The 70s had balls. That’s the best way to describe it. In the 80s, you’d look at this list and assume Nicholas and Alexandra was going to win. In the 60s, you’d assume Fiddler on the Roof. Nothing against either of those films, they’re both actually really amazing (this entire list is), it’s just — here, in the 70s — the right film won.
Outside of Best Picture, The French Connection won Best Director for William Friedkin (talked about here) and Best Actor for Gene Hackman (talked about here). Both were awesome decisions. Best Actress was Jane Fonda for Klute (talked about here), which is another great decision and another 70s decision. Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress were Ben Johnson (talked about here) and Cloris Leachman (talked about here) from The Last Picture Show. I don’t love either decision, but am more okay with Supporting Actress. Still, I’d have gone another way on both of them.
Again, though, the 70s are just terrific at awarding good things. There’s so much good stuff nominated that almost no matter what they choose, the result will be good (or at the very least, acceptable). It’s amazing.
BEST PICTURE – 1971
And the nominees were…
A Clockwork Orange (Warner Bros.)
Fiddler on the Roof (United Artists)
The French Connection (20th Century Fox)
The Last Picture Show (Columbia)
Nicholas and Alexandra (Columbia) (more…)