John Nolte does an interesting service for all of us in examining which movies should have won Best Picture awards during the 1960s.
I only took issue with a couple (and I agree with his scorn for the Academy’s inexplicable yen for big-budget musicals like Sound of Music, West Side Story and [the weakest] Oliver! ).
Kim’s List of the Shoulda-Wons:
1960: BUtterfield 8 (over The Apartment ). Liz Taylor won Best Actress, and the movie was just as good.
1961: The Misfits (over West Side Story ). At the end of this movie, my emotions felt like they’d been pulled through a roll of barbed wire. Gable and Monroe, both unbelievably good.
1962: Lawrence of Arabia (which did win, and deservedly so). The only other possible contenders could have been Cape Fear and What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?
1963: Lilies Of The Field (over Tom Jones ). This one’s not even close.
1964: Becket (over My Fair Lady ). Once again, not even close. The only other movie which could ever be considered that year was Zorba The Greek.
1965: Doctor Zhivago (over The Sound Of Music ). Or maybe The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, if we’re going to consider Cold War noir movies as Oscar material.
1966: A Man For All Seasons. Which won, and considering it’s one of the greatest movies ever made — bar none — there’s no argument from either me or Nolte.
1967: Nolte makes this a tie between In The Heat Of The Night (which won) and Bonnie and Clyde. I would fuzz the issue up by arguing for Cool Hand Luke and Belle Du Jour (even though it’s furrin; good is good, and it’s magnificent).
1968: This was the Year Of Oliver! — and while Nolte recommends Rosemary’s Baby in its place, I would choose The Lion In Winter (even though it’s really just a filmed play like Zefferelli’s Romeo and Juliet — also from 1968). It was actually a terrible year for movies, and the only other way to go is for the quirky (e.g. Lindsay Anderson’s if… or Once Upon A Time In The West ). That’s five alternatives to Oliver!, and each of the five is better that that syrupy slop.
1969: Midnight Cowboy won, and deservedly so. My only possible alternatives would be Anne of the Thousand Days or The Wild Bunch, but in truth, they’re far behind.
Lots of fun. Feel free to nominate your favorites, in Comments.
Afterthought: Nolte has done the same for the following decades, but they’re less interesting — both in terms of the movies themselves and how time changed the criteria for Oscar-winning films. (Braveheart? Titanic? Seriously? )