the distance image of a man that will become Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

My Top 20:

  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. The Music Man
  4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  5. Through a Glass Darkly
  6. Ride the High Country
  7. The Manchurian Candidate
  8. Jules and Jim
  9. The Bad Sleep Well
  10. Peeping Tom
  11. Last Year at Marienbad
  12. Billy Budd
  13. Lolita
  14. The Miracle Worker
  15. The Lower Depths
  16. Carnival of Souls
  17. Viridiana
  18. Whistle Down the Wind
  19. Long Day’s Journey Into Night
  20. Sweet Bird of Youth

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Director:  David Lean  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Actor:  Gregory Peck  (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Best Actress:  Anne Bancroft  (The Miracle Worker)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Ed Begley  (Sweet Bird of Youth)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Patty Duke  (The Miracle Worker)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Divorce – Italian Style
  • Best Foreign Film:  Sundays and Cybele

Consensus Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Director:  David Lean  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Actor:  Gregory Peck  (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  • Best Actress:  Anne Bancroft  (The Miracle Worker)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Ed Begley  (Sweet Bird of Youth)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Angela Lansbury  (The Manchurian Candidate)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Best Original Screenplay:  That Touch of Mink
  • Best Foreign Film:  Sundays and Cybele

the most famous enduring image from Truffaut's Jules and Jim

Top 10 Films  (Top 1000)

  1. Lawrence of Arabia –  #13
  2. Jules and Jim –  #42
  3. Viridiana –  #68
  4. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance –  #76
  5. Last Year at Marienbad –  #89
  6. Peeping Tom –  #221
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird –  #252
  8. The Manchurian Candidate –  #329
  9. Accattone –  #348
  10. Lola –  #411

Lawrence of Arabia becomes only the third film (following Gone with the Wind and Casablanca) to come in 1st place in the Top 1000 for the year and also win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Top 5 Films  (Consensus 1962 Best Picture Awards):

  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. The Longest Day
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
  4. The Music Man
  5. Mutiny on the Bounty

Top 10 Films  (1962 Awards Points):

  1. Lawrence of Arabia –  1342
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird –  717
  3. The Miracle Worker –  534
  4. Divorce – Italian Style –  444
  5. The Music Man –  418
  6. The Longest Day –  391
  7. The Days of Wine and Roses –  377
  8. Mutiny on the Bounty –  298
  9. Sweet Bird of Youth –  292
  10. Billy Budd –  282

Top 5 Films  (Box Office Gross):

  1. The Longest Day –  $39.10 mil
  2. Lawrence of Arabia –  $37.49 mil
  3. In Search of the Castaways –  $18.41 mil
  4. The Music Man –  $14.95 mil
  5. That Touch of Mink –  $14.62 mil

AFI Top 100 Films:

  • Lawrence of Arabia –  #5  (1998)  /  #7  (2007)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird –  #34  (1998)  /  #25  (2007)
  • The Manchurian Candidate –  #67  (1998)

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Director:  David Lean  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Actor:  Peter O’Toole  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Actress:  Harriet Andersson  (Through a Glass Darkly)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Omar Sharif  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Angela Lansbury  (The Manchurian Candidate)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Through a Glass Darkly

The talented Robert Preston and the very very lovely Shirley Jones - my winners for Best Actor and Actress (Comedy or Musical) for 1962 for The Music Man

Comedy  /  Musical:

  • Best Picture:  The Music Man
  • Best Director:  Morton DaCosta  (The Music Man)
  • Best Actor:  Robert Preston  (The Music Man)
  • Best Actress:  Shirley Jones  (The Music Man)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Paul Ford  (The Music Man)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Hermione Gingold  (The Music Man)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  The Music Man
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Divorce – Italian Style

My 1962 Nighthawk Award for Best Actress goes to the haunting performance of Harriet Andersson in Ingmar Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Director:  David Lean (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Actor:  Peter O’Toole  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Actress:  Harriet Andersson  (Through a Glass Darkly)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Omar Sharif  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Angela Lansbury  (The Manchurian Candidate)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Through a Glass Darkly
  • Best Editing:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Cinematography:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Original Score:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Art Direction:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Sound:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Visual Effects:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Sound Editing:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Costume Design:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Makeup:  Lawrence of Arabia
  • Best Original Song:  “Walk on the Wild Side”  (Walk on the Wild Side)
  • Best Foreign Film:  Harakiri

Nighthawk Notables:

  • Best Film to Watch Over and Over:  The Music Man
  • Best Line:  “The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.”  (Peter O’Toole in Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Ending:  Ride the High Country
  • Best Scene:  the slow approach of Sherif Ali in Lawrence of Arabia
  • Performance to Fall in Love With:  Shirley Jones in The Music Man
  • Sexiest Performance:  Jeanne Moreau in Jules and Jim
  • Worst Film:  Horrors of Spider Island

Ebert Great Films:

  • Peeping Tom
  • Last Year at Marienbad
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Jules and Jim
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
  • Through a Glass Darkly

Lawrence of Arabia came to the big-screen.  It established David Lean as the foremost director of epics in film history and inspired a young Steven Spielberg to become a director.  It became one of the biggest box-office hits of the year, won the Oscar and is still considered one of the finest films ever made.

Film History: Marilyn Monroe is found dead on 6 August.  Darryl Zanuck takes over as President of 20th Century-Fox as budget problems on Cleopatra threaten to sink the studio, with the relationship between Liz Taylor and Dick Burton dominating headlines to the extent that the Vatican makes a negative comment.  Censorship fades back a bit as film versions of Lolita and Advise and Consent both make it to the big-screen.  Sight and Sound conducts its second poll of the best films ever made; Citizen Kane, not even making the top 10 in the 1952 poll, heads the list.  Dr. No is released in Britain – the first of the James Bond series (long the most successful franchise in film history, but now third behind Star Wars and Harry Potter).  At the premiere of Mama Roma, director Pier Paolo Pasolini is attacked by fasicts.  Michael Curtiz dies in April, Frank Borzage in June and Tod Browning in October.  Roman Polanski’s first feature film, Knife in the Water, is released in his native Poland.

Academy Awards: Lawrence of Arabia becomes the third film in four years to win big at the Oscars (7 Oscars out of 10 nominations, including all five major technical awards) but fail to win Best Adapted Screenplay.  For the first time since 1956, a film is nominated for Best Picture without Director, Screenplay or any acting nominations.  For the first time since 1935, three films manage to do it (The Music Man, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Longest Day).  Only five films since have done it (Dr. Dolittle, Hello Dolly, Jaws, Beauty and the Beast , The Two Towers).  For the first time, three films are nominated for Director and Screenplay without Best Picture nominations (Divorce – Italian Style, David and Lisa, The Miracle Worker).  Ingmar Bergman earns his first Oscar nomination for the Screenplay of Through a Glass Darkly.

The Oscars embarrass themselves with the nomination of Mutiny on the Bounty for Best Picture (among its seven nominations – most of which are undeserving of their nomination) but acquits itself by handing seven Oscars to Lawrence of Arabia (supposedly the producers forgot to put forth the costumes and thus cost it an eleventh nomination and eighth Oscar).  The Academy goes for the all-time hero of Atticus Finch and hand their Oscar to Gregory Peck rather than Peter O’Toole’s intense, brilliant portrayal of T.E. Lawrence.  The screenwriters show some flare by nominating Through a Glass Darkly and Last Year at Marienbad.

  • Worst Oscar:  Best Costume Design (Black-and-White) for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
  • Worst Oscar Nomination:  Best Editing for Mutiny on the Bounty
  • Worst Oscar Omission:  Best Costume Design (Color) for Lawrence of Arabia
  • Worst Oscar-Nominated Film:  David and Lisa
  • Best Film With No Nominations:  Ride the High Country
  • Worst Oscar Category:  Best Costume Design  (Black-and-White)
  • Best Oscar Category:  Best Supporting Actress
  • Oscar  /  Nighthawk Award Agreements:  Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editing, Best Cinematography (Color), Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedic Picture, Best Sound, Best Art Direction (Color), Best Art Direction (Black-and-White)

Golden Globes: For some inexplicable reason the Globes decide to expand their list of nominees, with many of the categories having 9, 10 or even 11 nominees.  As a result, we have several films with Globes attention that are ignored elsewhere.  While Musicals like Gypsy and Billy Rose’s Jumbo are expected to get extra attention from the Globes, we have films like The Chapman Report and Hemingway’s Adventures of a Young Man which receive 4 and 5 nominations respectively, including Picture and Director that earn no other nominations anywhere.  (Of all the films to earn Golden Globes points but nothing else from any other group, Adventures ranks first in points and Chapman Report fourth – second and third are Frenzy and The Ninth Configuration; The Chapman Report is the only Best Director nominee in Golden Globes history I have not yet seen).  But in spite of all the extra nominees, the Globes still anoint Lawrence of Arabia as the top film; it wins Picture, Director and Supporting Actor.  Meanwhile, Adventures and Jumbo tie the Golden Globe record set by Teahouse of the August Moon by going 0 for 5.  With the extra nominees and the three categories, we end up with 20 Best Picture nominees, with The Music Man winning Musical and That Touch of Mink winning Comedy; as a possible result of the extra nominees, for only the second time (1958 was the first) all five eventual Oscar nominees end up with Best Picture nominations.

Awards: The National Board of Review kicked things off by giving Best Picture to The Longest Day, though they gave Best Director to David Lean.  Their acting winners would run the gamut from eventual Oscar winner (Anne Bancroft for The Miracle Worker), eventual Oscar nominee (Angela Lansbury for The Manchurian Candidate and All Fall Down), to non-nominated performers (Jason Robards for Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Tender is the Night, with Burgess Meredith winning for Advise and Consent).  There would be no response from the New York Film Critics, with a newspaper strike keeping the critics quiet.

The Directors Guild would act like the Globes, with their usual long list of nominees and 8 finalists instead of their usual 5.  In a surprise large difference from the Academy, while David Lean would win both awards, only one nominee would overlap (Pietro Germi for Divorce – Italian Style) and only one of the other nominees would get a Best Picture nomination (the numerous directors behind The Longest Day).  The Writers Guild would go with Oscar winner To Kill a Mockingbird, Oscar nominee That Touch of Mink and non-Oscar nominee The Music Man for their three winners and would fail to nominate Lawrence of Arabia at all.  Lawrence would get a nomination from the Editors Guild, but would lose to The Longest Day while Mutiny on the Bounty would win the Sound Editors Guild.

Lawrence would rule at the BAFTA awards, winning Picture, British Picture, British Actor and Screenplay (with an extra nomination for Actor).  Three films would tie with four nominations, Billy Budd, A Kind of Loving and Only Two Can Play, but all would lose all four of their nominations to Lawrence.

Best Director: 1962 is a rare year for Best Director in that it has a very clear winner (David Lean, who became only the second person to sweep all the available Best Director awards – the only other person to have done it being Lean himself back in 1957), but also in the complete disagreement among the groups in terms of nominees.  In spite of 11 nominees at the Globes and 8 nominees from the DGA (as well as the usual 5 from the Academy), there is very little overlap.  Pietro Germi, the Italian director of Divorce – Italian Style would be the only person to earn both a DGA nomination and an Oscar nomination.  Only Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird) would earn both an Oscar nomination and a Globe nomination.  Three more directors (Stanley Kubrick for Lolita, John Huston for Freud and John Frankenheimer for The Manchurian Candidate) would earn both DGA and Globe nominations.  The final two Oscar nominees would be Arthur Penn for The Miracle Worker and Frank Perry for David and Lisa.  Oddly enough, neither film would get nominated for Best Picture, while both films had been nominated for Best Picture at the Globes and failed to earn Best Director nominations.  At least Penn, Mulligan and Morton DaCosta (nominated at the Globes for The Music Man) would end up on the longlist for the DGA.  Even that was denied to Perry as well as the rest of the Globe nominees (George Cukor for The Chapman Report, Blake Edwards for The Days of Wine and Roses, Mervyn LeRoy for Gypsy, Martin Ritt for Adventures and Ismael Rodriguez for Los Hermanos del Hierro).  The final DGA nominees would be Sidney Lumet for Long Day’s Journey  Into Night, Peter Ustinov for Billy Budd and the three directors behind The Longest Day.  The 19 nominated directors would set a new record that has never been equaled, in spite of the addition of the other major critics groups, the BAFTA (Best Director was started in 1968) and the BFCA.  The two Oscar nominated directors without any pre-cursors would match the total from the Academy for the entire decade and wouldn’t happen again in the same year until 1972.

Ride the High Country (1962): Sam Peckinpah arises and Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea ride off into the sunset.

Over-looked Film of 1962:

Ride the High Country (dir. Sam Peckinpah)

Early on in the filming of Ride the High Country, both Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea, separately, told director Sam Peckinpah that they wanted out, that the character wasn’t working for them.  Instead, they switched and the results were so magnificent that they thought they wouldn’t be able to top it, so they retired.  McCrea would later return for a few small parts, but Scott stayed retired and this really was a grand finale for both of them while it also marked the emergence of Sam Peckinpah from the ranks of television and into the forefront of major directors.  It would be another seven years, after the Production Code had been abandoned and the MPAA rating system established before Peckinpah could really shock the world with The Wild Bunch, but many of the ideas would come straight from this film.

The story, in fact, may look familiar in the bare bones to fans of The Wild Bunch.  Two aging gunslingers are working a final job together, but they end up on opposite sides of the fence.  They ruminate about the changes that are coming (in the opening scene, one of them is almost hit by a car) and a climactic showdown finishes off the film.  In one of the smaller roles, as one of the bad guys, is Warren Oates, who would become a Peckinpah staple, starring in four of his films.  Both men were hard-living and died within a couple of years of each other, both in their mid-fifties.

There are major differences, however.  The first is that this film has a lot less violence, because of course, the Production Code was still in effect.  The second is that The Wild Bunch was nominated for two Oscars, the Directors Guild, is on Ebert’s Great Films list and appears on both AFI Top 100 lists.  Ride the High Country, on the other hand, didn’t receive any nominations or awards from any major group and isn’t even on the list of 400 films from which the AFI lists were voted.  It doesn’t have the respect it deserves as a great film.  It has easily the best performance of Randolph Scott’s career, the one time he really acts, has a magnificent performance from Joel McCrea, is well-written, well-directed, well-made.  It even has something to say, both about the Old West and those who rode in it.  Everything in it foreshadows what Peckinpah would be able to do when the censors finally relaxed and let him truly cut loose.  But for now, we just have to look on it as an over-looked film and hope that somehow it eventually gets the recognition it deserves.  It certainly deserves a place among the great Westerns much more than something like Shane.