Mike’s Top Ten of 1970
1970 as a year never excited me. I’m not sure why. I think it’s part of the changeover from Old Hollywood to New Hollywood. I have the same feelings about 1968 and 1969. The old stuff sticks out like a sore thumb, while the really great new stuff has endured so well that it almost feels timeless. So there’s nothing there that particularly defines the year.
Of course, here, several truly iconic films came out. One saved a studio, one launched the career of one of the most celebrated auteurs of all time, the other launched one of the greatest actors of all time. And then there’s a film that captured a moment that defined a generation. 1970 as a year has some great parts to it. Though the sum of the parts doesn’t quite add up for me.
Still though, some cool stuff here. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1970
1970 is one of those years that I call “checkpoint” years. As in, you’re going and looking at all the Best Picture winners, and you go, “Like that, like that, don’t like that, oh man, that one’s horrible…” But when you get to this one, you see Patton and go, “Uh huh,” and you move on. Because it’s unquestionably a film that was gonna win. Gone With the Wind is like that. Lawrence of Arabia. These years are checkpoint years, because you mentally rest for a second before moving on.
Outside of Best Picture, Patton wins Best Director for Franklin Schaffner (talked about here) and Best Actor for George C. Scott (talked about here). Both were terrific decisions (though huge shout out to James Earl Jones in The Great White Hope. I’m not kidding when I say (racism notwithstanding) in almost any other year, he wins hands down). Best Actress this year was Glenda Jackson for Women in Love (talked about here), which is the single worst decision of all time by the Academy, in any category, bar none. (I hate it, in case you couldn’t tell.) Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter (talked about here), which I consider probably one of the worst three decisions of all time in the Best Supporting Actor category. And Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport (talked about here), which was a wonderful veteran Oscar. I’m glad she won.
So, overall, 1970 is a solid year. However, due to my insane love for another film, I will not be voting for the obvious choice in Patton here. I don’t care what anyone says, but Love Story, to me, is one of the greatest films ever made. Man’s gotta vote with his heart.
BEST PICTURE – 1970
And the nominees are…
Five Easy Pieces (Columbia)
Love Story (Paramount)
MASH (20th Century Fox)
Patton (20th Century Fox) (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1970
I have to be okay with 1970, because you just can’t argue with it. Patton is a film that’s gonna win Best Picture almost every time. It just is. And George C. Scott winning Best Actor for it (talked about here) is one of the greatest Best Actor decisions of all time (sorry, James Earl Jones. you were incredible too).
As for the rest of this year, Glenda Jackson winning Best Actress for Women in Love ranks as the single worst Academy decision of all time. You can feel my pain here. Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter, which I hate, as I said here. And Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport (talked about here), which is one of the few decisions from this year I actually like.
My problem with this year is — I love Love Story. It’s one of my favorite films of all time. And the fact that Patton was gonna win no matter what (much like 1997 with Titanic and L.A. Confidential) is quite disappointing. But fortunately, this category, Patton or not, was a good decision.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1970
And the nominees were…
Robert Altman, MASH
Federico Fellini, Satyricon
Arthur Hiller, Love Story
Ken Russell, Women in Love
Franklin J. Schaffner, Patton (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1970
I chose my birthday as the day to present this category. It felt like the optimal day to do it. Because I consider this the single worst decision in the history of the Academy Awards. In any category. Ever. Bar none.
As for the rest of the year, it’s pretty well covered on the blog. Patton wins Best Picture, Best Director for Franklin Schaffner and Best Actor for George C. Scott (talked about here). I love the Best Actor decision and the Best Director decision, and while I’d have gone another way on Best Picture, it’s still a pretty solid and understandable choice. Then, Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter, which, as I said here, I consider to be the second-worst decision ever in the Best Supporting Actor category. Then Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport, which, as I said here, I like very much as a decision, mostly because of Helen Hayes’s legend status and the weakness of the category.
None of that, however, changes the awfulness that is this category. This is truly the worst decision of all time in any category.
BEST ACTRESS – 1970
And the nominees were…
Jane Alexander, The Great White Hope
Glenda Jackson, Women in Love
Ali MacGraw, Love Story
Sarah Miles, Ryan’s Daughter
Carrie Snodgress, Diary of a Mad Housewife (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1970
1970 is a painful year for me. Patton wins Best Picture, in a standard “Academy” decision, one that’s understandable but not particularly interesting. Franklin J. Schaffner wins Best Director, which makes perfect sense. George C. Scott winning Best Actor for it is actually one of the best decisions of all time in that category. These decisions aren’t what makes this year so painful for me, nor is Best Supporting Actress, which Helen Hayes won for Airport (which I talked about here).
What makes this year painful to me are the other two decisions. First, Glenda Jackson wins Best Actress for Women in Love, which is the single worst decision in the history of that category, and the history of the Academy Awards. Ali MacGraw not winning for Love Story is seriously the biggest travesty of the Academy Awards. Then the other terrible decision was this category, where there are two great performances, and the Academy went with what they did is really just an awful reality. And since only one of the other four decisions up there is legitimately good and interesting (the rest are either ho-hum or good, but ultimately pretty generic). They provide no solace whatsoever. And that’s why I hate this year.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1970
And the nominees were…
Richard 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 (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1970
There are few categories in Academy history as cut and dry as this one. I, for one, like that, because you don’t have to spend time explaining it. George C. Scott’s Patton is one of the most iconic performances ever put to screen. Of course it won. As for the rest of the year, Patton also won Best Picture, which makes sense, even though I’d have gone another way (Love Story is one of my favorite films of all time), and Best Director for Franklin J. Schaffner, which, actually is a fantastic decision.
Then, Best Actress this year is THE WORST BEST ACTRESS DECISION OF ALL TIME. The amount of a snub this is, is honestly the biggest snub in Academy history. This is the one everyone points to as THE worst. Glenda Jackson wins Best Actress for Women in Love, beating Ali MacGraw who gave the performance of a lifetime in Love Story. Sickening. Then Best Supporting Actor was John Mills for Ryan’s Daughter, which I also consider one of the worst single decisions of all time, because he beat both John Marley for Love Story, who was incredible, and he also beat Chief Dan George for Little Big Man. Unacceptable. Then Best Supporting Actress was Helen Hayes for Airport (which I talked about here), which was a fantastic decision. So, in all, a tough year for me. But at least this category is quick and easy. That’s great.
BEST ACTOR – 1970
And the nominees were…
Melvyn Douglas, I Never Sang for My Father
James Earl Jones, The Great White Hope
Jack Nicholson, Five Easy Pieces
Ryan O’Neal, Love Story
George C. Scott, Patton (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1970
Oh, 1970 — a year I don’t like, even though I know, there isn’t anything I can do about it.
Patton wins Best Picture, Best Director for Franklin J. Schaffner, and Best Actor for George C. Scott. Now, Best Actor I have no problem with. George C. Scott gives one of the best male acting performances of all time here. I completely understand that. And even Best Director I get. But Best Picture? I don’t know. I mean, it’s a perfect fitting Best Picture, but, the other film that was up this year was Love Story, and I’m extremely partial to that. That, to me, is a perfect film. Patton is kind of a long mess. Not really a mess, but, the only real reason I think it won is because it was “supposed to.” Looking at it you think, “There’s a film that’s a Best Picture,” but, really, is it? It’s kind of boring. It’s a good film, but — I don’t know. I don’t think it needed to win. (And just so we’re clear on this bias, I did see Patton before I saw Love Story, so I’m not just saying Patton should have lost because I really want a film I love to win at all costs. I don’t do that. I so stay as objective as I can. I respect Patton, but I’m not sure I can say I accept that it should have won. Plus, Love Story beat Patton in the Globes. I notice how, when one gets it wrong, the other usually gets it right. And I felt the Oscars got it wrong this year.)
1970 is also notorious for featuring the worst Best Actress decision of all time. Glenda Jackson won Best Actress for Women in Love, beating Ali MacGraw for Love Story. Now, everyone here says here that Glenda Jackson should not have won. This isn’t a sentimental thing. This is literally, she should not have won. The film is terrible, and she’s not even really a lead. Plus Ali MacGraw gave the performance of a lifetime. It’s a terrible decision all around, made worse by the fact that they gave her a second one three years later for A Touch of Class, which is a glorified romantic comedy (with some drama at the end), which would have been okay if they just gave her that one. I don’t know what the fuck the Academy was thinking there, and here. Don’t worry, I’ll have a lot to rail on when I get to that category. As for the rest of this year, though, Best Supporting Actor went to John Mills, for Ryan’s Daughter, because — well, I don’t fucking know. It’s decisions like that which are the reason I don’t like this year at all. (more…)