You know why I love 1962? Because you can say either Lawrence of Arabia or To Kill a Mockingbird should have won Best Picture — and you’d be right either way. They’re both perfect films. Lawrence of Arabia wins Best Picture, but that was always gonna happen. It also won Best Director for David Lean (talked about here), which was gonna happen no matter what and was the better decision there.
Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress this year were Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke for The Miracle Worker. If you’ve seen the film, you know how perfect those decisions were.
The lone poor decision made this year was Best Supporting Actor, which went to Ed Begley for Sweet Bird of Youth (talked about here). There’s a category where you have Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas and Terence Stamp, any of whom would have been much better decisions. But for a year with five out of six really strong categories (like, Top Ten or Top Five of all time strong), that’s still really good.
As for this category, you can pretty much take care of it with two words: Atticus Finch.
No one will ever be able to argue against this decision, ever. Not ever.
BEST ACTOR – 1962
And the nominees were…
Burt Lancaster, Birdman of Alcatraz
Jack Lemmon, Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni, Divorce, Italian Style
Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia
Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird (more…)