Thursday, October 29, 2015

1960--The Year in Review

As soon as 1960 struck, the movie world shook as if a massive earthquake had shifted its tectonic plates. No longer were the American studio products accepted by rote. In fact, it's astounding how far American movies fell off the map--the studios were clearly confused by what was happening (so many of their works now felt lifelessly stiff). Instead, the year's finest movies--goosed with the energy of sex and violence and mystery--hailed from other countries; in short, the art film exploded into the stratosphere. Yet prevailing over all is a potboiler by a British director, darting between episodes of his popular American TV series as he searched for a hit that would keep his movie career chugging along. This very work changed the way movies would be made and seen forever (Psycho initiated the then new concept that filmgoers would not be admitted into the auditorium after the film started, and it, of course, made everyone afraid to take a shower for decades to come). As far as the Oscars go, they showed a final display of love for a brilliant (German, by birth) filmmaker who'd been denied the top spot the year before. But it's Hitchcock's shocking modern horror film that still stuns everyone who sees it, to the point that superb and more rewardingly difficult films lie supplicant to its grimy charms. I should note: I've decided this is the first year that a Documentary Feature award should be implemented--and, surprisingly, the winner is one that fully details the American democratic process. With the short films, a movie from Canada proved to be an inspiration to a future masterpiece from Stanley Kubrick (whose epic 1960 movie--made without his full directorial approval--cemented his standing as a bankable filmmaker). And, in animation, both Warner Brothers and a mad experimental movie nut are bested by a film derived from the work of cartoonist and social commentator Jules Feiffer. 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: PSYCHO (US, Alfred Hitchcock) (2nd: The Virgin Spring (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman), followed by: Breathless (France, Jean-Luc Godard); La Dolce Vita (Italy, Federico Fellini); Purple Noon (France/Italy, René Clément); Shoot the Piano Player (France, François Truffaut); L’Avventura (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Primary (US, Robert Drew and Richard Leacock); Spartacus (US, Stanley Kubrick); Jigoku (Japan, Nobuko Nakagawa); Peeping Tom (UK, Michael Powell); Late Autumn (Japan, Yasujiro Ozu); Le Trou (France, Jacques Becker); The Bad Sleep Well (Japan, Akira Kurosawa); Eyes Without a Face (France, Georges Franju); Sons and Lovers (UK, Jack Cardiff); Inherit the Wind (US, Stanley Kramer); The Magnificent Seven (US, John Sturges); Le Testament d’Orphée (France, Jean Cocteau); Pollyanna (US, David Swift); Elmer Gantry (US, Richard Brooks); The Apartment (US, Billy Wilder); Rocco and His Brothers (Italy, Luchino Visconti); Tunes of Glory (UK, Ronald Neame); Cruel Story of Youth (Japan, Nagisa Oshima); The League of Gentlemen (UK, Basil Dearden); Village of the Damned (UK, Wolf Rilla); Two Women (Italy, Vittorio de Sica); Comanche Station (US, Budd Boetticher); The Little Shop of Horrors (US, Roger Corman); Never on Sunday (Greece, Jules Dassin); The Angry Silence (UK, Guy Green); Black Sunday (Italy, Mario Bava); Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (US, Karel Reisz); The Young One (Mexico, Luis Buñuel); When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Japan, Mikio Naruse); Zazie dans le Métro (France, Louis Malle); The Sundowners (US, Fred Zinnemann); Midnight Lace (US, David Miller); Wild River (US, Elia Kazan); Le Petit Soldat (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Bells are Ringing (US, Vincente Minnelli); The House of Usher (US, Roger Corman); Exodus (US, Otto Preminger); Sergeant Rutledge (US, John Ford); Les Bonnes Femmes (France, Claude Chabrol); Strangers When We Meet (US, Richard Quine); Blood and Roses (France, Roger Vadim); The 1,000 Eyes of Dr Mabuse (Germany, Fritz Lang); The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (US, Budd Boetticher))

ACTOR: Anthony Perkins, PSYCHO (2nd: Spencer Tracy, Inherit the Wind, followed by: Fredric March, Inherit the Wind; Charles Aznavour, Shoot the Piano Player; Laurence Olivier, The Entertainer; Alain Delon, Purple Noon; Burt Lancaster, Elmer Gantry; Jean-Paul Belmondo, Breathless; Marcello Mastroianni, La Dolce Vita; Jack Lemmon, The Apartment)

ACTRESS: Haley Mills, POLLYANNA (2nd: Shirley MacLaine, The Apartment, followed by: Sophia Loren, Two Women (voted at the top the following year); Monica Vitti, L’Avventura; Doris Day, Midnight Lace; Jean Simmons, Elmer Gantry; Barbara Steele, Black Sunday; Melina Mercouri, Never on Sunday; Dorothy McGuire, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; Jean Seberg, Breathless)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Harry Morgan, INHERIT THE WIND (2nd: Peter Ustinov, Spartacus, followed by: Martin Balsam, Psycho; Trevor Howard, Sons and Lovers; Charles Laughton, Spartacus; Karl Malden, Pollyanna; Alastair Sim, School for Scoundrels; Nigel Patrick, The League of Gentlemen; Fred MacMurray, The Apartment; Sal Mineo, Exodus) 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Janet Leigh, PSYCHO (2nd: Agnes Moorehead, Pollyanna, followed by: Wendy Hiller, Sons and Lovers; Shirley Jones, Elmer Gantry; Shirley Knight, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs; Vera Miles, Psycho; Alida Valli, Eyes Without a Face; Mary Ure, Sons and Lovers; Glynis Johns, The Sundowners; Brenda de Banzie, The Entertainer)

DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock, PSYCHO (2nd: Jean-Luc Godard, Breathless, followed by: Ingmar Bergman, The Virgin Spring; Federico Fellini, La Dolce Vita; Rene Clement, Purple Noon; Francois Truffaut, Shoot the Piano Player; Jack Cardiff, Sons and Lovers; Michelangelo Antonioni, L’Avventura; Nobuko Nakagawa, Jigoku; Michael Powell, Peeping Tom

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: THE VIRGIN SPRING (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman) (2nd: Breathless (France, Jean-Luc Godard), followed by: La Dolce Vita (Italy, Federico Fellini); Purple Noon (France/Italy, René Clément); Shoot the Piano Player (France, François Truffaut); L’Avventura (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Jigoku (Japan, Nobuko Nakagawa); Late Autumn (Japan, Yasujiro Ozu); Le Trou (France, Jacques Becker); The Bad Sleep Well (Japan, Akira Kurosawa); Eyes Without a Face (France, Georges Franju); Le Testament d’Orphée (France, Jean Cocteau); Rocco and His Brothers (Italy, Luchino Visconti); Cruel Story of Youth (Japan, Nagisa Oshima); Two Women (Italy, Vittorio de Sica); The Young One (Mexico, Luis Buñuel); When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Japan, Mikio Naruse); Zazie dans le Métro (France, Louis Malle))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: PRIMARY (US, Robert Drew and Richard Leacock) (2nd: The Horse with the Flying Tail (US, Larry Lansburgh)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Ulla Isaksson, THE VIRGIN SPRING (2nd: Michelangelo Antonioni, Elio Bartolini, and Tonino Guerra, L'Avventura, followed by: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, and Brunello Rondi, La Dolce Vita; Marguerite Duras, Hiroshima Mon Amour; Francois Truffaut, Breathless)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Francois Truffaut and Marcel Moussy, SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER (2nd: Rene Clement and Paul Gegauff, Purple Noon, followed by: Joseph Stefano, Psycho; Nedric Young and Harold Jacob Smith, Inherit the Wind; Bryan Forbes, The League of Gentlemen)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: UNIVERSE (Canada, Roman Kroiter and Colin Low) (2nd: The Dead (US, Stan Brakhage), followed by: Giuseppina (UK, James Hill); Baum im Herbst (Trees in Autumn) (Austria, Kurt Kren); Beyond Silence (US, Edmond Levy); A City Called Copenhagen (Denmark, Jorgen Roos))

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: MUNRO (US, Gene Deitch) (2nd: High Note (US, Chuck Jones), followed by: Goliath II (US, Wolfgang Reitherman); Arnulf Rainer (Austria, Peter Kubelka); Hyde and Go Tweet (US, Friz Freleng); Person to Bunny (US, Friz Freleng))

BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: John L. Russell, PSYCHO (2nd: Freddie Francis, Sons and Lovers, followed by: Sven Nykvist, The Virgin Spring; Raoul Coutard, Shoot the Piano Player; Joseph LaShelle, The Apartment; Aldo Scavarda, L’Avventura) 

COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Russell Metty, SPARTACUS (2nd: Henri Decaë, Purple Noon, followed by: Mamoru Morita, Jigoku; Otto Heller, Peeping Tom; John Alton, Elmer Gantry; Mario Bava and Ubaldo Terzano, Black Sunday) 

BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: PSYCHO, The Apartment, Sons and Lovers, The Facts of Life, The Fugitive Kind

COLOR ART DIRECTION: SPARTACUS, Jigoku, The Time Machine, Sunrise at Campobello, Midnight Lace

BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: LA DOLCE VITA (won in 1961), Never on Sunday, The Facts of Life, Black Sunday, The Virgin Spring

COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: MIDNIGHT LACE, Spartacus, Pollyanna, Sunrise at Campobello, Tunes of Glory

FILM EDITING: PSYCHO, Breathless, Purple Noon, Inherit the Wind, Le Trou

SOUND: SPARTACUS, The Alamo, The Apartment, Inherit the Wind, Psycho

ORIGINAL SCORE: Bernard Herrmann, PSYCHO (2nd: Elmer Bernstein, The Magnificent Seven, followed by: Alex North, Spartacus; Nino Rota, La Dolce Vita; Georges Delerue, Shoot the Piano Player; Ernest Gold, Exodus)

ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Andre Previn, BELLS ARE RINGING (2nd: Lionel Newman and Earle Hagen, Let's Make Love, followed by: Nelson Riddle, Can-Can) 

ORIGINAL SONG: "North to Alaska" from NORTH TO ALASKA (Music and lyrics by Mike Phillips) (2nd: "Where the Boys Are" from Where the Boys Are (Music by Neil Sedaka, lyrics by Howard Greenfield), followed by: "Never on Sunday" from Never on Sunday (Music and lyrics by Manos Hadjidakis); "The Facts of Life" from The Facts of Life (Music and lyrics by Johnny Mercer))


MAKEUP: THE TIME MACHINE, Jigoku, Eyes Without a Face


Michael O'Sullivan said...

I agree - 1960 was the start of modern cinema, with PSYCHO and L'AVVENTURA, both about a woman who goes missing and the people looking for her, Hitchcock shows us what happened to her, Antononi doesn't ..... add in Alain Delon's charming psychopath in Clement's PLEIN SOLEIL (Purple Noon) - result = 3 timeless films one can see and resee.

Dean Treadway said...

Right on, Michael!