ⓘ 40th Academy Awards

                                     

ⓘ 40th Academy Awards

The 40th Academy Awards honored film achievements of 1967. Originally scheduled for April 8, 1968, the awards were postponed to two days later, April 10, 1968, because of the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Bob Hope was once again the host of the ceremony.

Due to the increasing rarity of black and white feature films, the awards for cinematography, art direction and costume design were combined into single categories rather than a distinction between color and monochrome. The Best Picture nominees were an eclectic group of films reflecting the chaos of their era. The event was the first one since the 1948 awards show to feature film clips from the Best Picture nominated films.

This years nominations also marked the first time that three different films were nominated for the "Top Five" Academy Awards: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay. The three films were Bonnie and Clyde, The Graduate and Guess Whos Coming to Dinner. However, the winner of Best Picture was producer Walter Mirisch and director Norman Jewisons thriller/mystery film, In the Heat of the Night.

The Graduate is, as of the 92nd Academy Awards, the last film to win Best Director and nothing else.

Due to an all-out push by Academy President Gregory Peck, 18 of the 20 acting nominees were present at the ceremony. Only Katharine Hepburn and the late Spencer Tracy, who was nominated posthumously, were missing.

                                     

1. Winners and nominees

Nominations were announced on February 19, 1968. Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger.

Honorary Oscar

Arthur Freed was presented for distinguished service to the Academy and the production of six top-rated Awards telecasts.

                                     

2. Trivia

  • There was no Governors Ball.
  • Of the 20 performers nominated in the acting categories only two didnt attend: Katharine Hepburn, whose award for Best Actress was accepted by George Cukor, was in France filming The Lion in Winter, and Spencer Tracy, whose nomination was posthumous.
  • Legendary film composer John Williams received his first nomination for scoring Valley of the Dolls. He would go on to receive 50 more nominations, winning 5.
  • Alfred Hitchcocks acceptance speech is on record as one of the shortest in Academy Awards history: "Thank you very much indeed". This is one word longer than William Holden´s acceptance speech for Stalag 17 at the 26th Academy Awards, which was simply "Thank you. thank you."
  • This was the only year in which two films Bonnie and Clyde and Guess Whos Coming to Dinner received nominations in all four acting categories.
  • This was the last Oscars broadcast by network radio in the US. The ABC radio network which had just split into four separate services carried the ceremony over the ABC Entertainment network.
  • Prior to the two-day postponement, four African-American stars who were scheduled to take part in the ceremony: Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis Jr., Louis Armstrong and Diahann Carroll, announced they were withdrawing in mourning for Dr. King. Prior to the postponement, Jack Lemmon was announced as a replacement for Poitier, and Shirley Jones for Davis, but once the event was delayed, the original quartet returned.