PS: For those who have seen THE CONVERSATION and have watched one of its concluding monents with Hackman (5), Harrison Ford (14) and Robert Duvall (9), do you ever wish Hollwywood films of today would be able to afford trios like that in the same scene? At least in 1990s terms and beyond, it's unthinkable. Granted Duvall only had a surprise cameo and Ford was only beginning his career at this point but this is the sort of retroactive power-combo that you just can't get anymore. It's hard enough to have TWO superstars in the same room now, let alone three....
It was hard to get three top stars together then, too. The biggest combo I can think of was the same year, The Towering Inferno
, with Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and William Holden. Even then Holden was seen as on his way down, but it was a real power struggle between McQueen and Newman. The rest of the '70s "all-star cast" disaster movies relied mostly on names that were big but past their box-office prime.
But "retroactive" is just an accident; we might say The Outsiders
was a big-star cast, but it didn't seem that way at the time because they were just starting out. A Bridge Too Far
in 1977 has Hackman, Connery, Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins, James Caan, Ryan O'Neal, Michael Caine and even Laurence Olivier, but probably only Redford was really in his "superstar" prime, the rest were either "past it" or solid character actors who didn't become big draws till later. Plus it has a bunch of different stories going, not a lot of big stars in scenes together. The Longest Day
, similar deal.