I really don’t like 1963. In fact, I might go so far as to call it the single weakest year in the history of the Academy Awards. It has a weak Best Picture winner — Tom Jones — among a weak set of nominees, a weak Best Director winner — Tony Richardson for Tom Jones (talked about here) — a weak Best Actor winner — Sidney Poitier for Lilies of the Field (talked about here), which is a decision that is great historically, but I feel is weak because it’s basically like the mostly white Academy giving a black actor an Oscar on their own terms. Poitier played so many great roles, many of which were worth Oscars, yet they gave him an Oscar for playing a magical negro.
The year also features a weak Best Actress winner — Patricia Neal for Hud (talked about here), which I hate as a decision for many reasons, as talked about in the article — and a weak Best Supporting Actress winner — Margaret Rutherford for The V.I.P.s (talked about here), which is actually an okay decision, but the category was weak as hell and was crippled by three Tom Jones nominations.
The lone good decision from 1963 comes from this category (and even this one is slightly, ever so, but still, tainted by the terrible second win by Douglas in 1979). When your only good decision comes from the Best Supporting Actor category, you’re one shitty Oscar year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1963
And the nominees were…
Nick Adams, Twilight of Honor
Bobby Darin, Captain Newman, M.D.
Melvyn Douglas, Hud
Hugh Griffith, Tom Jones
John Huston, The Cardinal (more…)