You are currently viewing 365 Days of Oscar: Everybody’s Talkin’ Bout “Midnight Cowboy”

365 Days of Oscar: Everybody’s Talkin’ Bout “Midnight Cowboy”

Fifty-four years ago today, the 42nd Academy Awards were presented at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. For the second year in a row, there was no official host. This was the first Academy Awards ceremony to be broadcast via satellite to an international audience, though outside North America, Mexico and Brazil were the only countries to broadcast the event live.

One year after Oliver! became the only G-rated film to win Best Picture, Midnight Cowboy became the first and only X-rated film to win, though its rating was changed in 1971 to R after the MPAA revised its ratings criteria. Only one other X-rated film has been nominated for Best Picture since, Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971), which was also subsequently downgraded to an R rating (though this was a result of cuts to the original film).

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? set an Oscar record by receiving nine nominations without one for Best Picture. This was later tied with The Poseidon Adventure and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This was the last time until the 68th Academy Awards wherein none of the four winning performances came from Best Picture nominated films, as well as the first ceremony in which every acting nomination was in color.

This article is part of a special year-long series of anecdotes, reflections and thoughts about the Academy Awards.