The 46th Academy Awards - 1974

Updated on November 18, 2015

47th Academy Awards

David Niven stole the show when he maintained his cool as a streaker ran out from backstage. Rather than make a scene or give the guy any credit, Mr. Niven pointed out the man's claim to fame was his "shortcomings". The streaker, Robert Opal, was a photographer and art gallery owner. It is believed he had help and it was a stunt to gain attention. I would say it certainly did. He was asked to streak again at various events, guess his "shortcomings" weren't as short as first supposed.

I have to say there were some great movies in 1973, including one Baby Boomers held, and still do, close to their hearts. Who could forget American Graffiti? The Sting was clever and had some really good actors, and The Exorcist glued people to their chairs. Movie after movie, each heading in a different direction.

The television awards ceremony lasted for three hours and twenty-three minutes. Funny how a television show lasting that long can hold your interest! It is possible the great movies of that year had something to do with it. Let's take a look at those movies.

Paul Newman in 1987


The Sting

The Sting, nominated for ten awards won seven including Best Picture. I can't even imagine anyone not having seen this great movie. Starring Paul Newman and Robert Reford it has to be one of the best movies of all times not to mention having two of the best looking leading men of all times, and who could resist Robert Shaw and music by Marvin Hamlisch? Based on two real life con man, this movie entertains from beginning to end.

Once you've seen the movie the music, especially "The Entertainer" will stick in your head for days. You'll be humming the tune without even thinking about it.

I can't even write about this movie without going into great details because of all the twist and turns. Let's just say two con men, one experienced and one younger, team up to get revenge on a mob boss by pulling off a con. If by some chance you haven't seen it, put it on top of your must see list.

Paper Moon

Continuing in the vein of Depression era con men came Paper Moon. Starring real life father and daughter Ryan and Tatum O'Neal. Though adapted from the book Addie Pray, the title was changed to Paper Moon after the director heard the song "It's Only a Paper Moon".

Ryan O'Neal meets his "possible" daughter at her mother's graveside. He agrees to deliver her to her aunt. He gets two hundred dollars from the man who murdered Addie's (Tatum O'Neal) mother and uses it to fix his car. She demands the two hundred he was given for her mother and he agrees to make it up and give it to her.

Along the way he cons widows by selling them Bibles he supposedly sold to their dead husbands. Addie turns out to be quite an asset in his con and they become a team, and that is just the beginning of their adventures.

Tatum O'Neal won the Best Supporting Actress Award. She was the youngest to ever receive that award and certainly deserved it. She did an amazing portrayal of Addie making it real and touching. Ryan O'Neal portrays the scoundrel with a heart perfectly.

In my opinion, another movie to add to your must see list. Oh, and a perfect ending? Watch it and see what you think.

Movies Nominated That Did Not Win

Best Picture
Best Actor
Best Actress
American Graffiti
Marlon Brando - Last Tango in Paris
Ellen Burstyn - The Exorcist
Cries and Whispers
Jack Nicholson - The Last Detail
Marsha Mason - Cinderella Liberty
The Exorcist
Al Pacino - Serpico
Barbara Streisand - The Way We Were
A Touch of Class
Robert Redford - The Sting
Joanne Woodward - Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams

The Exorcist - the puppet used in the film


The Exorcist

This movie was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won two, Best Sound Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay. It was based on an exorcism that occurred in 1949. The "real" exorcism involved a boy not a girl. Strangely enough I met a priest who said who knew the priest involved in that exorcism. As with all things in life, particularly religious based, it is up to each of us what we believe.

I went to see this movie in the theater and was repulsed, thrilled, and engrossed. The special effects were amazing, especially for that time. Was it the Ouija board that led to Regan's possession? Regardless of it's cause it appears Regan is possessed. She exhibits strange behavior and then even kills a man. After consulting several doctors it is decided an exorcism is in order.

Two priests arrive, an elderly priest and a troubled priest, one to perform the exorcism, the other to assist. This is when things get really hairy.

The A.V. Club says "The Exorcist became a major cultural event when it was unleashed on audiences in December 1973." Rotten Tomatoes claims the movie had "remarkable special effects and an eerie atmosphere, resulting in one of the scariest films of all time".

I don't want to give you any further details, it would certainly spoil the film if you haven't seen it. The acting is superb with Linda Blair, a then unknown actress, as Regan. Max Von Sydow is the main priest, Father Merrin, Jason Miller plays the tormented Fr. Karras, and Ellen Burstyn plays Regan's mother.

If you like horror movies or scary movies this is a must see, even if you don't like them, you might want to see this one to see how well it was done. Please note, however, there are some disturbing images, in fact you may want to skip the Youtube video below.

Other Movies From 1973

Papillon - This movie is another Steve McQueen movie showing the undaunted spirit of man. Dustin Hoffman is superb as well. I just had to write this tidbit because it is such an excellent movie!

Enter the Dragon
Live and Let Die
The High Plains Drifter
Day of the Jackal
Robin Hood (Disney animated)
The Way We Were
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Paper Chase
Walking Tall
Charlotte's Web (animated)
Magnum Force
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Cahill, US Marshal
Class of '44
Godzilla vs Megalon
High Plains Drifter
The Iceman Cometh
Mean Streets

You Had to Have a Favorite in 1973

Did you have a favorite film from 1973?

See results

Go Rent Some Movies

Obviously I haven't listed all the movies from 1973, and the opinions expressed here are only my own. so, the best way for you to decide, if you haven't already, which films you like best would be to watch these movies. The list, though not complete, contains some greats from The Sting to Papillon. You might look at these movies and say, hey, I love Clint Eastwood and think his movies are the best. Maybe you're a huge Planet of the Apes fan and lean toward that. Whatever your persuasion you're sure to find one to please from 1973.

I'd love to hear what you think about the movies of 1973. Please leave a comment with your thoughts to share.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

"Bringing you movies that are part of your memories."


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      So glad you enjoyed Shy. This was certainly a fun year.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Mary, I do love all the movies from that year, they are awesome. I think my favorite was Pete and Tillie (reminds me of you).

      I did enjoy this so very much.

      Blessings and hugs.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Good choice Bill. It was a touching movie from beginning to end (Papillion), not to mention two great actors! Glad you enjoy this series, I hope to continue it. Have a great day.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Mary. I was a young teenager in 1973 and saw a number of these movies. Certainly a great year for films. I really enjoy this series as it's always a nice walk down memory lane. I enjoyed most of these movies but Papillion really stands out for me.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Time to catch up Deb!

      I like your phrase Sha, "we formed ourselves in yesteryear"! How true. All of our memories are part of us and that includes the movies we saw. Glad you enjoyed.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Mary, first I want to thank you for not posting something dark or political. How much dread and dreariness can we take?

      I've come to realize that the 1970's were great years. The music, films and even TV shows are long-lived.

      I became a fan of Ryan O'Neil after Love Story, so I definitely caught Paper Moon. Ryan O'Neil plays Temperance's father in Bones. He's still handsome and has a unique role on the show.

      I love this series, Mary. We formed ourselves in yesteryear. Your look back into time reminds us of those days. I for one, choose to hang onto them.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice walk down Memory Lane. I missed a few, though.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks Larry, always happy to see you here!

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      4 years ago from Oklahoma

      I always enjoy these so much!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Yes Ruby we had some great stars in Hollywood and their lights will continue to shine. Glad you enjoyed.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I have seen most all of the movies you've listed. I remember being afraid as I dove home at night after seeing the Exorcist. Paul Newman is one of my favorite's. I miss all the stars who are no longer with us. You put a lot of research in this. Well done.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Thanks for the tip Manatita!

      Genna your comments are always a pleasure to read. You make them so worthwhile and fill them with little tidbits that are fun to know. Yes, David Niven was a class act, from beginning to end. So glad you love this series and so happy to see you here.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      "Mr. Niven pointed out the man's claim to fame was his "shortcomings". Lol...Mr, Niven was a class act. The Sting with our beloved Paul Newman (RIP) and Robert Redford -- and the late, great Robert Shaw, more well known for his role as Quint in Jaws. "Ya folla?" he would ask in the Sting. Terrific film for all the reasons you have stated here and a deserved win for Oscar. Another favorite of mine is The Way We Were -- "Your girl is lovely, Hubble" -- and Papillon. I've said it several times before, but I just love this series, Mary. Thank you!

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      Chuckle. Day of The jackal in book form was amazing! It should be the book, then the movie! (smile)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Karen, some of my all time favorites were from 1973 and I didn't even realize it till I started writing this hub! We do tend to favor those films that are more familiar to us. Glad you enjoyed.

      Ah my friend Manatita, we share so many views. I LOVED Planet of the Apes the first time I saw it. I was fascinated by the apes, the situation and then, stunned by the ending. Papillon was certainly a great movie with two great actors. While the other two you mention are good movies, I'm afraid they're not on my favorites list! Blessings my friend.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      The first time that I watched Planet of the Apes, I thought it was truly awesome! I've seen a few different versions since. Papillon was a great favourite of mines. I read the book and it was so exciting! I like Enter the Dragon and Day of The Jackal even better, although they are quite different films.

      We had such great movies! Now some are still great, but the trend has shifted. Thanks for bringing them to life Mary, but I feel so old! He he.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 

      4 years ago from Georgia

      Wow, I was 13 in 1973 and remember all of these movies. I hadn't realized they all came out in the same year. It seems as though there were much better movies out back then. Thanks for sharing this and bringing us on a trip down Memory Lane!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Mohan, how nice to see you back! We've certainly missed you and all your wonderful writing. Glad my hub could make you feel at home again and hope to see lots more of you.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      4 years ago from UK

      It is nice to come back to the hubs and read one of my favourite hubbers covering one of my favourite subjects- the movies and Academy awards. Feels like home again. What a special year for films brimming with absolute classics ... thank you for reminding us, dear Mary.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      4 years ago from New York

      Welcome, and thank you Ann. Glad you enjoyed.

      Yes Frank, The Sting was great, everything about it fit into place and made it enjoyable.

      I know Bill, hard to imagine what we were doing that we had time to watch so many movies. It was certainly a different time.

      Glad you like my series Mike. Now if I had your originality. imagine!

      They were good weren't they Maria? I have to admit I loved The Exorcist too, something different and chilling.

      I remember the drive-ins well Eric. Such fun even if you couldn't hear the movie very well. Hope that arm's not numb anymore ;)

      Dr. D, loved your comment. If you had children back then you might've seen Godzilla ;) See you again soon.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      4 years ago from south Florida

      I didn't realize, Mary, until I read your entire entertaining post, how very special 1973 was with so many terrific movies within one year. I remember enjoying every single one of them with the exception of 'Godspell' which I missed and 'Godzilla' which just wasn't my thing.

      My favorites were ... every one of the others! Thanks for this awesome and welcome deja vu.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Tre cool. So many great ones that I liked. Golden age of movies? The ones that did not win all get my vote also. I must of really liked going to movies then -- hey wait, my girlfriends at the time liked them. hmmm that was back when my arm would fall asleep as I wouldn't dare take it back from around their shoulders. And we still had drive ins back then. Thanks

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Mary,

      I was thrilled to see you had published another in your series...

      At the age of 12, I fell in love with Paper Moon, Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell...

      ...have always had a sick enjoyment of The Exorcist - although I wasn't allowed to see it as a child.

      Great job as usual! Love, Maria

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Mary. No doubt about it, some icon movies were released in 1973. The academy knew what they were doing when they picked The Sting for best picture. This is a good series.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hooray, one of my favorite series. Thanks for doing another one, Mary. Loved these highlighted movies...saw all but three of them. Evidently I had found a life and didn't have time for all of them. :)

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      4 years ago from Shelton

      The Sting one of my favorite movies off all time.. that year also brought the exorcist ... at that time it was the most haunting film ever.. I love when you do these.. they still me as I read awesome :)

    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 

      4 years ago from Australia

      I love your Academy Award series. Such a range of movies to be released in one year, from Jesus Christ Superstar to The Exorcist! Look forward to reading more.


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