The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#151 Post by movielocke » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:48 am

I've been adding the run times of the BP nominees to my spreadsheet and I've compiled a few interesting statistics: (the Patriot has been omitted and I've not included the 3 unique/artistic noms)

The average runtime is 119.859 minutes

the total runtime of the 264 nominees involved in this set of the alternate oscars (there are 200 in the 1969-2008 cadre ) is 31,643 minutes or 527.38 hours

the shortest nominee is She Done Him Wrong at 66 minutes

The longest nominee is Cleopatra at 243 minutes

The shortest average runtime for a year of nominees is 1931/32 at 91.75 minutes (the longest nominee was Grand Hotel at 112 minutes)

The second shortest average runtime for a year of nominees is 1932/33 at 94.1 minutes (the longest nominee was Little Women at 115 minutes)

The longest average runtime for a year of nominees is 1956 at 173.2 minutes (the shortest nominee that year, The king and I, was only 133 minutes long)

The second longest average runtime for a year of nominees is 1962 at 172.6 minutes (the shortest nominee that year is To Kill a Mockingbird, merely 129 minutes long)

By decade take a look at how average runtime of the nominees changed:
I included 29/30 in the twenties, and began the thirties with 30/31. I only included up to 1968 for the sixties.

20s: 1240 minutes, 12 nominees, average of 103.33 minutes long
30s: 9472 minutes long, 87 nominees, average of 108.87 minutes long
40s: 8302 minutes long, 70 nominees, average of 118.6 minutes long
50s: 6395 minutes long, 50 nominees, average of 127.9 minutes long
60s: 6495 minutes long, 45 nominees, average of 144.33 minutes long

a bit depressing to see films get so much damned longer decade by decade.

nighthawk4486
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#152 Post by nighthawk4486 » Sun Sep 13, 2009 9:05 am

1962

Of course, 1962 has the second longest average running time because two of the nominees are ridiculously bloated epics (not to mention the brilliant epic that won).

Lawrence of Arabia - #1 - as I read more and more classic critics like Kael, Kauffman, Sarris, Thomson, I get more and more frustrated at their treatment of David Lean, who I still hold up as one of the most brilliant directors of all-time (if only he had made Nostromo!) - this is a prime example, a brilliant epic portrait of a charismatic nut - with Peter O'Toole giving one of the best performances in the history of film, not to mention some of the best cinematography and music in film history

To Kill a Mockingbird - #2 - on my list comes in second to Lawrence in most categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Score) - Peck is so perfect, but doesn't compare to O'Toole - though I do agree with its Screenplay win

The Music Man - #3 on the list - a movie I must have watched some 8000 times as a kid because it's one of my mother's favorite films - but the more I watch it, the more I love it - I definitely fell in love with Shirley Jones as a kid (which was weird because I lived in LA and she did commercials for a local supermarket chain - either Lucky's or Ralph's, I can't remember which) - such an amazing performance from Robert Preston and just such a wonderful film overall

The Longest Day - *** - #57 on the year - not a bad film like Mutiny, but certainly not the big brilliant D-Day epic that Zanuck thought he was making (though it did help Fox financially and was nominated, so kudos to Zanuck) - but needed more focus in its story

Mutiny on the Bounty - ** - #81 on the year (of 86 films) - this is a bad film - horrible bloated epic and a lot of the blame lies with Brando - a sad sight to look at him in the 50's, and then see what he does here, both in causing problems for the film and in his performance

my top 8 (my 5 through 8 are almost interchangeable)
#1 - Lawrence of Arabia
#2 - To Kill a Mockingbird
#3 - The Music Man
#4 - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
#5 - Through a Glass Darkly
#6 - Ride the High Country
#7 - The Manchurian Candidate
#8 - Jules and Jim


no Globes because the Dramas are above and the only other worthy comedy besides Music Man is Divorce - Italian Style

need to see:
Tender is the Night
Tlayucan


1963

such an awful collection of nominees - on a 100 point scale, the worst group of nominees in history for me - the only year where only 1 film reaches my BP nomination mark (**** or ***.5) - a very low point for English Language film - only 5 of my top 17 films is EL

Tom Jones - #5 of the year - great fun and a great adaptation - fantastic acting all around (I thought Griffith and Evans both should have won) - so far and away the best of the nominees that it's not even funny

Lilies of the Field - #35 on the year - mid range *** - an okay film with a good performance by Poitier (I don't nominate him - he comes in 7th), but nothing special

America America - #39 on the year - also mid range *** - a different film for Kazan and one of the most forgotten Picture-Director nominees, although, surprisingly not that hard to find

How the West Was Won - low *** - #56 of the year - way too long and though I understand the concept of following different stories, it just gets too convoluted - not a fan of these hugh ensemble pieces that don't allow for any depth

Cleopatra - #77 of the year - *.5 - was the worst film of the year until I recently watched the Sci-Fi 50 Movie Set Box which included Battle of the Worlds - easily the worst film ever nominated for Best Picture, and embarrising in that it almost sank the studio - that Burton and Taylor could be so awful in this and then be so amazing in WAOVW three years later is beyond me

my top 5:
#1 - The Great Escape
#2 - Stray Dog (49 Kurosawa film finally eligible)
#3 - Winter Light (Bergman's depressing brilliant film)
#4 - High and Low (more Kurosawa)
#5 - Tom Jones

my Globes:
Drama - Great Escape / Stray Dog / Winter Light / High and Low / Ivan's Childhood
Comedy - Tom Jones / 8 1/2 / Sanjuro / Sword in the Stone / Il Diavolo

need to see:
Twilight of Honor (most recent acting nom I'm missing)
The Stripper
Wives and Lovers
The Red Lanterns


1964

not quite the same high feeling for this year as others might have

My Fair Lady - high **** - #3 on the year - everything it purports to be - a brilliant entertainment with great production values and a fabulous performance from Harrison and a passable performance by Hepburn (my problem with her isn't the lack of voice - it's that she has too much class to be a guttersnipe - Andrews is more passable for dingy and still believable as a lady)

Dr. Strangelove - so far and away the #1 film of the year - one of the top 10 films ever made - not only should Sellers have won, but Scott should have been nominated and Sterling Hayden should have won for Supporting

Mary Poppins - unlike Music Man, which I have always loved, I liked this as a kid, moved away, and moved back again as I rewatch it and see how wonderful it is and how beautifully it works - using today's categories I give it 16 nominations and even give it Best Song over all the songs from A Hard Day's Night (for Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious)

Becket - mid *** - #41 on the year - one of the most disappointing films ever for me - O'Toole and Burton are so brilliant elsewhere, but just solid here - O'Toole doesn't show the intensity that marked his Lawrence or his later version of Henry - and Burton just doesn't do much here - given the star power and all the nominations I expected to be blown away, but I found it to be pretty much historical film standard - nothing much to get excited about

Zorba the Greek - **.5 - #77 on the year - something about this film has never sat right with me and I don't just think it's my dislike of Anthony Quinn - I find something about it to be disingenious and I can't get past that

my top 5:
#1 - Dr. Strangelove (2nd best film of decade)
#2 - Mary Poppins
#3 - My Fair Lady
#4 - A Hard Day's Night
#5 - Harakiri


my Globes:
Drama - Harakiri / Night of the Iguana / Best Man / Chalk Garden / Pumpkin Eater
Comedy - Dr. Strangelove / Mary Poppins / My Fair Lady / A Hard Day's Night / Americanization of Emily

still need to see:
Fate is the Hunter
The Visit
A House is Not a Home
Kisses for My President
Dear Heart

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movielocke
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#153 Post by movielocke » Sun Sep 13, 2009 7:17 pm

I wish Great Escape had been nominated, that was one of the films, along with Bridge on the River Kwai that helped kick start my love of classic movies when I was a teen.

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movielocke
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#154 Post by movielocke » Mon Sep 14, 2009 3:31 am

rewatched West Side Story tonight at the screening in 70mm at the Egyptian. My opinion is largely unchanged, I appreciate the dance and music more this time around and think there are three excellent numbers in the film (I Feel Pretty, Maria, and America) and the number mocking the police officer is pretty good too. But something about this musical just doesn't click very well for me, certainly not near the level of masterpieces like Singin in the Rain, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins or Sound of Music.

that said, after I felt the first half was kinda draggy I really started getting into the second half. The wedding was quite beautiful and really well done and the fight was intense. In all, the film built and got better and better until all of sudden, screeeeeech! nails on a chalkboard when Maria doesn't die. despite the very good arguments in this thread saying that wasn't a problem it still feels incredibly wrong to me--as wrong as Rhett giving Scarlett a hug and kiss and saying, "we can always have more kids, let's go upstairs" would be. Just absolutely ugh, on a gut level, when the ending comes up. :/

Doc was definitely my favorite part of the film though, and Natalie Wood is really excellent.

just two more films to go, for me, finish the last thirty minutes of Darling and then Mutiny on the Bounty.

nighthawk4486
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#155 Post by nighthawk4486 » Mon Sep 14, 2009 7:50 am

movielocke wrote:In all, the film built and got better and better until all of sudden, screeeeeech! nails on a chalkboard when Maria doesn't die. despite the very good arguments in this thread saying that wasn't a problem it still feels incredibly wrong to me
Oh, that hurts. The first part that hurts is that you like I Feel Pretty, easily the most annoying number in the show. Second, that you even compared it to a ridiculously inferior film like Seven Brides. WSS is so much a better film on every level - acting, directing, writing, all technical aspects, songs, choreography.

But the reason I love WSS when I am not a fan of Romeo and Juliet is the fact that Maria doesn't die. My whole issue with R&J is that the characters are stupid - they react without thinking. Romeo never once stops to think in the whole damn play - great language, but I've always thought it was a dumb play, which a M.A. in Lit hasn't changed.

But Tony isn't Romeo - he doesn't kill himself. And Maria is smart enough not to kill herself. So instead of idiocy we get actual tragedy - it's what I find so poignant about it - it corrects what I see as the fatal flaw in R&J (and if you don't believe me about how ridiculous R&J is, just go back to A Midsummer Night's Dream and see how it is ridiculed with Pyramus and Thisbe).

Anyway, that's my two cents. But I love WSS and have always found SBFSB a bore.

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movielocke
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#156 Post by movielocke » Mon Sep 14, 2009 1:09 pm

choreography, songs, directing are definitely better in SBSB we can possibly debate acting and editing. WSS does have a better musical score, better lighting and locations, though they are equally matched in camera work, imo. The difference in choreography is particularly significant to me. WSS does a poor job of integrating ballet into this world, but the only bit it actually works in is during the fight. It's hard not to laugh at the opening number of WSS, I would hate to resort to saying, "it's soooo gay." but judging by all the chuckles and scoffing from an audience of older cinephiles last night that is how it comes across--it does work better on a big screen than on the small. SBSB, on the other hand, manages what neither WSS, Singin in the Rain or American in Paris could do, it incorporates and adapts ballet into the lives of the characters. So they don't jetee and flap their arms like a lovely swan butterfly when they jump, but every movement has the same precision of motion and flow of action you find in more traditional dance like in WSS or the ballet sequences of SitR or AiP. SBSB has more modern dance, imo, that works better. To put it in a contemporary context, SBSB is more like watching Joshua or Twitch dance on So You Think you Can Dance, while WSS is more like watching Evan. And yeah, it's watching SYTYCD that has made me appreciate the ballet in all three of those films far more than I ever did before. :-p
**

1965
A trio of great nominees makes this an enjoyable year.

Darling – Julie Christie is spectacular in this role that seems every bit as relevant and real today as it did then. There is a bit too much Room at the Top to suit Diana’s taste, it seems, for all that she kept discarding the men who helped her it seems she is the sort that cannot be alone and always needs to be in relationship, always needs someone there. The editing in the film is particularly superb, and the score and photography are no slouches either.

Doctor Zhivago – I expected I would be bored, I expected also to hate it as I particularly sensitive to (and hateful towards) films about cheating at the time, neither expectation was met. I was blown away on every level, the incredible photography, that score, my god the score, the performances and direction were all brilliant.

Ship of Fools – a damned annoying movie that had a few okay performances, fewer okay characters and was mostly a chore to sit through. How dull and lesson-like this particular film was, no elegance at all.

The Sound of Music – How old were you the first time you deconstructed a movie? I was twelve. In our middle school music class we spent two or three weeks dissecting the Sound of Music, the numbers, how they were put together, etc etc. I loved it. The only thing I didn’t like was that we only had time to watch about twenty-thirty minutes of the film each day. So after a few days I went home, popped in my mom’s VHS tapes and watched the whole thing through. I loved it completely. The music is just incredible, it’s embarrassing how many all time great numbers the film has. Do-Re-Mi, Sound of Music, So Long, Farewell, Favorite Things, Edelweiss and so on and so forth. And the story and performances are as good as a musical has ever had. In many ways this is the greatest musical ever, imo.

A Thousand Clowns – The opposite of the big movies it was nominated against this film is an exceptional and absolutely delightful find. Jason Robards is superb as Murray, and although the film is obviously sourced from a play, it is opened up nicely for film.

My vote: the Sound of music
2. Doctor Zhivago
3. A Thousand Clowns
4. Darling
5. Ship of Fools

nighthawk4486
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#157 Post by nighthawk4486 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 10:21 am

movielocke wrote:
The Sound of Music – In many ways this is the greatest musical ever, imo.
Good to know that my dislike of Nashville isn't the only reason Pauline Kael is spinning in her grave. :)

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movielocke
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#158 Post by movielocke » Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:40 am

Finished. (and only 15 films left in the 69-08 half)

1962:
Ah, the year the best film to ever be nominated for best picture—or win—was awarded the big prize, and six others. Also remarkable for having two of my favorite performances of all time in a single year—and I hate to be forced to choose between Peck and O’Toole.

Lawrence of Arabia – to me, as great as they come. I’ve seen it four or five times in 70mm, and it’s always incredible. Filmmaking art at its very finest.

The Longest Day – A very long disappointment, considering the cast, sweep and potential of the film. There are moments of brilliance and moments of charisma from individual actors. Richard Burton, for example, and the scale of the film and its production design is almost mindboggling (were it not for the other films competiting with it this year). Ironic that this is the film on bluray, and not one of the three 70mm films. And putting “Long” in the title is a huge no-no, it just makes you aware of how damned long the movie is.

The Music Man – I was surprised I liked this so much. I’d seen bits and pieces here and there over the years as members of my family watched it, but it always came across as really corny. I realize the dialog is really stagy, and doesn’t even try to be realistic, and I think the dialog is my biggest issue with the film. the film, story, numbers, and performances are all effortlessly charming and often brilliant (Trouble, in particular, is fantastic), the library sequence may be my favorite part of the film though. Lovely, lovely film.

Mutiny on the Bounty – considering nighthawk’s comments I was worried. I needn’t have been, I found the film delightful, relatively light, but tremendously beautiful with spectacular cinematography and a real sense of the sea most of the time. The wide frame really gives you a feel for how small a 90 foot ship really is, something I never got from the more studio bound (and 1.33:1 bound) 1930s version (which has superior performances). A pleasure to watch.

To Kill a Mockingbird – a film that doesn’t quite make my all time top ten (in books or films, it’s around the eleven-twelve placement), but that is only by the skin of its teeth. And it’s a film one can never tire of. Superb acting, beautiful cinematography, a fabulous score and Gregory Peck giving the performance that perhaps means more to me than any other. If ever there was a character in real life or fiction I idolized, it’s Atticus Finch—if I can get away with it, I’ll probably saddle some kid of mine with the middle name of Atticus—and Peck’s performance completely nails the character. It helps that I could scarcely imagine a more perfect Scout (Mary Badham should have won, her work is much more sophisticated than the Helen Keller kid that won), or Jem—though, in perhaps the film’s only weak point, Dil could have been better. And Jesus Christ can this film make me cry, “Miss Jean Louise, Stand Up. Your Father’s passing.” And “Hey, Boo” Wow.

My vote: Lawrence of Arabia
2. To Kill a Mockingbird
3. The Music Man
4. Mutiny on the Bounty
5. The Longest Day

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movielocke
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#159 Post by movielocke » Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:11 am

to recap my votes, now that I'm done:

Unique & Artistic - Sunrise
27-28 - Seventh Heaven
28/29 - Hollywood Revue (would prefer to vote for Patriot)
29/30 - All Quiet on the Western Front
30/31 - The Front Page
31/32 - Five Star Final
32/33 - I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang
34 - The Thin Man
35 - Ruggles of Red Gap
36 - Libeled Lady
37 - Stage Door
38 - Grand Illusion
39 - Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
40 - The Philadelphia Story
41 - How Green Was My Valley
42 - Yankee Doodle Dandy
43 - Casablanca
44 - Wilson
45 - Bells of St. Marys
46 - It's a Wonderful Life
47 - Great Expectations
48 - Treasure of the Sierra Madre
49 - Twelve O'Clock High
50 - All About Eve
51 - A Streetcar Named Desire
52 - The Quiet Man
53 - Roman Holiday
54 - Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
55 - Marty
56 - The Ten Commandments
57 - Bridge on the River Kwai
58 - Gigi
59 - Ben-Hur
60 - The Apartment
61 - The Hustler
62 - Lawrence of Arabia
63 - Lilies of the Field
64 - Dr. Strangelove
65 - The Sound of Music
66 - A Man for All Seasons
67 - In the Heat of the Night
68 - The Lion in Winter

nighthawk4486
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#160 Post by nighthawk4486 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:39 am

1965

a very weak year - only three **** films for the entire year from me of the 69 I've seen - though given what they had to work with the Academy did fairly well with the nominations

The Sound of Music - ***.5 - #7 on the year but would be considerably lower in a lot of years - I'm a bit torn on this - technically it's quite well done and Andrews is magnificent - some of the songs are great (Do-a-deer, My Favorite Things) - but some of them are so grating they make me want to kill myself (What Do You Do With a Problem Like Maria) - there's only so much sugar I can take - I don't go the Kael / Thomson route of hating it, but can't bring myself to think it's great - especially with the ridiculous "menace" of the Nazis - Indiana Jones films present them as more menacing

Dr. Zhivago - easily my #1 of the year - production values off the charts and a phenomenal cast - odd that the weak link is Christie who so deserves her Oscar for Darling, but here is merely beautiful - but all the supporting cast is so magnificent

Darling - high ***.5 - #4 of the year - very good film anchored around the brilliant Christie performance and a script that deserved its Oscar, but just can't make the leap to great

A Thousand Clowns - high ***.5 - #5 on the year - the little film that could that has kind of been lost to time - but this performance from Robards is the kind of cynical, enjoyable performance that I absolutely love - and it opens up and doesn't feel like a staged play

Ship of Fools - the big mistake among the nominees - weak overblown, overlong film - most of the acting is pretty solid but the script is awful - **.5 - #60 on the year

my top 5:
#1 - Dr. Zhivago
#2 - The Pawnbroker
#3 - Repulsion
#4 - Darling
#5 - A Thousand Clowns


my Globes:
Drama - Dr. Zhivago / Pawnbroker / Repulsion / Darling / The Collector
Comedy - Thousand Clowns / Sound of Music / Umbrellas of Cherbourg / Thunderball

need to see:
Casanova 70
Dear John
Blood on the Land


1966

again, a weaker year - only 4 **** films and two of those are low **** out of 72

A Man for all Seasons - #2 on the year - great film all around and I would have no problem with it winning all of its Oscars, except I take away Picture, Actor, Director and A Screenplay and give them to . . .

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf - #1 on the year - one of the great acting displays of all time - a film that like Sunset Boulevard and Streetcar I believe should have won all 4 acting Oscars

The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming - ***.5 - #12 on the year - very enjoyable film, but I wish they had actually given more time to Alan Arkin and less to the family

Alfie - a good representation of what was coming out of Britain and Michael Caine is great, but I don't think it rises above *** - #22 on the year

The Sand Pebbles - possibly the best performance of McQueen's career (might have been better in Love with the Proper Stranger), but McQueen was about presence and not acting (in the Great Escape he might be the coolest person ever put on screen) - good film, but overlong and drags in parts - *** - #29 on the year

my top 5:
#1 - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
#2 - A Man for all Seasons
#3 - The Professionals
#4 - Morgan
#5 - Red Beard

my globes:
Drama - WAOVM / AMFAS / Red Beard / Hamlet (Kozintsev version) / Loves of a Blonde
Comedy - Professionals / Morgan / Fortune Cookie / You're a Big Boy Now / Russians are Coming

need to see still:
Three

PillowRock
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#161 Post by PillowRock » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:00 pm

nighthawk4486 wrote:My whole issue with R&J is that the characters are stupid - they react without thinking.
Well, of course they react stupidly without ever pausing to think. Juliet is just turning 14; and Romeo is .... what? 16? They're right in that range where their hormone to brains ratio should make them stupidly impulsive. Anything else would be poor characterization.

nighthawk4486
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#162 Post by nighthawk4486 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:20 pm

PillowRock wrote:
nighthawk4486 wrote:My whole issue with R&J is that the characters are stupid - they react without thinking.
Well, of course they react stupidly without ever pausing to think. Juliet is just turning 14; and Romeo is .... what? 16? They're right in that range where their hormone to brains ratio should make them stupidly impulsive. Anything else would be poor characterization.
Yes, but stupidity isn't a tragic flaw. Whereas what happens to Tony and Maria is tragic (although outside the lines of traditional tragedy because they aren't undone by a tragic flaw). It's why I prefer West Side Story so much (that and the songs are so great).

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#163 Post by nighthawk4486 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 1:05 pm

1967

In the Heat of the Night - #7 of the year - **** - a strong film, a great film, but a lower ranked **** film in a year where there are several films that are just simply better - that and not only shouldn't Steiger have won, he wasn't even the strongest performance in his own film

Bonnie and Clyde - #1 of the year - **** - far and away the best film of the year - the best film of the decade, in fact - an amazing breakthrough film - a film that is so good that like L.A. Confidential, the Oscar winner for Supporting Actress is actually the weak acting link in the film

The Graduate - #4 of the year - **** - a film that seems to have gone down in many critical opinions over the years - and I admit that in recent years I have bumped Hoffman and Bancroft from the top spots in acting (I still think Ross should have won) - but still a great film with an important place in film and cultural history

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner - #34 of the year - *** - interesting that until I read Pictures at a Revolution I never thought of this as a comedy - always seemed like a stodgy social drama - either way it doesn't rise above what it is - stodgy and old fashioned

Doctor Dolittle - ** - #62 of the year - terrible film - almost sank 20th Century Fox - if you live film, read The Studio by John Gregory Dunne, which does a remarkable job of detailing the making of this film

my top 5:
#1 - Bonnie and Clyde
#2 - Chimes at Midnight (finally eligible)
#3 - Persona
#4 - The Graduate
#5 - In Cold Blood


my Globes:
Drama - Bonnie and Clyde / Chimes at Midnight / Persona / In Cold Blood / Point Blank
Comedy - Graduate / Two for the Road / Elvira Madigan / Barefoot in the Park / The Jungle Book

need to see:
Banning
El Amor Brujo
Portrait of Chicko


1968

Oliver! - #21 on the year - high *** - enjoyable in parts with great performances from Reed and Moody, but as with many adaptations, Oliver is too damn annoying - I'm also not a big fan of the songs - that it won over Lion in Winter is ridiculous

The Lion in Winter - #2 on the year - such amazing performances - Robertson winning over O'Toole might be the most one-sided bad Oscar choice ever - and that Hopkins wasn't even nominated is absurd - a truly great film

Funny Girl - #22 on the year - high *** - another enjoyable film with a fantastic performance by Streisand, but not really at the level of Best Picture

Rachel, Rachel - #27 on the year - *** - good film and Woodward is great, but it never really clicked with me

Romeo and Juliet - #43 on the year - *** - as I said in the previous posts, I don't much like Romeo and Juliet - the language is beautiful, but I find the characters to be tired and stupid - the one exception is the Luhrmann, which really infused fresh like into it

my top 5:
#1 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
#2 - The Lion in Winter
#3 - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
#4 - The Producers
#5 - Rosemary's Baby


my Globes:
Drama - 2001 / Lion in Winter / TGTBATU / Rosemary's Baby / Belle de Jour
Comedy - Producers / Closely Watched Trains / Fireman's Ball / Odd Couple

need to see:
NOTHING - have actually seen them all

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reno dakota
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#164 Post by reno dakota » Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:25 pm

nighthawk4486 wrote:Bonnie and Clyde - #1 of the year - **** - far and away the best film of the year - the best film of the decade . . .
For a moment, I thought this must be the craziest thing I've read in quite some time. Then I remembered this one:
nighthawk4486 wrote:Sunset Boulevard - the single greatest film ever made
:shock:

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reno dakota
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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#165 Post by reno dakota » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:15 pm

1948:

Hamlet – A decent film and solid, but not terribly remarkable, adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. Its greatest strengths, I think, are its set design and its cinematography, which do much of the hard work of establishing the mood and texture of the film. Apart from this, Laurence Olivier’s performance is quite good, but little else moved me or involved me deeply.

Johnny Belinda – A sentimental melodrama that begins as an intimate character piece and ends as something of a message picture (in a courtroom, of course). The narrative covers quite a bit of ground, growing more unbelievable as it moves along, before very nearly going off the rails in the end. The performances are Negulesco’s saving grace here, providing just enough tenderness and charm to make up for all the ways in which the film doesn’t quite work.

The Red Shoes – I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more vibrant film about dance, or a more astute study of artistic passion, than this one. Everything about this production is fresh, elegant and intensly alive, including the performances from the always wonderful Anton Walbrook, and Moira Shearer in a stunning debut. A truly beautiful film.

The Snake Pit – A well-made film, but one whose relentlessly gloomy content kept me at a distance. Olivia de Havilland’s performance is the only compelling aspect of the film, but while she is quite good in her quiet moments, her hysterical ones were tough to bear. If not for that, and for the overly aggressive scoring and chaotic story structure, I might have liked this one more.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – An excellent film about the dark side of human nature. As well as being well crafted on all fronts, there are some fine performances on display here. Humphrey Bogart delivers a wonderful, if occasionally over the top, portrait of wild-eyed madness, and Walter Huston gives us more evidence of his greatness with his rich, lived-in performance as the one character who knows better than the others the dangers of greed. This is certainly a bleak picture, but it is still an exhilirating entertainment.

My vote: The Red Shoes


1949:

All the King’s Men – This was my first Rossen film and what an impressive place to start! It’s amazing to me just how much intrigue and character development he has packed into 110 fluidly paced minutes. I cannot speak to how accurately the screenplay adapts Warren’s novel, but as a piece of cinema, everything works. The editing is efficient, but not flashy, and the performances, particularly from Broderick Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge, are perfectly in step with the honest, gritty texture of the story. Even though it is not my pick for the year, it is still a solid winner.

Battleground – A gripping war film, beautifully shot in snow and fog. The story, which stays tightly focused on a company of soldiers under German assault, works by a slow accretion of devistation and loss. It’s not among the most profound or moving war films I’ve seen, but it is effective and memorable.

The Heiress – An stunning film from Wyler that is much better than any of his Bette Davis projects. Olivia de Havilland is so good here that she could carry the film by herself. Luckily, she doesn’t have to, as every element of the production is about as strong as one could hope. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Henry James without a sweet, innocent woman surrounded by wicked and lothesome characters. This one deserves to be more widely appreciated.

A Letter to Three Wives – A decent entertainment, but nothing to rave about. There are several strong performances here, most notably from Kirk Douglas and Thelma Ritter. They each bring a sharp wit and an easygoing charm to their scenes, which makes the rest of the film feel a bit flat by comparison. It’s too bad that there are so many scenes without them.

Twelve O’Clock High – An okay film, but it suffers from a labored setup, which does far more explaining than it needs to, and far to little character orientation or story construction. There are a few stirring passages late in the film, as well as a number of nicely observed moments (the infirmary scene between Gregory Peck and Hugh Marlowe, in particular) in which characters deal with the pressures and tragedies of war, but too often the film seems to have barely enough energy to keep itself going. A leaner approach would have served this material better, I think.

My vote: The Heiress

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#166 Post by nighthawk4486 » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:54 pm

reno dakota wrote:
nighthawk4486 wrote:Bonnie and Clyde - #1 of the year - **** - far and away the best film of the year - the best film of the decade . . .
For a moment, I thought this must be the craziest thing I've read in quite some time.
My top 10 films of the 1960's:

#1 - Bonnie and Clyde
#2 - Dr Strangelove
#3 - Lawrence of Arabia
#4 - Wild Bunch, The
#5 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
#6 - West Side Story
#7 - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
#8 - Apartment, The
#9 - Chimes at Midnight
#10 - To Kill a Mockingbird

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#167 Post by domino harvey » Fri Sep 25, 2009 12:54 am

I swear to God, the next person who posts what their seventeenth favorite movie from 1952 was or whatever is having their ballot revoked

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#168 Post by knives » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:06 am

nighthawk4486 wrote: My top 10 films of the 1960's:

#1 - Bonnie and Clyde
#2 - Dr Strangelove
#3 - Lawrence of Arabia
#4 - Wild Bunch, The
#5 - 2001: A Space Odyssey
#6 - West Side Story
#7 - Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
#8 - Apartment, The
#9 - Chimes at Midnight
#10 - To Kill a Mockingbird
Have you not seen one French New Wave film? Or how about the Kobayashi or Kurosawa stuff? And that's just the ultra cannon stuff.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#169 Post by nighthawk4486 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:16 am

knives wrote:Have you not seen one French New Wave film? Or how about the Kobayashi or Kurosawa stuff? And that's just the ultra cannon stuff.
I think Godard is the single most over-rated director in the history of film. To me the best French films of the 60's (Jules and Jim, Shoot the Piano Player) rank slightly lower. Kobayashi's best film of the 60's (Harakiri) also ranks somewhat lower.

As for Kurosawa - well, I've seen every film he has ever made and I am a firm believer that he is the greatest director that ever lived. That said, the very best work of Kurosawa was outside the 60's (in chronological order - Stray Dog in the 40's, Rashomon, Ikiru, Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood in the 50's, Ran in the 80's). His best films of the 60's (High and Low, Yojimbo, Bad Sleep Well) don't rank as high. Overall, I've seen 713 films made in the 1960's. My top 10 Foreign films made in the 60's would be:

#1 - Virgin Spring, The
#2 - Z
#3 - Persona
#4 - Harakiri
#5 - Ivan's Childhood
#6 - Belle de Jour
#7 - High and Low
#8 - Winter Light
#9 - Through a Glass Darkly
#10 - Jules and Jim

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#170 Post by reno dakota » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:48 am

nighthawk4486 wrote:As for Kurosawa - well, I've seen every film he has ever made and I am a firm believer that he is the greatest director that ever lived.
Do you not realize just how ridiculous claims like this one (and the above) are? Unless you have actually seen the works of every director that ever lived (or, in the case of Sunset Blvd., every film ever made), what purpose do these outrageous superlatives serve?

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#171 Post by nighthawk4486 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:56 am

reno dakota wrote:
nighthawk4486 wrote:As for Kurosawa - well, I've seen every film he has ever made and I am a firm believer that he is the greatest director that ever lived.
Do you not realize just how ridiculous claims like this one (and the above) are? Unless you have actually seen the works of every director that ever lived (or, in the case of Sunset Blvd., every film ever made), what purpose do these outrageous superlatives serve?

Then why argue about film at all? I've just spent the last several months writing posts about my top 100 directors of all-time (http://nighthawknews.wordpress.com/tag/directors/) and I enjoy doing it. And I have no problems when people disagree with my lists.

But so then, do you disagree with my placement of B&C and SB or just dislike such absolute statements? Because either way, you were polite about it and not snarky and doubting my credentials like knives was.

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#172 Post by reno dakota » Fri Sep 25, 2009 8:15 am

nighthawk4486 wrote:Then why argue about film at all?
Surely we can still argue about film without best ever claims.
nighthawk4486 wrote:But so then, do you disagree with my placement of B&C and SB or just dislike such absolute statements?
Both, but while I think it is at least possible for you to defend your placement of the films (though not an easy task :wink: ), I don't believe you are entitled to the language you are using to do so. I have nothing against absolute statements, as long as they don't overextend. Why not, instead, call these films favorites or the best films I've seen?

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#173 Post by nighthawk4486 » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:30 am

I'll pitch the other direction and list the worst films I've seen in each of the years we're covering before I list the best (they're not my favorites - I distinguish between my favorites - the films I watch most often - and what I consider the best - the films I think that is the highest on an artistic scale). The first film is the worst eligible film for each year. If there is a film in parenthesis, it is the worst Oscar nominated film (for any category) from that year (unless the worst film was Oscar nominated). A lot of these films were added this summer when I made the mistake of watching that box set of 50 Sci-Fi films (which are all pretty much terrible).

1927-28 - 40 films - The Crowd (we've been over this before - I think it's dreadfully boring)
1928-29 - 23 films - Coquette
1929-30 - 30 films - The Divorcee
1930-31 - 33 films - Min and Bill
1931-32 - 32 films - The Champ
1932-33 - 52 films - Oliver Twist (She Done Him Wrong)
1934 - 34 films - Viva Villa
1935 - 47 films - Annie Oakley (Naughty Marietta)
1936 - 47 films - Cain and Mabel
1937 - 45 films - In Old Chicago
1938 - 44 films - Under Western Stars
1939 - 48 films - Jamaica Inn (Gulliver's Travels)
1940 - 63 films - One Million B.C.
1941 - 63 films - King of the Zombies
1942 - 55 films - Black Dragons (Black Swan)
1943 - 52 films - Thank Your Lucky Stars
1944 - 54 films - One Body Too Many (Dragon Seed)
1945 - 47 films - Detour (Captain Kidd)
1946 - 44 films - The Outlaw (The Dolly Sisters)
1947 - 57 films - Queen of the Amazons (The Farmer's Daughter)
1948 - 63 films - Green Grass of Wyoming
1949 - 57 films - Under Capricorn (Little Women)
1950 - 61 films - Wabash Avenue
1951 - 52 films - Bride of the Gorilla (David and Bathsheba)
1952 - 59 films - Above and Beyond (Million Dollar Mermaid)
1953 - 49 films - Glen or Glenda (Beneath the 12 Mile Reef)
1954 - 59 films - The Silver Chalice
1955 - 62 films - Bride of the Monster (Queen Bee)
1956 - 67 films - Warning from Space (The Bad Seed)
1957 - 66 films - The Incredible Petrified World (Tammy and the Bachelor)
1958 - 63 films - I Want to Live!
1959 - 59 films - Plan Nine from Outer Space (The Best of Everything)
1960 - 69 films - Atom Age Vampire (Butterfield 8)
1961 - 71 films - Creature from the Haunted Sea (Two Women)
1962 - 86 films - Horrors of Spider Island (David and Lisa)
1963 - 78 films - Battle of the Worlds (Cleopatra)
1964 - 85 films - Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Zorba the Greek)
1965 - 69 films - Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (The Greatest Story Ever Told)
1966 - 72 films - Batman (The Oscar)
1967 - 65 films - They Came From Beyond Space (Casino Royale)
1968 - 74 films - Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (Charly)

Bizarre how in a stretch of 4 years, I thought the worst Oscar nominated film was the winner for Best Actress (58, 60, 61).

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#174 Post by reno dakota » Fri Sep 25, 2009 6:55 pm

1950:

All About Eve – An excellent film. The script is sharply written and wickedly funny—with great lines like, “The gentle atmosphere is very Macbethish. What has or is about to happen?”—and the direction and acting couldn’t be stronger or better suited to this material. I loved the gradual unfolding of the layers of calculation and deceit within the story, and the ending is perfect.

Born Yesterday – I’m afraid I don’t quite see the appeal of this one. Between Judy Holliday’s screechy performance and Broderick Crawford’s blustery one, and my wishing that William Holden would turn into Joel McCrea at any moment, I found it hard to enjoy what was (I guess) supposed to be a comedy. If Cukor had been able to build more energy into the film, its 102 minutes might not have dragged by so slowly.

Father of the Bride – Nothing surprising or remarkable here. Spencer Tracy is appealing enough to carry things along, and there are a few charming moments here and there, but the fact that this film was nominated over far better ones like The Third Man and The Furies (both eligible here) is a shame.

King Solomon’s Mines – An occasionally rousing, but mostly flat adventure film. The on-location photography is impressive, but the narrative is rather thin and the compulsory love story thread felt desperate and uninspired. Another film not worthy of its nomination.

Sunset Blvd. – There is much to love here, but ultimately I wish this film had been directed by someone else. The setup is fantastic—a struggling screenwriter stumbling upon the suffocating confines of a reclusive, faded filmstar—but the whole thing would have been much better if Wilder had displayed more empathy for Swanson’s character (or, perhaps, if Swanson herself had given a less caricatured performance). To my way of thinking, a lonely character presented as a deranged relic is far less interesting than a lonely character whose sad delusion is handled with compassion. After all, it’s the studio system that is to blame for Swanson’s broken-down state, not Swanson herself, right? Right.

My vote: All About Eve

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Re: The Alternate Oscars: Best Picture (1927-1968)

#175 Post by reno dakota » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:19 pm

1951:

An American in Paris – A ploddingly paced musical that is almost entirely charmless. Much of my dislike comes down to Leslie Caron—she is not much of an actress and there is zero chemistry between her character and Gene Kelly’s (and it’s not his fault)—but I also found the song and dance numbers rather aimless and inconsequential. In the end, the whole picture seemed to me an excuse to stage a number of colorful and elaborate sequences to the music of Gershwin. Here is a Best Picture winner that is not even worthy of its nomination.

Decision Before Dawn – A gritty and suspenseful war film that grows more tense and heartbreaking as it goes along. Oskar Werner is excellent here as a German soldier turned spy for the Allies, and the on-locating filming in the crumbling ruins of several bombed-out German cities, reminded me of a few of Andrzej Wajda’s early films. The opening and closing voice-overs do mar the film’s elegant authenticity, but it’s easy to forgive such missteps in a film this strong.

A Place in the Sun – A decent film whose only great strength is Montgomery Clift’s performance. His quiet manner, and the way he shows us his increasing desperation and the slow erosion of his spirit, are wonderful to watch. The rest of the cast is less impressive—I fail to see the appeal of Elizabeth Taylor’s performance (or her character), and poor Shelley Winters isn’t allowed to stay around for very long (between this and The Night of the Hunter, she would do well to stay away from large bodies of water). Add to all of this a very somber conclusion, sorely lacking in subtlety, and you have a truly gloomy film.

Quo Vadis – A richly textured and beautifully filmed epic that is stronger in several of its set-pieces than it is overall. I was particularly impressed by the burning of Rome sequence, which is fantastically staged, and by several of the long sequences in which Peter Ustinov’s Nero teeters on the edge of madness. Less effective (but still skillfully handled) were the love story sequences involving Deborah Kerr and Robert Taylor, and the literal depictions of divine revelation, but the film is still wonderfully entertaining and certainly deserving of its nomination.

A Streetcar Named Desire – All of my problems with this film boil down to one thing: Blanche DuBois. I can’t decide if it’s Vivien Leigh’s performance that I don’t like, or just the character itself, but either way it simply does not work. She is acting in an entirely different register from the rest of the cast, which makes her performance (and the character) both out of place and intensely irritating to watch. Thank heavens for Marlon Brando’s emotionally raw and sensual performance, and Kim Hunter’s subtle and affecting work, both of which make the film enjoyable overall.

My vote: Decision Before Dawn (just barely over Quo Vadis)


1952:

The Greatest Show on Earth – Not a good film. Sure, it’s grand and colorful and lavishly produced, but to what effect? I suppose if you find a series of circus sequences entertaining, or you are enthralled by costume spectacle, this might be your kind of film. Aside from a single affecting moment near the end, I found it to be a flashy and shallow picture—which, I suppose, is typical DeMille.

High Noon – A good film, but one whose lofty reputation is undeserved, despite it having an appealing setup and a solid performance from Gary Cooper. One problem is the lazy way in which Zinnemann builds tension though a dozen or so quick shots of clocks on the wall. We should be anxious about the approach of the Miller gang because of their looming presence, or the mounting dread within the town, or because the screenplay has given us enough back-story to know what a deadly encounter we are about to witness, but not primarily because the clocks keep reminding us of their impending arrival. This device certainly keeps us informed, but it turns the whole picture into a rather empty countdown. By the time the noon train arrived, I didn’t care enough about any of the characters to have much interest in the outcome. Perhaps if I had seen this one before any of the Ford, Hawks, or Mann westerns, I might have liked it more.

Ivanhoe – A mediocre costume drama that plays like a thin retread of The Adventure of Robin Hood. Here we return to the same period of time, for a story told in the same grand style, but this time it does not work nearly as well. For one thing, Robert Taylor is no Errol Flynn, and he is unable to infuse the film with the sort of playful charm that Flynn provided in the earlier film. Also problematic are the screenplay, which tries to cover too much material, and Thorpe’s direction, which brings very little life to the proceedings.

Moulin Rouge – A modestly constructed, but disappointing biopic. After a colorful and bawdy opening sequence, the film’s energy level drops substantially. José Ferrer does what he can with his role, but the rest of the cast does not fair nearly as well. It’s hard to say if the weak link here is Huston’s rather flat direction, or the unimaginative and stale screenplay, but the result is a curiously lifeless picture.

The Quiet Man – An intimate and often very funny film from Ford. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara are quite good here, and the supporting cast, which is full of Ford regulars, is strong as well. The film might have been better had it not descended into near-slapstick during its final twenty minutes, but even during this material the film never loses its light touch, or strays too far from the passion of its best sequences.

My vote: The Quiet Man

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