Its funny, at the time, In The Heat Of The Night may have been the surprise Oscar win, but it may be the picture that would probably hold up best to modern audiences. I think the favorite of during this race was Bonnie And Clyde. Sign of the times, too, but Sidney Poitier was in two Best Picture nominated films, and not nominated for either. It was Rod Steiger who got the nom (and win) for In The Heat Of The Night. Nonetheless this list of nominees is pretty spectacular with a hint of the odd "Doctor Dolittle for Best Picture?" bit of trivia.
Here's what good ol "Dick Poop" chose this year
WINNER - In The Heat Of The Night
Bonnie And Clyde
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?
And now for mine (apologies to Lee Marvin...two of your films were on the longer list, but just didn't make the cut)
Bonnie And Clyde
I mentioned above that this film was probably the favorite for Best Picture. That's because Bonnie & Clyde was that once in a generation phenomenon. Everybody was crazy about this movie and everybody was crazy on brushing up on these two and their shenanigans. I would akin the craze to that of Titanic in 1998 (which I'm sure most will remember). Its still a terrific film with two great leads sharing some dynamite onscreen chemistry. And a happy belated birthday to Faye Dunaway, she was rather dreamy in this one.
Cool Hand Luke
Maybe the definitive Paul Newman role? And...who wants to have some eggs after this movie? For some reason, in high school, this movie was a requirement to be watched. And, yes, its absolutely fantastic despite being one of those movies you're forced to sit through. The film features a rather interesting take on the Christ tale/symbology. There are also a lot of quotables here and iconic moments. "What we have here is failure to communicate" is likely the biggest one from it. Its also one of he greatest prison films ever made. Those who worship Shawshank should really give this one a spin if they've not had the pleasure.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
The third and final film in the Dollars Trilogy also known as The Man With No Name Trilogy. Its often considered one of the greatest films of all time. This third film certainly does feel a bit bigger and open than the other two films and is definitely one of the "ultimate westerns". While the last film in the trilogy, its really the first chronologically as we notice Eastwood's "Blondie" slowly becoming and dress as the man he is in the first two movies. Funny enough, this trilogy was never meant to be a trilogy, the first two just connected because of Eastwood and his dressing and acting the same in them. However, it all works. This is a great Western, and I love it, but sometimes I waver between this one and For A Few Dollars More as my favorite. No big deal though, all three films are a big win in my book.
Growing being born 15 years after The Graduate came out, and then you know popping on a few more years before I could relatively think or know something about movies really gave me a weird perspective going into this movie. It was a classic that you always heard things about, saw clips for or realized it was mentioned a lot. From the things I saw and references made, plus the Simon & Garfunkel music from the movie, I thought I was in for a little teen coming of age comedy about a kid who sleeps with an older woman. And yeah, there is some comedy to this movie, but this is a much more serious and darker film that I had ever imagined. It caught me off guard completely. The Graduate is a great movie, just not the one I thought I was going to see when I first saw it. Oh and yeah, some Wayne's World 2 jokes were much funnier after I saw it as well.
In The Heat Of The Night
One of our most important Best Picture winners of all time. This film today works as a period piece of struggles of the time, but also still as a damn good police thriller. We know how great Poitier and Steiger are in the film, but this one also has some gorgeous cinematography and an awesome score to enhance the film. The Blu-ray came out finally last year, and I had the honor of reviewing it over at Why So Blu, which was one I was very happy with. So, I'll point you to click THIS to read more of my thoughts on In The Heat Of The Night.
You Only Live Twice
As you only live twice, I find this movie as two different halves that I enjoy for two different reasons. Yes, this is one of the prime instigators of "goofy" James Bond stuff parodied in the likes of Austin Powers. Its more the start of that stuff. The first half of the movie is actually a really intriguing and fun spy thriller featuring Bond at some of his best. But for the second half of this movie, things go really big and get pretty crazy. Its enjoyable for its craziness of a big volcano base with a ninja attack and also for its dated racism. Also Sean Connery being made up to look Chinese. This film also gives us the iconic Blofeld in the form of Donald Pleasence. When I went through the Bond's for my flagship retrospective, I was worried that I was going to despise this one as memory served about it, but I actually wound up having a total blast and since has catapulted its way to being one of my favorite Connery entries. For some reason, everything that could be wrong about this movie for me, actually works. The film also features some of the best cinematography in a Bond film as well as some of the most impressive sets ever built. Louis Gilbert directed this as well as two other 007 films I enjoy, The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker (Which I will always defend). My previous piece on it you can find HERE.