1969 Oscars 41st Academy Awards

1969 Oscars 41st Academy Awards

Winners Announced: April 14, 1969
Held at: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles, California
Host: no one
Eligibility Year: 1968

Cinematic Highlights and Achievements

  • Oliver! Steals the Show: This musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel surprised many by bagging six awards, including Best Picture.
  • Oliver! had 11 nominations, winning five awards.
  • Oliver! was the only G-rated film to win Best Picture.
  • Heat for Cool Hand Luke: Strother Martin coined the memorable line “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” in this film. Although not a winner, the movie received nominations and became iconic.
  • Katharine Hepburn’s Double Act: Hepburn won Best Actress for her role in The Lion in Winter, sharing the honor with Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl—an Oscars first!

Trivia and Noteworthy Moments

  • Host-less Night: For the first time in its history, the Academy Awards had no host, creating a more streamlined (but less comedic) atmosphere.
  • Political Activism: When Marlon Brando won Best Actor for The Godfather, he sent Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather to decline the award as a protest against Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.
  • Foreign Influence: The Best Director award went to Carol Reed for Oliver!, marking a triumph for British cinema in Hollywood.
  • Take our 1969 Quiz!

1969 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Picture:
Oliver! – John Woolf, producer (WINNER)
Funny Girl – Ray Stark, producer
The Lion In Winter – Martin Poll, producer
Rachel, Rachel – Paul Newman, producer
Romeo and Juliet – John Brabourne and Anthony Havelock-Allan, producers
Best Director:
Carol Reed – Oliver! (WINNER)
Stanley Kubrick – 2001: A Space Odyssey
Gillo Pontecorvo – The Battle of Algiers
Anthony Harvey – The Lion In Winter
Franco Zeffirelli – Romeo and Juliet
Best Actor:
Cliff Robertson – Charly as Charlie Gordon (WINNER)
Alan Arkin – The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter as John Singer
Alan Bates – The Fixer as Yakov Bok
Ron Moody – Oliver! as Fagin
Peter O’Toole – The Lion In Winter as King Henry II of England
Best Actress (tie):
Katharine Hepburn – The Lion In Winter as Eleanor of Aquitaine (WINNER)
Barbra Streisand – Funny Girl as Fanny Brice (WINNER)
Patricia Neal – The Subject Was Roses as Nettie Cleary
Vanessa Redgrave – Isadora as Isadora Duncan
Joanne Woodward – Rachel, Rachel as Rachel Cameron
Best Supporting Actor:
Jack Albertson – The Subject Was Roses as John Cleary (WINNER)
Seymour Cassel – Faces as Chet
Daniel Massey – Star! as Noël Coward
Jack Wild – Oliver! as Jack Dawkins (“The Artful Dodger”)
Gene Wilder – The Producers as Leo Bloom
Best Supporting Actress:
Ruth Gordon – Rosemary’s Baby as Minnie Castevet (WINNER)
Lynn Carlin – Faces as Maria Frost
Sondra Locke – The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter as Mick Kelly
Kay Medford – Funny Girl as Rose Stern Borach
Estelle Parsons – Rachel, Rachel as Calla Mackie
Best Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
The Producers – Mel Brooks (WINNER)
2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke
The Battle of Algiers – Franco Solinas and Gillo Pontecorvo
Faces – John Cassavetes
Hot Millions – Ira Wallach and Peter Ustinov
Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium:
The Lion in Winter – James Goldman based on his play (WINNER)
The Odd Couple – Neil Simon based on his play
Oliver! – Vernon Harris based on the play by Lionel Bart and Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Rachel, Rachel – Stewart Stern based on the novel A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence
Rosemary’s Baby – Roman Polanski based on the novel by Ira Levin
Best Documentary Feature:
Journey into Self – Bill McGaw (WINNER)
A Few Notes on Our Food Problem – U.S. Information Agency
The Legendary Champions – William Cayton
Other Voices – David H. Sawyer
Young Americans – Robert Cohn and Alex Grasshoff
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Why Man Creates – Saul Bass (WINNER)
The House That Ananda Built – Films Division, Government of India
The Revolving Door – Vision Associates Production for the American Foundation Institute of Corrections
A Space to Grow – Office of Economic Opportunity for Project Upward Bound
A Way Out of the Wilderness – Dan E. Weisburd
Best Live Action Short Subject:
Robert Kennedy Remembered – Guggenheim Productions (WINNER)
The Dove – Coe-Davis Ltd.
Duo – National Film Board of Canada
Prelude – Prelude Co.
Best Short Subject – Cartoons:
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day – Walt Disney (posthumous award) (WINNER)
The House That Jack Built – National Film Board of Canada
The Magic Pear Tree – Murakami-Wolf Films
Windy Day – Hubley Studios
Best Original Score for a Motion Picture (Not a Musical):
The Lion in Winter – John Barry (WINNER)
The Fox – Lalo Schifrin
Planet of the Apes – Jerry Goldsmith
The Shoes of the Fisherman – Alex North
The Thomas Crown Affair – Michel Legrand
Best Score of a Musical Picture – Original or Adaptation:
Oliver! – Johnny Green (WINNER)
Finian’s Rainbow – Ray Heindorf
Funny Girl – Walter Scharf
Star! – Lennie Hayton
The Young Girls of Rochefort – Adaptation: Michel Legrand; Song Score: Michel Legrand and Jacques Demy
Best Song Original for the Picture:
“The Windmills of Your Mind” from The Thomas Crown Affair – Music by Michel Legrand; Lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman (WINNER)
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – Music and Lyrics by The Sherman Brothers: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman
“For Love of Ivy” from For Love of Ivy – Music by Quincy Jones; Lyrics by Bob Russell
“Funny Girl” from Funny Girl – Music by Jule Styne; Lyrics by Bob Merrill
“Star!” from Star! – Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Best Sound:
Oliver! – Shepperton Studio Sound Dept. (WINNER)
Bullitt – Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Studio Sound Dept.
Finian’s Rainbow – Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Studio Sound Dept.
Funny Girl – Columbia Studio Sound Dept.
Star! – Twentieth Century-Fox Studio Sound Dept.
Best Foreign Language Film:
War and Peace – U.S.S.R. (WINNER)
The Boys of Paul Street – Hungary
The Firemen’s Ball – Czechoslovakia
The Girl with the Pistol – Italy
Stolen Kisses – France
Best Costume Design:
Romeo and Juliet – Danilo Donati (WINNER)
The Lion in Winter – Margaret Furse
Oliver! – Phyllis Dalton
Planet of the Apes – Morton Haack
Star! – Donald Brooks
Best Art Direction:
Oliver! – Art Direction: John Box and Terence Marsh; Set Decoration: Vernon Dixon and Ken Muggleston (WINNER)
2001: A Space Odyssey – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Anthony Masters, Harry Lange and Ernest Archer
The Shoes of the Fisherman – Art Direction and Set Decoration: George W. Davis and Edward Carfagno
Star! – Art Direction: Boris Leven; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott and Howard Bristol
War and Peace – Art Direction: Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Myasnikov; Set Decoration: G. Koshelev and V. Uvarov
Best Cinematography:
Romeo and Juliet – Pasqualino De Santis (WINNER)
Funny Girl – Harry Stradling
Ice Station Zebra – Daniel L. Fapp
Oliver! – Oswald Morris
Star! – Ernest Laszlo
Best Film Editing:
Bullitt – Frank P. Keller (WINNER)
Funny Girl – Robert Swink, Maury Winetrobe and William Sands
The Odd Couple – Frank Bracht
Oliver! – Ralph Kemplen
Wild in the Streets – Fred R. Feitshans Jr. and Eve Newman
Best Special Visual Effects:
2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick (WINNER)
Ice Station Zebra – Hal Millar and Joseph McMillan Johnson
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award:
Martha Raye
Honorary Awards:
Walter Matthau presented John Chambers his award for outstanding makeup achievement for Planet of the Apes
Diahann Carroll presented Onna White her award for outstanding choreography achievement for Oliver!
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