1975 is such a strong year. And it’s the crux of the 70s, too. Seriously, ’74, ’75 and ’76 were the three strongest years in the Academy’s history. And if they aren’t, they’re top five for sure. It’s incredible. Just listen to this murderer’s row of 1975 Best Picture nominees: Barry Lyndon, Dog Day Afternoon, Jaws, Nashville, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. How do you pick?
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest wins Best Picture, Best Director for Milos Forman, Best Actor for Jack Nicholson, and this category. I love all the decisions except Best Director. That one — I know it was gonna happen because it synched up with Best Picture, but — it was probably the fourth best actual directing effort at best. You’re gonna tell me Forman did a better directing job than Stanley Kubrick, Sidney Lumet and (an un-nominated) Steven Spielberg? Okay…
The rest of the year was George Burns as Best Actor for The Sunshine Boys (talked about here), which I like. Nice veteran win for a great guy and a hilarious performance. And Best Supporting Actress was Lee Grant for Shampoo, which was a great decision because she was an actress who was gonna win won at some point, gave a great performance, and the category was weak as hell.
So, really, 1975 is actually a really strong year. The only category I really have any gripe with is Best Director, and even that — whatever.
BEST ACTRESS – 1975
And the nominees were…
Isabelle Adjani, The Story of Adele H.
Louise Fletcher, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Glenda Jackson, Hedda
Carol Kane, Hester Street (more…)
Pic of the Day: “Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte… just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. 13-footer….”
“…You know how you know that when you’re in the water, Chief? You tell by looking from the dorsal to the tail fin. What we didn’t know, was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin’, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it was kinda like old squares in the battle like you see in the calendar named “The Battle of Waterloo” and the idea was: shark comes to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the shark will go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark… he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be living… until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then… ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin’. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and they… rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon, the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He swung in low and he saw us… he was a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come in low and three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and starts to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened… waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.”