Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Zero Mostel – The Producers
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a relatively weak year for Best Actor. All 5 performances are fine, but none really stands out as amazing and ultimately it was down to Robertson and O’Toole
5. Ron Moody
4. Alan Arkin
3. Alan Bates
2. Peter O’Toole
1. Cliff Robertson
5. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter – Arkin does a wonderful job as a deaf mute, but the story itself isn’t captivating enough. Perhaps the novel this is based on was much better at describing the feelings of the characters who must deal with the changing circumstances around them whether they be racial charged or just dealing with overcoming loneliness and boredom.
4. Oliver! – Not one of the best movies to win Best Picture, but it was a weak year. The choreography is truly awe-inspiring here even though the story isn’t so strong.
3. Charly – Robertson is amazing here and truly deserved his Best Actor Oscar because he is able to play this character at multiple intelligence levels and we believe it. The story would still work extremely well today and especially with the advancements in science over the past 50 years, the ideas presented here seem quite plausible. Really liked how we get to see how a persons outlook on the world and life could change after such an experiment.
2. The Fixer – Great story that is able to show the natural cruelty of certain cultures. Bates does a wonderful job showing how his character can evolve so much over the course of the story no matter how much he is persecuted. From a personal perspective, this story shows how difficult it could be for someone to escape their heritage no matter how hard they try to do so. The message about staying true to yourself and your principals no matter the cost is a great one that is a timeless one.
1. The Lion in Winter – Great dialogue makes this so much fun to watch. Excellent cast of actors that included ones that were destined for greatness besides those who had already proved it previously. Baffles me that this didn’t beat Oliver! (1968) for Best Picture that year. Hepburn really deserved her Oscar (even if it was a tie).
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Robertson plays a very difficult kind of character quite well but there were clearly better performances this year yet he still in retrospect was a worthy winner.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!
Not sure why Oliver! won either. And O’Toole (like Burton), came up short in another of those roles that he was so very good at playing – and this time opposite Katharine Hepburn no less.