The nominees are…
and the Oscar went to….In the Heat of the Night
Perhaps the most significant year in Hollywood history, the 1968 Academy Awards, honouring the best work of 1967, offers a snapshot of the films which redefined what audiences could expect out of American movies. Films like Bonnie and Clyde spearheaded the New Holly era of film, deconstructing narrative norms and bringing violence and sex to the screen, offering a unique insight into disaffected youth that would redefine the industry. And if Bonnie and Clyde is the New Hollywood Batman, then The Graduate is surely Robbin.
This year saw a dramatic shift in cinematic principles, but stylistic altering aside it was Norman Jewison’s racial/crime drama In the Heat of the Night that was the eventual big winner, his concoction of social commentary and murder mystery proving too hard to resist for the Academy. On the theme of race, Stanley Kramer would have a film in the contest again, up to his trademark moral pleading madness with Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, with the completely out of left field Doctor Dolittle, a comedy musical, rounding out the field of Best Picture nominees for the year.
But with so much going on in American movies at the time, did the Academy settle on the rightful winner, or will an Oscar Rewrite be in order?