The 41st Academy Awards - 1969
The Academy Awards 1968
April 14, 1969 the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, was home to the 41st Academy Awards Ceremony. It was the first time the Awards had been held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. This Performing Arts Center was opened on September 27, 1964, and is one of the three largest performing arts centers in the United States.
This was only the second time in Academy Awards Ceremony history that there was no host. There were many firsts this year though:
- Oliver! was the first G-rated film to win Best Picture
- First and only tie for the Best Actress Award - Katherine Hepburn and Barbara Streisand
- The first time someone made a good guess at the Best Picture winner. Johnny Carson and Buddy Hackett performed a skit on the Tonight Show naming Oliver! as the Best Picture....the show was taped three hours before the Ceremony.
The movie was an adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. The musical Broadway show was based on Charles Dickens second novel, originally called The Parish Boy's Progress and later renamed Oliver Twist.
Imagine living in a workhouse! Dickens often used the horrible conditions of the people of that time as a basis for his novels. Oliver is orphaned and winds up in a workhouse. A dirty place run by greedy people. Being deprived of food, Oliver runs away from the workhouse and meets up with a gang of pickpockets.
Who hasn't heard of The Artful Dodger? He is the character that leads Oliver to Fagin and his home of pickpocket boys. Fagin is a mean a greedy leader, but he is more of a deceitful character out for his own good. The other characters and Oliver's history are intriguing and the story holds your interest throughout.
Songs include, Where is Love, Food, Glorious Food, I'll Do Anything, just to name a few.
Nominated for twelve Academy Awards it won six including Best Picture. If you like movies, musicals, or Dickens, don't miss Oliver.
Cliff Robertson won the Best Actor Award for portraying Charly. A sad and beautiful movie. Charly is an intellectually challenged young man, a man who has the mind of a boy. He goes through an experiment and comes out with the intelligence and mind of a genius. It is beautiful to see his mind grasp things and go beyond anything he could ever have dreamed of. Along with this story is a love story between Charly and his teacher.
I cannot tell you more for fear of ruining the movie for you. "Charly emerges a peculiar combination of sentimentalized documentary, romance, science fiction and social drama," said Variety
Watch it and judge for yourself.
From Rosemary's Baby
I had to jump to the winner of the Best Supporting Actress for several reasons, the first of which is that I loved this movie when it came out. I'm a fan of Scy Fy and horror films so this was right up my alley. Another reason was this film introduced me to Ruth Gordon. Don't get me wrong, she was a stage and screen actress long before this film but I met her here. It was Ruth Gordon who won the Best Supporting Actress. You might remember her from the Clint Eastwood movies, Every Which Way But Loose and Any Which Way You Can.
This movie is a psychological horror film. They're the best type. They grab you and keep you guessing and hoping, but in the end they win.
A young couple moves into a strange, new apartment, against the better judgment of their friend who tells them there is some questionable history here.
When they are there only a short time, a young woman throws herself out of a window. The young couple is befriended by an older couple, the Castevets, the people the young girl was living with. Without too much detail let's just say when Rosemary and her husband decide to try to conceive, after the Castevets give them some hot chocolate Rosemary thinks tastes funny, Rosemary has a dream that she is raped by the devil. She subsequently finds out she is pregnant.
Her husband and the Castevets talk her into seeing their doctor rather than the one recommended by her girlfriend. Rosemary suffers from severe stomach cramps and weight loss. Her friend Hutch who is suspicious of the Castevets, dies before he can tell Rosemary his findings.
Suspense reigns throughout the film. I'll end my description here so I don't ruin this movie for you. Mia Farrow plays Rosemary by the way. Give it a glance, but only if you like horror type movies.
Movies Nominated for Academy Awards (Non Winners)
Alan Arkin - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Barbara Streisand - Funny Girl
The Lion in Winter
Alan Bates - The Fixer
Patricia Neal - The Subject Was Roses
Ron Moody - Oliver
Vanessa Redgrave - Isadora
Romeo and Juliet
Peter O'Toole - The Lion in Winter
Joanne Woodward - Rachel, Rachel
Other Films From 1968
The Academy does not always pick the best, or should I say the most favorite films for any particular year. While you may agree with their choices, many do not, or many think some good films were left off the list. Of course the Academy can't name every film for a given year, so here we take a look at some films that were left out.
The Planet of the Apes - Anyone who saw this original Planet of the Apes movie was fascinated by the costumes and creativity and certainly shocked and surprised by the ending.
Bullit - What Steve McQueen fan isn't familiar with Bullit? A crime action film with that famous green Mustang.
Night of the Living Dead - If you think interest in zombies is something new, you haven't seen this movie. It was certainly gory, but it was also selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry as a film deemed, "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang - A magical film loved by children, and adults, everywhere. "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, We love you."
The Green Berets - If you like war movies and you're a fan of John Wayne, this one's for you. It wasn't well received at the time of its release because it takes place in Vietnam, but it's a good war movie.
The Odd Couple - Starring Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon this comedy spawned two television shows. Slob versus neatnik. Just an all round funny film.
These are but a few of the movies from 1968. I've provided an additional list for you to look through and perhaps remember.
More Movies From 1968
- 2001: A Space Odyssey - Kier Dullea
- The Swimmer - Burt Lancaster
- Barbarella - Jane Fonda
- Where Eagles Dare - Richard Burton
- Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
- No Way to Treat a Lady - Rod Steiger
- Hang 'Em High - Clint Eastwood
- The Detective - Frank Sinatra
- The Love Bug - Dean Jones
- Yours, Mine, Ours - Lucille Ball
- The Boston Strangler - Tony Curtis
- Candy - Richard Burton
- The Devil's Brigade - William Holden
- How Sweet It Is - James Garner
- I Love You, Alice B. Toklas - Peter Sellers
- Ice Station Zebra - Rock Hudson
- Interlude - Oskar Werner
- Once Upon a Time in the West - Charles Bronson
- The Secret War of Harry Frigg - Paul Newman
- The Shoes of the Fisherman - Anthony Quinn
It Was a Good Year
It certainly was a year filled with movies we look back on now as classics. With or without Academy Awards they certainly live on in our memory. I'd love to hear what you think about the movies of this year. Please tell me in your comments.
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