1971 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
Note: Oscar® and Academy Awards® and Oscar® design mark are the trademarks and service marks and the Oscar© statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This site is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®

The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.
Best Picture


A Clockwork Orange (1971, UK)

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

The Last Picture Show (1971)

Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)

GENE HACKMAN in "The French Connection", Peter Finch in "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", Walter Matthau in "Kotch", George C. Scott in "The Hospital", Topol in "Fiddler on the Roof"
JANE FONDA in "Klute", Julie Christie in "McCabe & Mrs. Miller", Glenda Jackson in "Sunday, Bloody Sunday", Vanessa Redgrave in "Mary, Queen of Scots", Janet Suzman in "Nicholas and Alexandra"
Supporting Actor:
BEN JOHNSON in "The Last Picture Show", Jeff Bridges in "The Last Picture Show", Leonard Frey in "Fiddler on the Roof", Richard Jaeckel in "Sometimes a Great Notion", Roy Scheider in "The French Connection"
Supporting Actress:
CLORIS LEACHMAN in "The Last Picture Show", Ann-Margret in "Carnal Knowledge", Ellen Burstyn in "The Last Picture Show", Barbara Harris in "Who is Harry Kellerman, and Why is He Saying These Terrible Things About Me?", Margaret Leighton in "The Go-Between"
WILLIAM FRIEDKIN for "The French Connection", Peter Bogdanovich for "The Last Picture Show", Norman Jewison for "Fiddler on the Roof", Stanley Kubrick for "A Clockwork Orange", John Schlesinger for "Sunday, Bloody Sunday"

'Old' and 'New' Hollywood clashed with two biggest rivals in the Best Picture competition:

The winning film had more wins than any other picture of the year: Best Picture, Best Director (young 32 year old William Friedkin), Best Actor, Best Screenplay Adaptation (Ernest Tidyman), and Best Editing (Jerry Greenberg) for the memorable, nerve-wracking, edge-of-your-seat auto chase pursuit sequence through New York's busy city streets). Following In the Heat of the Night (1967), it was only the second Best Picture in Academy history to showcase a police officer as its central character. And it was the first R-rated film to win Best Picture since the institution of the MPAA rating system.

The other three Best Picture nominees also displayed the rift between traditional and edgy pictures were:

The Best Director award was presented to William Friedkin (with his first nomination and win) for his first major feature The French Connection - a tough, suspenseful crime film that preceded the similar cop film Dirty Harry by a few months.

Although his film was not nominated for Best Picture, British director John Schlesinger was nominated as Best Director for his dramatic, sexually-oriented adult drama Sunday, Bloody Sunday (with four nominations and no wins) about an unusual menage a trois between a homosexual, a heterosexual woman, and a bi-sexual artist (the object of the other two's desire). And Peter Bogdanovich was nominated for his deft direction of the episodic story The Last Picture Show (his second feature) - it was probably his finest directorial effort throughout his entire career. Norman Jewison was nominated for his effort in bringing the musical Fiddler on the Roof from Broadway to the screen, and master filmmaker Stanley Kubrick's graphic, sci-fi cult film A Clockwork Orange was dazzlingly unsettling - but unforgettable.

Gene Hackman (with his third career nomination) won the coveted Best Actor award (his first Oscar) for his star-making role as obsessed, foul-mouthed, violent, short-tempered, bigoted, hard-nosed, dedicated, and world-weary undercover narcotics cop Jimmy Doyle (alias 'Popeye'). [Hackman had been twice-nominated in the past as Best Supporting Actor (for Bonnie And Clyde (1967) and the previous year for I Never Sang For My Father (1970)).]

Other Best Actor nominees included:

Anti-Vietnam War activist Jane Fonda (with her second career nomination and first Oscar win) won the Best Actress award for her performance not as Klute (that was the name of the private detective played by Donald Sutherland who hunts down a deviant killer) but as Bree Daniels, a classy, highly-paid, cynical, sexually-disturbed and threatened call-girl stalking victim in Alan Pakula's stylized 70s film noir Klute. Jane Fonda was the first of the famous Fonda movie family to win an Oscar!

Fonda, the only American actress in the race, defeated fellow nominees, all foreign-born competitors, including:

There were a total of four nominees (two were victors) in the supporting acting categories from Bogdanovich's film The Last Picture Show:

The other nominees in the Supporting Actor category included:

The remaining nominees in the Supporting Actress category included:

Best Song award winner Isaac Hayes, for Shaft, was the first African-American to win in that category.

82 year-old legend Charles Chaplin, with his trademark hat and cane, received an Honorary Oscar, after an over 20-year, self-imposed exile in Europe (Switzerland). It was awarded for "the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century." He received a record 12-minute long standing ovation. In his entire career, he had only received six Academy Award nominations: Best Actor and Best Director (Comedy) for The Circus (1927/8), Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for The Great Dictator (1940), Best Original Screenplay for Monsieur Verdoux (1947), and his only win, Best Score for Limelight (1972). His best films in the sound era were neglected: City Lights (1931) and Modern Times (1936).

Oscar Snubs and Omissions:

Other equally-impressive films not nominated for Best Picture included director John Schlesinger's Sunday, Bloody Sunday, director Alan J. Pakula's crime thriller Klute, and director Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie as John McCabe and Constance Miller respectively.

At least three films were completely devoid of nominations: director Don Siegel's Dirty Harry with Clint Eastwood as the definitive vigilante cop Harry Callahan, Roman Polanski's Macbeth, and Nicolas Roeg's provocative drama Walkabout with Jenny Agutter as the coming-of-age 'Girl' in the Australian outback. In her own self-directed tale, A New Leaf, about a near-sighted heiress pursued by a gold-digging Walter Matthau, Elaine May was denied an acting nomination.

Malcolm McDowell, the brilliant main character, juvenile delinquent, Beethoven-loving, aversion-therapy patient Alex in Kubrick's ultra-violent A Clockwork Orange was not nominated, nor was Jack Nicholson for his role as misogynistic Jonathan in director Mike Nichols' Carnal Knowledge (with only one unsuccessful nomination), nor was Jessica Walter as psychopathic fan Evelyn Draper in director/actor Clint Eastwood's Play Misty For Me (without any nominations), nor was Ruth Gordon as free-spirited, eccentric, death-obsessed 79 year-old Maude in director Hal Ashby's Harold and Maude. Cybill Shepherd was denied a nominated as the flirtatious Jacy in The Last Picture Show, as was Susan George as Dustin Hoffman's conflicted wife in Straw Dogs.

Previous Page Next Page