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Vintage '63

The Supporting Actress Smackdown 1963 Edition arrives on Monday so let's talk context since we haven't revisited as much of 1963 as we'd hoped to. 1963 started off hopeful (this was the year of Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a dream " speech, but things quickly got tragic. JFK was assassinated and America became more embroiled in the Vietnam War. 

But let's talk movies and entertainment...

Great Big Box Office Hits: 1) Cleopatra 2) How the West Was Won 3) It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World 4) Tom Jones 4) Irma La Douce 6) Son of Flubber 7) The Birds 8) Dr No 9) The VIPs 10) McClintock!

Oscar's Best Pictures: Tom Jones (10 noms / 4 wins), Cleopatra (9 noms / 4 wins), How the West Was Won (8 noms / 3 wins), Lilies of the Field (5 noms / 1 win), America America (4 noms / 1 win) Our theory as to what was just outside the Best Picture shortlist plus more '63 goodies follow...

Nathaniel's Top Ten of 1963

Paul Newman as HUD

  1. HUD
  4. 8½

Famous Films That Didn't Win Statues or Become Blockbusters: Bye Bye Birdie, Charade, The Great Escape, Move Over Darling, Come Blow Your Horn

Mostly Forgotten Films That Awards Bodies Liked: Captain Newman MD  (3 Oscar nods, 4 Golden Globe nods), The Caretakers (1 Oscar nod, 3 Golden Globe nods)

1963 was one of those rare years when the Best Director and Best Picture fields did not see eye to eye at all, matching only 2/5. We can deduce that voting was probably very tight for Best Picture. Just outside the shortlist and surely missing by a smidgeon of votes were probably the Best Director nominated trio: Martin Ritt's masterwork Hud (7 noms | 3 wins), Federico Fellini's iconic  (5 noms | 2 wins), or the Oscar baity Otto Preminger pic The Cardinal (6 noms) . Beyond those three had there been 9 or 10 nominees it's anyone's guess but the Shirley Maclaine hit Irma La Douce (3 noms | 1 win) and the Natalie Wood hit Love with the Proper Stranger (5 noms) were probably close by.

Magazine Covers for Context:

You couldn't escape Liz & Dick, Muhammad Ali, or the Kennedys that year in popular culture and magazines used to always reflect what people were talking about. Ann-Margret was a hot new star, Judy Garland was reinventing herself, Edith Piaf and JFK both died, and so on... Another new star (not pictured) on a lot of magazine covers that year was Richard Chamberlain who was suddenly hot on television. Some of them have now funny headlines, like this Movie Life above  "Chamberlain & Chakiris - we do not share girls". Of course they didn't; they were both closeted gay stars.

Mix Tape (Huge-Ass Hits of '63): "I Will Follow Him," Little Peggy March; "If You Wanna Be Happy," Jimmy Soul; "It's My Party," Lesley Gore; "My Boyfriend's Back," The Angels; "Blue Velvet," Bobby Vinton; "Walk Like a Man," The 4 Seasons; "Everybody Loves Somebody," Dean Martin

Music: The Beatles hit #1 for the first time in the UK, and then again, and then again, and then again (it's quite a fame skyrocket year for the Fab Four - they'll repeat the trick the following year in the US). The popular term "Beatlemania" was coined this year and proved utterly true the following year; Patsy Cline died at the peak of her career in a plane crash; the musicals 110 in the Shade starring Inga Swenson and  She Loves Me starring Barbara Cook (RIP) premiered on Broadway

"Drowning Girl" by Roy Lichtenstein

Other Arts: It was a huge year for pop art - Roy Lichtenstein debuted several new works including the melodramatic "Drowning Girl" (which displays at MoMA) and Andy Warhol debuted several new pieces including "Silver Car Crash" which sold a few years ago for a new Warhol record of "$105.4 million; In comic books, the iconic supporting characters J Jonah Jameson and Agent Nick Fury, and the villain The Vulture made their debuts. The Amazing Spider-Man got his own series as well though he first appeared in 1962; Astro Boy became the first manga to go to animated series in Japan;  

Spawn of Celebrity (Born in 63)
Actor Ryan O'Neal (one year away from stardom) and Joanna Moore welcomed Tatum O'Neal into the world. Ten years later she'd become the youngest Oscar winner of all time for her incredible work in Paper Moon; John Lennon and Cynthia Lennon welcomed son Julian into the world. He would inspire two classic songs "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" and "Hey Jude"

Baby Brad PittVintage '63 (Stars Born in 63)
Brad Pitt, George Michael (RIP), Johnny Depp, Lisa Kudrow, Emmanuelle Béart, Donnie Yen, Edie Falco, Elisabeth Shue, Lori Petty, Demián Bichir, Rupert Graves, Mark Strong, Ming-Na Wen, Jason Isaacs, Vanessa Williams, David Thewliss, Phoebe Cates, John Carroll Lynch, Helen Hunt, Mike Myers, Natasha Richardson, Dermot Mulroney, Marc Maron, Benjamin Bratt, Conan O'Brien, Coolio, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Paul Mercurio, Cannes-winning Best Actor Olivier Gourmet, Tony-winner Alice Ripley, Ally McBeal singer Vonda Shepard, and Billy Baldwin

Vintage '63 (Behind the Scenes)
Directors: Quentin Tarantino, John Cameron Mitchell, Steven Soderbergh, Gaspar Noé, Jean-Marc Vallée,  Alejandro González Iñárritu, Rich Moore (Zootopia), Park Chan-wook, Debra Granik,  James Mangold, David Yates, Gavin O'Connor, Sylvain Chomet, and Neil LaBute; Crafts: Oscar winning composer Dario Marianelli, Screenwriter David Koepp, award-winning writer Armando Iannucci (Veep, In the Loop), Oscar nominated screenwriter Susannah Grant, Emmy-winning makeup artist Greg Nicotero, Emmy winning cinematographer Dana Gonzales, Emmy winning composer Jeff Beal, novelist Michael Chabon, screenwriter Scott Rosenberg, and composer Jon Brion.  

Showtune to Go: Ann-Margret becomes an instant star in the film version of Bye Bye Birdie

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Reader Comments (20)

Thanks for this great 1963 fest! I love the magazine covers.

Couple of observations: 8 1/2 won two Oscars rather than one. And thanks for including Olivier Gourmet in your Born in 63 segment. One of my fave actors!

And now I've got Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" in my head!

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Don and Betty Draper divorced that year.

Everytime I read articles about the 60's I think about Mad Men, like they all were real people. I am still mourning the end of this show.

Anyway, Nathaniel, have you seen The Leopard? Strangely I don't see it here and it's exactly a movie you'd worship, specially because we're talking the best costume design of ALL TIME here.

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Natalie Wood should have won Best Actress

Patricia Neal. BSA.

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commenternatalie

I had a personal Oscar for this year

1 High and Low, Akira Kurosawa
2 Hud, Martin Ritt
3 The Leopard, Luchino Visconti
4 Contempt, Jean-Luc Godard
5 8 1/2, Federico Fellini
6 The Nutty Professor, Jerry Lewis
7 The Servant, Joseph Losey
8 This Sporting Life, Lindsay Anderson
9 Shock Corridor, Samuel Fuller
10 Bay of Angels, Jacques Demy

Best Director:
Akira Kurosawa, High and Low

Best Actor:
Dirk Bogarde, The Servant - Gold
Tom Courtenay, Billy Liar
Richard Harris, This Sporting Life - Silver
Toshiro Mifune, High and Low
Paul Newman, Hud - Bronze

Best Actress:
Tippi Hedren, The Birds
Sophia Loren, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - Silver
Shirley MacLaine, Irma La Douce
Jeanne Moreau, Bay of Angels - Bronze
Rachel Roberts, This Sporting Life - Gold

Best Supporting Actor
Brandon deWilde, Hud - Silver
Melvyn Douglas, Hud - Gold
James Fox, The Servant - Bronze
Tatsuya Nakadai, High and Low
Jack Palance, Contempt

Best Supporting Actress
Anouk Aimee, 8 1/2
Sarah Miles, The Servant - Bronze
Jeanne Moreau, The Fire Within
Patricia Neal, Hud - Gold
Constance Towers, Shock Corridor -Silver

Original Screenplay
8 1/2

Adapted Screenplay

The Leopard

High and Low

Production Design
The Leopard

Costume Design
The Leopard

8 1/2

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Great recap just jam packed with tidbits. I also love the magazine covers. That's a terrific top 10 in films, it was a good year for movies. LOVE that your list includes I Could Go on Singing! I'm a fan of that one too. It's a little soapy but Judy is SO good in it.

My top 10 for the year would run like this:

The Birds
The Prize
I Could Go On Singing
The V.I.P.S
Love with the Proper Stranger
The Thrill of It All
The Courtship of Eddie's Father
The Running Man
Mary, Mary
Move Over, Darling

with these hanging out just below-The Servant, Contempt, Wives & Lovers, Hud, All the Way Home, A Child is Waiting, This Sporting Life, My Six Loves, The Haunting and Toys in the Attic.

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Paul Newman in HUD and Richard Harris in THIS SPORTING LIFE are two of my fave male Oscar nominated performances of all time. What a year!

And that pic of Ryan O'Neal is adorable.

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

don't tell anyone, but I kinda love Bye Bye Birdie - I thought it did quite well at the box office!

August 10, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterfilmboymichael

Since you mentions some hit songs....Don't forget that wonderful year 1963 also gave us "The Barbra Streisand Album". Her very first solo LP and she won a couple of Grammy's for it.

Out of all the films mentioned above the only two pictures I saw in a theater were
"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "Come Blow Your Horn" I can still remember the evenings vividly. I was 11 years old.

I don't think that the young people of today could possibly imagine how different the whole world was in 1963. As the song goes...."Was it all so simple then or has time rewritten every line"?

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMax

My lead and supporting actress nominations for that year: (I'm sure no one cares but I'm going to post them anyway..)

A Child is Waiting - Judy Garland (WINNER)
Love with the Proper Stranger - Natalie Wood
Toys in the Attic - Geraldine Page
Winter Light - Ingrid Thulin
Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - Sophia Loren

The Birds - Suzanne Pleshette
A Child is Waiting - Gena Rowlands
8 ½ - Sandra Milo
Hud - Patricia Neal (WINNER)
Toys in the Attic - Wendy Hiller

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

filmboymichael -- BBB was a hit, yes. I just meant it wasn't top ten smash blockbuster style hit.

Brad -- i care. I always find those interesting to read (personal ballots as opposed to just awards group ballots)... interesting that NONE of the Oscar nominees work for you in supporting actress.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Nathaniel - I've never seen Tom Jones! Shame on me. And while I liked Skala and Rutherford just fine, neither performance really stood out to me as something special.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

Oh Charade! My favourite Hitchcockian-type film! That and Arabesque a few years later are such a delight!

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

Bye Bye Birdie. The movie that made Sal come out to his wife.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Still want to see The L-Shaped Room. Leslie Caron sounds like she's great in this.
Still wondering why Cleopatra beat The Birds at Oscar time for Best Visual Effects. (Thought people were supposed to vote on artistic merit?!?)
The Great Escape remains one of my childhood favorites.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

I'm surprised by the lack of love for the wonderful Tom Jones.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Not nearly enough love here for Elia Kazan's best film. "America America" is a masterpiece.

The rest of the Best Picture nominees... eh, so so; but I get why they nominated them. I'm still a little surprised that "Hud" didn't get in, though.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterGuestguestguest

Brad-It's great to see all that love for A Child is Waiting a seriously underappreciated movie. I would have rather seen Judy up for I Could Go on Singing but her performance in this is very sensitive and lovely. While she wouldn't have been my winner for either, that would be Jean Simmons for her incredible work in All the Way Home, she should have been among the nominees.

Speaking of worthy nominees who were ignored Bruce Ritchey the young boy who played Reuben gives the most beautiful performance. He never did anything else which seems a shame considering how fine he is here. But at least in that category the proper winner was selected.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Great recap. I love like 97% of the people born that year.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

filmboymichael: Don't be ashamed! I love Bye, Bye, Bird-Hee, too.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterrobert

"It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" was an annual Christmas week watch at my home growing up. My Dad loves that movie.

I saw "Tom Jones" for English class in high school. And it was very funny. And there's a scene with food. That's about all I remember of it.

"The Birds" has two of the most beautiful people in screen history, and two of the most wooden actors at the same time.

Vintage ones are among my very favorite of your posts, Nathaniel. Great work!

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

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