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When Don Corleone Met Spicoli

April 13, 2011

What do The Godfather II (1974) and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) have in common? (In case you’re wondering, only one of them won Best Picture. I’ll leave it to you to guess which one.)

Well, aside from being works of genius in their own way, both these movies feature 3 Best Actor winners before any of them had actually won their Oscars. In The Godfather II, there’s Robert Deniro, Robert Duvall and Al Pacino. And in Fast Times, there’s Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn and Forest Whitaker.

In The Godfather II camp, Deniro (who won Best Supporting Actor for playing the young Don Corleone in that film) won his second Oscar for his iconic portrayal of boxer Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull (1980). Duvall won Best Actor three years later for playing an alcoholic country music singer in Tender Mercies (1983). And Pacino, after a 7-time Oscar losing streak, finally took home the statue for his performance as a blind retired army officer in Scent of a Woman (1994).

As for the Fast Times trio, Cage won in 1994 for playing a self-destructive alcoholic in Leaving Las Vegas. (In Fast Times, Cage is credited under his real name “Nicolas Coppola”—yes, he’s Francis Ford’s nephew.) Jeff Spicoli…I mean, Sean Penn, won Best Actor for his very un-Spicoli performances in Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008). And Whitaker won for playing brutal dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland (2006).

Incidentally, both The Godfather II and Fast Times were penned by Oscar-winning screenwriters: Francis Ford Coppola and Cameron Crowe, respectively…And it appears that the Coppola name is yet another common link between them!

As Spicoli might say: that’s, like, totally bitchin’!

Now for you film buffs who enjoy a challenge: there’s currently only one other movie in this category (a movie that features 3 Best Actor winners before any of them had won their Oscars). Can you name the movie? First one to email me the answer by midnight on Thursday, April 14th, gets a $10 iTunes gift certificate from yours truly!

(P.S. – Special thanks to my buddy Peter Klausner for inspiring today’s post. Not that you remind me of Spicoli. Well…maybe just a little.)

4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 13, 2011 3:42 pm

    No clue, but just wasted a half hour trying to figure it out!

  2. Angie Girl permalink
    April 13, 2011 8:40 pm

    Dang thats a hard one. I thought I knew Oscar trivia. I want that Itunes certificate!


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