Best Picture Winners Part 43 (of 89): Patton

Title: Patton
Year: 1970
Starring: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young
Runtime: 2 hr 52 mins 

What It Is: A biopic of the World War II general George S. Patton sees George C. Scott (man that a lot of similarities) playing the general. In a now iconic scene, the military man stands before a large American flag giving a speech to an unknown group of American troops. This movie focuses on Patton’s tour in North Africa. A tour that leads to the first victory over the axis. Little known fact about this movie is that Francis Ford Coppola wrote this screenplay along with Edmund H. North. Not only that but Coppola won the Oscar for that screenplay. He’d return to the stage very soon for very different reasons.

Memorable Quote: Patton: We’re gonna keep fighting. Is that CLEAR? We’re gonna attack all night, we’re gonna attack tomorrow morning. If we are not VICTORIOUS, let no man come back alive! 

Competition: Airport is a disaster film that sees Burt Lancaster as an airport manager. A blizzard and a bomb scare plague them throughout the runtime. This film’s biggest legacy is, of course, its satire Airplane. In Five Easy Pieces, Jack Nicholson plays a once-promising pianist whose family are all classical musicians. This is often considered Nicholson’s coming out party. It also started the art movie movement. Love is never having to say you’re sorry. This is the message of Arthur Hiller’s Love Story. This dated rom-com is cited routinely as an over-rated nominee. Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw received nominations and I am not sure exactly why. M.A.S.H. sees Robert Altman helms this Korean War drama about a Medical Army Surgical Hospital and all the wise-cracking glory. Donald Sutherland plays the role of Hawkeye Pierce, a role later made iconic by Alan Alda. Perhaps this films more lasting legacy is the long-running TV show whose finale is still the highest rated TV episode of all-time. This was a great year for film and it is sad seeing films like Fellini’s Satyricon, or Tora! Tora! Tora! not receive any love.

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