The Best Man Overview:

The Best Man (1964) was a Comedy - Drama Film directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and produced by Lawrence Turman and Stuart Millar.

Academy Awards 1964 --- Ceremony Number 37 (source: AMPAS)

AwardRecipientResult
Best Supporting ActorLee TracyNominated
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Quotes from

President Art Hockstader: Power is not a toy we give to good children. It is a weapon. And the strong man takes it and uses it. If you don't go down there and beat Joe Cantwell to the floor with this very dirty stick, then you've got no business in the big league. Because if you don't fight, the job is not for you. And it never will be.


President Art Hockstader: [Slyly] You know, those rumors about you and lady friends... they won't do you a bit of harm.


Joe Cantwell: I don't understand you.
William Russell: I know you don't. Because you have no sense of responsibility towards anyone or anything. And that is a tragedy in a man, and a disaster in a president.


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Facts about

Adapted from a stage production that opened on Mar. 31, 1960 at the Morosco Theatre in New York and ran for 520 performances. Lee Tracy repeated the role that he created on Broadway and was nominated for the 1960 Tony Award for Best Actor for his performance. Melvyn Douglas originally played William Russell in the play, the Henry Fonda role in the film. The play also won the 1960 Tony Award for Best Play, written by Gore Vidal who also penned the screenplay for the movie version.
Gore Vidal cheerfully admitted that he meant the character of William Russell to remind people of Adlai Stevenson and that Joe Cantwell was based on Richard Nixon. Stevenson and Nixon were, of course, in different parties. Similarly, the character of the former President played by Lee Tracy bore resemblances to both the Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Democrat Harry Truman.
One of the filming locations is the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. In 1968, Robert Kennedy was assassinated here during his campaign to win the Democratic Party's nomination for president.
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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1964






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Also directed by Franklin J. Schaffner




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Also produced by Lawrence Turman




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Also released in 1964




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