Friday, October 16, 2015

1958--The Year in Review

Ultimately, this year, it comes down to two titles that still live large in the hearts of movie lovers. Hitchcock's masterpiece has recently arrived at the top of collective accolades (most specifically, the 2012 Sight and Sound poll), but I prefer the skeezier pleasures of Welles' astoundingly odd and vibrant B-movie, a film that I caught for the first time on late-night TV and was immediately hooked into (this is a rare year where I split the picture/director vote, though I still award Welles in other areas, while trying to find the elements that made Hitchcock's film so great). I adore many of the accomplished films released in their wake, but it's generally a period of middling product--a kind of yawn before the following year's landslide of astonishing cinema. Even so, in 1958, we have Wajda (exhibiting Cybulski's superb lead performance, right before he died too early, just like his US twin James Dean), Kurosawa (whose film would provide a kind of template for Star Wars many decades later), Tati (exhilarating as alter ego Mr. Hulot), and the wonderful work of Rosalind Russell, who'd played the exotic Auntie Mame hundreds of times on Broadway before perfectly assaying the character on film. Unsung supporting performers arrive at the top of their field this year, while in the short film categories, live action (and largely experimental) works overtake traditional animation which, in terms of studio product, took a marked downturn, sad to say (though, in an obvious attempt to right past wrongs, Bugs Bunny wins his FIRST Oscar this year). Still, in the short live action film category arrives Roman Polanski with his remarkable, student-made tribute to silent film comedy (it was a big year for Polish cinema, overall). Ray Harryhausen comes out on top for the first time in the effects category. Meanwhile, Jerry Lee Lewis, with an exciting opening number to a obscure cult film, bests all traditional songwriters in the Best Song category. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 

PICTURE: TOUCH OF EVIL (US, Orson Welles) (2nd: Vertigo (US, Alfred Hitchcock), followed by: Ashes and Diamonds (Poland, Andrzej Wajda); Some Came Running (US, Vincente Minnelli); The Hidden Fortress (Japan, Akira Kurosawa); Mon Oncle (France, Jacques Tati); Auntie Mame (US, Morton da Costa); The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (Czechlosovakia, Karel Zeman); The Horse’s Mouth (UK, Ronald Neame); Terror in a Texas Town (US, Joseph H. Lewis); Big Deal on Madonna Street (Italy, Mario Monicelli); The Magician (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); I Want to Live! (US, Robert Wise); Man of the West (US, Anthony Mann); The Big Country (US, William Wyler); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (US, Richard Brooks); A Time to Love and a Time to Die (US, Douglas Sirk); The Lovers (France, Louis Malle); A Night to Remember (UK, Roy Ward Baker); Gigi (US, Vincente Minnelli); The Defiant Ones (US, Stanley Kramer); The Old Man and The Sea (US, John Sturges); Separate Tables (US/UK, Delbert Mann); The Left-Handed Gun (US, Arthur Penn); The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (US, Nathan Juran);  I Bury the Living (US, Albert Band); Horror of Dracula (UK, Terence Fisher); No Time for Sergeants (US, Mervyn Le Roy); Damn Yankees (US, Stanley Donen and George Abbott); Buchanan Rides Alone (US, Budd Boetticher); Cry Terror! (US, Andrew L. Stone); Bell Book and Candle (US, Richard Quine); Indiscreet (US, Stanley Donen); South Pacific (US, Joshua Logan); The Blob (US, Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.); The Fly (US, Kurt Neumann);  Thunder Road (US, Arthur Ripley); The Last Hurrah (US, John Ford); Run Silent Run Deep (US, Robert Wise); King Creole (US, Michael Curtiz); It! The Terror from Beyond Space (US, Edward L. Cahn); High School Confidential (US, Jack Arnold); tom thumb (US, George Pal)

ACTOR: James Stewart, VERTIGO (2nd: Orson Welles, Touch of Evil, followed by: Zbigniew Cybulski, Ashes and Diamonds; Alec Guinness, The Horse’s Mouth; Frank Sinatra, Some Came Running; Richard Boone, I Bury the Living; Sidney Poitier, The Defiant Ones; David Niven, Separate Tables; Andy Griffith, No Time for Sergeants; Spencer Tracy, The Old Man and the Sea

ACTRESS: Rosalind Russell, AUNTIE MAME (2nd: Shirley MacLaine, Some Came Running, followed by: Susan Hayward, I Want to Live!; Kim Novak, Vertigo; Elizabeth Taylor, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Jeanne Moreau, The Lovers; Deborah Kerr, Separate Tables; Inger Stevens, Cry Terror!

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Joseph Calleia, TOUCH OF EVIL (2nd: Dean Martin, Some Came Running, followed by: Myron McCormick, No Time for Sergeants; Dennis Weaver, Touch of Evil; Burl Ives, The Big Country; Akim Tamiroff, Touch of Evil; Ray Walston, Damn Yankees; Maurice Chevalier, Gigi; Burl Ives, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Arthur Kennedy, Some Came Running)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Wendy Hiller, SEPARATE TABLES (2nd: Gwen Verdon, Damn Yankees, followed by: Marlene Dietrich, Touch of Evil; Hermione Gingold, Gigi; Judith Anderson, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Maureen Stapleton, Lonelyhearts; Barbara Bel Geddes, Vertigo; Coral Browne, Auntie Mame; Gladys Cooper, Separate Tables; Angela Lansbury, The Long Hot Summer)

DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock, VERTIGO (2nd: Orson Welles, Touch of Evil, followed by: Andrzej Wajda, Ashes and Diamonds; Akira Kurosawa, The Hidden Fortress; Vincente Minnelli, Some Came Running; Jacques Tati, Mon Oncle; Karel Zeman, The Fabulous World of Jules Verne; Morton Da Costa, Auntie Mame)

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: ASHES AND DIAMONDS (Poland, Andrzej Wajda) (2nd: The Hidden Fortress (Japan, Akira Kurosawa), followed by: Mon Oncle (France, Jacques Tati); The Fabulous World of Jules Verne (Czechlosovakia, Karel Zeman); Big Deal on Madonna Street (Italy, Mario Monicelli); The Magician (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); The Lovers (France, Louis Malle))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Jacques Tati, Jacques Lagrange, and Jean L'Hote, MON ONCLE (2nd: Nedric Young and Harold Jacob Smith, The Defiant Ones, followed by: Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Akira Kurosawa, The Hidden Fortress; Louis Garfinkle, I Bury the Living; Ingmar Bergman, The Magician)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:  Orson Welles, TOUCH OF EVIL (2nd: Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor, Vertigo, followed by: Alec Guinness, The Horse's Mouth; Jerzy Andrzejewski and Andrzej Wajda, Ashes and Diamonds; Agenore Incrocci, Furio Scarpelli, Suso Cecchi D'Amico, and Mario Monicelli, Big Deal on Madonna Street)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: TWO MEN AND A WARDROBE (Poland, Roman Polanski) (2nd: Le Chant du Styrène (France, Alain Resnais); A Movie (US, Bruce Conner); Glass (Netherlands, Bert Haanstra); Grand Canyon (US, Walt Disney))

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: FREE RADICALS (UK, Lenny Lye) (2nd: Schwechater (Austria, Peter Kubelka), followed by: Hook, Line and Stinker (Chuck Jones); Knighty Knight Bugs (US, Friz Freling); Paul Bunyan (US, Les Clark and Walt Disney)

BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Russell Metty, TOUCH OF EVIL (2nd: Ichio Yamazaki, The Hidden Fortress, followed by: Geoffrey Unsworth, A Night to Remember; Lionel Lindon, I Want to Live!; Jerzy Wojcik, Ashes and Diamonds)

COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Robert Burks, VERTIGO (2nd: William H. Daniels, Some Came Running, followed by: Jean Bourgoin, Mon Oncle; Franz Planer, The Big Country; Harry Stradling, Jr., Auntie Mame)

BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: A NIGHT TO REMEMBER, The Hidden Fortress, Touch of Evil, Separate Tables, King Creole

COLOR ART DIRECTION: VERTIGO, Gigi, Mon Oncle, Auntie Mame, Bell Book and Candle

BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: I WANT TO LIVE!, A Night to Remember, Ashes and Diamonds, The Hidden Fortress, The Magician 

COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: GIGI, Auntie Mame, Some Came Running, The Buccaneer, Damn Yankees

FILM EDITING: TOUCH OF EVIL, Vertigo, I Want to Live!, The Defiant Ones, The Hidden Fortress 

SOUND: VERTIGO, South Pacific, Damn Yankees, I Want to Live!, The Defiant Ones

ORIGINAL SCORE: Bernard Herrmann, VERTIGO (2nd: Henry Mancini, Touch of Evil, followed by: Jerome Moross, The Big Country; Bernard Herrmann, The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad; Dimitri Tiomkin, The Old Man and the Sea

ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Ray Heindorf, DAMN YANKEES (2nd: Andre Previn, Gigi, followed by: Alfred Newman and Ken Darby, South Pacific)

ORIGINAL SONG: "High School Confidential" from HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL (Music and lyrics by Jerry Lee Lewis) (2nd: "I Remember It Well" from Gigi (Music by Frederic Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner), followed by: "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" from Gigi (Music by Frederic Loewe, lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner); "Almost in Your Arms" from Houseboat (Music and lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans); "Teacher's Pet" from Teacher's Pet (Music and lyrics by Joe Lubin))

SPECIAL EFFECTS: THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, The Fabulous World of Jules Verne, A Night to Remember, tom thumb

MAKEUP: THE FLY, Auntie Mame, Touch of Evil

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