As one of the most notable and controversial decades of US History (from both a cultural, historical, and film point of view) comes to an end we see a number of notable beginnings and endings. This year was the first year where none of the films awarded for the Best Picture or Best Acting awards were in Black and White, and we saw the first film to be X-rated picking up a major win. There are a number of iconic actors and films making their first major appearances, while many Hollywood legends made some of their best final works. Both Sharon Tate and Judy Garland died, Elvis made his final movie, while Al Pacino, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Melanie Griffith made their debuts. Leading the nominations was Anne Of The Thousand Days (Remember that?), They Shoot Horses Don’t They, Hello Dolly, Midnight Cowboy, and Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid while most of those same films picked up multiple wins. None of the films picked up more than four wins, so it’s all about a wide spread of quality than a clean sweep.
Some of the presenters this year included Fred Astaire, Claudia Cardinale, Clint Eastwood, James Earl Jones, and Raquel Welch, while performers included Glen Campbell and Michel Legrand. Special Awards went to Cary Grant and George Jessel. We’re moving quickly into a new period in Cinematic history, an era of blockbusters and effects, powerful personal stories, modern legends, and an expansion of genre work, and more importantly an era that I have much more familiarity with. Be prepared to see some bizarre and ill-advised nominations from me in this and many years to come!
Let us know in the comments what you thought of the 42nd Academy Awards and which movies of 1969 were your favourites!