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Meet July's "Smackdown" Panelists

The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '73 arrives on July 31st, just over two weeks from now. You need to get your votes in too if you want to participate (instructions at the bottom of this post). If you've wandered in from elsewhere and are like, "What's a Smackdown?," here's how it started.

The Smackdown Panel for July

Without further ado let's meet our panel who will be discussing popular classics Paper Moon, The Exorcist, and American Graffiti as well as the more obscure title Summer Wishes Winter Dreams. All of the Supporting Actress nominees this Oscar vintage were first timers and so are our Smackdown panelists.

Special Guest

Dana Delany is an actress working on stage, screen, television and now internet. She was last seen starring in "Body of Proof" on ABC. In August you can rate and review the pilot "Hand of God" in which she co-stars with Ron Perlman on [Follow her on Twitter | IMDb]

Why did a famous actress like you want to participate?

I wanted to do a Smackdown because there is nothing I like better than watching a movie and discussing it with smart people. Way better than being smacked. 

What does 1973 mean to you?

For me personally it was a hugely transitional year. My parents separated, we moved to Virginia and I escaped by going to the movies before I truly escaped by going to boarding school for my senior year. It was also a transitional year for our country and film. Marriages ended as women asserted their independence and Roe v Wade passed. Economically the US was a mess with gas shortages and NYC was bankrupt. American faith was shaken with the Watergate trial and the beginning of the end of the fruitless Vietnam War. I think that's why you see so much nostalgia in the movies with "The Sting", "American Graffiti", "Paper Moon" and "The Way We Were" in stark contrast to the European "Last Tango in Paris". Even at the Oscars the next spring, David Niven being surprised by a streaker was the embodiment of old Hollywood/new world.



Bill Chambers is the founder, editor, and webmaster of, which recently turned seventeen. A graduate of York University's Film program, he is a member of both the Toronto Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society. He just got a cat. [Follow him on Twitter]

What does 1973 mean to you?:

I suppose the first thing that comes to mind is Terrence Malick making his directorial debut, and Martin Scorsese formally introducing himself to moviegoers. The seismographic image of 1973 I have in my head is deceptively calm compared to the years that flank it, perhaps because while '73 produced no shortage of future classics, so many of them -- "The Last Detail", "Sisters", "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" -- seem like sleepers to this day, amassing cults without getting the splashy reissues or being front and centre in discussions of their directors' work. And when I factor in genre classics like "Enter the Dragon", "Westworld", even "Don't Look Now", this might be the year in film from that hallowed decade I'd most want with me on a desert island... though I'd probably just try to make a raft out of "Lost Horizon".



Mark Harris is an editor-at-large at Entertainment Weekly, a Grantland columnist (about the Oscars and other things), and a contributor to New York magazine. He is the author of Pictures at a Revolution (2008) and Five Came Back (2014). He lives in New York City. [Follow him on Twitter]  

What does 1973 mean to you?

1973 was the first year I got to have any say in the movies I wanted to see, which, as I recall, were "The Sting", "Sleeper", "Paper Moon", "The Day of the Dolphin", and, because this is a place for truth, Burt Reynolds in "White Lightning". "The Exorcist" was high on my wish list, but only one friend my age had gotten to see it, and only because, as my mother tersely explained to me, 'His parents don't care about him.' That year's movies competed in the first Oscar show I was ever allowed to stay up and watch. Other highlights of that year for me: The televised Watergate hearings, Sonny and Cher, fourth grade.


Karina Longworth is the creator/host of You Must Remember This, a podcast about the secret/forgotten history of Hollywood's first century. She is the author of books about George Lucas, Al Pacino and Meryl Streep, and has contributed to Grantland, Slate, LA Weekly, the Guardian, NPR, Vulture, and other publications. [Follow her on Twitter]

What does 1973 mean to you?

"The Last of Sheila". "Blume in Love". "Scarecrow" winning the Palme D'or. Gloria Steinem with hair colored in emulation of Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's". Situationism. "Coffy". "The Mother and The Whore".


Born in 1994 and enamored of the cinema ever since, Kyle began writing on the internet in 2007 with his blog The Movie Scene. Since then, he has contributed to, Movie Mezzanine, and IndieWire's /Bent. Xavier Dolan's "I Killed My Mother" is basically his life story and "Bringing Up Baby" is his default favorite film. He likes coffee and is studying film at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. He is relieved to know he is not a golem. [Follow him on Twitter]

What does 1973 mean to you?

From merely an appreciative perspective, it was the year "The Godfather" won Best Picture (for '72), Watergate happened, and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" was released.


And your host

Nathaniel is the founder of The Film Experience, a reknowned Oscar pundit, and the web's actressexual ringleader. He fell in love with the movies for always at The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) but also blames Oscar night (in general) and the 80s filmographies of Kathleen Turner and Michelle Pfeiffer. Though he holds a BFA in Illustration, he found his true calling when he started writing about the movies. He blames Boogie Nights for the career change. [Follow him on Twitter]

What does 1973 mean to you?

I have no memories of that year but if I had any they'd surely involve my sister (she's the eldest and I'm the baby) and her friends who were approaching their teenage years and who I generally remember looking at with awe (bell bottoms, long hair and all) just a few years later. As for what it makes me think of now? Exactly 4 things: "Your girl is lovely, Hubbell"; Liza Minnelli's victory tour for her work in 1972 (the Oscar, the Emmy, the BAFTA, the Globe, and the Hasty Puddings Woman of the Year all came her way); political powderkegs Roe v Wade and Watergate; and that unique admirable window of time in America wherein confrontational subtitled art films like Ingmar Bergman movies could be big hits and up for multiple Oscars... the 70s were so weird (read: awesome). 


The readers are the final (collective) panelist. You have 12 more days to get your votes in on any of the performances you've seen grading them on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (perfect). (Paper Moon is on Instant Watch so you have no excuse to miss that one.) We excerpt quotes from reader ballots and your votes count toward the outcome. That matters because sometimes it's a real brawl for the win: see recent editions 1941 and 1964

1973 Supporting Actress Nominees
Linda Blair The Exorcist
Candy Clark American Graffiti
Madeline Kahn Paper Moon
Tatum O'Neal Paper Moon
Sylvia Sidney  Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams


Say hi to our exciting panel in the comments and tell them what you think of when you think of "73". And like the film experience on Facebook while you're at it.


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Reader Comments (43)

Holee crap that panel!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWill h


July 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Dana FREAKING Delany! I loved her so much on "China Beach". Really excited for this!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

What a great panel! Can't wait!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterzig

Dana Delany! Awesome. It's funny how I just heard her voice while re-watching Mask of the Phantasm for this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

Mark Harris totally looks like David O Russell.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNell

Dana Delany. She's still gorgeous.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Dana's voice is very sexy! And she's a very sexy and talented lady. Can't wait to hear her, and all of the panel's opinion! Good job, Nathaniel!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSad man

@Kyle : You're too young to be doing all these interesting things. Shame on you! ;)

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJames T

This is so exciting. I don't know what mojo you're working to keep getting recognized actresses in these panels, but please keep working it, because their insight gives the discussion an interesting depth. And extra kudos to getting Mark Harris, who is awesome and a personal favourite. Will familiarize myself with the others in the next few weeks.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterF

Dana Delany, go Wesleyan! What a panel!

This year is weird because the best performance in the category is CLEARLY a lead. So to me, it wouldn't count. But I still have to see Sylvia Sidney, so I guess I can't judge yet.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

I don't know many things but I do know that Madeline Kahn was 100% robbed this year.

And that if Tatum O'Neal had competed in Best Actress, they wouldn't even have flirted with giving her any kind of award.

Ok, so I know two things apparently.

Also, fantastic panel! Very curious to hear the collective opinions on O'Neal and Blair - the latter of which was so heavily manipulated in all kinds of direction, it's the only performance of its type that I can think of. A very unique nomination to be sure.

I really hope you all can manage another podcast of this Smackdown btw! :D

And thanks for letting me know about You Must Remember This. Brb downloading.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

"I wanted to do a Smackdown because there is nothing I like better than watching a movie and discussing it with smart people. Way better than being smacked."

Well, in the course of time, some of the Smackdowners certainly acquired a liking in a lot of good smacking. Of course they can only dish it out but cannot take it.

In any case, it was about time to change the staff here. And since it's been done now, I'll obey to the last remaining diva, our lord and master, and say hi to the panel. Hi.

As far as the movies go, 1973 means nothing to me (although I like the year's Bond film and the year's Best Picture Oscar winner). Maybe that's why 73 marks the first time in God knows how many Smackdowns that I've missed one of the nominees. One way or the other, my indifference means that joel and Mike and the other pussies can relax: For now I intend to restrain myself.

Then again, based on what I've seen, I'm getting the impression that 1973 would be much more deserving of the usual Smackdown treatment than other years were: O'Neal was in a leading role, Blair owed a lot to Mercedes McCambridge and I'm not entirely sure why Clark was the chosen one from American Graffiti. Which leaves me with the ever-reliable Madeline Kahn and her big tits. Probably not the worst place to be.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

^^For Willy

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Oscar charts --- please update

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMe

Willy - don't be mean. TFE's comment boards are meant to have fun conversations and arguments on occasions, sure, but only when people are debating the merits of things and not calling each other names. That' sjust not how we ever want it to go here.

Also" the panel has always rotated and never been the same twice so i am happy to tell you that all the awesome people you object to will be back :)

TB -- lol

Mark -- there will be another podcast for this one, yes. It went over well last time so it will be a regular companion piece

Derreck -ooh, i'm glad someone is doing that one. I really was going to do that since it's the only one i hadn't seen but i didn't get to it. (sigh)

F -- i do what I can

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@nathaniel--I tried lol. I'm never gonna figure out the html.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTB

OMG-Dana Delany! That 's so exciting. I've been watching Season 4 of Desperate Housewives oddly enough this past weekend, and was reminded how wonderful she was on that show. So excited for this!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

I can't believe this. Dana Delany, she's 58 and still looks freakin beautiful. From where does she even know this website and let alone the smackdown?!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Whoa. What a panel!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

I confess that i keep rereading my co-panelists answers because i love these tiny sideways peaks into people's lives/movie history ... so all y'all reading: WHAT DOES 1973 MEAN TO YOU?

July 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

OMG Mark Harris!

Please tell me this month's Smackdown isn't going to turn into another discussion on category fraud. It was 40 years ago, let's forgive the marketing and judge the performance.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

How exciting, I really look forward to see their thougts on the performances (and the movies, if there's a podcast!)

Is there any way to find Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams online? I'd like to see all of the nominated performances for once and I'm really strugling to find it.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGabriel

Indeed, what a panel! As for Dana Delaney, my first memory of really being a fan of hers was watching her in that miniseries Wild Palms. Does anyone else remember that? Sometimes I think I dreamed it. The casting director of my dreams has good taste, I guess.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBRB

Gabriel - there will be a podcast.

July 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Welcome Dana! I loved you in Desperate Housewives and Light Sleeper

P.S. A panel without Nick Davis is like a day without sun.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Peggy Sue -- I'll miss Nick & Stinky but I'm sure we'll hear from them on this year at some point :) and they'll both be back for various smackdowns.

July 14, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Wow, this is quite a panel! Can't wait for the podcast!!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

1973 means to me... well, what does The Holy Mountain mean to me? I can't answer that

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrodie

When it comes to being mean, then I'm pretty sure that some of the commentators and - even more so - some of the Smackdowners could teach me a thing or two.

But I don't think that I'm capable of understanding TB's (The Bully's?) annotation. I do however remember his "height of vanity" comment which was of course addressed at me. That he criticized my criticism of an award-winning performance, but never finds a fault with the arrogance of Joe or the negativity of Nick or the double standards of you and Stinky tells me all I need to know about this poster, and therefore I think that he'd be a worthy addition to the Smackdown. You should invite him to the next party.

And speaking of double standards, when it comes to "debating the merits of things", then I'm not convinced that recent Smackdowns are setting a particularly good example in this regard. But maybe this will change now that certain panelists don't have to take vengeance for the absence of Mary Poppins anymore. But frankly, with a view to their usual writing style, I doubt it. In any case, after your corresponding announcement, I'm eagerly awaiting their return, since I obviously don't enjoy restraining myself.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWilly

Wow, the Smackdown has truly outdone itself with this one! I am more excited about the panelists than the performances nominated. Talk about bringing the A-team! In terms of gender, age, background, ethnicity, this is probably the most diverse panel ever, and I hope it means we will have dissenting opinions and unique POVs.

It's very exciting to have bona fide high caliber actresses commenting on the performances, first with Melanie Lynskey, now with Dana Delany. Let's start a kickstarter campaign to get Michelle Pfeiffer to participate too, for Nat's sake!

The panelist I most look forward to hearing his opinions is Mark Harris, though. I've listened to a couple of podcasts where he's guested and he always bring intelligent insight!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCarmen Sandiego

Excited that actress Dana Delany will be a part of the panel. She is a very talented and beautiful actress. Truly this lady never ages! Absolutely love her long and lush hairstyle!!

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDianne

I was born in 1973, need I say more...

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterstjeans

Great line up.

I want to echo what Dana says about '73. I'm the same age and the events she mentions rocked our world in ways that are hard for later generations to understand. Vietnam was the first war we had been involved in that we did not win. The unavoidable fact that our President was involved in a very public crime, a common crime such as theft damaged the image of the Office of President permanently, gas prices and the knowledge that energy was no longer a given or infinite........... To suddenly have so much of your belief system turned on its head just as you are starting out on your own was volcanic.

Its no wonder that our entertainments looked to escape. None of the top 10 films of the year dealt with contemporary (or real) issues. Even Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams (the only film in the smackdown which was not also a top 10 film), could have been set in any time period and avoids political points outside the gay subplot which is more about commenting on the lead than it is in being a theme of its own.

Looking forward to it.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

i think Tatum O'Neal was actually a very good choice that year. Even though she was the lead.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjimmy

Can't wait for this. Was lucky enough to interview Dana Delany several years back and she was a treasure.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrianZ

A wonderful panel! Looking forward to reading their opinions on this group of performances and films.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

And something happens to Sylvia Sidney in a movie theater watching a Bergman film with Joanne Woodward, who plays her daughter. I rest my case. All others to the rear.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

Madeline Kahn is my absolute favorite that year, followed by Sylvia Sidney, Tatum O'Neal, Candy Clark and Linda Blair in that order. Should have been nominated: Viveca Lindfors for The Way We Were and Harriet Andersson for Cries and Whispers.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

That panel is AMAZING. I am most excited about Mark Harris; I am reading FIVE CAME BACK at the moment and it is a brilliant book, and totally absorbing.

I didn't have any particular interest in WWII filmmaking, or even the five directors (Wyler, Huston, Stevens, Ford and Capra) beyond having seen some of their most acclaimed films, but I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

I completely agree with everyone else: this panel is so enticing! It's like the Best Actress 1962 of Smackdown panels. So excited for the Smackdown and for the follow-up podcast conversation. Bill and Karina are two of the best film critics anywhere, and I'm happy to be getting to know Kyle's writing lately, too. Add that with every nice thing already said about Dana Delany and Mark Harris, and I'll be hanging on every person's every word! Plus I like all the performances this time but for really different reasons, so maybe this'll finally help me decide whom I'd vote for....

July 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

Very cool to see new faces and fresh points of views.

July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSanty C.

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