Thursday, November 5, 2015

1961--The Year in Review

It's a very rare annum, indeed, when 18 out of 24 awards given by the Academy correspond with what I have deemed the best of the year (this is the first time I've agreed with the Academy since 1939). In another terrific period for world cinema, it remains just that Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins' stunning big-screen adaptation of the Sondheim/Bernstein Broadway hit ended up taking home ten Oscars; it's a movie that I once, in younger days, found sorely lacking in emotional impact--that is, until I finally caught it on the big screen, where it flourishes with rabid romance, violence, and frantically beautiful movement (the searing supporting performance from Rita Hayworth is another of its chief assets). It's painful for me to leave largely unrewarded one of my very favorite horror films, Jack Clayton's supremely eerie The Innocents. But, as much as I adore Deborah Kerr as that film's jittery governess. I had to give the Best Actress award to Natalie Wood, devastating as Deanie, the lovelorn schoolgirl who nearly buys the farm over her tempestuous romance with Warren Beatty's Bud. On the actor front, I had to side with two very different choices--one for an actor that would be recognized later for a lesser performance, and another for a comedian that never found a dramatic role quite as fitting as this one. In the short films, the very first appearance of computer graphics, via John Whitney' extremely influential Catalog, wins the animation award while Arthur Lipsett's ridiculously thought-provoking Very Nice Very Nice stuns us in its own fashion. Even so, overall, the Academy got things remarkably correct this year. 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: WEST SIDE STORY (US, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins) (2nd: The Innocents (UK, Jack Clayton), followed by: The Hustler (US, Robert Rossen); Through a Glass, Darkly (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); Yojimbo (Japan, Akira Kurosawa); Judgment at Nuremberg (US, Stanley Kramer); Divorce Italian Style (Italy, Pietro Germi); Splendor in the Grass (US, Elia Kazan); The End of Summer (Japan, Yasujiro Ozu); One, Two, Three (US, Billy Wilder); A Woman is a Woman (France, Jean-Luc Godard); A Raisin in the Sun (US, Daniel Petrie); The Misfits (US, John Huston); 101 Dalmatians (US, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman and Clyde Geronimi); Last Year at Marienbad (France, Alain Resnais); Viridiana (Spain, Luis Buñuel); La Notte (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Blast of Silence (US, Allen Baron); Baron Munchhausen (Czechoslovakia, Karel Zeman); The Exiles (US, Kent MacKenzie); Payroll (UK, Sidney Hayers); Accattone (Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini); Of Stars and Men (US, John Hubley); Pigs and Battleships (Japan, Shohei Imamura); Victim (UK, Basil Dearden); Whistle Down the Wind (UK, Bryan Forbes); One Eyed Jacks (US, Marlon Brando); A Taste of Honey (UK, Tony Richardson); Summer and Smoke (US, Peter Glenville); The Children’s Hour (US, William Wyler); Underworld U.S.A. (US, Samuel Fuller); The Guns of Navarone (US, J. Lee Thompson); Breakfast at Tiffany’s (US, Blake Edwards); El Cid (US, Anthony Mann); Night Tide (US, Curtis Harrington); Two Rode Together (US, John Ford); The Hoodlum Priest (US, Irvin Kershner); Lover Come Back (US, Delbert Mann); The Pit and the Pendulum (US, Roger Corman); The Curse of the Werewolf (UK, Terrence Fisher); Five Minutes to Live (US, Bill Karn); Barabbas (US, Richard Fleischer); The Parent Trap (US, David Swift); The Errand Boy (US, Jerry Lewis))

ACTOR: Sidney Poitier, A RAISIN IN THE SUN (2nd: Paul Newman, The Hustler, followed by: James Cagney, One, Two, Three; Marcello Mastroianni, Divorce Italian Style; Maximilian Schell, Judgment at Nuremberg; Toshiro Mifune, Yojimbo; Spencer Tracy, Judgment at Nuremberg; Dirk Bogarde, Victim; Clark Gable, The Misfits)

ACTRESS: Natalie Wood, SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (2nd: Deborah Kerr, The Innocents, followed by: Harriet Andersson, Through a Glass, Darkly; Marilyn Monroe, The Misfits; Claudia MacNeil, A Raisin in the Sun; Piper Laurie, The Hustler; Rita Tushingham, A Taste of Honey; Billie Whitelaw, Payroll; Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Geraldine Page, Summer and Smoke)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Jackie Gleason, THE HUSTLER (2nd: Martin Stephens, The Innocents,  followed by: George C. Scott, The Hustler; Montgomery Clift, Judgment at Nuremberg; Gunnar Björnstrand, Through a Glass, Darkly; George Chakiris, West Side Story; Tony Randall, Lover Come Back; Dennis Price, Victim; Pat Hingle, Splendor in the Grass)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Rita Moreno, WEST SIDE STORY (2nd: Judy Garland, Judgment at Nuremberg. followed by: Ruby Dee, A Raisin in the Sun; Arlene Francis, One, Two Three; Barbara Loden, Splendor in the Grass; Pamela Franklin. The Innocents; Thelma Ritter, The Misfits; Fay Bainter, The Children’s Hour)  

DIRECTOR: Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, WEST SIDE STORY (2nd: Jack Clayton, The Innocents. followed by: Robert Rossen, The Hustler; Akira Kurosawa, Yojimbo; Ingmar Bergman, Through a Glass, Darkly; Alain Renais, Last Year at Marienbad; Stanley Kramer, Judgment at Nuremberg; Pietro Germi, Divorce Italian Style

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman) (2nd: Yojimbo (Japan, Akira Kurosawa), followed by: Divorce Italian Style (Italy, Pietro Germi); The End of Summer (Japan, Yasujiro Ozu); A Woman is a Woman (France, Jean-Luc Godard); La Notte (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Last Year at Marienbad (France, Alain Resnais); Viridiana (Spain, Luis Buñuel); Baron Munchhausen (Czechoslovakia, Karel Zeman); Accattone (Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini); Pigs and Battleships (Japan, Shohei Imamura))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: SKY ABOVE, MUD BELOW (France, Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau) (2nd: Chronicle of a Summer (France, Edgar Morin and Jean Rouch))

ANIMATED FEATURE: 101 DALMATIANS (US, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman and Clyde Geronimi) (2nd: Of Stars and Men (US, John Hubley))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: William Inge, SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (2nd: Ingmar Bergman, Through a Glass, Darkly, followed by: Alain-Robbe Grillet, Last Year at Marienbad; Akira Kurosawa and Ryuzo Kikushima, Yojimbo; Ennio De Concini, Pietro Germi, and Alfredo Giannetti, Divorce Italian Style)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Abby Mann, JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG (2nd: Truman Capote and William Archibald, The Innocents, followed by: Sidney Carroll and Robert Rossen, The Hustler; Ernest Lehman, West Side Story; Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond, One, Two, Three)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: VERY NICE, VERY NICE (Canada, Arthur Lipsett) (2nd: Antonio Gaudi (UK, Ken Russell), followed by: The Fat and the Lean (Poland, Roman Polanski); Seawards the Great Ships (US, Hilary Harris))

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: CATALOG (US, John Whitney) (2nd: Ersatz (Yugoslavia, Dusan Vukotic, followed by: Nelly’s Folly (US, Chuck Jones), followed by: Beep Prepared (US, Chuck Jones); Aquamania (US, Walt Disney and Wolfgang Reitherman))

BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Freddie Francis, THE INNOCENTS (2nd: Eugene Schufftan, The Hustler, followed by: Sacha Vierny, Last Year at Marienbad; Kazuo Miyagawa, Yojimbo; Daniel L. Fapp, One, Two, Three; Merill Brody, Blast of Silence) 

COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Daniel L. Fapp, WEST SIDE STORY (2nd: Asakazu Nakai, The End of Summer, followed by: Raoul Coutard, A Woman is a Woman; Boris Kaufman, Splendor in the Grass; Jack Cardiff, Fanny; Robert Krasker, El Cid) 

BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: THE HUSTLER, Last Year at Marienbad, The Innocents, One Two Three, Judgment at Nuremberg 

COLOR ART DIRECTION: WEST SIDE STORY, El Cid, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Flower Drum Song, Summer and Smoke
BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: YOJIMBO, Last Year at Marienbad, The Hustler, The Innocents, The Children's Hour

COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: WEST SIDE STORY, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Flower Drum Song, El Cid, Pocketful of Miracles

FILM EDITING: WEST SIDE STORY, The Hustler, Yojimbo, Judgment at Nuremberg, The Innocents 

SOUND: WEST SIDE STORY, The Guns of Navarone, Judgment at Nuremberg, One Two Three, 101 Dalmatians

ORIGINAL SCORE: Henry Mancini, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (2nd: Miklós Rózsa, El Cid, followed by: Georges Auric, The Innocents; Masuru Sato. Yojimbo; Ernest Gold, Judgment at Nuremberg; Dimitri Tiomkin, The Guns of Navarone) 

ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Saul Chaplin, Johnny Green, Sid Ramin, and Irwin Kostal, WEST SIDE STORY (2nd: Duke Ellington, Paris Blues, followed by: Alfred Newman and Ken Darby, Flower Drum Song)

ORIGINAL SONG: "Moon River" from BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer) (2nd: "Town Without Pity" from Town Without Pity (Music by Dimitri Tiomkin, lyrics by Ned Washington), followed by: "O Willow Waly" from The Innocents (Music by Georges Auric, lyrics by Paul Dehn); "Let's Twist Again" from Twist Around the Clock (Music and lyrics by Kal Mann and Dave Appell); "Let's Get Together" from The Parent Trap (Music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman))

SPECIAL EFFECTS: THE GUNS OF NAVARONE, Baron Munchausen, Mysterious Island

MAKEUP: THE CURSE OF THE WEREWOLF, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Judgment at Nuremberg


Sam Juliano said...

Just a fantastic, stunning re-cap of 1961 in all manners. Yes WEST SIDE STORY is tops! For me it is the greatest film musical ever made! This posting is inspiring Dean!!!

Dean Treadway said...

Thanks so much, Sam!!