Even Anne of the Thousand Days, a prime example of Royal Melodrama, puts such an emphasis on sex and semen that it could only have been touched by a major studio in this period (well...unless Otto Preminger had his hands on it). Even the Western, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is a hangout buddy flick with a decidedly non-western score, unorthodox romantic trio, and a fare-thee-well to the genre. Even the standard Liberal Cause Drama is the cynical, French-language, Socialist-sympathizing Z. Only Hello, Dolly! actually stands as a prime example of the Big Studio Musical, albeit with some anarchic twists. And Midnight Cowboy...well, hell, ain't nothing like Midnight Cowboy. Maybe that's why it won:
The nominees, after the jump...
Anne of the Thousand Days
produced by Hal B. Wallis
third and final nomination for Wallis; Golden Globe winner for Best Picture - Drama
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
produced by John Foreman
first of two nominations for Foreman; BAFTA Award winner for Best Film; Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture - Drama
produced by Ernest Lehman
second and final nomination in this category for Lehman; Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture - Comedy or Musical
produced by Jerome Hellman
first of two nominations for Hellman; BAFTA Award winner for Best Film, National Board of Review - Top Ten Films; Golden Globe nominee for Best Picture - Drama
produced by Jacques Perrin / Ahmed Rachedi
first and only nomination in this category for Perrin and Rachedi; Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film, NSFC Awards winner for Best Picture, NYFCC Awards winner for Best Picture; BAFTA Award nominee for Best Film
A difficult decision, honestly, since I was already familiar and in love with Z before I started this series - yet I find myself excited by, drawn to Midnight Cowboy. New and shiny vs. old and familiar? Will my vote really be about what I think is best, or will it just capture my mood of the moment? Hell, isn't that any ol' vote anyway? OK. Let's get to it.
My vote for Best Picture of 1969 goes to....
JACQUES PERRIN / AHMED RACHEDI
Coming soon - reviews of more 1969 releases, then my Top Ten - and the 1969 Retro Hollmann Awards.