I love 1961. Mostly due to the strength of the year. I also love the Best Picture decision, but, I have a sentimental favorite that didn’t win, and I’m not really sure which I’d vote for, so in a way, it’s tough to think about, because I don’t know what to do, but in another way, I know the decision stands on its own as a strong one, so it’s nice.
West Side Story wins Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actress for Rita Moreno (talked about here). I love all of the decisions, even though I might not necessarily have voted for all of them. Best Actor was Maximilian Schell for Judgment at Nuremberg, which I hate, hate, hate as a decision (gee, you think he hates it?). Paul Newman really should have won for The Hustler here, and even the Academy knew it, because when they finally gave him his Oscar in 1986, they gave it to him for the sequel to The Hustler. And Best Actress was Sophia Loren for Two Women (talked about here), which I’m very open about hating as a decision.
So that leaves only this category, which is pretty cut and dry and makes perfect sense.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1961
And the nominees were…
Federico Fellini, La Dolce Vita
Stanley Kramer, Judgment at Nuremberg
Robert Rossen, The Hustler
J. Lee Thompson, The Guns of Navarone
Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins, West Side Story (more…)
I just watched the movie Boom Town, with Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and Claudette Colbert.
Near the end of the film, as Gable and Colbert’s marriage is breaking up, Tracy, seeing that Colbert loves Gable and that Gable has lost sight of the fact that he loves Colbert, goes over to Gable’s office and tells him to divorce Colbert because he (Tracy) is going to take her away on a trip and marry her. And this causes the two men to have a big brawl, and causes Gable to realize that he loves his wife.
And Gable goes home all steamed. He goes right up to Colbert (who knows nothing about what Tracy did and never had any intentions of running away with him) and says he won’t let her run away with Tracy. And Colbert at first wonders what’s going on, but soon realizes what happened and doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t say anything, because all she wants is for Gable to love her. So she listens as Gable tells her how he refuses to let her leave because he’s her husband, and — I swear to you — this exact exchange occurs:
Gable: “You’re my girl, see, and you always will be. Even if I have to lick you to prove it.”
Colbert: (nods enthusiastically) “I’m your girl. You can lick me if it’ll help.”
Gable: “I’ll save it for when you need it.”
Then they kiss and we fade to the next scene. They put this scene in the movie! This, my friends, is why the 30s and 40s were better.