Posts tagged “1960

Mike’s Top Ten of 1960

I love 1960. I look at my favorite films of this year, and they make me smile. Not just because one of my five favorite films of all time came out this year, but also because legitimately half this top ten list (minimum) is widely considered among the absolute greatest films ever made. Personally, I think that distinction goes about seven or eight deep for this one. Plus, there’s a lot of cool under-the-radar stuff this year as well.

As far as the year goes, I think the major note is that you’re starting to see things turn. You don’t see the standard “studio” movie anymore. You look at most movies from the 50s, and they just feel like studio system movies. The movies are getting longer, they’re starting to feel less artificial and the subject matter is starting to broaden.

You also start to see way more foreign films permeating the lists, as this is part of the golden era of foreign cinema. Certain countries had movements before now, but in the 60s, you’re gonna see a lot of countries producing masterpieces left and right.

1960 is a good year. (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1960

I have quite fond memories of 1960. Mostly because The Apartment is one of my five favorite movies of all time. The Best Picture nominees this year are also very strong. (Sure, we’d all love Psycho here, but even so — they’re strong.)

Outside of Best Picture, The Apartment wins Best Director for Billy Wilder (talked about here), which is nice to see, though I think we can all agree that Hitchcock gave the better effort. It also should have won Best Actress for Shirley MacLaine, but she lost to Elizabeth Taylor for BUtterfield 8 (talked about here). Most people agree that Liz only won because she was very ill at the time and they feared she was going to die. Best Actor was Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry (talked about here), which was a perfect decision. This was probably Lancaster’s greatest performance (this, Birdman of Alcatraz and Sweet Smell of Success are the top three. To me, anyway). He so deserved it. Shirley Jones also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here), which is fine, though I’d have voted for Janet Leigh in Psycho (because of the tricky nature of the performance). And Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Spartacus (talked about here), which is terrific.

Overall, it’s a very strong year. Even the one questionable decision was remedied after the fact, so it’s just a simple, “Yeah, that shouldn’t have happened,” but isn’t so bad outside of the actual category. In all, this is a strong year, anchored by what I consider one of the top ten or fifteen best Best Picture decisions of all time.


And the nominees were…

The Alamo (United Artists)

The Apartment (United Artists)

Elmer Gantry (United Artists)

Sons and Lovers (20th Century Fox)

The Sundowners (Warner Bros.) (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1960

I love 1960. Mostly because The Apartment, one of my favorite films of all time (top five, even), wins Best Picture and Best Director for Billy Wilder (talked about here). I love both decisions, even though Hitchcock probably should have won Best Director for Psycho.

Best Actor this year was Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry (talked about here), which was a gerat decision (and was so well-deserved). Shirley Jones also won Best Supporting Actress for the film (talked about here), which was a good decision, even though I’d have gone another way. Best Actress was Elizabeth Taylor for BUtterfield 8 (talked about here), which we all recognize as a bad decision, but it’s not a terrible one, just because they did think Taylor might die and because Shirley MacLaine eventually did win an Oscar. In all, we have a strong year, with all decisions making sense, even if they weren’t necessarily the best decisions.

And then we have this category, which — there was no way any other decision was gonna happen.


And the nominees were…

Peter Falk, Murder, Inc.

Jack Kruschen, The Apartment

Sal Mineo, Exodus

Peter Ustinov, Spartacus

Chill Wills, The Alamo (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1960

Love me some 1960. That’s been the gist of all the articles I’ve written about it so far. The Apartment is one of my five favorite films of all time. I think it was one of the best Best Picture choices of all time. And I love Billy Wilder winning Best Director for it, though, as I said here, Hitchcock really should have won this for Psycho. It’s just a fact of life.

Then, Best Actor (which I talked about here) was Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry, which is just a wonderful decision, Best Actress was Elizabeth Taylor for BUtterfield 8, which, as I said here,  was a tough situation, and has a reputation for being a terrible decision, and it is a terrible decision, but the Academy kind of had their hands tied here, so, I understand it. And Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Spartacus, which is a great decision. Peter Ustinov is awesome.

The real reason I love this year though is the films. The Apartment, Psycho, The Sundowners, Elmer Gantry, Spartacus, Peeping Tom, The Magnificent Seven, Inherit the Wind, La Dolce Vita, Breathless — there are some great films that came out this year. That’s why I love me some 1960.


And the nominees were…

Glynis Johns, The Sundowners

Shirley Jones, Elmer Gantry

Shirley Knight, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs

Janet Leigh, Psycho

Mary Ure, Sons and Lovers (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1960

I love 1960. To me, it’s one of the best years in Academy history. Maybe that’s because one of my favorite films of all time won Best Picture. Might have something to do with it. The Apartment is a film I love dearly. I love that it won. It’s perfect. Billy Wilder winning Best Director? I like it, but, as I said here, it probably wasn’t the best of the decisions that could have been made. (Juuusst a bit outside.)

Then, Best Actress was Elizabeth Taylor for BUtterfield 8, which I talked about here, so I won’t get into it too much, but, the gist of it is, Shirley MacLaine should have won. Read the article to get the full scoop. Then Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Spartacus, and Best Supporting Actress was Shirley Jones for Elmer Gantry. All in all, pretty much every decision here was solid. And then there’s this category, which, while I do have a sentimental favorite, is a well-deserved Oscar to a much-deserved actor for a fantastic performance.


And the nominees were…

Trevor Howard, Sons and Lovers

Burt Lancaster, Elmer Gantry

Jack Lemmon, The Apartment

Laurence Olivier, The Entertainer

Spencer Tracy, Inherit the Wind (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1960

This is one of the more infamous categories in Academy history. It’s widely regarded that the only reason Elizabeth Taylor won here was because she was going through a serious health scare at the time (not uncommon for her, sadly) and had a tracheotomy done. And the Academy, fearing that she’d die, gave this to her as sort of a tribute in case she’d never have the chance to win one again. It’s possible she’d have won anyway, but when even Shirley MacLaine publicly talks shit about the decision (everyone else does too), I think we can safely say that’s why she won. I felt we needed to get that out of the way now. It’s pretty open and shut, how this category should have gone.

As for the rest of the year, The Apartment wins Best Picture, a decision I love, Billy Wilder wins Best Director, a decision I like because I love the film, but don’t like based on who he beat (Hitchcock for Psycho. I talked about it here). Burt Lancaster wins his well-deserved Best Actor award for Elmer Gantry, and Shirley Jones also wins Best Supporting Actress for the film (which, is kind of okay, but, I’d have went with Janet Leigh here. But that’s just me). And Peter Ustinov wins Best Supporting Actor for Spartacus, which, considering he’s one of the premier character actors of all time (and was also in The Sundowners this year), this was without a doubt a great decision.

As for this category, it was always going to come down to Shirley MacLaine and Elizabeth Taylor. They were clearly the two best. Liz’s performance may have been a bit — much — maybe, for a win, but, she was good, so her winning isn’t that terrible a decision. And since Shirley MacLaine eventually got her Oscar, this isn’t as bad a decision as it could have been. So, ultimately, things worked out. But I think we can all agree that Shirley MacLaine should have won here. But, still, isn’t Liz just gorgeous in her movie?


And the nominees were…

Greer Garson, Sunrise at Campobello

Deborah Kerr, The Sundowners

Shirley MacLaine, The Apartment

Melina Mercouri, Never on Sunday

Elizabeth Taylor, BUtterfield 8 (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1960

I do not want to talk about this category. I want to skip over it and leave it as is. I can’t win no matter what I do here. On one hand, Billy Wilder wins this category for a film that, along with Some Like It Hot, defines his career. On the other hand, Alfred Hitchcock directed Psycho. Wilder had an Oscar (three, in fact) already. He won for directing The Lost Weekend and producing it (it won Best Picture). Then he won Best Screenplay for Sunset Boulevard. He also won Best Screenplay this year as well. So in all he won 6 Oscars. Hitchcock won zero. And yet, The Apartment is probably one of my top ten or twenty favorite films of all time. So I can’t win no matter what I do. I hate that.

As for the rest of 1960, The Apartment wins Best Picture, which, I feel is one of the best decisions of all time  (but, I’m biased. Still, I think most people can agree that it’s a very good decision). Best Actor was Burt Lancaster, for his fantastic turn in Elmer Gantry. Shirley Jones also won Best Supporting Actress for the film. Best Actress was Elizabeth Taylor in BUtterfield 8, which is one of the more — controversial Best Actress decisions of all time. Most people acknowledge that Liz won because they thought she was dying and that Shirley MacLaine really should have won. Best Supporting Actor this year was Peter Ustinov for Spartacus.

So, overall, I think this is a pretty good year. I personally would have went another way on Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress — and then there’s the matter of this category — but overall, I think this is a very successful year. This feels like a strong 4/5 movie. And I like that.


And the nominees were…

Jack Cardiff, Sons and Lovers

Jules Dassin, Never on Sunday

Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho

Billy Wilder, The Apartment

Fred Zinnemann, The Sundowners (more…)