Did You Know? The first X-rated film to be nominated for an Academy Award was… – American Film Institute


Did You Know? The first X-rated film to be nominated for an Academy Award was…

Fifty years ago this year, MIDNIGHT COWBOY was the first X-rated film to be nominated for and win an Academy Award. It won an Oscar for Best Picture, Directing and Writing at the 42 Academy Awards on April 7, 1970.

Despite the X-rating, which prevented a wide release, it became one of the top-grossing films of 1969.

More about MIDNIGHT COWBOY From the AFI Catalog:

In 1971, UA re-submitted MIDNIGHT COWBOY to the MPAA and it was subsequently re-released as an R film. Prior to the re-rating, a fourteen-year-old girl sued a Minneapolis theater for denying her admission. Although the lawsuit was dismissed, the girl’s stepfather filed a request for the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn the decision, calling her complaint “a test case of an exhibitor’s right to refuse to sell tickets to certain customers.”

When director John Schlesinger cast Viva, a frequent collaborator of Andy Warhol’s, the actress excitedly called Warhol to tell him in the news. Schlesinger witnessed the call, during which Viva overheard Warhol being shot by the radical feminist Valerie Solanas. Viva later spent time on the set of MIDNIGHT COWBOY making audio recordings for Warhol, who was in the hospital, recuperating from the assassination attempt.

For even more historical information about MIDNIGHT COWBOY, read its entry on the AFI Catalog.

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