The 1974 Academy Awards

The 1974 Academy Awards was a good year for handing out film awards, and there were plenty of stars accepting them or handing them out.

The Awards were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles on April 2nd, and were presided over by Burt Reynolds, Diana Ross, John Huston, and David Niven…quite a lineup.

The award ceremony is most remembered for a streaking incident: from Wikipedia:

The 46th Academy Awards ceremony is perhaps best remembered as the ceremony in which a streaker named Robert Opel ran across the stage naked while flashing a peace sign with his hand. In response, host David Niven jokingly quipped, “The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings.” In 2001, this incident was voted as the most memorable Oscar moment in history, coming in first over Marlon Brando’s 1972 boycott of the 45th Academy Awards, in which he nominated Sacheen Littlefeather to explain why he would not be coming to collect his Oscar for The Godfather.

Read the Wikipedia page about Robert Opel, it is interesting and unfortunately his life came to a tragic end only five years later.

There were plenty of big names handing out various awards, but the most interesting pair was Linda Blair and Billy Dee Williams as the presenters of the Short Subjects Awards. Other big names included Alfred Hitchcock, Marcel Marceau, Yul Brynner, good ol’ Ernest Borgnine, The Bronson, and The Heston. See them all here.

There were plenty of performers too, including Henry Mancini, Liza Minnelli, and Jodie Foster. The one I would have most liked to have seen was Telly Savalas singing “You’re So Nice To Be Around” from Cinderella Liberty. I can’t find it on YouTube, but I did find this gem. I have seen that film, good one.

Here are a few of the notable awards given…

Best picture – The Sting
Lizzy fluffed her lines but recovered magnificently. Click here for a video clip.

Best actress – Glenda Jackson for “A Touch of Class” (presented by Susan Hayward and The Heston)
Glenda is mostly doing theatre work these days.

Best actor – Jack Lemmon for “Save The Tiger” Presented by Liza Minnelli and Gregory Peck)
Jack beat Marlon Brando for “Last Tango In Paris”, Jack Nicholson for “The Last Detail”, Al Pacino for “Serpico”, and Robert Redford for “The Sting”…some pretty stiff competition there, but I am sure Jack deserved it.

Actress in a supporting role – Tatum O’Neal (presented by The Bronson and Jill Ireland)
She was ten at the time and to this day remains the youngest winner of an Academy Award.

Costume design – Edith Head (presented by Peter Falk and Twiggy)
Edith was nominated 35 times for best costume design, and won eight times, with this film being her last award. She did costume design for Roman Holiday, and won for that too.

Honorary Academy Award – Groucho Marx
Jack Lemmon gave a good introductory speech. Groucho was 82 at the time.

It was a fine year for the Academy Awards. The Exorcist was the only other major film to win an award, and films that lost out included American Graffiti, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, and The Day of the Dolphin. The biggest winner by far was The Sting with seven awards, with The Exorcist getting only two (Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, and Sound).

To see all of the awards, click here.

As far as I can ascertain Kirk Douglas was not at the awards.

And here is a funny photo taken outside the awards…

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

I last watched this back in 2015, and even though this is by far the worst of the Star Wars films I decided to watch it again because I want to watch episodes 2 and 3 again too.

My two previous reviews for this film gave it 7.5 (2008) and 4 (2015) respectively. This time around I am somewhere in the middle. It is still the worst of the Star Wars films, but it does have it’s moments, usually when no one is talking.

If Jar-Jar was either toned down, or completely removed, and the silly Trade Federation politics parts of the story were replaced with a plot about blowing things up, it could have been a whole lot better. Darth Maul needed to be in it more. Anakin said “Yippee!” too many times.

Yoda didn’t look as good as he did in episodes 5 and 6. Here is the original Yoda in Phantom Menace compared to the CGI version put in for the Blu-ray release…much better.

Here is a video taken back in the day, interviewing people before and after they saw the film, with only the guy at the end hating it.

Date watched: January 13th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2019: 2

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

For the first film of the year I had chosen Alphaville, but I just couldn’t finish it. So far I have had two sessions with it, but just can’t get into it. So, the first film I have finished this year is The Force Awakens.

There is no need to go into much detail as I have already blogged about it (here), and everything I wrote mirrors how I feel about it this time around, that is to say it is a very worthy addition to the Star Wars galaxy.

Date watched: January 7th
Score: 8.5/10
Film count 2019: 1

The Big Lebowski

My final film for 2018 turned out to be an easy choice, an old favourite that I last watched back in 2015.

This film never gets tired, it is just so good on all levels. I only wish I could see this at a cinema.

I am sure though that you have seen this, so I don’t feel there is much more I need to say, you know what I mean.

Happy New Year. May 2019 be full of film, music, books, and good stuff.

Date watched: December 31st
Score: 10/10
Film count 2018: 92

Die Hard 4.0

I found this in my collection and thought it would be good to see a dumb action flick again.

It is pretty much as I remember it, full of preposterous but entertaining action sequences, slick cinematography, nasty villains (some French for some reason), and that nutty jet fighter scene.

This is not the kind of film one writes long posts for, no need to.

I am now considering what my final film for the year will be, a tough choice.

Date watched: December 30th
Score: 7.5/10
Action-O-meter: 9/10
Film count 2018: 91

To Catch a Thief

This is the third film I have watched in 24 hours, I need to up my final count of the year.

Hitchcock films are always worth watching, especially when they have Cary Grant, and this one was pretty decent, but not the best.

The story is about Cary’s character being accused of stealing jewels from the rich and wealthy in a resort town on the Mediterranean. In the past he was a infamous cat burgler nicknamed “The Cat”, but someone was copying his modus operandi, so he had to figure out who it was to clear his name. There was of course a pretty woman involved, in the form of Grace Kelly who was excellent along with Cary. Alfred made his cameo near the beginning of the film, on a bus sitting next to Cary.

There was a lot of dialogue, a bit too much I thought, but of course with Cary delivering his witty lines in that Cary Grant way it was quite enjoyable. The locations were fantastic too, the French Riviera was a stunning place even back in 1955.

It was filmed in widescreen, and in Technicolor (very vivid colours), and of course the cinematography was perfecto, so it looked absolutely fabulous.

This is not the best Hitchcock film, it was lacking suspense, but I still found it to be an enjoyable and entertaining film.

Date watched: December 30th
Score: 8/10
Film count 2018: 90

Me, Myself, and Irene

Straight after watching Monty Python I decided to watch this, another film I saw many years ago.

I remember not liking this all that much, but because it is Jim Carrey I had to watch it again to see if I would like it more this time around. And, I guess I did, for the most part. Jim Carrey stole the show of course, he was extremely funny in some scenes. Renée Zellweger held her own against Jim, and the actors who played Jim’s character’s sons were funny too.

Being a Farrelly Brothers film it was a bit crude and silly at times, and this is one of those comedies where they mix in serious crime to the story, which I generally don’t like…comedy and serious bits just don’t mix in my book.

It is worth watching for Jim alone, he was quite nutty at times, but the rest of it is forgettable.

Date watched: December 30th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2018: 89