Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1970

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Melvyn Douglas (I Never Sang for My Father)
James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope)
Jack Nicholson (Five Easy Pieces)
Ryan O’Neal (Love Story)
George C. Scott (Patton)

Biggest Snub:

Alan Arkin – Catch -22

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a relatively weak year for nominations and there was little chance anyone could have beaten Scott who’s performance was so powerful.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. James Earl Jones 
4. Jack Nicholson 
3. Ryan O’Neal 
2. Melvyn Douglas
1. George C. Scott


5. Five Easy PiecesStill baffled how this film got nominated for Best Picture that year. The performances are nice including that of Nicholson in the lead yet, I couldn’t sympathize with the character at all and didn’t really care as to what would happen to him. The story doesn’t really move along very well and despite knowing that the characters are seeking something better, they rarely try getting it. Perhaps this was more relate-able at the time, but I was just bored the whole time. Even the diner scene wasn’t as powerful as some have claimed.
4. The Great White HopeInteresting story that unfortunately focuses too much on aspects of the story that are meant to instill an uproar instead of the direct human aspects. Jones is great here and if it weren’t for his voice, he would be unrecognizable. He definitely deserved his Best Actor Oscar Nomination for this role, but if it had been meatier, he might have even had a slight chance of winning despite everyone favoring George C. Scott’s towering performance in Patton (1970)
3. Love StoryO’Neal and MacGraw are good here, but their chemistry together isn’t always as present as it probably should be. Liked the way that they are able to show a couple who prefer love over substance as they both try to break free from their vastly different upbringings. Milland is great as O’Neal’s overbearing father. Done really well, but not THE best film of the year.
2. I Never Sang for My FatherGreat movie about child-parent relationships and how much work can be involved on both sides in order to perfect them even after many years. Hackman and Douglas are both great here. Dialogue is superbly written and I think that this is more effective as a movie than it would be as a stage play.
1. PattonVery well done movie. You need to have patience to get thru it, but ultimately it’s worth the wait.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  None of the other nominees come even close to giving as powerful a performance as Scott did here.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1970

  1. You needed “patience” to get through PATTON? Wow. With Scott’s performance (AND Karl Malden’s BTW and every part in it – even down to the smallest one line role – not even counting his dog) and a screenplay co-written by Francis Coppola? I love this movie – from start to finish. Magnificent. Probably in my own personal Top 5. This was a slam dunk for Scott – even though he didn’t accept the Oscar – and even though Robert Mitchum was 1st choice to play the role – and passed – telling the producers to “Get George Scott”.


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