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

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Robert Altman (MASH)
Federico Fellini (Fellini Satyricon)
Arthur Hiller (Love Story)
Ken Russell (Women in Love)
Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton)

Biggest Snub:

David Lean – Ryan’s Daughter

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a year with three very powerful films that were directed superbly vying for the top spot. Any of them could have conceivably taken home gold despite the vast diversity between the stories and the genres.

My Rankings:


5. Federico Fellini
4. Ken Russell
3. Arthur Hiller 
2. Robert Altman
1. Franklin J. Schaffner


5. Fellini SatyriconCompletely incomprehensible story that doesn’t make any sense what so ever. Fellini might be a master at directing, but his storytelling in this film is clearly missing since it all feels very disjointed and pointless. The characters are typical Roman archetypes and I couldn’t care what would happen to any of them as long as the film would end sooner. Fellini did get an Oscar nomination fr Best Director for this film, yet luckily there were 4 non-abstract films in the running that year too.
4. Women in LoveInteresting idea that starts off really well but loses it’s magic along the way. The cast is great and all 4 of the leads do wonderful jobs portraying these very flawed characters who are all seeking similar things yet in different ways. Jackson won Best Actress at the Oscars for this role because she allowed her character to bear herself completely both physically and mentally. Russell received a Best Director nomination for this film and it can definitely be seen as being a landmark for its time even if it doesn’t still feel as relevant nearly 50 years on.
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. PattonVery well done movie. You need to have patience to get thru it, but ultimately it’s worth the wait. Very deserving of its many accolades
1. MASHSuch a fun movie to rewatch because the characters and situations are spot on. Altman really knew how to create a carnival atmosphere and kept his characters seem so real despite everything going on around them. Amazing cast led by Sutherland, Skerritt, Gould, Kellerman and Duvall. The fact that they were able to tell a film about social issues related to a completely different war is truly an amazing accomplishment to achieve. A great (anti-) war film all around and it’s no surprise that it spawned a TV series that lasted 11 seasons plus.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  Patton is such an amazing epic film that gives us so much insight into the mind of a general and Schaffner does a wonderful job keeping it all together.

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

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

  1. Patton is one of my favorite films of all time (screenplay co-written by Francis Coppola) with a titanic performance by George C. Scott (who was recommended to the producers to play the role by Robert Mitchum — who turned it down) – a war movie AND a biographical study of a very iconic man – superbly directed by Schaffner who dserved his Oscar.

    Liked by 1 person

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