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Meet the Panelists - Smackdown '63

The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '63 is just 3 days away. So it's time to get your votes in on the nominees that year. Readers, collectively, are the final panelist, so grade the nominees (only the ones you've seen) from 1 to 5 hearts. Your votes count toward the smackdown win! 

Diane Cilento Tom Jones
Edith Evans Tom Jones
Joyce Redman Tom Jones
Margaret Rutherford The VIPs 
Lilia Skala Lilies of the Field 


Now that we're finally getting to this long delayed Smackdown. It's time to meet this month's talking heads...


Seán McGovern and Brian Mullin
An Irishman and an American based in London, Seán McGovern and Brian Mullin are the hosts of Broad Appeal, the podcast that looks back at female-driven films from the not-so-distant past. Seán is a film festival programmer with Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest and has also worked for the BFI and the National Film and Television School. His mustache was once complimented by Wallace Shawn. Brian is a playwright, dramaturg and community activist; he's wedded to the theatre but still fools around with the movies. Their latest podcast series dissected 12 book-to-film adaptations (everything from Yentl to Jackie Brown) and they once saw Isabelle Huppert twice in two days! [Follow them @broadappealpod@bamullinspeaks@seanmcgovernx]

What does 1963 mean to you, guys?

To us, 1963 seems like the year things fell apart. The summer started with hope: JFK retraced his roots in Ireland and Martin Luther King led the March on Washington (with activists and many film stars in tow). By the end of the year, though, fatal shots had been fired in Dealey Plaza, and the the studio system was on life support following the bloated release of Liz & Dick's Cleopatra. The upheaval of the 60s was only just beginning; no wonder The Birds started attacking Tippi Hedren.

Teo Bugbee
Longtime Film Experience reader, Teo Bugbee is a culture writer, bylines found at The Daily Beast, MTV News, and The New York Times. In her time off from watching movies, she union agitates, gay organizes…and watches more movies. [Follow her @tmibugbee]

What does 1963 mean to you, Teo?

1963 was the year my mom was born, a classic Pisces in the year of the Rabbit. 1963 was the year of the Taylor-Burton affair, a formative obsession of my youth. 1963 was the year of my favorite Natalie Wood performance, in Love With A Proper Stranger. It's the year of The Feminine Mystique and the year Ann-Margret declared it lovely to be a woman, two statements of equal weight as far as I can tell. In my mind, 1963 is the year when the '60s stopped being an extension of the decade prior, and started to take on its own character as the decade for all things uncouth, dissatisfied, and misunderstood.

Kieran Scarlett
Kieran is a Canadian expat whose love affair with movies began with Judy Garland and Julie Andrews.  He thanks his older brother for his film fanaticism and apologizes profusely for dragging him to see Cold Mountain on opening weekend because "people in it might get nominated for stuff."  He received his MFA in writing from the American Film institute. He spends a lot of time thinking about the 1974 Best Actress race, admiring Dorothy Malone's mambo skills and longing for the return of Holly Hunter.  Kieran can be found in Los
Angeles, writing, working on movies and searching for the perfect arthouse theater with good parking. [Follow him @danblackroyd]

What does 1963 mean to you, Kieran?

Being that I was not alive in 1963 and don't have any immediate personal cinematic narrative connection to '63 (part of why I'm eager to dig into this year and find out what it means to others), the year for me means "Letters From a Birmingham Jail," the very pivotal, if somewhat under-discussed piece of writing from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Thinking about the fact King wrote that while imprisoned a little over a week after the Oscar ceremony (not that the two are related, just a piece of trivia) makes me consider the hypothesis that the political climate of the country does influence Oscar's choices. One wonders how that tracks (or doesn't) in
terms of Tom Jones' Best PIcture victory.

And as ever your host...

Nathaniel R
Nathaniel is the creator and owner of The Film Experience and a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association. He recently became an O'Neill Fellow at the National Critics Institute. He is the film columnist for Towleroad, a longtime Oscar pundit (Gurus of Gold), and his writing has appeared in both online publications (Vanity Fair, Slate, Tribeca Film, Show-Score) and print magazines (Esquire and Winq). Nathaniel has served on international festival juries and appeared as an on-air Oscar pundit for CNNi. Follow him @nathanielr 

What does 1963 mean to you?

Liz Taylor as Cleopatra mostly. I am who I am. I sometimes try to imagine how frighteningly colossal the world's obsession with her in that time period of her life would be were it transposed into our era of social media and 24/7 celebrity coverage. I'm guessing it would be something like Beyoncé 2016 times Brangelina 2005 filtered through a media hype lens that was akin to Marvel Studios Phase Whatever breathlessness. One can only imagine the op-eds and memes and cosplay. Other things I occasionally think about from 1963 include my parents being newlyweds (how were they ever that young?) just starting a family, everything about Hud, Harry Belafonte and Sidney Poitier and other celebrities rallying for Civil Rights, Natalie Wood receiving her last Oscar nomination (sniffle), and The Judy Garland Show's debut -- love watching clips of that on YouTube. How did that show get cancelled so quickly. Didn't people back in 1963 know how good they had it with The World's Greatest Entertainer?

What does 1963 mean to you, dear readers?

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Reader Comments (16)

I have no entryway to answer the question despite loving the aesthetics and art of the decade.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

This was the year Albert Finney became a star, Julie Christie had her breakthrough in Billy Liar, Petula Clark braced for her imminent smash that would be Downtown, Dionne Warwick scored her first Top Ten with Anyone Who Had a Heart, and Julie Andrews becomes Mary Poppins. A damn fine year.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

Doctor Who began in 1963, the day after Kennedy was assassinated.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

Check out the nominees for the golden globes to put this year in movies into perspective. Patricia Neal lost supporting actress to Margaret Rutherford. Joan Greenwood was their choice to nominate for 'Tom Jones'.
As for the real world, it was the year that America started to realize what an unreliable, chaotic world we had created post world war 2. The bomb, the Korean War (shall we have Korean war 2?), Joseph McCarthy, the beginning of Richard Nixon's rise, the first of several inexplicable assassinations, the Vietnam War, civil (rights) unrest, anti-war demonstrations, the draft and its dodging,.....up to when? Now?

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterrobert

WOOHOO! What a good looking group of Smackdowners! Can't wait for the podcast companion!

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

Sort of wild that Patricia Neal lost the Globe to Margaret Rutherford in retrospect.

As for The Judy Garland show, CBS never gave it a chance and put it up against Bonanza. They really ruined any chance of success with the show. I too love the YouTube clips! At least we have those.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterArlo

I am excited for these smackdowners, although I haven't seen the films.

The films of this year I have seen are "Dr. No". and "Irma La Douce", which I think are unremarkable - though Shirley McLaine is adorably captivating in the latter - and I am ashamed to say I haven't seen "Hud", despite Paul Newman being one of my favorite actors of all time.

August 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

1963, the year She Loves Me debuted on Broadway. It's my favorite musical.

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDan Blim

For me, 1963 means, above all, The Beatles, From Russia With Love, The Birds, 8 1/2, Hud, the assassination of J.F.K., and the year my parents started dating!

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

1963 is decidedly not among my favorite years on the silver screen - in fact it boasts one of my least favorite Best Picture line-ups. That said, there are a handful of fabulous films, the likes of HUD, 8 1/2 and CHARADE. And I absolutely adore the Patricia Neal win!

What else does the year mean to me? Well, two actresses I'm crazy about - Lisa Kudrow and Elisabeth Shue - first graced the earth. Lucille Ball and Mary Tyler Moore were killing it on THE LUCY SHOW and THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW. And the greatest song ever recorded, "Be My Baby," hit the airwaves. Wha-oh-oh-oh!

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Carden

Looking forward to it! :)

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

You guys! I just watched the 1963 supporting actress awards presentation and it's so weird!

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

@Mike in Canada -- WHAT WAS THAT?!

August 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

All these people sound like way too fun to be real. Can't wait for this smackdown!

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered Commentergoran

Strange year for the movies. Newman playing a heal in Hud (one of his run of great performances in movies with an H title). Bobby Darin in a single scene with Gregory Peck, under hypnosis, showing some serious acting chops (maybe the only time) and grabbing an Oscar nom for Captain Newman, MD, thus making it memorable for something other than the pairing of Peck and Tony Curtis along with a stunning turn by a young Robert Duvall who had also appeared with Peck in previous year's Oscar winner - To Kill A Mockingbird. Hugh Griffith - magnificent in one of the more spectacular casts in movie history in TOM JONES - who might have won the Oscar for Supporting Actor had he not won 4 years before for Ben Hur. Cleopatra, the movie that almost brought 20th Century-Fox to its knees (and would have if not for The Longest Day) garnering way too many nominations for the overwrought potboiler it was. The All-Star western swan song of How The West Was Won. The wonderful pairing of McQueen and Wood in Love With The Proper Stranger. The thrilling The Great Escape. The comic madness - and chock full o' "nuts" cast of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. Ann-Margret setting my young hormones into overdrive in Bye Bye Birdie. Bond debuts with arguably the one and only 007 - Sean Connery - in Dr. No. Hitchcock's THE BIRDS. I'll stick to movies and I've apparently missed the cutoff for bestowing hearts on the 5 nominees for Supporting Actress, but as I've said elsewhere - it would NOT be Margaret Rutherford. The 3 exceptional women of Tom Jones would probably split votes (although gun to head, I'd go for Joyce Redmund even with Diane Cilento getting bonus points for being married to 007), so by a bit of default - but taking nothing away from her Mother Superior to Poitier's handy man - I'd go for the Lilia Skala.

August 13, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Eddy

Woo-hoo! What a great group of panelists. I've been addicted to Kieran's twitter for a while now so I can't wait to see what he has to say.

@Mike in Canada - that was so weird

August 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

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