Marlon Brando Alfred Hitchcock

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Click on one of these decades to read about the major stars and movies of the time:

Intro | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s | 1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s

Films are listed as winners in the year the ceremony was held

As America changed, with civil rights marches and the assassination of John F. Kennedy, so too did Hollywood, albeit slowly.

In 1968 the best picture winner In the Heat of the Night, as wells as nominated films Bonnie and Clyde and The Graduate reflected a sterner, more socially conscious America which was to develop in the 1970s.

Spencer Tracy proved his durability, picking up three nominations in the decade, and Bette Davis and Katharine Hepburn remained huge celebrities.

One of the most triumphal Oscar wins of all time was for Ben Hur in 1960 which took a then record-breaking 11 awards. It forever cemented the notion of the historical epic big Oscar winner - a template which directly contributed to later wins for Dances with Wolves, Braveheart and Gladiator.

In 1964 Sidney Poitier became the first black actor to win a best actor award, for his role in Lilies of the Field. Almost three decades later Denzel Washington repeated the feat.

In 1967 the Academy finally got around to giving Alfred Hitchcock an award - the Oscar for lifetime achievement. It was the only time he was to ever get his hands on the golden statuette. He muttered "Thank you" and walked off stage.

Musicals proved popular in the 1960s, with West Side Story, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and Oliver! all awarded best film.

In 1969 the Academy showed again some of its decisions would not stand the test of time. Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, now considered one of the most influential films of all time, was overlooked for both best picture and best director. The honour instead went to Oliver! and Carol Reed.


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