Apr. 9, 1963 - In one of the closest contests in years, “Lawrence of Arabia” was named last night the best film of 1962. In a tight race with “To Kill a Mockingbird,” the picture received 7 Oscars at the 35th presentation ceremonies of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. However, “To Kill a Mockingbird” scored when Gregory Peck, its star, won his first Oscar for his portrayal of the widower lawyer. For adapting the screenplay from Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize novel, Horton Foote was also selected for an Oscar. “Mockingbird” also was cited for art direction in a black-and-white film. The award for best actress went to Anne Bancroft for her portrayal of the governess in “The Miracle Worker.” Another award for this movie went to 16-year-old Patty Duke for best supporting actress for her role as Helen Keller. Ed Begley won best supporting actor for his role of the ruthless politician in “Sweet Bird of Youth.” “Lawrence of Arabia” marked the second time Sam Spiegel, the film’s producer, and its director, David Lean, had teamed up to turn out the best movie. They previously did it in 1957 with “Bridge on the River Kwai.” This time, as in “Bridge,” Mr. Lean received an Oscar for his direction. “Lawrence” also won Oscars for cinematography, editing, score, art direction, and sound. Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer received awards for the best original song, “Days of Wine and Roses,” from the film of the same name. The two men received the same award last year for “Moon River,” from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” These back-to-back Oscars were the first time a songwriting team had achieved that feat.
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