Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Best Picture Winners 1965 - 1969

I believe the count is at 18 decent Best Picture choices out of 36 was we finish up the '60's.

1965 - The winner was Sound of Music. There are many film critics and aficionados who think this wasn't a good choice. But this film still looks beautiful and is still watched by many more people than watch nominees of that year, Darling, Ship of Fools, A Thousand Clowns and even Doctor Zhivago. Good call.

1966 - A Man for All Seasons won. Again, a film that many today disparage, as a talky play. But what talk, from the writer Robert Bolt. I like the film better than the other nominees, Alfie (which is very good), The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming, The Sand Pebbles and Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? A defendable pick.

1967 - In the Heat of the Night was the winner in choice that is still widely debated. Mark Harris' 2009 book Picture at a Revolution is about the five pictures nominated that year. Bonnie and Clyde is a classic and certainly would have been a good Best Picture winner, and the same things could be said about the nominee The Graduate. As for nominees Dr. Dolittle and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner...Well, they stink. But Heat made sense at the time and is still a great film.

1968 - Oliver! was the winner and we are back to undeserving musicals that won. I kinda like it, but nominees Funny Girl, The Lion in Winter, Rachel, Rachel and Romeo and Juliet are better films. But the clear best picture of 1968 was not nominated, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

1969 - Midnight Cowboy was and will always be the only X-rated film to win Best Picture. This was the first time I remember staying up and watching the Oscars and I was outraged that the nominee, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid lost. I considered it at the time the best film ever made. But seeing the other cowboy film many years later, I grudgingly had to admit the Academy didn't screw the pooch here. Now a win for nominees Anne of a Thousand Days or Hello Dolly! would have been really bad picks. Nominee Z would have have been a reasonable choice.

For these five years, there are no winners without controversy, but that said, four of the picks I can understand. Which brings the total to 22 out of 41.

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