Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Chris Sarandon (Dog Day Afternoon)
Robert Shaw – Jaws
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a somewhat mediocre year for nominees. All 5 are quite ok, but none really stand out among the others.
5. Jack Warden
4. Brad Dourif
3. Burgess Meredith
2. Chris Sarandon
1. George Burns
5. The Day of the Locust – Interesting look at life in Hollywood during the 30’s and it seems as if not much has changed in the 80 years since. This film deals with the attempts of people to try and become famous in their given fields of work no matter the cost and no matter the course to get there. The story moves along a bot too slowly and feels very choppy instead of flowing well. The cast is ok, and I can understand how Meredith could get an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role because he is able to show lots of range with his character. Just doesn’t work well enough overall to make the viewer care about any of the characters at all.
4. The Sunshine Boys – Some great Neil Simon dialogue doesn’t help a weak storyline. Matthau and Burns are both amazing here as grouchy former partners but something keeps missing the mark in the movie. Burns won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role.
3. Shampoo – Beatty perfectly cast himself in the lead role of this film and in a way satires his own life in Hollywood. The supporting cast is amazing and we get to see so much about what is stopping him from achieving success in business from all of their viewpoints. Grant is the standout here as the wife of a potential investor who is having an affair with Beatty’s character since she is neglected by her husband who is having his own affair. Just her reactions and eye moment in certain scenes show how deserving she was in winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for this role. The fact that the main character has a prevalence to bed every woman he meets constantly makes him required to juggles his life and excuses because he must constantly lie around every corner. The idea that the story takes place over only a few days makes things even more complicated for him since he has so much going on all at once. This film probably worked much better when it came out as a social commentary on the time, but there are definitely elements that still feel very relevant to the world we live in.
2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Great movie about who is really considered crazy and how society needs to be flexible and not always just have everyone conform to the established rules. Excellent cast.
1. Dog Day Afternoon – Great story that works most of the time. Pacino, Cazale and Durning are all amazing here. Loved the way the story moves along at a great pace despite the fact that it all takes place in once location. Director Lumet does a wonderful job keeping things interesting and exciting the entire time. The issues brought up are still somewhat relevant and this is a great example of something that is done for the right reasons despite it being wrong no matter how you look at it. The fact that this is based on a true story makes it even more powerful.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes! GB was the best of this lackluster crowd and probably received the award more as a lifetime achievement award than for his performance in this film.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!
Robert Shaw was robbed.
All in on Shaw getting gypped – but wondering if Universal campaigned for any of the leads (Shaw, Dreyfuss and Scheider) as Best Actor. Burns could’ve played this role in his sleep – which isn’t to say he didn’t nail it – but it’s HIM. Role might as well have been written for him (and remember, he only got it because Jack Benny died). As far as a career achievement – doubtful – as the vast majority of his career was NOT in movies. Thought Sarandon was perfect in a true supporting role and Dourif was excellent in the pivotal role of Billy in Cuckoo’s Nest, so not sure thatthis was as much a sure thing as you insinuate.