Saturday, February 20, 2016

1978--The Year in Review

Perhaps this is not the best year of the 1970s, but it's not a mediocre one at all. The top 20 films here scream out joyously and fantastically to the Earth. And the top choice, battered as it may now be, still stands as a prime example of world cinema. It shook me to my core then, and it still does today. And I cannot fail to hail my top director, who really establishes his lyrical voice here. Plus, nearly the best music documentary of all time, and terrific horror, comedy, thrillers, spoofs, war movies, documentaries, rock n’ roll (great year for that!), UK and US television, and the first notable comic book movie (though that now seems like a execrable curse, even as this one set the template). By the way, please check out Special Delivery, the seven-minute choice for Best Animated Short--you will NOT be sorry. Treat yourself! It’s marvelous. And, yes…also…I love Scorsese's The Last Waltz. A masterpiece, that! It makes me cry with utter ecstasy. But so does, ever so slightly more importantly, Michael Cimino's heartbreaking wartime story. 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: THE DEER HUNTER (US, Michael Cimino) (2nd: The Last Waltz (US, Martin Scorsese), followed by: Days of Heaven (US, Terrence Malick); Interiors (US, Woody Allen); Straight Time (US, Ulu Grosbard); The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Italy, Ermanno Olmi); An Unmarried Woman (US, Paul Mazursky); Who’ll Stop The Rain (US, Karel Reisz); Blue Collar (US, Paul Schrader); Halloween (US, John Carpenter); Gates of Heaven (US, Errol Morris); The Silent Partner (Canada, Darryl Duke); Midnight Express (UK, Alan Parker); Coming Home (US, Hal Ashby); An Enemy of the People (US, George Schaefer); Superman (US, Richard Donner); National Lampoon’s Animal House (US, John Landis); The Rutles: All You Need is Cash (US, Eric Idle and Gary Weis); I Wanna Hold Your Hand (US, Robert Zemeckis); Dawn of the Dead (US, George A. Romero); Killer of Sheep (US, Charles Barnett); Girlfriends (US, Claudia Weill); Autumn Sonata (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); Koko: A Talking Gorilla (West Germany, Barbet Schroeder); Watership Down (US, Martin Rosen); Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (France, Bertrand Blier); Scared Straight! (US, Arnold Shapiro); Martin (US, George A. Romero); Magic (UK, Richard Attenborough); The Buddy Holly Story (US, Steve Rash); The End (US, Burt Reynolds); A Wedding (US, Robert Altman); Heaven Can Wait (US, Warren Beatty and Buck Henry); American Boy (US, Martin Scorsese); The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (Australia, Fred Schepisi); Pretty Baby (US, Louis Malle); Go Tell the Spartans (US, Ted Post); The Brink's Job (US, William Friedkin); The Fury (US, Brian De Palma); Fingers (US, James Toback); Summer of My German Soldier (US, Michael Tuchner); La Cage aux Folles (France, Edouard Molinaro); Big Wednesday (US, John Milius); China 9, Liberty 37 (Italy, Monte Hellman); Drunken Master (Hong Kong, Woo-Ping Yuen); American Hot Wax (US, Floyd Mutrux); Coma (US, Michael Crichton); Up in Smoke (US, Lou Adler); Death on the Nile (UK, John Guillermin); The Lord of the Rings (US, Ralph Bakshi); Stevie (UK, Robert Enders); Foul Play (US, Colin Higgins); Despair (West Germany, Rainer Werner Fassbinder); The Legacy (UK, Richard Marquand); The Boys From Brazil US, Franklin J. Schaffner); Grease (US, Randall Kleiser); Sextette (US, Ken Hughes))

ACTOR: Dustin Hoffman, STRAIGHT TIME (2nd: Anthony Hopkins, Magic, followed by: Robert De Niro, The Deer Hunter; Brad Davis, Midnight Express; Richard Pryor, Blue Collar; Jon Voight, Coming Home; Gary Busey, The Buddy Holly Story; Elliott Gould, The Silent Partner)

ACTRESS: Jill Clayburgh, AN UNMARRIED WOMAN (2nd: Geraldine Page, Interiors, followed by: Jane Fonda, Coming Home; Ingrid Bergman, Autumn Sonata; Tuesday Weld, Who’ll Stop The Rain; Genevieve Bujold, Coma; Melanie Mayron, Girlfriends; Glenda Jackson, Stevie) 

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christopher Walken, THE DEER HUNTER (2nd: John Cazale, The Deer Hunter, followed by: Yaphet Kotto, Blue Collar; Christopher Plummer, The Silent Partner; Dom Deluise, The End; Harry Dean Stanton, Straight Time; Bruce Dern, Coming Home; John Hurt, Midnight Express)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Maureen Stapleton, INTERIORS (2nd: Mary Beth Hurt, Interiors, followed by: Linda Manz, Days of Heaven; Theresa Russell, Straight Time; Meryl Streep, The Deer Hunter; Diane Keaton, Interiors; Maggie Smith California Suite; Wendy Jo Sperber, I Wanna Hold Your Hand)

DIRECTOR: Terrence Malick, DAYS OF HEAVEN (2nd: Michael Cimino, The Deer Hunter, followed by: Martin Scorsese, The Last Waltz; Woody Allen, Interiors; John Carpenter, Halloween; Paul Mazursky, An Unmarried Woman; Alan Parker, Midnight Express; Paul Schrader, Blue Collar)

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: THE TREE OF WOODEN CLOGS (Italy, Ermanno Olmi) (2nd: Autumn Sonata (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman), followed by: Get Out Your Handkerchiefs (France, Bertrand Blier); La Cage aux Folles (France, Edouard Molinaro); Drunken Master (Hong Kong, Woo-Ping Yuen))

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: THE LAST WALTZ (US, Martin Scorsese) (2nd: Gates of Heaven (US, Errol Morris), followed by: Koko: A Talking Gorilla (West Germany, Barbet Schroeder); Scared Straight! (US, Arnold Shapiro); American Boy (US, Martin Scorsese))

ANIMATED FEATURE: WATERSHIP DOWN (US, Martin Rosen) (2nd: The Lord of the Rings (US, Ralph Bakshi)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Michael Cimino, Derek Washburn, Quinn Redeker and Louis Garfinkle, THE DEER HUNTER (2nd: Paul Schrader and Leonard Schrader, Blue Collar, followed by: Paul Mazursky, An Unmarried Woman; Woody Allen, Interiors; Jerry Belson, The End)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Alvin Sargent, Edward Bunker and Jeffery Boam, STRAIGHT TIME (2nd: Judith Rascoe and Robert Stone, Who'll Stop the Rain?, followed by: Alexander Jacobs and Arthur Miller, An Enemy of the People; Curtis Hanson, The Silent Partner; Oliver Stone, Midnight Express)

ANIMATED SHORT: SPECIAL DELIVERY (Canada, Eunice Macauley and John Weldon) (2nd: Rip Van Winkle (US, Will Vinton), followed by: The Small One (US, Don Bluth); The Metamorphosis of Mr. Samsa (Canada, Caroline Leaf); Afterlife (Canada, Ishu Patel))

LIVE ACTION SHORT: HARDWARE WARS (US, Ernie Fossellus) (2nd: Within the Woods (US, Sam Raimi), followed by: Teenage Father (US, Taylor Hackford); Xenogenesis (US, James Cameron and Randall Frakes)

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Nestor Almendros and Haskell Wexler, DAYS OF HEAVEN (2nd: Michael Chapman, Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond, The Last Waltz, followed by Vilmos Zsigmond, The Deer Hunter; Gordon Willis, Interiors; Dean Cundey, Halloween)

ART DIRECTION: INTERIORS, The Wiz, The Brink’s Job, Heaven Can Wait, Days of Heaven

COSTUME DESIGN: THE WIZ, Death on the Nile, Days of Heaven, Pretty Baby, Interiors

FILM EDITING: THE DEER HUNTER, The Last Waltz, Midnight Express, Straight Time, National Lampoon’s Animal House

SOUND: THE DEER HUNTER, The Last Waltz, Days of Heaven, Midnight Express, Superman

ORIGINAL SCORE: John Carpenter, HALLOWEEN (2nd: Giorgio Moroder, Midnight Express, followed by: John Williams, Superman; Jerry Goldsmith, The Boys from Brazil; Jerry Goldsmith, Magic)

SCORING OF A MUSICAL/ADAPTATION SCORING: Joe Renzetti, THE BUDDY HOLLY STORY (2nd: Neil Innes, The Rutles: All You Need is Cash, followed by: Louis St. Louis, Grease)

ORIGINAL SONG: “Hopelessly Devoted to You” from GREASE (Music and lyrics by John Farrar) (2nd: “Can You Read My Mind” from Superman (Music by John Williams, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse), followed by: “FM (No Static at All)” from FM (Music and lyrics by Donald Fagan and Walter Becker); “Last Dance” from Thank God It’s Friday (Music and lyrics by Paul Jabara); "Grease" from Grease (Music and lyrics by Barry Gibb); “Another Fine Mess” from The End (Music and lyrics by Paul Williams); “Ready to Take a Chance Again” from Foul Play (Music by Charles Fox, lyrics by Norman Gimbel); "Through the Eyes of Love" from Ice Castles (Music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager))


MAKEUP: THE WIZ, Dawn of the Dead, Superman


Eric Gilliland said...

Great year for soundtracks! Halloween is so iconic. Carpenter's music remains more influential than ever. I often listen to the Superman and Midnight Express soundtracks all the time on old scratchy vinyls. Still sounds good.

Andrew Parry said...

Good list, but no love for Sydney Pollack's The Electric Horseman? It's one of the most underrated films of the decade in my opinion, and of the best Redford performances.

Dean Treadway said...

Thanks so much, Eric! I agree--great year for film music! There were at least five or six masterpieces I left off, like David Shire's score for STRAIGHT TIME and Ennio Morricone's DAYS OF HEAVEN. Thanks for stopping by! Oh, and Andrew Parry, THE ELECTRIC HORSEMAN is 1979, and I agree it's underrated.