Five of the Most Memorable Oscar Moments from the 1970s

ABSTRACT: Over the years, the Academy Awards has seen its share of controversial moments, surprise winners, touching tributes, and dominant movies. Here are five of the most memorable moments from the 1970s Academy Awards presentations.

The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, February 24. Over the years, the annual film awards presentation has seen its share of controversial moments, surprise winners, touching tributes, and dominant movies. As we wait for this year's Oscars to be handed out, it is worth looking back at some of the most memorable moments from the 1970s Academy Awards ceremonies.

Here are five of the most memorable Oscar moments from the 1970s.

John Wayne Finally Wins an Oscar (1970)

81st Annual Academy Awards (1)
John Wayne (whose given name was Marion Morrison) was born in 1909. He started his acting career in the 1920s and soon became one of the most beloved movie stars of all time. Even though Wayne has been dead since 1979, he is still one of Hollywood's most popular names. In a 2007 Harris Interactive poll, Americans ranked him as their third most favorite actor. Given his fame, it might surprise some people to learn that Wayne's only Oscar came during the 1970 Academy Awards, when he won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in "True Grit."

X-Rated Movie Wins Best Picture (1970)

People who tuned in to view the Academy Awards in 1970 had the opportunity to witness another memorable event. "Midnight Cowboy" became the first X-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar. It might have been a once in a lifetime moment. No X-rated (or NC-17 rated) movie has accomplished the feat since that time.

Marlon Brando Is a No Show (1973)

During the 1973 Academy Awards, the crowd cheered when it learned that Marlon Brando had won the Best Actor Oscar. Brando nabbed the statuette for his brilliant performance in "The Godfather." Many people in the audience were probably a bit surprised when a Native American, Sacheen Littlefeather, stepped up to the podium instead of Brando. Their surprise turned to shock when she refused to accept the Oscar. Littlefeather read a statement from Brando in which he declined the award to protest the film industry's mistreatment of Native American workers and actors.

Movie Wins Big Five (1976)

At the 48th Academy Awards, "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" became the first film since 1935 to win the Academy's top five awards-Best Picture, "Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Directing (Milos Forman), and Writing (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman)." This was a very rare honor; only three films in the illustrious history of the awards ceremony have won all five of these Oscars.

Vanessa Redgrave's Rant (1978)

The audience cheered when they learned that Vanessa Redgrave had won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in "Julia." She snagged the award for playing the part of an anti-Nazi freedom fighter. In an ironic twist, Redgrave used a portion of her time on the podium to criticize a small number of Israelis and Israeli Americans who had protested the release of one of her recent movies, supporting the creation of a Palestinian state. The audience, perhaps thinking Redgrave was criticizing all people of Jewish descent, booed her loudly. Hollywood directors were also not amused. Many of them refused to offer her roles in their films after that incident.

1. Author: Greg Hernandez
    Date: February 22, 2009
    Title/Description: Red carpet at 81st Annual Academy Awards in Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles 
     Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
    (see title/link for photo, credits, permissions)

The author is a freelance writer and has a B.A. in History from Roanoke College. He enjoys watching both classic movies and new films.

-- Anthony Hopper

#Oscars #movies #history #entertainment #AcademyAwards #actors #winners

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