose and label as some of my favorite films many from that particular group of ten years--and that more than a few are crime related says what about me? Hmm... I'm going to have to think some more about that one.
Thank you, Livius. I might have to seek professional psychological advice regarding all of this ;-).