Cannes Film Fest 1970: Year 23–Altman’s MASH Wins Top Award

The twenty-third Cannes Film Fest, the 23rd edition, was held from May 2 to 16, 1970.

Robert Favre LeBret, the festival’s founder, decided not to include any films from the Soviet Union and Japan. The reason: He was critical of the “Slavic spectacles and Japanese samurai flicks.”

As a result, the Soviets withdrew their juror Sergei Obraztsov (head of Moscow puppet theater), which left the jury with eight members (an even number).

The top prize, the Palme d’Or, went to MASH, Robert Altman’s military satire, starring Elliott Gould.

The festival opened with Les Choses de la vie, directed by vet Frenchman Claude Sautet.

It closed with another French film, Le Bal du Comte d’Orgel, directed by Marc Allégret.

Jury Members

The jury included one woman, one US star (Kirk Douglas) and several directors.

Miguel Ángel Asturias, Ambassador from Guatemala to France, 1967 Nobel Prize winner
  • Guglielmo Biraghi (Italian critic)
  • Kirk Douglas (US actor)
  • Christine Gouze-Rénal (French producer)
  • Vojtěch Jasný (Czech director)
  • Félicien Marceau (playwright)
  • Sergey Obraztsov (withdrawn)
  • Karel Reisz (UK filmmaker)
  • Volker Schlöndorff (German filmmaker)

Feature Film Competition

  • Al-Ard – Youssef Chahine
  • Azyllo Muito Louco – Nelson Pereira dos Santos
  • The Buttercup Chain – Robert Ellis Miller
  • Les Choses de la vie – Claude Sautet
  • Le dernier saut – Édouard Luntz
  • Don Segundo Sombra – Manuel Antín
  • Dramma della gelosia – tutti i particolari in cronaca – Ettore Scola
  • Élise ou la vraie vie– Michel Drach
  • Harry Munter – Kjell Grede
  • Hoa-Binh– Raoul Coutard
  • Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto – Elio Petri
  • Krajobraz po bitwie – Andrzej Wajda
  • Leo the Last– John Boorman (UK)
  • Magasiskola – István Gaál
  • Malatesta – Peter Lilienthal
  • MASH – Robert Altman (US)
  • Metello – Mauro Bolognini
  • Ovoce stromu rajských jíme – Věra Chytilová
  • O Palácio dos Anjos – Walter Hugo Khouri
  • The Strawberry Statement – Stuart Hagmann
  • Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon – Otto Preminger (US)
  • Ha-Timhoni– Dan Wolman (Israel)
  • I tulipani di Haarlem – Franco Brusati
  • Une si simple histoire – Abdellatif Ben Ammar
  • ¡Vivan los novios! – Luis García Berlanga

Films Out of Competition

  • Le Bal du Comte d’Orgel by Marc Allégret
  • Le territoire des autres by Gérard Vienne, Jacqueline Lecompte, Michel Fano, François Bel
  • Mictlan o la casa de los que ya no son by Raúl Kamffer
  • The Virgin and the Gypsy by Christopher Miles
  • They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? by Sydney Pollack (US)
  • Tristana by Luis Buñuel
  • Voyage Chez Les Vivants by Henry Brandt
  • Woodstock by Michael Wadleigh (documentary, US)


Palme d’Or: MASH by Robert Altman
  • Grand Prix:
  • Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto by Elio Petri
  • Jury Prize: Tied
  • The jury was divided with half of its members wanting the film to receive the Golden Palm):
    • Magasiskola – István Gaál
    • The Strawberry Statement – Stuart Hagmann
  • Best Actor: Marcello Mastroianni for Dramma della gelosia – tutti i particolari in cronaca
  • Best Actress: Ottavia Piccolo for Metello
  • Best Director: John Boorman for Leo the Last
  • Best First Work: Hoa-Binh by Raoul Coutard
  • Short Film Palme d’Or: The Magic Machines by Bob Curtis
  • Special Mention Best Short Film: Et Salammbo? by Jean-Pierre Richard
  • Technical Grand Prize: Le Territoire des autres by François Bel
  • FIPRESCI Prize: Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto by Elio Petri