Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1969

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Rupert Crosse (The Reivers)
Elliott Gould (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice)
Jack Nicholson (Easy Rider)
Anthony Quayle (Anne of the Thousand Days)
Gig Young (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?)

Biggest Snub:

Red Buttons – They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year where there are 3 very good performances alongside one great one that also was a high in the career of a veteran actor.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actor

5. Rupert Crosse
4. Elliott Gould
3. Anthony Quayle
2. Jack Nicholson
1. Gig Young


5. Easy RiderFilm that is very representative of the counter culture that was brewing at the end of the 60’s. The story is very allegorical and existential at the same time which is far from being enjoyable to my personal taste.  The Hippie lifestyle along with recreational drug use and commune living is depicted quite prominently here and allows the viewer a glimpse into something that wasn’t generally seen at the time. The cast is superb with Fonda and Hopper as the leads. Nicholson plays a supporting role that stands out among all of the roles. He received his very first Oscar nomination for this role as Best Supporting Actor.  The story moves along too slowly and I found myself quite bored through most of the film.
4. The ReiversVery interesting coming of age film that makes us truly feel the changes in the boy’s life due to his new experiences and his eye opening trip. The themes depicted here are all not your typical themes generally explored by an 11 years old yet they are dealt with tastefully and help us understand how they affect his young life’s outlook on the world. McQueen plays a bit against type here yet still shines through as does the young Vogel. Great music by Williams.
3. Anne of the Thousand DaysBurton and Bujold are great here as the King and future Queen. We can really believe their characters. The dialogue is great and in some ways quite risque for its time. The movie is a bit overlong and might have been helped if it has been cut down a bit.
2. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?Very interesting film that allows us to see people are they are slowly worn down due to exhaustion and fatigue due to this non-stop marathon. The cast is superb and obviously Fonda and Young both stand out the most between everyone. Young deservingly won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role. The film moves along quite slowly yet still lets us try and understand what every one of these characters is going through along the way and we slowly see how their personas begin to change as layer by layer things are peeled away.
1. Bob & Carol & Ted & AliceGreat plot that delves into the ideas of romantic love and physical love and what are potentially the differences between the two. Culp, Wood, Gould and Cannon are all great here because we get to see four differing opinions on the subject who debate it all for us to also try and come to some sort of conclusion. This film’s poster and premise make it seem like it is a drama about swingers but it really isn’t because it tries to dissect what people of that time and place thought about love. many scenes are still relevant today.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  GY is great in TSHDT? and was quite deserving of this win even if it could also be seen as a career award.  Nicholson’s performance comes the closest but still wasn’t powerful enough to take home gold.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1969

  1. Tough year. Some terrific performances – even w/out Buttons – who was excellent. I thought Nicholson almost stole the movie, I LOVED The Reivers (one of McQueen’s best performances as well – and nothing for him). Would’ve been good with any of the 5 – but Young was riveting in a very depressing film to watch.


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