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40 years ago today: 'Patton' was released, then slapped Oscar

April 2, 2010 | 12:32 pm

Exactly four decades ago today "Patton" was released to theaters, grossing  $61.7 million on a budget of $12 million. At the Oscars, the biopic about bully World War II general George S. Patton was nominated for 10 awards, winning seven, including best picture of 1970, beating "Love Story" (which had won the Golden Globe),  "Airport," "Five Easy Pieces," and "MASH."

Of course, "Patton" also won the best-actor Oscar for George C. Scott, who refused to accept it, telling reporters, "The ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons."

One month later, however, Scott accepted an Emmy for starring in Arthur Miller's "The Price" on "Hallmark Hall of Fame." It was OK to claim the TV award, he told Variety, because "it's given by a blue ribbon jury of my peers and not as a general vote, like the Oscar."

Photo: 20th Century Fox

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