Sunday, January 20, 2008

43rd Academy Awards

The 43rd Academy Awards were presented April 15, 1971 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. There was no host.

Patton is a 1970 epic biographical film which tells the story of General George S. Patton during World War II. It stars George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Michael Bates, and Karl Michael Vogler. It was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner, and written by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North. It won seven Academy Awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture.The opening monologue, delivered by Scott with an enormous American flag behind him, remains an iconic and often quoted image in film. Despite the rise of the Vietnam protest movement and a decline in interest in World War II movies, the film became a success and an American classic. In 2003 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. Scott's performance won him an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1971. He famously refused to accept it --the first actor, though not the last, to do so. The film won six additional Academy Awards, for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Picture, Best Sound and Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced. It was nominated for Best Cinematography, Best Effects, Special Visual Effects and Best Music, Original Score.

George C Scott was a stage and film actor, director, and producer. He was best known for his Academy Award-winning portrayal of General George S. Patton Jr. in the film Patton, as well as for his flamboyant performance as General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. George won wide public recognition in the film, Anatomy of a Murder, in which he played a wily prosecutor opposite Jimmy Stewart as the defense attorney. George was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actor; when he was notified of the nomination, he called the Academy Awards a "meat parade" or "meat race". George's most famous early role was in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, where he played the part of General "Buck" Turgidson. George's portrayal of the swaggering and controversial General Patton in the 1970 film Patton has become, to many, his greatest performance. Many film critics and historians consider it one of the greatest performances in the history of cinema. George had researched extensively for the role, studying films of the general and talking to those who knew him. Having declined an Academy Award nomination for his appearance in the 1961 film, The Hustler, George returned his Oscar for Patton, stating in a letter to the Academy that he didn't feel himself to be in competition with other actors. However, also regarding this second rejection of the Academy Award, George famously said elsewhere, "The whole thing is a goddamn meat parade. I don't want any part of it." In 1971, George gave two more critically acclaimed performances, as a de facto Sherlock Holmes in They Might Be Giants, and as an alcoholic doctor in the black comedy The Hospital. Despite his repeated snubbing of the Academy, George was again nominated for Best Actor for the latter role. In 1984, George was cast in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a television adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Critics and the public alike praised his performance. George was married five times: Carolyn Hughes (1951–1955) (one daughter, Victoria, born December 19, 1952) Patricia Reed (1955–1960) (two children: Matthew - born May 27, 1957 - and actress Devon Scott - born November 29, 1958). The Canadian-born actress Colleen Dewhurst, by whom he had two sons, writer Alexander Scott (born August 1960), and actor Campbell Scott (born July 19, 1961). Dewhurst nicknamed her husband "G.C.". (1960–1965) He remarried Colleen Dewhurst on July 4, 1967, but divorced for a second time on February 2, 1972. The American actress Trish Van Devere on September 4, 1972, with whom he starred in several films, including the supernatural thriller The Changeling (1980). They were estranged at the time of his death. He also had a daughter, Michelle, born August 21, 1954, with Karen Truesdell. George C. Scott died on September 22, 1999 at the age of 71 from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

The Best Actress award was won by British actress Glenda Jackson. Having studied acting at RADA, Jackson made her professional stage debut in Terence Rattigan's Separate Tables in 1957, and her film debut in This Sporting Life in 1963. Fame came with Jackson's starring role in the controversial Women in Love (1969) for which she won her first Academy Award for Best Actress, and another controversial role as Tchaikovsky's nymphomaniac wife in Ken Russell's The Music Lovers added to her image of being prepared to do almost anything for her art. She confirmed this by having her head shaved in order to play Queen Elizabeth I of England in the BBC's 1971 blockbuster serial, Elizabeth R. Filmmaker Melvin Frank watched this and saw her comedic potential and offered her the lead female role in his next project. She earned a second Academy Award for Best Actress for this particular comic role in A Touch of Class (1973), She retired from acting in order to enter the House of Commons in the 1992 general election as the Labour MP for Hampstead and Highgate.

Sir John Mills, was a popular Academy Award winning English actor who made more than 120 films and whose career spanned seventy years. He made his film debut in The Midshipmaid (1932), and appeared as Colley in the 1939 film version of Goodbye, Mr Chips, opposite Robert Donat. He took the lead in Great Expectations in 1946, and subsequently made his career playing traditionally British heroes such as Captain Robert Falcon Scott in Scott of the Antarctic (1948). Over the next decade he became particularly associated with war dramas, such as The Colditz Story (1954), Above Us the Waves (1955) and Ice Cold in Alex (1958). He often acted in the roles of people who are not at all exceptional, but become heroes due to their common sense, generosity and right judgement. For his role as the village idiot in Ryan's Daughter (1970) — a complete departure from his usual style — Mills won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His most famous television role was probably as the title character in Quatermass for ITV in 1979. His first wife was the actress Aileen Raymond. They were married in 1927 and divorced in 1941. His second wife was the dramatist Mary Hayley Bell. Their marriage on 16 January 1941 lasted 64 years, until his death in 2005. They were married in a rushed civil ceremony, due to the war, and it was not until 60 years later that they had their union blessed by a church. They had two daughters, Juliet, star of television's Nanny and the Professor and Hayley, a Disney child star noted for starring in The Parent Trap, and one son Jonathan Mills. Hayley Mills's son, Crispian Mills, became a successful singer with the pop group Kula Shaker. He died aged 97 on 23 April 2005 at his home in Denham, Buckinghamshire following a chest infection. A few months after Sir John's death, Mary Hayley Bell died on 1 December 2005.

The Best Supporting Actress award went to Helen Hayes for Airport. It was her second Academy Award. The Best Director went to the director of Patton, Franklin Schaffer. In 1960, he directed Allen Drury's stage play Advise and Consent. His first Hollywood motion picture was praised and he directed the influential hit Planet of the Apes. His next film, Patton was a major success for which he won the Academy Award for Directing and the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures. Schaffner married Helen Jane Gilchrist in 1948. The couple had two children. Schaffner was elected President of the Directors Guild of America in 1987. He died on July 2, 1989 at the age of 69.

Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion (Italian: Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto) is a 1970 Italian film crime drama directed by Elio Petri. It is a dramatic, psychological, black-humoured satire on corruption in high office, telling the story of a top police officer who kills his lover and then tests whether the police would accuse him for this. During the movie, he is seen planting obvious clues while the other police officers ignore them, either intentionally or not. The film was highly regarded in its own time, winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, and both the FIPRESCI Prize and the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. Also it won as Best Foreign Language Film at the Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 1971. Today the film stands well, thanks to its intelligent composition. Volonté performed one of his most celebrated roles as the idiosyncratic, nervous police inspector, portraying a clichéd authoritarian southern Italian police functionary.

"For All We Know" is a popular song originally written for the 1970 film Lovers and Other Strangers by Fred Karlin, Robb Wilson (Robb Royer) and Arthur James (Jimmy Griffin). It was originally performed by Larry Meredith. It gained popularity when it was heard by Richard Carpenter of The Carpenters during an evening of relaxation at the movies while on tour. Upon hearing the song, Carpenter decided it would be ideal for the duo to record, and it became a hit for them in 1971, reaching number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. The song then went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song, though the Carpenters were not allowed to perform the song at the ceremony as they had not appeared in a film. At their request, the song was performed by British singer Petula Clark. In tribute to Karen Carpenter, Clark performed the song in concert on February 6, 1983.

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