To run down the intro quickly — this is a series of articles about what I would nominate in every single Oscar Quest category if I had a ballot. I always felt I should do them, but didn’t want to pull that shit everyone pulls of, “Here’s what I’d nominate,” even though it’s all the same five films they add on and they haven’t even seen half the stuff that was nominated. I know my stuff’s legit, because I’ve seen all the films, but I refused to start this discussion unless I was going to do it with the ability to tell people how to do it the right way, since unless you keep them honest, it’s fucking chaos.
So I decided to, along with picking what I’d vote for, create what I’m calling a Compromise List. The Compromise List is — aside from my personal nominations (which on the whole are pretty close to what would fit the typical notion of “Oscar,” since I’ve seen everything and know what is and what isn’t an “Oscar” movie and actually respect the precedents in place even though I don’t always agree with them enough to not be like, “I vote for Star Trek!”), a list of films that are basically a mix of my nominees and their nominees that I think everyone could live with. The idea is to make a list that works for everyone that’s great, and to cut out all the shit that so clearly shouldn’t be there.
The things to keep in mind: 1) if a category has five nominees, I’m only nominating five films. 2) The lists are only based on what I’ve seen. 3) Don’t bother me with your opinion unless you’re gonna go the full nine and do every single year. 4) If you’re going to attempt something like this — be honest. Don’t get too subjective, and DO NOT take off a film you haven’t seen just to put on a film you have seen. And most importantly, 5) YOU CANNOT take off a Best Picture winner. You can not vote for it on your list, but on your compromise list, the Best Picture winner MUST BE THERE. If it won, you have to include it. No exceptions.
Okay, let’s get to the next set of Best Picture years: (more…)
Today is 1961-1965, and it’s gonna be great:
1961: “MOON RIVER,” FROM BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S
The reason I love 1962 is because of two films (at least, in this category), but look at those two films — Lawrence of Arabia and To Kill a Mockingbird. It’s justified.
The year is actually quite simple to recap as well — Lawrence of Arabia wins Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean (talked about here). There was no way it wasn’t winning either of those two awards. To Kill a Mockingbird wins Best Actor for Gregory Peck (talked about here). No one can disagree with Atticus. Then Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress were Anne Bancroft (talked about here) and Patty Duke (talked about here) for The Miracle Worker, which were both perfect decisions. The only real outlier is Best Supporting Actor, which Ed Begley won for Sweet Bird of Youth (talked about here). I don’t really see how Omar Sharif doesn’t win this for Lawrence of Arabia. Still, that decision isn’t enough to ruin the other five.
And here — it’s pretty simple. One film or the other. We know which was going to win, but many of us (including myself) have to choose the other for personal reasons. Either way, it’s pretty clear this was gonna be a good one whichever way they chose.
BEST PICTURE – 1962
And the nominees were…
Lawrence of Arabia (Columbia)
The Longest Day (20th Century Fox)
The Music Man (Warner Bros.)
Mutiny on the Bounty (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)
To Kill a Mockingbird (U-I) (more…)
Love 1962. Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird — what more do you need?
Lawrence of Arabia wins Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean (talked about here). Gregory Peck wins Best Actor for To Kill a Mockingbird (talked about here). Anne Bancroft wins Best Actress for The Miracle Worker (talked about here). All perfect. Then, Best Supporting Actor was Ed Begley for Sweet Bird of Youth (talked about here). I don’t like that one so much. But it’s not that bad, so it’s just unfortunate rather than terrible.
And then this category — holy shit. Scout Finch and Helen Keller. The two performances that were achieved here — by children, no less. Wow. Just wow.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1962
And the nominees were…
Mary Badham, To Kill a Mockingbird
Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker
Angela Lansbury, The Manchurian Candidate
Shirley Knight, Sweet Bird of Youth
Thelma Ritter, Birdman of Alcatraz (more…)
We’ve reached the 1960s. We had the 2000s and its Terrible Tens, the 1990s and the Films of My Childhood, the 1980s and the Awesomely 80s Movies, and the 1970s and my 70s Recommendations. Now come my favorite films of the 1960s.
Just like the other decades, along with the Top Ten, I’ll also list an 11-15 (or 20, depending on how strong the year is) list at the bottom to make it easier for me in the future. The idea is that when I do revisit these lists and see how my tastes have changed, I’ll have more than just ten films immediately on hand to get a sense of which films made it on or fell off the Top Ten list. (Let me remind you: the lists only include (or exclude) the films from these years that I’ve seen. As I see and like more films from the decade, the lists will be updated accordingly.)
Now there’s the issue of the extra category. As I always do, I like to include an extra category besides the 11-15; the Terrible Ten, the Films of My Childhood, the Awesomely 80s Movies, etc. This time, for the 60s — it’s not a particularly consistent decade. That is, with the 80s, they had 80s movies. The 60s don’t really have that. They were more of a combination of the end of the studio system and the changing film landscape and the end of the production code (epitomized by Bonnie and Clyde). So my 60s list will be what I’m calling “Out with the old, In with the new.” That is, films (good films, mind you. Not just any films. I had to have least liked them enough to put them on) that either typify the fading studio system (“out with the old”) or the emergence of New Hollywood (“in with the new”), as well as “other good films too,” which are ones that don’t necessarily fit in either category, but are also pretty great. “Out with the old, in with the new, and other good films too.”
So here are my Top Tens of the 1960s: (more…)
Love me some 1962. You get Lawrence of Arabia and you get To Kill a Mockingbird. And the great thing about it is — you know Lawrence was winning no matter what, so there’s really no argument to be had. We can just be happy for all the great movies.
Lawrence of Arabia wins Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean (talked about here). Gregory Peck wins Best Actor for To Kill a Mockingbird (talked about here). Perfect decisions, naturally. Best Supporting Actor was Ed Begley for Sweet Bird of Youth (talked about here), which is the lone poor decision for the year, but since it came in so minor a category it isn’t so bad. And Best Supporting Actress was Patty Duke for The Miracle Worker, which, she played Helen Keller. Obviously it was a good decision.
Bringing us to this category, which only had two choices, and I feel they made the right one.
BEST ACTRESS – 1962
And the nominees were…
Anne Bancroft, The Miracle Worker
Bette Davis, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Katharine Hepburn, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Geraldine Page, Sweet Bird of Youth
Lee Remick, Days of Wine and Roses (more…)
You know why I love 1962? Because you can say either Lawrence of Arabia or To Kill a Mockingbird should have won Best Picture — and you’d be right either way. They’re both perfect films. Lawrence of Arabia wins Best Picture, but that was always gonna happen. It also won Best Director for David Lean (talked about here), which was gonna happen no matter what and was the better decision there.
Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress this year were Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke for The Miracle Worker. If you’ve seen the film, you know how perfect those decisions were.
The lone poor decision made this year was Best Supporting Actor, which went to Ed Begley for Sweet Bird of Youth (talked about here). There’s a category where you have Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas and Terence Stamp, any of whom would have been much better decisions. But for a year with five out of six really strong categories (like, Top Ten or Top Five of all time strong), that’s still really good.
As for this category, you can pretty much take care of it with two words: Atticus Finch.
No one will ever be able to argue against this decision, ever. Not ever.
BEST ACTOR – 1962
And the nominees were…
Burt Lancaster, Birdman of Alcatraz
Jack Lemmon, Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni, Divorce, Italian Style
Peter O’Toole, Lawrence of Arabia
Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird (more…)