A Re-evaluation Of The 1970 Academy Award For Best Music, Original Score for a Motion Picture (not a Musical)

Like many other contests, sometimes the Academy gets it right, and sometimes they botch the play.  In this case the rightful winner wasn’t even nominated.  I feel very strongly about this year, and this category.  And the nominees are:
  • Anne of the Thousand Days (1969)Georges Delerue By this point, Delerue had been writing scores for twenty years, for roughly a hundred films.  Some of these were stone classics ( Jules Et Jim, King Of Hearts, Tirez Le Pianiste) so the nom can be looked at as a you-have-arrived pick.  Nothing against this nom, although the film is a bit of a slog; Burton and Bujold do their best.  Delerue would get his Oscar in 1980 for A Little Romance.
  • The Reivers (1969)John Williams (I) Curiously, I love this nom.  It’s a Disney take on a rhythmic, musical book.  And Disney’s stable, at that time, still had the ability to spin any kind of hay into musical gold.  As for Williams, he, too, was an arriviste; this was his first nom.  He had been toiling in the Hollywood mines for years, and this was a noteworthy selection.  Two valid entries on his prior resume are scores to Gilligan’s Island and Lost In Space.  Williams should (and does) have all the Oscar gold in the world.  The Reivers is my first runner-up.
  • The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969)Ernest Gold An old pro.  Gold won in ’61 for Exodus, deservedly.  I’d say that both he and the Academy were coasting here.  Don’t feel that strongly either way here.
  • The Wild Bunch (1969)Jerry Fielding I always mix up Jerry Fielding with Jerry Goldsmith; the latter did The Omen.  They both were concurrent Hollywood composers.  I’ve never seen The Wild Bunch.  I never educated myself much on Peckinpah, so I’ll just shut up and back off.
  • Winner:
    • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)Burt Bacharach A horrible win.  Not mertorious at all.   I understand why it won: a “hot” composer, a wildly popular and romantic movie, and a soundtrack that is still selling.  I don’t buy into it, though.  Bacharach took Best Song that year.  He should not have made off with Best Score.
    So, omigod, PD, who should have won??


    Via metafilter, this thing.

    Scariest pipedream ever.  Imagine having an absinthe in the shadow of St. Louis cathedral (Ms. Thais will hook you up), a cigarette as you stroll in the Quarter, a coffee on the street somewhere in our country’s first and last bohemia (endangered as it is), then imagine looking up…what’s that you see in the distance?

    An aesthetic nightmare*.

    *Space for three casinos and 500,000 sq. ft. of retail space helpfully included.