Give ‘Em Hell, Harry (1975): Starring James Whitmore in Oscar Nominated Performance

Avco Embassy

Oscar Nominations: 1

Actor: James Whitmore

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

James Whitmore received his only Best Actor nomination for embodying President Harry S. Truman in this stage-to-screen adaptation, which is still a play.

Rendering a powerful performance, Whitmore reads several of Truman’s famous letters and enunciates with gusto the latter’s famous speeches.

Critics of the Oscar claim that Whitmore got his nomination due to exposure in the then popular L.A. Cabler Z-Channel.

The year of 1975 was full of strong male performances by the likes of Warren Beatty in “Shampoo,” Sean Connery and Michael Caine in “The Man Who Would be King,” and Gene Hackman in “Bite the Bullet,” to mention a few.  There was also controversy whether the men in Spielberg’s “Jaws” belonged in the supporting or lead categories; none was nominated in either.

Most agree, however, that Jack Nicholson deserved his Best Actor Oscar for “One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest,” which swept most of the awards that year.