The 46th Academy Awards - 1974
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, 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.
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
Marlon Brando - Last Tango in Paris
Ellen Burstyn - The Exorcist
Cries and Whispers
Jack Nicholson - The Last Detail
Marsha Mason - Cinderella Liberty
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
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
Charlotte's Web (animated)
Battle for the Planet of the Apes
Cahill, US Marshal
Class of '44
Godzilla vs Megalon
High Plains Drifter
The Iceman Cometh
You Had to Have a Favorite in 1973
Did you have a favorite film from 1973?
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.
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