The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1960
I have quite fond memories of 1960. Mostly because The Apartment is one of my five favorite movies of all time. The Best Picture nominees this year are also very strong. (Sure, we’d all love Psycho here, but even so — they’re strong.)
Outside of Best Picture, The Apartment wins Best Director for Billy Wilder (talked about here), which is nice to see, though I think we can all agree that Hitchcock gave the better effort. It also should have won Best Actress for Shirley MacLaine, but she lost to Elizabeth Taylor for BUtterfield 8 (talked about here). Most people agree that Liz only won because she was very ill at the time and they feared she was going to die. Best Actor was Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry (talked about here), which was a perfect decision. This was probably Lancaster’s greatest performance (this, Birdman of Alcatraz and Sweet Smell of Success are the top three. To me, anyway). He so deserved it. Shirley Jones also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here), which is fine, though I’d have voted for Janet Leigh in Psycho (because of the tricky nature of the performance). And Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Spartacus (talked about here), which is terrific.
Overall, it’s a very strong year. Even the one questionable decision was remedied after the fact, so it’s just a simple, “Yeah, that shouldn’t have happened,” but isn’t so bad outside of the actual category. In all, this is a strong year, anchored by what I consider one of the top ten or fifteen best Best Picture decisions of all time.
BEST PICTURE – 1960
And the nominees were…
The Alamo (United Artists)
The Apartment (United Artists)
Elmer Gantry (United Artists)
Sons and Lovers (20th Century Fox)
The Sundowners (Warner Bros.) (more…)