The 35th Academy Awards - 1963

Crawford - Davis

Two mega stars.
Two mega stars. | Source

35th Academy Awards

Do you remember an Academy Awards Ceremony hosted by Frank Sinatra? I didn't, but this one was. Held on April 8, 1963 at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in Santa Monica, California, this ceremony, like the others before it, honored films that live in our memories and went on to become Hollywood classics and was hosted by Frank Sinatra.

If you read about the ceremony you will most surely find a blurb about Frank Sinatra almost being late for the ceremony. Seems he left his "parking ticket" home and almost was not allowed to park to get in.

Wikipedia trivia tells us Joan Crawford was furious that Bette Davis was nominated for an award and she wasn't. This was not the beginning of their 'catfight', it was actually something that went on for years before 1963. Actually in 1935 both actresses were courting actor Franchot Tone and there the bitterness began, during the filming of a movie aptly called "Dangerously". Along with that rivalry are the tales of Crawford's bisexuality. It is said she approached Davis in that manner and Davis turned her down. First the rebuff and then marrying Davis' love, Franchot Tone. Their bitterness toward each other lasted until they died.

At the ceremony Robert Goulet sang a medley of all the movie songs. In previous years each song was song separately. Everyone was surprised "Miracle Worker" was not nominated for Best Picture. There is no explaining Academy choices so many years people are surprised when a really good film isn't nominated. While the performances of Crawford and Davis in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" were right on target it certainly wasn't a movie that should be nominated for Best Picture (which it wasn't).

Well, enough about that. Let's move on to the movies that won!

Peter O'Toole as Lawrence of Arabia

Source

Lawrence of Arabia

This film won seven Academy Awards including Best Picture, making it the fifth film in six years to win seven Awards. Albert Finney and Marlon Brando were considered for the role that made Peter O'Toole famous. Four hours long but filled with excellent performances by O'Toole, Omar Sharif, Arthur Kennedy, Alec Guiness, Anthony Quinn, Jose Ferrer, Anthony Quayle, and Jack Hawkins. No wonder no one noticed there were no female speaking roles in this movie.

This film is based on the life of T. E. Lawrence, a renowned British Army Officer. The hundreds of miles he traveled across the desert to strike the Turks without orders is amazing and intriguing. He just decided to go his own way.

The film is a four hour epic. Yes, I said four hours, a long time to sit through a movie and yet people loved it. Alex von Tunzelmann of "The Guardian" wrote, "It's essential to watch this film at the highest resolution possible on the biggest screen you can find....The desert shots are mind-blowing: glimmering mirages, whirling clouds of sand, teeny-weeny people and camels inching across massive, spectacular landscapes...." This is a movie that uses the desert, not just as a backdrop but as a vital part of the movie.

In this movie you see Lawrence as both crazy and strong. It shows the magnetism this man had. Was he a homosexual? There are elements in the film that certainly point to that but the main point is a man who flaunted convention and won a war against the Turks. He makes many allies along the way and draws you in with his beauty and simplicity with the living desert.

Is it a film for everyone? Probably not but it is epic because of the movie itself not its budget or money spent filming. If you haven't seen it, put it on your list. Really, a movie with young Peter O'Toole and Omar Sharif...need I say more?

Peter O'Toole and Anthony Quinn

Academy Award Nominees for 1963

Best Picture
Best Actor
Best Actress
Lawrence of Arabia
Gregory Peck - To Kill a Mockingbird
Anne Bancroft - The Miracle Worker
The Longest Day
Burt Lancaster - Birdman of Alcatraz
Bette Davis - Whatever Happened to Baby Jane
The Music Man
Jack Lemmon - Days of Wine and Roses
Katharine Hepburn – Long Day's Journey Into Night
Mutiny on the Bounty
Marcello Mastroianni – Divorce, Italian Style
Geraldine Page – Sweet Bird of Youth
To Kill a Mockingbird
Peter O'Toole - Lawrence of Arabia
Lee Remick – Days of Wine and Roses

To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus in court with Tom Robinson.
Atticus in court with Tom Robinson. | Source

To Kill A Mockingbird

"'…shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' That was the only time I ever hear Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. 'Your father's right,' she said. 'Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'"

A true classic of American Literature made into a movie that has become just as much a classic. Harper Lee was ten years old when the "incident' she writes about occurred. If you have not read the book you most likely saw the movie. The hero is of course, Atticus Finch, played by Gregory Peck. A down home likable sort of attorney.

Atticus leads us through the unfair and undeserved rape charge against a young black man. In spite of the serious subject and tone it sets, there are many moving moments and the young girl Lee was, named Scout and played by Mary Badham, is six years old in the movie. Scout is really the protagonist and so endearing to watch as she tries to deal with what's going on around her.

If you haven't read the book or seen the movie, I don't want to tell you any more and ruin this amazing story. Bump this one up to number one on your viewing wish list.

To Kill a Mockingbird

How many 1962 movies did you see?

See results without voting

Were There More?

Most certainly. From Baby Jane to Lolita this was a year full of movies, many worth watching, some questionable but certainly all Hollywood. What about Gypsy? The movie about renowned stripper Gypsy Rose Lee. A movie about a little girl and an obsessive mother, an obsessive mother that turns that little girl into a stripper with psychological problems. The performances of Natalie Wood as Gypsy and Rosalind Russel as her mother are certainly top notch.

Then there are those movies overlooked by the Academy but still good movies. Movies like The Manchurian Candidate or movies that may not be considered Academy material but were fun to watch like The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance? Did you see the number thirty-one film of the year? That would be Girls!Girls!Girls! starring Elvis Presley. I know, not the best scripted movie but oh the music and of course Elvis!

More? Yes. There was Advise and Consent, Cape Fear, Dr. No, Freud, and How the West Was Won to name just a few. You might want to look at some of the movies made in 1962!

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

"Bringing you movies that are part of your memories."

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

More by this Author


18 comments

marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Today is a perfect day for classic movies. Yeah, I know I need to run around and 'do the holiday thang' but...when there are movies like

WEHTBJ (seriously, my sister..(happy birthday to her today!) and I would be glued like zombies with me saying 'you mean all this time we coulda been friends...' oh gosh, one of the bestest!!)

To Kill A Mockingbird

The Miracle Worker...

oh, what a wonderful year, and you have done a fabulous job as usual in the showcase and summarization.

I must check out Gypsy...never heard of it and it sounds cool.

I wish you would consider an e-book compilation of this information...I, for one, would love to have a collection to keep as a reference.

Love and peaceful weekend, my friend, Maria


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 2 years ago from Alabama

I don't think I knew that about Crawford and Davis. Interesting.

I only saw Days of Wine and Roses once. Guess I wanted Lee Remick to win the battle, too and I hated the ending. But then stuff like that does happen. I just don't want to see it again. Guess I'm a sucker for happy endings.

Great hub as always.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I don't know how many hubs I can read today; still more Christmas shopping to do...but there was no way I was missing this one. Mockingbird is my all-time favorite movie, so obviously I loved this year for movies. My goodness I have seen a ton of movies during my lifetime, and many of them were incredible. Thanks once again for the memories. Well done, Mary. I love this series.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 2 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Once again, a year filled with films of substance. Miracle Worker, Wine and Roses, Mockingbird, Birdman, and so on. My favorite was Mockingbird, followed by Miracle Worker and then Wine and Roses. I am shocked that Miracle Worker was not nominated. But I love old films, so it’s hard to decide.

The first time I ever saw Peter O’Toole was in the amazing ‘Lion in Winter.’ What a tremendously talented actor. I must confess that I am probably one of the handful of people that never watched ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ Shame on me…I know.

I couldn’t agree with you more about bumping “this one up to number one on your viewing wish list,” about the “book to film” of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ This one of the greatest books ever written…and deserved the Pulitzer. The movie version with Gregory Peck (who WAS Atticus Finch), is one of the finest films ever made.

Excellent, Mary, as always. I still very much enjoy this series. :-)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

What a tremendous year for the great movies, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Lawrence of Arabia ... it just does not get any better than that for sure!!!

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis are two of my favorite actresses. I really loved Bette Davis in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, and I do not know if my mother knew I was watching it so late at night one time, but it scared me to death lol ... chilling.

Still loving your series, and I believe this year was one of the best for movies, but then I think I am thinking that each time I am reminded of the great movies in your series when I read your latest hub.

Up and more and sharing

Merry Christmas and blessings to you and yours,

Faith Reaper


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The 35th Academy Awards - 1963, interesting and makes me know more about great movies of the past. Merry Christmas and all the best to you for 2014


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

What a terrific hub. I was nine years old at the time, but a few years later Lawrence of Arabia and To Kill a Mockingbird became two of my lifetime favorite films. I bought L of A many,many years ago and every 3 or 4 years, my family and I sit down and watch it. Great Hub. Sharing. Theresa


drbj profile image

drbj 2 years ago from south Florida

So many excellent movies that year, Mary, but Lawrence of Arabia stands out above the crowd for me. I saw it when it was released and it was a film that is difficult to forget. O'Toole and Omar Sharif were perfection. Thanks for rekindling these pleasant memories.


Frank Atanacio 2 years ago

Till, wow another one of your great hubs.. To kill a mockingbird.. my favorite book.. and Peck did a fantastic job with the black and white.. I thought it was the best movie I have ever seen in its category.. thank you refreshing my memory lane Bless you and happy holidays dear woman :)


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 2 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. What a great year for the movies. The Best Picture Nominees are all classics. Great job, love this series. Enjoy the Holidays.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Maria I can't believe you never heard of Gypsy! Gypsy Rose Lee was a famous burlesque stripper that Hollywood made a movie about. Its a good movie but not an excellent one. I'll have to talk to you about the ebook thing. Hope you're having a restful weekend! Love & Hugs.

I agree WND, I think I only saw Wine & Roses once or twice which is rare for me. I've seen movies like Sinbad the Sailor more than that! Glad you enjoyed.

You truly honor me Bill by picking this one to read when you are so busy. It IS hard to find time to read when shopping, wrapping, baking, etc. So very glad you love this series! Hope you get your shopping done.

Always so happy to see you here Genna. Your comments do add to my hubs with your knowledge of the films and first-hand experiences. Of course the best part for me is that you enjoy my series!

Baby Jane would scare the pants off any young girl Faith. Those two old ladies going at it! I know what you mean. As I write this series and pigeonhole the movies by year I'm finding the same thing. Just when I think "it can't get no better than this", it does! So many blessings sent to you and yours Faith and a very happy and Merry Christmas to you.

Thank you DDE. I hope you have a happy Christmas with lots of friends around you.

That's a great idea Theresa. There are a few classics that definitely deserve a regular revisiting. Thanks for sharing.

drbj I agree, O'Toole and Sharif....young and amazing, yes, perfection. Glad you enjoyed the memories.

Frank happy to take you down memory lane anytime ;) And a very happy, peaceful yet Merry Christmas to you dear friend.

Bill some years its just so easy to write about! Great movies make it easy. Thanks Bill and have a Merry Christmas.


mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 2 years ago from Louisiana

I don't remember it but I'm not surprised I was only 2. I have seen those movies though.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Not surprising you don't remember ;) They were great movies though!


PaisleeGal profile image

PaisleeGal 2 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

As usual .. a great read and review of the Oscars!!!


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

Yep, I saw all of these. What a great review, as always. Keep up the good work.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

So glad you enjoy and follow ladies.

Paislee it is great to have you interested in my Academy Award series. Deb, your encouragement is certainly appreciated.


Perspycacious profile image

Perspycacious 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

And today? Terminator,? Spider Man? Lone Survivor looks interesting if for no other reason than that is what we are asking our military to do these days, and they do it so bravely sacrificing for each other, then come home and can't get a job or medical/psychiatric help?

We will have some great ones, and it is always good to see real talent displayed and rewarded. I enjoyed this chance to look back and recall.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Yes Perspycacious there are still great movies being made and hopefully there always will be. The Academy Awards remind us yearly what talent we have around us. Glad you enjoyed your look back in time.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working