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The 40th Academy Awards - 1968

Updated on June 6, 2015
tillsontitan profile image

Mary has been a movie fan since she was a little girl. She watched movies every night of the week on Million Dollar Theater..


Academy Awards Ceremonies

It's a great time of year when the Academy Awards role around. Everyone anticipates which movies will win and hopes for their favorites to get the Oscar. Do you vote ahead of time to see how close you come to all the right answers? Of course the main thrill comes from Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress. (We need to remember the Awards are for the previous year.)

The 40th Academy Awards Ceremony was postponed due to the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Governor's Ball was cancelled.

Due to the popularity and regular use of color in the movies this year awards for black-and-white and color achievements were no longer separate.

Did you know The Beatles released their album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967? It was a very eventful year and those of us who were around remember much, if not all of it. Elvis married Priscilla, Pink Floyd released their debut album, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African-American Supreme Court justice, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award was awarded to Gregory Peck, and so much more.

And the 40th Academy Awards are presented to...

(Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved)

In the Heat of the Night

The Best Picture Award went to In the Heat of the Night. It also received Best Actor (Rod Steiger), Best Screenplay (Stirling Silliphant), Best Sound, and Best Film Editing. The movie is based on a novel about a black Philadelphia detective (Sidney Poitier) who goes to a small Mississippi town and winds up involved in a murder investigation. This town's Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) is racist like the rest of the town.

These two men working on a murder case is more than difficult for both of them. The Southern Police Chief is what we would expect during this time period; racist, ignorant, and no concern for the rights of others. Ironically Tibbs (the detective) is asked to stay by Gillespie (the police chief), to help solve the murder, the murder which he was originally suspected of committing. Tibbs is well dressed, intelligent, and an excellent homicide detective.

Rotten Tomatoes calls this movie "Tense, funny, and thought-provoking all at once,..." Filmsite Movie Review says, "The film, with a non-white actor in a lead acting role, was so controversial that it couldn't be filmed in the Deep South, so the sets were recreated in various small towns in two states: Sparta, Freeburg, and Belleville, Illinois, and Dyersburg, Tennessee." Remember, racial issues were on the forefront in the sixties.

The most famous conversation from this movie is:

Gillespie: Well, you're pretty sure of yourself, ain't you, Virgil. Virgil, that's a funny name for a nigger boy to come from Philadelphia. What do they call you up there?
Virgil: They call me Mister Tibbs.

If you haven't seen this movie, put it on your list, it will certainly give you a taste of the south during the sixties as well as the opportunity to see the excellent performances by Steiger and Poitier.

Bonnie and Clyde

This movie received Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Estelle Parsons) and Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey). It was also nominated for:

  • Best Picture – Warren Beatty
  • Best Director – Arthur Penn
  • Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) – David Newman and Robert Benton
  • Best Actor in a Leading Role – Warren Beatty
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role – Faye Dunaway
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Gene Hackman
  • Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Michael J. Pollard
  • Best Costume Design – Theadora Van Runkle

I have to admit this is was one of my favorite movies back then. I couldn't wait till the movie came to our area so I could see it. Of course Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were romanticized. They were certainly more blood thirsty and cruel then depicted in the movie though the movie does show their escalating violence as they go from robbing banks to robbing trains.

Gene Wilder made his first movie appearance in this movie.

Rotten Tomatoes says of this movie, "It also caused major controversy by redefining violence in cinema and casting its criminal protagonists as sympathetic anti-heroes."

If you haven't seen this, add it to your Academy Award movies to see.

The Real Bonnie Parker


Cool Hand Luke

Best Supporting Actor went to George Kennedy for his role in this movie. Everyone, well almost everyone, loves a prison movie.

In this movie, Luke is a prisoner in a Florida prison camp. No matter what happens Luke intends to be his own man and not follow the rules. He was arrested for breaking parking meters one night when he was drunk. Hardly the crime you think would get you sent to a chain gang.

He wins the other prisoners over from his boxing match with the prison's leader, even though he doesn't win the match, his "cool hand" at cards, and eating fifty hard boiled eggs in one hour. However, it isn't all fun and games. Luke's determination to escape begins after he receives a letter telling him his mother has died. After one escape he is beaten and returned to the prison. Another punishment is digging a grave sized hole, filling it in then he is beaten by the guards.

Critic Robert Ebert rated this film four out of four stars and I think you will too. Luke has become a film hero, don't miss Paul Newman's performance as Luke. Did you recognize Ralph Waite among the prisoners? How about a friend of mine, J.D. Cannon?

I won't tell you anymore in case you haven't seen it. I will however tell you one of this movie's famous lines, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate".

Movies Nominated for Academy Awards (Non Winners)

Best Picture
Best Actor
Best Actress
Bonnie and Clyde
Warren Beatty - Bonnie and Clyde
Anne Bancroft - The Graduate
Doctor Doolittle
Dustin Hoffman - The Graduate
Faye Dunaway - Bonnie and Clyde
The Graduate
Paul Newman - Cool Hand Luke
Edith Evans - The Whisperers
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Spencer Tracy - Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Audrey Hepburn - Wait Until Dark

Movies Not Nominated for Academy Awards in 1967

There were many other fine films released in 1967 that weren't nominated. Perhaps you've seen and/or like some of them:

  • The Dirty Dozen
  • Casino Royale
  • You Only Live Twice
  • To Sir With Love
  • In Cold Blood
  • Camelot
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie
  • The Valley of the Dolls
  • Far From the Madding Crowd

That is certainly not all the movies but as you can see this was a good year for some good movies.

How many of the movies listed here have you seen?

See results

Hollywood presents us with a plethora of movies each year. It is up to us to choose which we want to see and whether or not we should see. I hope this helps you go back to 1967 and choose a few movies you haven't yet seen.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

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


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Needless to say Besarien I am thrilled by your comment; a love of the awards and a super compliment on my tables! Have a great day.

    • Besarien profile image


      4 years ago from South Florida

      I love the Oscars! My neighbors throw an Oscar bash every year. It is usually the most fun party I attend all year. I was two in '68 but have seen all of these movies since then. It seemed like an especially strong year for great movies and performances. BTW, your non-winners table is hands down the best use for a table so far on Hub Pages, as far as I can tell. Brava and voted up!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Patricia, they certainly were good movies. I think the only one I saw at the time was Bonnie & Clyde. Thanks for the vote and share. Blessings to you.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Great great movies that year I was 20 and you know what? I did not see any of those movies then but have seen many of them time and time again since then.

      voted up++++ and share

      Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Deb, I'm sure the movie portrayed Bonnie and Clyde in a light that is a lot different than the way they actually lived.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      All good movies, but I don't believe that Bonnie and Clyde ever robbed trains. As always, excellent movie reviews.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks DD.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Informative and interesting about these awards.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Shy I thought Glen Campbell's song should have won too. For its beauty and honesty but then, we don't belong to the Academy ;)

      Blessings back to you.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      4 years ago from Texas

      I am like Ann, I have seen all but one and way after their release date.

      It was a disappointment to watch the Oscars last night.

      The Glen Campbell song should have won. I love his song.

      You could attach the song to this hub call "So Goes The Legend Of Bonnie and Clyde" it would be a nice touch.

      Blessings and Hugs

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      So happy to be of service Ann. Making others happy is often my goal and bringing back memories of good movies certainly helps.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Definitely a good year for the movies; I've seen all but one though most of them a lot later than their release. The late sixties, in fact all the 60s, were great for me and everything connected with them gives me happy memories. Thanks for the reminder of all these.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks John. Certainly a fun year to research! Glad to see you are still online. Hope all is well.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow Mary, 1968 and the 40th awards was certainly a great year. That is probably the best collection of movies for any year so far. Even those that weren't nominated, particularly "To Sir With Love" another Sidney Poitier movie. I loved Paul Newman in "Cool Hand Luke" too. Voted up.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Ruby In Cold Blood certainly grabbed you. Knowing it was a true story made it worse! I wrote a separate hub on The Graduate, well actually Mrs. Robinson. You are most welcome, thank you for reading and sharing the journey.

      So Catherine what were you doing in the sixties ;). Would you believe I cried when Bonnie and Clyde died, but then some commercials make me cry.

      Not to feel guilty Manatita. Movies are a good escape and are great entertainment. You are certainly right about doing the right thing. Bless you my friend.

      Bill, I could certainly fill you in on the sixties but let's stick to the great movies. Glad you enjoy this series and I promise I will keep them coming.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. Even though I was young during the sixties it remains one of my favorite times. Some great movies here. Another great year for the movies. Wonderful job, keep them coming.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      I feel guilty, now, Mary. I've seen them all! Didn't realise That I looked at so many movies. Great actors and truly great movies.

      Saw a bit of the Grammy Awards recently. I was at my meditation Centre and so missed most of it. Quite glamorous. Still, I consoled myself by saying that I was doing the right thing. Great and interesting Hub.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image

      Catherine Giordano 

      4 years ago from Orlando Florida

      1968? If you can remember the 60's you weren't there. Moving on: Bonnie and Clyde was my favorite movie too. It was a romp and the hail of bullets ending came as a shock.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This brought back memories of the good old days when movies were the best, I've seen most of them. I thought ' In cold blood ' was one of the best that year. One of my favorites of all time is ' The graduate ' of course I've always been in love with Dustin Hoffman, Sigh.. I loved ' The valley of the dolls ' so many goodies. I loved this look back in time. Thank you..

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      D.J. so sorry to hear those movies scared you and your date. He mustn'tve been a very nice guy to be scared off by one scream from a scary movie. I agree about the F bomb, very rarely is it really called for. Thanks for stopping by.

      Sha you have an excellent memory. In The Heat of the Night was made into a TV series. Carroll O'Connor was the police chief and Harold Rollins was Mr. Tibbs. Don't go braggin' about your age ;)

      Frank it is no surprise to me that In Cold Blood would appeal to you. Your writings follow such a similar vein, no pun intended. I thought it was great too. This series will keep coming back till I catch up. I think this year was the 80th! Blessing back to you dear friend.

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      In Cold Blood.. wow.. I really enjoyed that movie.. I always find these types of hub so entertaining and thank you for breaking the series back... bless you

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      I've seen Bonnie and Clyde several times. Great movie. I never saw In the Heat of the Night, but wasn't that made into a TV show? I seem to remember that, but I could be wrong. I was only 10 in 1967, so the movies I did see, were shown on TV years later.

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 

      4 years ago

      I have seen most of these. After watching Capote's 'In Cold Blood' I did

      not sleep through the night for a week.

      Years before, I finally got a date with a boy that I had a crush on for years and he took me to the movies to see Audrey Hepburn's 'Wait Until Dark'. I went into a screaming fit when that hand reached out and grabbed her ankle. Well, that was the last that I hear from that boy. Took me four years to get a date with this guy and I blew it with one scene that sent me over the edge! LOL

      Great write and lots of fun to look on those super old movies. They

      don't make them like they used to!! Of course, we have come to expect

      the best in movie making. But, it seems that directors think the more

      F bombs, the better the movie.

      Thanks for taking me back in time.

      Wonder where that boy is now? LOL


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Well Bill cheers and jeers. Cheers for seeing the movies, jeers for skipping studying ;) There were really a lot of greats this year. I thought Awards time was a good time to write another one in this series.

      Eric, I love movies and yes, its always hard to just pick two or three movies to write about.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Excellent. You really bring the era into light in this article. It must have been a very hard year to pick from all the great movies.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I saw them all, and I saw them when I should have been studying for some college exam. LOL A great year for the movie industry. Nice memories here, Mary. You know how much I love this series. Thank you for the memories.


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