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Rank: Best Supporting Actor 1974

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    keithw
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    #1203192990

    Robert DeNiro won the Oscar for Supporting Actor in “The Godfather Part 2” despite Fred Astaire (for “The Towering Inferno”) being the frontrunner. Other nominees included Lee Strasberg & Michael V. Gazzo (for “The Godfather Part 2”) and Jeff Bridges in “Thunderbolt & Lightfoot”. How do you think the ranking went. I think:
    2nd Fred Astaire 3rd Lee Strasberg (considered a great acting teacher) 4th Jeff Bridges 5th Michael V. Gazzo
    I will enjoy reading your opinions.

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    babypook
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    #1203193006

    Robert DeNiro won the Oscar for Supporting Actor in “The Godfather Part 2” despite Fred Astaire (for “The Towering Inferno”) being the frontrunner. Other nominees included Lee Strasberg & Michael V. Gazzo (for “The Godfather Part 2”) and Jeff Bridges in “Thunderbolt & Lightfoot”. How do you think the ranking went. I think:
    2nd Fred Astaire 3rd Lee Strasberg (considered a great acting teacher) 4th Jeff Bridges 5th Michael V. Gazzo
    I will enjoy reading your opinions.

    Same as yours, although I’m not sure about 4th and 5th. Could be close to tied or the other way around.
    Especially agree with your assessment ‘re Strasburg, the master of actors himself.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Philip K Dick Blade Runner

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    GregSprinkles
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    #1203193101

    I think you hit the nail on the head. De Niro and Astaire were likely way ahead of the other nominees.

    Also as long as we’re talking about supporting actors that year, I’d just like to say that John Cazale was criminally snubbed for The Godfather Part II. I definitely would’ve nominated him over Strasberg and V. Gazzo (I haven’t seen Astaire or Bridges’ performances). They’re both wonderful, especially Strasberg, but Cazale was absolutely stunning, delivering my third favorite performance from that incredible ensemble, behind Pacino and De Niro.

    John Huston also would’ve made for a fantastic nominee that year for Chinatown. He’s not onscreen for very long, but when he is, he dominates that movie. Robert Towne even said that aside from Nicholson, Huston was the second best cast actor in that film, and believes that his performance elevated the character.

    Anyway, I really love De Niro’s win. He had some monstrously large shoes to fill, but he truly stepped up to the challenge. Most actors taking on that role would just end up coming across as a second rate Marlin Brando, but De Niro cemented himself as a master of his craft, completely embodying the role of Vito Corleone in a way that stays true to Brando’s portrayal, while never coming across as a pale imitation of him. An exceptional performance from an exceptional performer.

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    babypook
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    #1203194149

    I think you hit the nail on the head. De Niro and Astaire were likely way ahead of the other nominees.

    Also as long as we’re talking about supporting actors that year, I’d just like to say that John Cazale was criminally snubbed for The Godfather Part II. I definitely would’ve nominated him over Strasberg and V. Gazzo (I haven’t seen Astaire or Bridges’ performances). They’re both wonderful, especially Strasberg, but Cazale was absolutely stunning, delivering my third favorite performance from that incredible ensemble, behind Pacino and De Niro.

    John Huston also would’ve made for a fantastic nominee that year for Chinatown. He’s not onscreen for very long, but when he is, he dominates that movie. Robert Towne even said that aside from Nicholson, Huston was the second best cast actor in that film, and believes that his performance elevated the character.

    Anyway, I really love De Niro’s win. He had some monstrously large shoes to fill, but he truly stepped up to the challenge. Most actors taking on that role would just end up coming across as a second rate Marlin Brando, but De Niro cemented himself as a master of his craft, completely embodying the role of Vito Corleone in a way that stays true to Brando’s portrayal, while never coming across as a pale imitation of him. An exceptional performance from an exceptional performer.

    I happen to agree with everything you’re saying. Cazale and Gazzo were equally as good as the rest of the cast and were overlooked. Go figure.
    And in those few yet pivotal scenes Huston had I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so chilling. His smile ran down my spine.
    Brando is my MVP though. He revolutionized the art of acting, stuffed cotton in his mouth and actually auditioned for the part. Soon as I saw him I saw that he didn’t miss a beat.

    ETA Bridges was in a critically acclaimed film which quickly became a cult classic
    I don’t think the film was big enough in scope for the Academy to embrace

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    GregSprinkles
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    #1203194658

    Just for the record, I was referring to Godfather Part II’s ensemble. Brando may be my MVP for both films as a whole too. Either him or Pacino. After that, I’d say De Niro is in 3rd, and then I’m not sure how I’d rank the others. Even the bit players in those films are fantastic.

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    RobertPius
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    #1203195590

    What were the theories as to why John Cazale wasn’t nominated? Did he split the vote between The Conversation and this film?

    Odd to me the two most memorable performances in Godfather II are Cazale and Diane Keaton, both not nominated with lesser smaller roles from the same film ahead of them. (not including De Niro)

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    babypook
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    #1203195638

    Just for the record, I was referring to Godfather Part II’s ensemble. Brando may be my MVP for both films as a whole too. Either him or Pacino. After that, I’d say De Niro is in 3rd, and then I’m not sure how I’d rank the others. Even the bit players in those films are fantastic.

    I know, but I wanted to throw props to Brando who’s importance to the series was essential for me.

    @Robert
    I can only make a series of guesses, such as the number of acting nods the overall Godfather films received. Replacing them with these lesser known but equally good actors might have seemed extraneous. And the constant snubs to Diane still baffles me.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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    RobertPius
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    #1203195645

    An interesting thing to look at (that would never happen today) is that of the Supporting Actor and Actress Oscar nominations that year only Ladd and Astaire also received Globe nominations.)

    (Cortese had been nominated the year before though and Madeline Kahn was nominated for a Globe but for a different film! The Academy didn’t have the sheep mentality to just follow the Globes back then I guess.)

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    babypook
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    #1203195660

    An interesting thing to look at (that would never happen today) is that of the Supporting Actor and Actress Oscar nominations that year only Ladd and Astaire also received Globe nominations.)

    (Cortese had been nominated the year before though and Madeline Kahn was nominated for a Globe but for a different film! The Academy didn’t have the sheep mentality to just follow the Globes back then I guess.)

    The Globe connection makes sense. But they were bigger celebrity whores back then than they appear to be now.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
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    Thatcher, Prime Minister of GoldDerby
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    #1203195778

    Darlings, Cazale was better in The Godfather II than De Niro. He deserved a dildo for that mesmerizing performance.

    As a famous singer said, "ain't nobody gonna Thatcher, Thatcher, Thatcher!"

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    babypook
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    #1203195887

    Darlings, Cazale was better in The Godfather II than De Niro. He deserved a dildo for that mesmerizing performance.

    I think he knew the terminal prognosis he received . I think he may have known with Deer Hunter. Like John Wayne. Not that that should be any reason to nominate him, but it made a difference to me.

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    GregSprinkles
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    #1203196006

    I think he knew the terminal prognosis he received . I think he may have known with Deer Hunter. Like John Wayne. Not that that should be any reason to nominate him, but it made a difference to me.

    He knew by Deer Hunter. They specifically changed the shooting schedule so that they could film all of Cazale’s scenes first. He died not too long afterwards, and before the film was finished. It’s pretty chilling watching that one scene in Dog Day Afternoon where he says “I don’t want the cancer”. Ironically and tragically, Cazale was actually a big smoker, which no doubt was a big factor in his untimely death. I can’t help but get sad whenever I see him. He was an exceptionally talented man. I wish we got to see what else he could’ve done. The fact that he was with Meryl Streep likely means he wasn’t gonna fade off into obscurity anytime soon if he lived longer. Cause based on everything I hear about their relationship, she was enormously devoted to him, and still feels strongly about him after so many years. And that’s not forgetting the fact that he was great friends with Al Pacino too. Such a shame he went so soon. With just five films, he had a stronger film career than most actors could ever dream of.

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    RobertPius
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    #1203196020

    I think he knew the terminal prognosis he received . I think he may have known with Deer Hunter. Like John Wayne. Not that that should be any reason to nominate him, but it made a difference to me.

    I read a Meryl Streep bio “Her Again” that details Cazale’s death. If I remember correctly they definitely knew he was sick on Deer Hunter and (this is the part I’m a little foggy on) I think they specifically wrote the story so that he’d be the one guy who didn’t appear in the Vietnam shots because he wasn’t up to it. I think De Niro might have even helped get him a part in the film because he needed to work to keep his insurance.

    I watched Dog Day Afternoon again this weekend and was struck by the scene where one of the hostages is smoking and Cazale tells her not to cause she should treat her body better. He then says he doesn’t smoke because he is afraid of “the cancer.” I found that so heartbreakingly prophetic. TCM did too I guess because Ben Mankiewicz brought it up after the film and they replayed the scene and discussed Cazale.

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    Monsoon
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    #1203412940

    DeNiro
    Bridges
    Gazzo
    Strasberg
    Astaire

    “you look like your picture, thank god.”

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    Zooey the Dreamer
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    #1203412970

    I’m surprised by DeNiro’s win. Just take a look:

    1. He was one of three actors from the film in that category.
    2. One of his co-stars and co-nominees was Lee Strasberg, a legend in the acting community. Yes, Strasberg had plenty of detractors but plenty of fanatically passionate groupies in the community as well.
    3. Even though judging from the outcomes, precursors didn’t matter that much then, DeNiro didn’t have the love of precursors. The Globes snubbed him, the major critics ignored him. He didn’t win a single award for that film (other than the Oscar).
    4. The Globe winner that year was none other than one of the Golden Age biggest legends, Fred Astaire, with his first and sole Oscar nomination. Astaire was 76 at the time, a true legend who also happened to have the precursors. A year later, he won the BAFTA as well.

    So how did DeNiro, a nearly unknown actor, win the Oscar after overcoming all these hurdles?

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