The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Supporting Actor (1970-1989)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories.

1989

Actual Nominees:

 

  • Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing
  • Dan Aykroyd, Driving Miss Daisy
  • Marlon Brando, A Dry White Season
  • Martin Landau, Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Denzel Washington, Glory

 

 

 

My Vote: Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing

Can we stop to point out that the Golden Globes nominated Sean Connery for Last Crusade? This is why I’ll never accept just a Globes nomination as a reason why someone should be nominated for an Oscar. (They fucking nominated Will Ferrell for The Producersfor christ’s sake.)

Anyway, I’m mostly cool with this list. Washington and Aiello are tops, they don’t go anywhere. Aykroyd doesn’t need to be there at all, but I like him, so I don’t want to fuck with it. Landau — all right. I’d have preferred Alan Alda from Crimes and Misdemeanors, but either way — I’ll give them the one. And Brando is Brando. So I don’t want to change anything, really.

Though two performances that got nominated for stuff that I haven’t seen (that may or may not be worth thinking about switching on) are Ed Harris in Jacknife and Bruce Willis in In Country.

Otherwise — the kid that played young Christy or the guy that played the father in My Left Foot were great, but I don’t know if they need to be here. I’d like to nominate James Earl Jones for Field of Dreams, but I doubt that was enough of a performance. Lancaster would be a nice touch, but that would be a veteran nomination, nothing more. I’m not a huge fan of Dead Poet’s Society, so I’m not touching that one.

And to put Nicholson on here would be to diminish everything Heath Ledger accomplished. So think about that, gun jumpers.

Compromise List:

  • Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing
  • Dan Aykroyd, Driving Miss Daisy
  • Marlon Brando, A Dry White Season
  • Martin Landau, Crimes and Misdemeanors
  • Denzel Washington, Glory

My Vote: Danny Aiello, Do the Right Thing

 

1988

Actual Nominees:

  • Alec Guinness, Little Dorrit
  • Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda
  • Martin Landau, Tucker: The Man and His Dream
  • River Phoenix, Running on Empty
  • Dean Stockwell, Married to the Mob

My Vote: Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda

 

Some people would nominate Michael Palin here for A Fish Called Wanda. I say the Oscar was more about Kevin Kline than the performance.

Can Michael Keaton be considered Supporting for Beetlejuice? (I’m kidding. It would never happen.)

Also — I love Die Hard. Absolutely not to Alan Rickman.

Then — these must be Globes nominations — Neil Patrick Harris was nominated for Clara’s Heart and Raul Julia was nominated for Moon Over Parador. I’ll check those out at some point. I doubt they’ll make me change anything, but I feel like I should mention this stuff.

Compromise List:

  • Alec Guinness, Little Dorrit
  • Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda
  • Martin Landau, Tucker: The Man and His Dream
  • River Phoenix, Running on Empty
  • Dean Stockwell, Married to the Mob

My Vote: Kevin Kline, A Fish Called Wanda

1987

Actual Nominees:

  • Albert Brooks, Broadcast News
  • Sean Connery, The Untouchables
  • Morgan Freeman, Street Smart
  • Vincent Gardenia, Moonstruck
  • Denzel Washington, Cry Freedom

My Vote: Sean Connery, The Untouchables

Gonna be next to impossible to change this one. And there are backup performances.

I loved Ian Bannen as the grandfather in Hope and Glory, but he’s like, #8 in terms of likelihood to get on this list.

Richard Dreyfuss got nominated for a Globe for Nuts. I haven’t seen it, so I have no idea. I’ll get that out of the way before we hit the big boys.

First — Peter O’Toole in The Last Emperor. In a weaker year (like 1985) — he gets on. Here? No shot. Strong ass category.

Now for the big one — R. Lee Ermey. Full Metal Jacket. Yeah…

Problem is — who comes off? The only real person that comes off is Vincent Gardenia. And you know what? I’m doing it. Simply because, while in 1987, they loved Moonstruck, but over time, you tell me which performance has become iconic.

Compromise List:

  • Albert Brooks, Broadcast News
  • Sean Connery, The Untouchables
  • R. Lee Ermey, Full Metal Jacket
  • Morgan Freeman, Street Smart
  • Denzel Washington, Cry Freedom

My Vote: Sean Connery, The Untouchables

This actually becomes one of the strongest all-time categories my way. Without a doubt.

1986

Actual Nominees:

  • Tom Berenger, Platoon
  • Michael Caine, Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Willem Dafoe, Platoon
  • Denholm Elliott, A Room with a View
  • Dennis Hopper, Hoosiers

 

My Vote: Tom Berenger, Platoon

I got nothing here. Ray Liotta got nominated for a Globe for Something Wild, so that’s out there. But otherwise — I like this category. I don’t like A Room with a View, but I like Denholm Elliott, so I’m cool with him being there. To me, the category is perfect.

The only change we can or can’t make, depending, is whether or not we want to nominate Dennis Hopper for Blue Velvet. To me, that’s the more iconic of his two performances, so I switch it. Otherwise, do what you want.

Also, if you say the word Aliens, I will actually laugh in your face.

Compromise List:

  • Tom Berenger, Platoon
  • Michael Caine, Hannah and Her Sisters
  • Willem Dafoe, Platoon
  • Denholm Elliott, A Room with a View
  • Dennis Hopper, Blue Velvet

My Vote: Tom Berenger, Platoon

1985

Actual Nominees:

  • Don Ameche, Cocoon
  • Klaus Maria Brandauer, Out of Africa
  • William Hickey, Prizzi’s Honor
  • Robert Loggia, Jagged Edge
  • Eric Roberts, Runaway Train

 

 

 

My Vote: Don Ameche, Cocoon

Globes nominees I haven’t seen: Joel Grey in Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, John Lone in Year of the Dragon and Eric Stoltz in Mask. Stoltz seems like the only possibility out of those.

Otherwise — Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo?

I’m more likely to leave this one, since I have to leave Ameche, I thought Roberts did a great job, Hickey is amazing, Brandauer isn’t going anywhere (a lot of people thought was gonna win), and who doesn’t love Robert Loggia?

Compromise List:

  • Don Ameche, Cocoon
  • Klaus Maria Brandauer, Out of Africa
  • William Hickey, Prizzi’s Honor
  • Robert Loggia, Jagged Edge
  • Eric Roberts, Runaway Train

My Vote: Don Ameche, Cocoon

1984

Actual Nominees:

  • Adolph Caesar, A Soldier’s Story
  • John Malkovich, Places in the Heart
  • Pat Morita, The Karate Kid
  • Haing S. Ngor, The Killing Fields
  • Ralph Richardson, Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan

 

My Vote: Adolph Caesar, A Soldier’s Story

First, let’s be clear — Ralph Richardson is a posthumous veteran nomination. If anyone (anyone being the key word) gets nominated from that movie, it should have been Ian Holm.

That said — what else is there, this year? Caesar is incredible, Ngor won, nobody’s fucking with Mr. Miyagi, and Malkovich or someone from that movie was gonna get on. And honestly — I don’t care about a posthumous nomination for a veteran. Not when there aren’t any other choices. So I’m leaving it.

Compromise List:

  • Adolph Caesar, A Soldier’s Story
  • John Malkovich, Places in the Heart
  • Pat Morita, The Karate Kid
  • Haing S. Ngor, The Killing Fields
  • Ralph Richardson, Greystroke: The Legend of Tarzan

My Vote: Adolph Caesar, A Soldier’s Story

1983

Actual Nominees:

  • Charles Durning, To Be or Not to Be
  • John Lithgow, Terms of Endearment
  • Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment
  • Sam Shepard, The Right Stuff
  • Rip Torn, Cross Creek

 

 

 

My Vote: Sam Shepard, The Right Stuff

I hate to deprive someone I love of their only Oscar nomination, but sorry Rip Torn. Your movie was terrible.

And Jerry Lewis was so goddamn good in The King of Comedy. I’m making that change because history has spoken there.

Otherwise the category totally works.

Compromise List:

  • Charles Durning, To Be or Not to Be
  • Jerry Lewis, The King of Comedy
  • John Lithgow, Terms of Endearment
  • Jack Nicholson, Terms of Endearment
  • Sam Shepard, The Right Stuff

My Vote: Sam Shepard, The Right Stuff

1982

Actual Nominees:

  • Charles Durning, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  • Lou Gossett Jr., An Officer and a Gentleman
  • John Lithgow, The World According to Garp
  • James Mason, The Verdict
  • Robert Preston, Victor Victoria

 

 

 

My Vote: James Mason, The Verdict

I wouldn’t change a goddamn thing about this category, it’s perfect. Maybe Durning should be here for Tootsie, but you know what? His performance is fun. I’m leaving it exactly as is.

Compromise List:

  • Charles Durning, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
  • Lou Gossett Jr., An Officer and a Gentleman
  • John Lithgow, The World According to Garp
  • James Mason, The Verdict
  • Robert Preston, Victor Victoria

My Vote: Lou Gossett Jr., An Officer and a Gentleman

 

1981

Actual Nominees:

  • James Coco, Only When I Laugh
  • John Gielgud, Arthur
  • Ian Holm, Chariots of Fire
  • Jack Nicholson, Reds
  • Howard Rollins, Ragtime

 

 

 

 

My Vote: John Gielgud, Arthur

I’m leaving it alone. I don’t know any other performances that could be swapped out, plus — Gielgud, Nicholson stay. I loved Coco’s performance, so I’m leaving him. Holm is Holm. I love him. And Rollins is a black actor nominee. I like his character arc, even if I don’t love the film. I wish James Cagney had a little more to do in that one, that way I could make a case for a veteran nomination for him, but black nomination is just as good. So I’m leaving it.

Compromise List:

  • James Coco, Only When I Laugh
  • John Gielgud, Arthur
  • Ian Holm, Chariots of Fire
  • Jack Nicholson, Reds
  • Howard Rollins, Ragtime

My Vote: John Gielgud, Arthur

1980

Actual Nominees:

 

  • Judd Hirsch, Ordinary People
  • Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People
  • Michael O’Keefe, The Great Santini
  • Joe Pesci, Raging Bull
  • Jason Robards, Melvin and Howard

 

 

My Vote: Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People

Oh my god, why would you even think about touching this category?

Compromise List:

  • Judd Hirsch, Ordinary People
  • Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People
  • Michael O’Keefe, The Great Santini
  • Joe Pesci, Raging Bull
  • Jason Robards, Melvin and Howard

My Vote: Timothy Hutton, Ordinary People

1979

Actual Nominees:

  • Melvyn Douglas, Being There
  • Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now
  • Frederic Forest, The Rose
  • Justin Henry, Kramer vs. Kramer
  • Mickey Rooney, The Black Stallion

 

 

 

My Vote:  Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now

I don’t care how much of a veteran nominee Mickey Rooney is, I’m putting on Marlon Brando. He was Colonel Kurtz for christ’s sake. Otherwise, why change it? The only person you can take off is Justin Henry, and good luck with that one.

Compromise List:

  • Marlon Brando, Apocalypse Now
  • Melvyn Douglas, Being There
  • Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now
  • Frederic Forest, The Rose
  • Justin Henry, Kramer vs. Kramer

My Vote: Robert Duvall, Apocalypse Now

 

1978

Actual Nominees:

  • Bruce Dern, Coming Home
  • Richard Farnsworth, Comes a Horseman
  • John Hurt, Midnight Express
  • Christopher Walken, The Deer Hunter
  • Jack Warden, Heaven Can Wait

 

 

 

My Vote: Christopher Walken, The Deer Hunter

I love 4/5 of this list. Not a fan of the Farnsworth nomination. The only other person outside of this bunch nominated for stuff was Robert Morley in Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe, which I haven’t seen. So I basically need to leave this one alone. I can’t really make a legitimate case for anyone else this year. So it’s staying.

Compromise List:

  • Bruce Dern, Coming Home
  • Richard Farnsworth, Comes a Horseman
  • John Hurt, Midnight Express
  • Christopher Walken, The Deer Hunter
  • Jack Warden, Heaven Can Wait

My Vote: Christopher Walken, The Deer Hunter

1977

Actual Nominees:

 

  • Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Turning Point
  • Peter Firth, Equus
  • Alec Guinness, Star Wars
  • Jason Robards, Julia
  • Maximilian Schell, Julia

 

My Vote: Alec Guinness, Star Wars

1977 is one of the terrible years for Oscar nominees. I can already know before I look that there won’t be anything better to swap on these lists. So it’s staying.

Compromise List:

  • Mikhail Baryshnikov, The Turning Point
  • Peter Firth, Equus
  • Alec Guinness, Star Wars
  • Jason Robards, Julia
  • Maximilian Schell, Julia

My Vote: Alec Guinness, Star Wars

1976

Actual Nominees:

  • Ned Beatty, Network
  • Burgess Meredith, Rocky
  • Laurence Olivier, Marathon Man
  • Jason Robards, All the President’s Men
  • Burt Young, Rocky

My Vote: Jason Robards, All the President’s Men

This list is impossible to touch. Im-possible. It is perfection.

Compromise List:

  • Ned Beatty, Network
  • Burgess Meredith, Rocky
  • Laurence Olivier, Marathon Man
  • Jason Robards, All the President’s Men
  • Burt Young, Rocky

My Vote: Jason Robards, All the President’s Men

1975

Actual Nominees:

  • George Burns, The Sunshine Boys
  • Brad Dourif, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Burgess Meredith, The Day of the Locust
  • Chris Sarandon, Dog Day Afternoon
  • Jack Warden, Shampoo

 

 

 

My Vote: George Burns, The Sunshine Boys

Tough call with this one, because I really loved Robert Shaw in Jaws and I really loved John Cazale in Dog Day Afternoon. But I don’t know who the fuck to take off.

Obviously Burgess Meredith comes off. Nobody remembers that movie or that performance, and the two I’m talking about are iconic. I can’t do both, so I think I’ll have to screw over Cazale, because that Indianapolis monologue is acting school shit. That’s a change that just has to be made. History has made it for me.

(P.S. You could put on Cazale instead of Sarandon, but honestly — I’ll let Cazale have 1974 instead.)

Compromise List:

  • George Burns, The Sunshine Boys
  • Brad Dourif, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • Chris Sarandon, Dog Day Afternoon
  • Robert Shaw, Jaws
  • Jack Warden, Shampoo

My Vote: George Burns, The Sunshine Boys

1974

Actual Nominees:

  • Fred Astaire, The Towering Inferno
  • Jeff Bridges, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
  • Robert De Niro, The Godfather Part II
  • Michel Gazzo, The Godfather Part II
  • Lee Strasberg, The Godfather Part II

 

 

My Vote: Robert De Niro, The Godfather Part II

Hey look, My Nominees are back.

My Nominees:

  • John Cazale, The Godfather Part II
  • Robert De Niro, The Godfather Part II
  • Michel Gazzo, The Godfather Part II
  • John Huston, Chinatown
  • Lee Strasberg, The Godfather Part II

My Vote: John Cazale, The Godfather Part II

Wouldn’t it have been awesome if I just nominated Duvall or someone to complete the whole category?

Anyway — I accept that only three Godfather performances were going on. And honestly — Cazale needs to be on there over Gazzo. I’m sorry, he just does. And as much as I love Jeff Bridges — no John Huston? Really? I’m changing them both.

Compromise List:

  • Fred Astaire, The Towering Inferno
  • John Cazale, The Godfather Part II
  • Robert De Niro, The Godfather Part II
  • John Huston, Chinatown
  • Lee Strasberg, The Godfather Part II

My Vote: John Cazale, The Godfather Part II

 

1973

Actual Nominees:

  • Vincent Gardenia, Bang the Drum Slowly
  • Jack Gilford, Save the Tiger
  • John Houseman, The Paper Chase
  • Jason Miller, The Exorcist
  • Randy Quaid, The Last Detail

 

 

 

 

My Vote: Jason Miller, The Exorcist

Jack Gilford is the weak link here. I’d love to put on Robert Shaw in The Sting. Can I get away with it? We’ll find out, because I’m doing it.

I’m saying no to American Graffiti, because that film is so ensemble I wouldn’t even know where to start. Edward G. Robinson in Soylent Green — category’s too strong for a(nother) veteran nomination. Honestly, I just want to make the one change.

(And no to De Niro in Mean Streets. I know what you’re saying, but — it actually helped him in ’74 that he didn’t get nominated. Nobody gets it for the first one.)

Compromise List:

  • Vincent Gardenia, Bang the Drum Slowly
  • John Houseman, The Paper Chase
  • Jason Miller, The Exorcist
  • Randy Quaid, The Last Detail
  • Robert Shaw, The Sting

My Vote: Jason Miller, The Exorcist

1972

Actual Nominees:

  • Eddie Albert, The Heartbreak Kid
  • James Caan, The Godfather
  • Robert Duvall, The Godfather
  • Joel Grey, Cabaret
  • Al Pacino, The Godfather

 

 

 

 

My Vote: James Caan, The Godfather

This category can’t be changed no matter which way you look at it. (And as much as I’d like to see Richard S. Castellano on here too…)

I’d love to be able to vote for Howard Da Silva in 1776, but I can’t. The category can’t be changed.

Compromise List:

  • Eddie Albert, The Heartbreak Kid
  • James Caan, The Godfather
  • Robert Duvall, The Godfather
  • Joel Grey, Cabaret
  • Al Pacino, The Godfather

 

My Vote: James Caan, The Godfather

1971

Actual Nominees:

  • Jeff Bridges, The Last Picture Show
  • Leonard Frey, Fiddler on the Roof
  • Richard Jaeckal, Sometimes a Great Notion
  • Ben Johnson, The Last Picture Show
  • Roy Scheider, The French Connection

 

 

My Vote: Roy Scheider, The French Connection

Tom Baker was pretty terrific as Rasputin in Nicholas and Alexandra, but otherwise, I don’t need to fuck with this one.

1970

Actual Nominees:

  • Richard S. Castellano, Lovers and Other Strangers
  • Chief Dan George, Little Big Man
  • Gene Hackman, I Never Sang for My Father
  • John Marley, Love Story
  • John Mills, Ryan’s Daughter

 

 

 

 

My Vote: Chief Dan George, Little Big Man

MASH is an ensemble, and I wouldn’t even know where to begin with it. Pure ensembles don’t really have standout nominees.

Otherwise — Hackman is our weak link here, and I don’t see anything that can be swapped in for him. I’m just leaving it. Why haggle? Gene is Gene.

Compromise List:

  • Richard S. Castellano, Lovers and Other Strangers
  • Chief Dan George, Little Big Man
  • Gene Hackman, I Never Sang for My Father
  • John Marley, Love Story
  • John Mills, Ryan’s Daughter

My Vote: Chief Dan George, Little Big Man

http://bplusmovieblog.com

2 responses

  1. Randy Harris

    LOL! You don’t nominate Connery for The Last Crusade. He was amazing in that. Also, You should have picked Palin for 1988. And your blog lost all credibility when you chose Ameche for Cocoon. LOL! You’re messed up.

    January 31, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    • Nathan

      Sean Connery just plays Sean Connery in The Last Crusade, as he does in almost every movie he’s in. He’s fine and a good screen presence but no way you can tell me that performance deserved an oscar nomination

      July 2, 2017 at 9:01 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.