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Oscars golden anniversary: ‘The French Connection’ and ‘The Last Picture Show’ won 50 years ago

Oscars golden anniversary: ‘The French Connection’ and ‘The Last Picture Show’ won 50 years ago

Though there were vestiges of traditional Hollywood in 1971 with the releases of big musical “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Bedknobs and Broomsticks” and an extravagant, albeit old-fashioned, historical epic “Nicholas & Alexander,” it was the untraditional fare that dominated the year with such films as Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” Alan J. Pakula’s “Klute,” Gordon Parks’ “Shaft” and John Schlesinger’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday.”

Two of the most lauded and influential films of the 1970s made their debuts 50 years ago and earned places in Oscars history: Peter Bogdanovich’s black-and-white study of a dying Texas town “The Last Picture Show” and William Friedkin’s pulsating crime thriller “The French Connection.”

Both directors had made movies before, but these productions made them critics darlings and each film changed the careers of their stars. “The French Connection’ won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, director, and actor for Gene Hackman. “The Last Picture Show

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