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Who would you nominate BEST ACTOR of the 1970's? (yes, for the entire DECADE)

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Who would you nominate BEST ACTOR of the 1970's? (yes, for the entire DECADE)

Old 12-31-06, 08:15 AM
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Who would you nominate BEST ACTOR of the 1970's? (yes, for the entire DECADE)

Each year, actors get nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, and some of those actors even deserved it. Some (most) have not, so this "new" category of nominating five and honoring one for the entire decade of the '70's is unique, and being that we have 30 years of perspective on an actor and his films of that decade should make this race have a lot of integrity.

In this, you won't see someone undeserving - nobody on this will be here due to "hype" of the moment, or unrelenting marketing and campaigning (Miramax).

So let me cut to the chase:

I nominate three actors who, throughout the seventies, were untouchable as far as their star-power was concerned.

01) Al Pacino
02) Jack Nicholson
03) Robert DeNiro

The Academy could not get enough of these men, and neither could audiences.

Let's start with Al:
In 1972, he scored his first Oscar-nomination with The Godfather, followed by -
-Serpico (1973)
--The Godfather, Part II (1974)
---Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
----...And Justice For All
(1979[/b]
Aside from Justice, Al Pacino has the distinction of having four consectitive Oscar-nominations four years in a row. He didn't win his Oscar in the '70's, but that didn't really matter in view of his very excellent work. In 1971, he starred in The Panic In Needle Park, which officially announced a great talent in Pacino.

Robert DeNiro had almost an equally impressive list at the Academy:
-The Godfather, Part II (1974) **WINNER**
--Taxi Driver (1976)
---The Deer Hunter (1978)

In 1973, DeNiro starred in two impressive films that didn't garner Oscar-nominations: Mean Streets, his first outing with director Martin Scorsese, and Bang The Drum Slowly, which was hailed by critics who loved DeNiro's performance.

Jack Nicholson had a great decade in the 1970's, winning the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Randall Patrick McMurphy in 1975's One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Other Oscar-nominations include-
-Five Easy Pieces (1970)
--The Last Detail (1973)
---Chinatown (1974)

He also co-starred with Art Garfunkel in Carnal Knowledge, a very risque film for the times, and a typical Nicholson performance.

Aside from these three, there were of course many other actors who got their groove in the 70's. Since there are typically five people nominated at the Academy Awards, I will add two more "hopefuls" to my list to make five:

04: Dustin Hoffman
He established himself well in the 1960's with films like The Graduate and Midnight Cowboy, but I believe his career flourished in the 70's. His Oscar history in the 70's include Lenny (1974) (about doomed comedian Lenny Bruce) and his Best Actor Oscar for Kramer Vs Kramer (1979).

Other honorable mentions include Little Big Man, Papillon, All The Presidents Men, and Marathon Man.

05: Robert Duvall
His Oscar-nominations include-
-The Godfather (1972)
--Apocaplyse Now (1979)

Robert Duvall is a great actor and all, but compared to the previous four, I don't think he has a chance of winning.

***
the point of this thread, should it continue due to interest from you, is to gather up five of your own favorites, and by February, narrow it down to FIVE ACTORS, and then by March (around Oscar time), elect a WINNER (somehow - I'll leave it to a moderator or someone with brains).
Old 12-31-06, 08:22 AM
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Jack Nicholson
Old 12-31-06, 08:57 AM
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Gene Hackman
Old 12-31-06, 11:36 AM
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I agree with those top 3 and I'd have to go with Jack Nicholson as well.
Old 12-31-06, 04:33 PM
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Buttmunker, I definitely agree with your top three.

I had a hard time choosing between Nicholson and Pacino. They both dominated with great performances (and films) in the 1970s.

Since Nicholson, IMO, has the best overall résumé (and is my favorite actor of all time) I'll go with Pacino for Best Actor of the 1970s. I've seen seven of the eight films he made that decade (haven't seen Bobby Deerfield) and his performances in all of them were beyond excellent.
Old 12-31-06, 04:39 PM
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Damn, this is a tough one. Hackman had a great 70s run. As did Nicholson. I would choose DeNiro as an overall career choice, but for the 70s, I gotta go with Pacino.
Old 12-31-06, 05:41 PM
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Tough call, and besides the ones already mentioned

Walter Matthau - He had a bunch of great performances, not just comedies
Charley Varrick
The Laughing Policeman
The Taking of Pelham 123
Hopscotch
House Calls
The Bad News Bears
The Front Page
The Sunshine Boys
Old 12-31-06, 05:51 PM
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Gotta back Jack. He was fiercely original in a way he really hasn't been much since in the 1970s.
Old 01-01-07, 06:11 AM
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Compare Jack's Cooko's Nest performance with just like about every one of his performances and now compare Pacino's Dog Day performance with his other performances. You will note that Pacino gave a one time performance like he has never given, while Jack's is the same old shtick. Jack has Hollywood friends that give him all his Oscar nominations where Pacino doesn't. Case in point Pacino didn't get a nod for SCARFACE or GODFATHER 3, where Jack gets nods for everything he does.
Old 01-01-07, 07:47 AM
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Originally Posted by wm lopez
Compare Jack's Cooko's Nest performance with just like about every one of his performances and now compare Pacino's Dog Day performance with his other performances. You will note that Pacino gave a one time performance like he has never given, while Jack's is the same old shtick. Jack has Hollywood friends that give him all his Oscar nominations where Pacino doesn't. Case in point Pacino didn't get a nod for SCARFACE or GODFATHER 3, where Jack gets nods for everything he does.
As someone who has seen just about every Jack Nicholson performance I wholeheartedly disagree. Comparing his performance in Cuckoo's Nest to About Schmidt to The King of Marvin Gardens to Hoffa to The Border to Ironweed to The Pledge is unimaginable. Hardly the "same old shtick".

And you choose Pacino's hammiest, most overrated performance (Scarface) as an example to prove your point? Add that to the crap he has been churning out lately?

I seriously doubt Jack has friends get him Oscar nominations. I'm sure he could give a dog's behind. He may not go down and out Method in every role by dropping eighty pounds or pulling a Meryl with accents but he's still an excellent actor that stays true to the character. Many people can't separate the man they (think they) know from the characters he plays. Jack is iconic in that perspective and I guess that's his "downfall".

I do agree, though, that Pacino gave a "one time performance like he has never given" with DDA.

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Old 01-01-07, 12:13 PM
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You're all thinking of Jack Nicholson from what you've seen from start to finish. You're forgetting that Jack didn't become Jack until the 80's, at best. Between 1970 and 1978, think of Nicholson for the films he did in that period - only. To do anything else would be unfair.

Was Jack Jack in Chinatown? No. Was he Jack in The Last Detail? No. Was he Jack in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? Ooooh, yes, and he was terrific! I think, aside from his "chicken/toast" spiel from Five Easy Pieces, it was Jack's first appearance to us. Plus films like Carnal Knowledge and Marvin Gardens was just a man named Nicholson trying to make a good movie to further his career.

And just think about Goin' South, the 1978 Western Nicholson starred/directed in. A "lovable loser," hardly Jack.

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Old 01-01-07, 12:16 PM
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Off the top of my head I've got to go with...

Gene Hackman

And his performances in the last 2 decades have been nothing to sneeze at, either. He is one of the best actors of ANY decade, ANY era, or ANY time.

DeNiro, Pacino, and Roy Scheider were also phenomenal in the 70's.
Old 01-01-07, 01:57 PM
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John Cazale:

Appeared in only five films in the 70s, all Best Picture nominees (and three winners) - The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter.

That list of films speaks for itself, but it's mind-boggling to imagine what more he could've done had he not died of bone cancer in 1978.
Old 01-01-07, 01:59 PM
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Old 01-01-07, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jchamoun
John Cazale:

Appeared in only five films in the 70s, all Best Picture nominees (and three winners) - The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, The Conversation, Dog Day Afternoon, and The Deer Hunter.

That list of films speaks for itself, but it's mind-boggling to imagine what more he could've done had he not died of bone cancer in 1978.
Amen, exactly what I was going to say. He probably would of been a huge actor, up there with Pacino and De Niro.
Old 01-01-07, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by flashburn
He probably would of have been a huge actor, up there with Pacino and De Niro.
Fixed.
Old 01-01-07, 06:42 PM
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Jack's Chinatown vs. Pacino's Godfather 2
Jack's Cooko vs. Pacino's Dog Day
Jack's Last Detail vs. Pacino's Serpico
We ought to have a poll on these.
All I know is I see more passion of every human emotion from Al's performances.
To me Jack's best performance is HOFFA, because he's acting and not being Jack.
It's kinda when Hollywood voted Harrison Ford greatest movie star over John Wayne, Cary Grant, James Cagney etc. It's all politics.

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