Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1970

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Karen Black (Five Easy Pieces)
Lee Grant (The Landlord)
Helen Hayes (Airport)
Sally Kellerman (MASH)
Maureen Stapleton (Airport)

Biggest Snub:

Bea Arthur – Lovers and Other Strangers

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 5 great actresses nominated here and any of them could have conceivably won.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actress

5. Karen Black
4. Lee Grant
3. Maureen Stapleton
2. Sally Kellerman
1. Helen Hayes


4. 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.
3. The LandlordInteresting film that serves as a social commentary for the time it was made. This kind of premise would be very frowned upon if made today due to the perception that things always need to be politically correct, but the way that this film presents things works quite well in spite of the fact that it isn’t PC at all. They are able to show the differences between perceived ideas about the differences in class and race and the actual differences once one is immersed in it all. Bridges is great in this film since he is able to change his character’s outlook on things as the story moves along. Grant was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role and definitely stands out among the entire cast as Bridges’ mother who must deal with the changes her son has made in his life and love.
2. AirportBy far, the best of the whole series. Great cast. Managed to garner 10 Oscar nominations including Best Picture. Doesn’t age as well as it should, but still an interesting eclectic of storylines occurring in the same place. Hayes is definitely a stand out in her Oscar winning role as a little old lady who schemes her way around the world. The personal stories of many of the characters give more life to the story before it was acceptable to do ensemble films like this.
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? – Definitely!  Hayes is great in Airport and is slightly better than SK who is quite iconic in her role in MASH.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1970

  1. As far as Airport is concerned…Airport is another example of a pretty good film somewhat tainted by all it’s bad sequels. But having said that, Airport 75 is one of my favorite bad movies, and Airport 77 is just one of those great 70s “disaster” cheese-taculars. Airport 79 is the true abomination in the series.

    Also, for me it would have bee a tough choice between Hayes and Stapleton.


  2. I agree with your ratings.
    Helen Hayes was outstanding as Ada Quonset in Airport and deserved her Oscar.
    The original Airport was a thrilling movie on the big screen in 70mm.
    Sally Kellerman created an iconic character in “Hot Lips” but probably lost the race for Oscar as Helen Hayes’s character in Airport was just so lovable.


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