Gene Hackman’s Win for “The French Connection”

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  • keithw
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    #183214

    I just rewatched “Sunday Bloody Sunday” today for which Peter Finch was nominated for Lead Actor……though to me it felt like a supporting role.  I know that Gene Hackman was a shoo-in to win (other nominees included Walter Matthau for “Kotch”, George C. Scott in “The Hospital” and Topol in “Fiddler in the Roof”).    I am wondering what your opinions are on how these 5 ranked in the final voting.  My guess is:  Hackman, Topol, Finch, Scott, Matthau.

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #183216

    Scott could have won here if he had campaigned at all and hadn’t won the year before. Hackman was probably a runaway winner, with Topol second then Scott and Finch. Haven’t seen Kotch, but I don’t think the buzz was there for him. Hackman should’ve won his first for the Conversation, and Scott or Topol won instead.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #183217

    I imagine Hackman was pretty solidly ahead. It  was his third nomination in roughly five years, and he was headlining the eventual BP winner.

    Kind of wish that he and Malcolm McDowell could have gone head-to-head in the final tally, but oh, well.

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    Eddy Q
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    #183218

    ^ It wouldn’t have been much of a head-to-head, as McDowell wouldn’t have reached anywhere near Hackman’s vote total, no matter how much the former deserved to win. In fact he probably would’ve got fewer votes than Chaim Topol.

    My choices for Lead Actor and Actress for 1971? Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange and Vanessa Redgrave in The Devils. Imagine that at the Oscars! 

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    ETPhoneHome
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    #183219

    Malcolm McDowell would deserve any recognition for that performance. More iconic than basically all these nominees.

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    vinny
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    #183220

    Honestly, I feel like Hackman’s win is one of my favs and so is his performance.

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    Halo_Insider
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    #183221

    ^ It wouldn’t have been much of a head-to-head, as McDowell wouldn’t have reached anywhere near Hackman’s vote total, no matter how much the former deserved to win. In fact he probably would’ve got fewer votes than Chaim Topol.

    My choices for Lead Actor and Actress for 1971? Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork Orange and Vanessa Redgrave in The Devils. Imagine that at the Oscars! 

    Oh, I know. I was just speaking in a hypothetical “should have” scenario.

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    benbraddock
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    #183222

    Hackman was a shoo-in followed by Finch,Topol,Scott and Matthau. Unfortunately Hackmans only real competition was not even nominated Malcolm McDowell in A Clockwork orange is positively iconic in one of my favorite lead actor performances of all time. I broke down in tears on nomination day.

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    Eddy Q
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    #183223

    To those alive at the time: did anyone ever really expect Malcolm McDowell to get nominated, or was it assumed that he wouldn’t? Also, how (un)surprising was A Clockwork Orange’s Best Picture nomination? (It’s a shame it didn’t also get deserved nods for Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Sound and Score Adaptation or Treatment, but some of those branches were even more conservative and middlebrow back then than they are now.)

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    OnTheAisle
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    #183224

    I am surprised by comments that some posters feel Topol would have been second in the Best Actor voting. As I recall, though Best Picture nominee Fiddler on the Roof was the biggest moneymaker that year, Topol was not a leading contender for Best Actor. The film simply was not critically well received. Topol who played Tevye in the West End production was cast to much dismay.

    The fans of Zero Mostel’s legendary Broadway performance were disappointed that his work was not captured in the film version. Of course, the same fate befell many beloved Broadway performers (My Fair Lady‘s Julie Andrews, Hello, Dolly‘s Carol Channing, The Sound of Music‘s Mary Martin, are only a few).

    Critics at the time admired Topol’s enthusiasm but were lukewarm on the actual performance. The New York Times reviewer at the time declared him too young. Variety compared his efforts unfavorably to the work of Mostel.

    Hackman was the clear favorite and probably was the rare Oscar winner who attained more votes than the four other nominees combined.

    The only real race in 1971 was that for Best Supporting Actress, a closely watched three way competition between Golden Globe winner Ann Margret for Carnal Knowledge, New York Film Critics honoree Ellen Burstyn for The Last Picture Show and the Oscar victor Cloris Leachman, also for The Last Picture Show.

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    keithw
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    #183225

    I was looking over films from that year.  In the best actress race I would have included Delores Taylor (Billy Jack) and Jessica Walter (Play Misty for Me) over Janet Suzman (Nicholas & Alexandra) and Vanessa Redgrave (Mary, Queen of Scots).   In the Best Actor race Al Pacino (Panic in Needle Park) as well as McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) were eligible.

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