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How did Midnight Cowboy win best picture?

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  • Zooey the Dreamer
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    #206510

    This might have been discussed in the past, but I couldn’t find anything. In an interview, Todd Haynes, who has a really hard time with the guilds right now, speaks of the early influence of Midnight Cowboy on him. I started thinking about it and watched it again. It’s a terrific film and it’s one of these best picture winners that make the Academy look good, but how did this happen? Isn’t it ironic that it won best picture in the year when the all-American hero John Wayne won his sole best actor award? Midnight Cowboy must have had so much going against it. It’s the only G-rated best picture and it won only a year after one of the Academy’s safest choices – Oliver! 
    It has sex and drugs and hints of homosexuality. It’s gritty and realistic. It’s even funny that it defeated movies such as Hello, Dolly! and Anne of the Thousand Days. (Z is the exception here.) Even if the Academy didn’t want to go for the two lavish Hollywood extravaganzas, voters could have voted for the safer Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid that actually won more Oscars than Midnight Cowboy. 
    But, really, how did this happen? I look at surprising wins such as Chariots of Fire and Shakespeare In Love and Crash and I can see how they happened, even if I disagree with the wins and have issues with the films themselves. But this one I can’t understand. Did the win cause a scandal? 
     

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    Jake
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    #206512

    The best version of “Everybody’s Talking”, sans original: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSRVLNQUtGI

    It won because it really was the Best Picture of the year. Celebrate the fact that this happened, then. 

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    RobertPius
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    #206514

    How did Redford and Newman both get shut out for Butch Cassidy? Did they cancel each other out? Seems odd that Peter O’Toole got in ahead of them. 

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    RobertPius
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    #206516

    Oh yeah. I’ve read they were very critical over the Rachel Rachel snub. (or at least Woodward was—was Newman also outspoken about it?)

    Were Redford and Ross campaigned for lead or supporting?

    I loved how that year they nominated Catherine Burns for Last Summer.

    That was a really interesting performance in a small film.

    Were Elliot Gould and Dyan Cannon category fraud. How about Goldie Hawn? I don’t remember those films too well.

    To me the glaring omission of 1969 is Pamela Franklin for Miss Jean Brodie. That girl held her own with the formidable Maggie Smith in those final scenes of the film. She definitly was the definition of a Best Supporting Actress. Her work helped Smith rise to the level she did.  

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