1967 Best Picture: The Lion in Winter
This film, almost entirely set in a dull 12th Century castle, is best remembered for its razor sharp dialogue, richly sprinkled with wit. Henry II (Peter O’Toole), during a family gathering over Christmas, struggles his estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katherine Hepburn) along with three sons over the potential of the English throne.
This movie is not everyone’s cup of tea. Betraying its stage origins, there is little action and much talking and is basically a filmed play. Some viewers might simply not appreciate two hours also of constant repartee, however brilliantly spoken with its two exceptional leads. (Side notice: A very youthful Anthony Hopkins plays with one of the sons.)
1968 Best Picture: Oliver!
Director Carol Reed, best known now for directing the film noir The Third Man, turned into a different genre in this adaptation of Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist. The end result was a lively tune and dance festival obtained from the British stage.
Among the many fine performances in the movie, the ones that stand out the many are Ron Moody as the kindly Fagin and Oliver Reed (nephew of the director) as the paranoid Bill Sikes. Ten year-old Mark Lester is even more than sufficient Oliver.
This production could be the last musical to win as best picture until Chicago in 2002 and has been additionally the final G-Rated film to win best picture.
1969 Best Picture: Midnight Cowboy
Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), two guys with warped ideas of achieving the American Dream, cross paths in New York and eventually become unusual friends. Buck is a disillusioned Texan with strategies to be a gigolo and Rizzo is a seedy con-man and thief whose objective is to head to Florida and eventually become important. Unable to fulfill their fantasies, one dies and the other merely finds just disillusionment and despair.
This film with its powerful sexual themes, including homosexuality, made an “X” rating when first published, however, it was afterwards altered into “R” after winning the Oscar. Not to everyone’s preferences, the film is, nevertheless, an interesting character study.
These Oscar winning finest pictures, along with people from the earlier 1960therefore, aided create the decade a prominent one for filmmaking.