1974’s a fun year. The Godfather Part II, Chinatown, The Conversation, Lenny, The Towering Inferno — and those are just the Best Picture nominees.
The Godfather Part II wins Best Picture in a decision nobody can contest, no matter how much we all love Chinatown. It also wins Best Director for Francis Ford Coppola — finally — after he was snubbed for The Godfather in favor of Bob Fosse for Cabaret a decision that works in the historical sense (both directors have Oscars, which is great), but not in the specific category. Best Actor this year was Art Carney for Harry and Tonto, a veteran/career Oscar, and one of the worst decisions of all time. I love Art Carney, but, come on, when you see who else was nominated in that category (hint, three of the four come from the Best Picture nominees), it was a terrible decision. Best Actress was Ellen Burstyn for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (most likely a makeup Oscar from 1973, but we’ll get to that another time), and Best Supporting Actress was Ingrid Bergman for Murder on the Orient Express, which I talked about already. So this year is almost like the opposite of — whatever other year I talked about recently, which had a bunch of good acting decisions but a bad Best Picture decision.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1974
And the nominees were…
Fred Astaire, The Towering Inferno
Jeff Bridges, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
Robert De Niro, The Godfather Part II
Michael V. Gazzo, The Godfather Part II
Lee Strasberg, The Godfather Part II (more…)