I’m very torn about 1964. There’s a lot of, “Yeah… but, oh… but, yeah…but –” involved. I love My Fair Lady. I love it. I really do. But, on the other hand, it’s kind of old-fashioned, and a bit overly long, and a bit on-the-nose as a winner. And yet — (see what I mean?)
Outside of Best Picture, My Fair Lady wins Best Director for George Cukor (talked about here), which — finally! Holy shit, was the man overdue. Him winning here is like Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed. It’s like, “Where was this 25 years ago?” It also won Best Actor for Rex Harrison (talked about here). It was a good decision. I love Rex Harrison (and Peter Sellers — he was never gonna get it, so it’s not really worth griping about). Best Actress was Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (talked about here), which, first, she was Mary Poppins, and second, this probably (or possibly) kept her from winning the year after this, when Julie Christie really should have won (and did). Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here), which was a spirited decision in a rather weak category. And Best Supporting Actress was Lila Kedrova for Zorba the Greek (talked about here), which was fine, I guess, but how they could continue to pass up Agnes Moorehead, the epitome of this award (kind of like the way they kept passing up Claude Rains for Supporting Actor) is just ridiculous.
So, in all, an okay year. It’s just — here. We all love Dr. Strangelove. And we all think it should have won. But we all know that it would never win. We know it wouldn’t. Not here. (Maybe not ever.) So it’s a moot point about what should have happened. The most we can do is vote one way and accept the other.
BEST PICTURE – 1964
And the nominees are…
Doctor Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Columbia)
Mary Poppins (Disney, Buena Vista)
My Fair Lady (Warner Bros.)
Zorba the Greek (20th Century Fox) (more…)