Mike’s Top Ten of 1973
1973 has a good case for it to be considered the strongest year of the 70s. Nine out of my top ten are straight up all-time classics. Inarguable classics. And then 11-20 are all just incredible movies, with some great gems sprinkled throughout the rest of the list.
The 70s are in full swing here, and I think ‘iconic’ is the way a lot of these are. One of the most iconic characters of all time, iconic horror movies, iconic uses of music, iconic performances by famous actors.
There’s nothing more to add. These movies are great, and you should watch them. (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1973
Another one. This decade just knocks them out of the park, one year at a time. Seriously, has it ever been as good as it was here?
The Sting is such a great Best Picture choice I can’t even put it into words. It also won Best Director for George Roy Hill (talked about here), which — finally! After this and Butch and Sundance (not to mention Thoroughly Modern Millie), the man deserved it. Best Actor was Jack Lemmon for Save the Tiger (talked about here), which was about thirteen years overdue for him. Even though his category was tremendous, he did deserve to win. Best Actress was Glenda Jackson for A Touch of Class (talked about here), which would have been okay had she not won in 1970, but she did, which makes me not like this decision at all (plus if Ellen Burstyn won here, maybe Gena Rowlands could have won the year after this). Best Supporting Actor was John Houseman for The Paper Chase (talked about here). A veteran Oscar, and one I’d normally be okay with, but Jason Miller was so good in The Exorcist and Vincent Gardenia was so good in Bang the Drum Slowly that I just can’t like that decision. And Best Supporting Actress was Tatum O’Neal for Paper Moon (talked about here), which is seriously one of the best decisions of all time in the category. You know me and precocious child roles — this thing is just incredible. I loved that film and that performance so, so much.
Again, we have another 70s year hit right out of the park. I love how this decade is the complete antithesis to the 80s in almost every way. That’s so wonderful.
BEST PICTURE – 1973
And the nominees are…
American Graffiti (Universal)
Cries and Whispers (New World Pictures)
The Exorcist (Warner Bros.)
The Sting (Universal)
A Touch of Class (Avco Embassy) (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1973
I love 1973 so much. Sandwiched between the two Godfathers, I consider this a year that’s that as strong as those two. The Sting wins Best Picture, which I think is a perfect choice (even though, I know, some people like The Exorcist and American Graffiti). George Roy Hill wins Best Director for the film as well, which, as I said here, needed to happen, since, between The Sting and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, he earned an Oscar.
Best Actress this year was Glenda Jackson for A Touch of Class (talked about here), which I don’t like, but only because Jackson won in 1970 in what I consider the worst Oscar decision of all time. So the spite from her winning there, along with the fact that, if Ellen Burstyn had won here for The Exorcist, it would have taken her out of the running the year after this and Gena Rowlands could have won for her brilliant performance in A Woman Under the Influence, overshadows what is actually a good performance by Glenda Jackson. Then Best Supporting Actor was John Houseman for The Paper Chase (talked about here), which I understand, even though I’d have voted for Jason Miller (or Vincent Gardenia) there. And Best Supporting Actress was Tatum O’Neal for Paper Moon (talked about here), which I’m over the — well, I love it very much. I think she was perfect in that film.
And then, this category — it had to happen. I know it’s one of (if not the) the strongest Best Actor categories of all time, but, this result had to be the one that happened here. The consolation is that the rest of the actors in the category all won Oscars (7, in fact, bringing the total number of Oscars won by the men in this category to 9. Which is pretty amazing).
BEST ACTOR – 1973
And the nominees were…
Marlon Brando, Last Tango in Paris
Jack Lemmon, Save the Tiger
Jack Nicholson, The Last Detail
Al Pacino, Serpico
Robert Redford, The Sting (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1973
This category always makes me perk up. It’s not that it’s a particularly strong category. It’s just that there are two nominees who were so amazingly good that they’d probably be easy winners in most years. And they’re both under the age of 15. That’s what’s so great about it. In case you didn’t know, I’m a sucker for child actor performances. Especially the precocious child role. I love when they give kids adult dialogue. It’s just so entertaining. And Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon is the epitome of that type of performance. That’s why I love this category so much.
As for the rest of the year — it’s pretty great. The Sting wins Best Picture and (finally) Best Director for George Roy Hill (which I talked about here). Jack Lemmon wins a long overdue Best Actor for Save the Tiger, which was a great decision. Then Best Actress was Glenda Jackson for A Touch of Class, which in itself is not a terrible decision, but is terrible based on the fact that Glenda Jackson had already won Best Actress in 1970 in the worst Best Actress decision of all time. I talked about her ’73 win here. And finally, John Houseman wins Best Supporting Actor for The Paper Chase, which I consider a poor, but understandable decision. I talked about it here. So, in all, I consider 1973 an overall very good year, not the least of which is because of this category, which I consider a fantastic decision.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1973
And the nominees were…
Linda Blair, The Exorcist
Candy Clark, American Graffiti
Madeline Kahn, Paper Moon
Tatum O’Neal, Paper Moon
Sylvia Sidney, Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1973
I must have said this already, but fuck it, I’ll say it again. It bears repeating. 1973 is a year that I really like, but I’m never sure just how much everyone else likes it, so I always temper my volume when talking about it. I think The Sting is a perfect film and was the perfect choice to win Best Picture this year. But I’m never sure if everyone else feels that way. They might think The Exorcist was a better choice. Which, to each his own, but I’m still taking The Sting. Some people might also think American Graffiti should have won, in which case — I say you’re wrong. Good film, but — no. Either way, I love this year. The Sting was a wonderful choice.
Also this year, Jack Lemmon finally wins Best Actor for Save the Tiger, a decision I like a lot. Glenda Jackson wins Best Actress (again), for A Touch of Class, which I talked about (vehemently, I hope) here. John Houseman wins Best Supporting Actress for The Paper Chase, which I lament, but am kind of okay with, here. And Tatum O’Neal wins Best Supporting Actress, a decision that I’m over the Paper Moon about. See what I did there? I know, I’m clever.
Anyway, regardless of what you think of the Best Picture decision this year, I think this is a category that everyone can get behind. Because even though William Friedkin directed the shit out of The Exorcist, George Roy Hill also directed the shit out of The Sting, and he also directed Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Friedkin had already won an Oscar for directing The French Connection. So all around, I think we can agree that giving George Roy Hill this one was a superb decision. Right? Right? Right. Okay.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1973
And the nominees were…
Ingmar Bergman, Cries and Whispers
Bernardo Bertolucci, Last Tango in Paris
William Friedkin, The Exorcist
George Roy Hill, The Sting
George Lucas, American Graffiti (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1973
1973 is one of those years I love so much it makes me want to say it real loud. But then I get worried that not everyone feels as strongly as I do, so I mostly keep it to myself. But, everyone loves The Sting, right? We’d all have voted for that over The Exorcist, right? Because those seem to be the only two. If you say American Graffiti, I’ll laugh at you. It’s a great film but — not over those two.
Anyway, the rest of this year was also pretty good. Or at least, above average. Jack Lemmon finally got his Oscar and won Best Actor for Save the Tiger. Tatum O’Neal wins Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon, which was a fantastic decision. Then John Houseman wins Best Supporting Actor for The Paper Chase, which I guess is okay, since he’s an acting legend, even though I’d have gone another way. Oh, and George Roy Hill finally wins his Best Director statue, which, was the best thing to come out of this year.
And now we have — the worst thing to come out of this year.
BEST ACTRESS – 1973
And the nominees were…
Ellen Burstyn, The Exorcist
Glenda Jackson, A Touch of Class
Marsha Mason, Cinderella Liberty
Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were
Joanne Woodward, Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (more…)
The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1973
And The Oscar Quest is back.
I have a lot of categories banked up now. Since we’re out of Oscar season, I don’t need to do two categories at once. It’ll just be one at a time now. And since many of the things I want to write for this blog require many days of research, it’s nice to have things like this I can go to for a post, while I get all the good stuff prepared. Plus, this is actually the reason this blog exists. So I probably should be chronicling it as often as I can. I think what I’ll do is go back to the categories for a bit, and then if something strikes me that isn’t a major post (like the How to Read a Hollywood Release, or the script stories or whatever), I’ll just post it in addition to the category post that day. And when I feel like switching it up I’ll post something different. No one really knows when that’ll happen.
To remind you, this Quest is me, trying to see all the movies nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Director. (And I’m sure once that’s done I’ll move on to the Editing and Cinematography. Because I’m crazy like that.) It allows me to expand my viewing history as well as be able to, without guilt, say what I think should have won at the Oscars that year. It’s an ambivalent relationship — me and the Oscars. I recognize that it’s nothing more than a bullshit, back-slapping ceremony where the industry rewards people they like. They don’t care about what the public wants anymore than a filmmaker when some douchebag comes up, wanting them to read their script. On the other hand, I like the Oscars. There’s something about it that excites me. Kind of in the way people like predicting which player an NFL team is going to draft. It’s just one of those things. I realize it’s pointless, but it’s fun trying to predict things, especially when you have some sort of interest in it — I like to see the movies I like get some recognition (which then becomes, “What the fuck? How could it lose to that?”) — and I get to see a lot of, by default, well-looked upon movies I probably hadn’t known existed. And the best part — now you get to find out from me which ones the good ones are without having to do any work. Seems like a good deal to me. Everybody wins. (more…)