Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty as Bonnie and Clyde: They're young, they're in love and they kill people.

My Top 20:

  1. Bonnie and Clyde
  2. Chimes at Midnight
  3. Persona
  4. In the Heat of the Night
  5. The Graduate
  6. In Cold Blood
  7. Point Blank
  8. Cool Hand Luke
  9. Two for the Road
  10. The Exterminating Angel
  11. A Fistful of Dollars
  12. Elvira Madigan
  13. La Guerre est Finie
  14. I Live in Fear
  15. The Comedians
  16. The Whisperers
  17. Deadly Affair
  18. Barefoot in the Park
  19. The Burmese Harp
  20. Wait Until Dark

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture:  In the Heat of the Night
  • Best Director:  Mike Nichols  (The Graduate)
  • Best Actor:  Rod Steiger  (In the Heat of the Night)
  • Best Actress:  Katharine Hepburn  (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  George Kennedy  (Cool Hand Luke)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Estelle Parsons  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  In the Heat of the Night
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner
  • Best Foreign Film:  Closely Watched Trains

Consensus Awards:

  • Best Picture:  In the Heat of the Night
  • Best Director:  Mike Nichols  (The Graduate)
  • Best Actor:  Rod Steiger  (In the Heat of the Night)
  • Best Actress:  Edith Evans  (The Whisperers)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  George Kennedy  (Cool Hand Luke)  /  Gene Hackman  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Marjorie Rhodes  (The Family Way)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  The Graduate
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Bonnie and Clyde

Bibi Andersson and Liv Ullmann in Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966, U.S. release 1967)

Top 10 Films  (Top 1000):

  1. Persona –  #40
  2. The Exterminating Angel –  #120
  3. Chimes at Midnight –  #124
  4. Bonnie and Clyde –  #137
  5. The Graduate –  #215
  6. Don’t Look Back –  #342
  7. Point Blank –  #380
  8. Terra em Transe –  #420
  9. Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors –  #567
  10. El Dorado –  #743

Top 5 Films  (Consensus 1967 Best Picture Awards):

  1. In the Heat of the Night
  2. The Graduate
  3. Bonnie and Clyde
  4. Far from the Madding Crowd
  5. Persona

Top 10 Films  (1967 Awards Points):

  1. In the Heat of the Night –  1249
  2. The Graduate –  1171
  3. Bonnie and Clyde –  1112
  4. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner –  858
  5. Dr. Dolittle –  474
  6. Thoroughly Modern Millie –  371
  7. The Whisperers –  353
  8. Camelot –  351
  9. In Cold Blood –  324
  10. Far from the Madding Crowd –  293

Top 5 Films  (Box Office Gross):

  1. The Graduate –  $104.39 mil
  2. The Jungle Book –  $73.74 mil
  3. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner –  $56.70 mil
  4. Bonnie and Clyde –  $50.70 mil
  5. The Dirty Dozen –  $45.30 mil

AFI Top 100 Films:

  • The Graduate –  #7  (1998)  /  #17  (2007)
  • Bonnie and Clyde –  #27  (1998)  /  #42  (2007)
  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner –  #99  (1998)
  • In the Heat of the Night –  #75  (2007)

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Director:  Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Actor:  Warren Beatty  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Actress:  Faye Dunaway  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Gene Hackman  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Bibi Andersson  (Persona)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Chimes at Midnight
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Bonnie and Clyde

My Best Comedy Actor and Actress: Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft in The Graduate (1967)

Comedy:

  • Best Picture:  The Graduate
  • Best Director:  Mike Nichols  (The Graduate)
  • Best Actor:  Dustin Hoffman  (The Graduate)
  • Best Actress:  Anne Bancroft  (The Graduate)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Murray Hamilton  (The Graduate)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Katharine Ross  (The Graduate)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  The Graduate
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Two for the Road

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Director:  Arthur Penn (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Actor:  Warren Beatty  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Actress:  Faye Dunaway  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Gene Hackman  (Bonnie and Clyde)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Bibi Andersson  (Persona)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Chimes at Midnight
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Editing:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Cinematography:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Original Score:  A Fistful of Dollars
  • Best Sound:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Art Direction:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Visual Effects:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Sound Editing:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Costume Design:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Makeup:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Original Song:  “Mrs. Robinson”  (The Graduate)
  • Best Animated Film:  The Jungle Book
  • Best Foreign Film:  Belle de Jour

Faye Dunaway brought depression era fashions back in 1967 with Bonnie and Clyde

Nighthawk Notables:

  • Best Film to Watch Over and Over:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Scene:  the finale of Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Opening:  The Graduate
  • Best Ending:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Best Line:  “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.  (pause).  Aren’t you?”  Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate
  • Best Ensemble:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • Sexiest Performance:  Faye Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde
  • Performance to Fall in Love With:  Audrey Hepburn in Two for the Road
  • Coolest Performance:  Lee Marvin in Point Blank
  • Best Use of a Song:  “The Sounds of Silence” by Simon and Garfunkel in The Graduate
  • Worst Film:  They Came from Beyond Space
  • Read the Book, Skip the Film:  Casino Royale, Dr. Dolittle, Ulysses
  • Best Sequel:  For a Few Dollars More

Ebert Great Films:

  • Le Samourai
  • The Exterminating Angel
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • Persona
  • In Cold Blood
  • Chimes at Midnight
  • Cool Hand Luke

Film History: The American Film Institute begins operations.  Universal Newsreel, the final newsreel distributer, ends operations.  Jack Warner, the last of the brothers, sells a controlling interest to Seven Arts.  Gone with the Wind is re-released in widescreen format (for which it was not made) to widespread criticism.  John Gregory Dunne spends the year at 20th Century-Fox, which will soon become his classic book on film, The Studio.  Spencer Tracy dies 10 dies after the end of filming on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.  Claude Rains, the greatest character actor of them all, dies on 30 May.  Vivien Leigh dies on 8 July of tuberculosis at age 53.  Bosley Crowther is replaced as film critic of The New York Times.  A year and a half after debuting in Spain and a year after playing Cannes as Falstaff, Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight finally opens in the States.  It will be his final complete feature film.

Academy Awards: The Academy finally does away with the split between black-and-white and color films for Cinematography, Art Direction and Costume Design.  As a result, Edith Head fails to earn a nomination for Best Costume Design for the first time in the 20 year history of the award.  Also as a result, only 31 films earn nominations, the fewest since 1934.  The Academy also changes the way they do nominations for Best Sound.  Prior to this year the nomination went to the head of the studio’s sound department.  For this and the following year, the nomination would go the department itself.  Starting in 1969, the nomination would go to the actually sound mixer for the film itself.  As a result of the change, no person nominated before 1967 would ever get nominated again.

Spencer Tracy appears in his ninth and final Best Picture nominee – a record for someone who never appeared in a Best Picture winner.  John Williams earns the first of his 45 Oscar nominations.  For the first and only time in Oscar history two films are nominated in all four acting categories: Bonnie and Clyde and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.  They split the actress wins.  Richard Brooks joins John Huston as the only two directors to get nominated for Director and Screenplay without a Best Picture nomination in back-to-back years (Huston did it in 1950 and 51 with The Asphalt Jungle and The African Queen; Brooks in 66 and 67 for The Professionals and In Cold Blood).  Thoroughly Modern Millie becomes yet another film to tie the record for nominations without a Best Picture nomination (7).  Italy fails to earn a Best Foreign Film nomination for only the second time.  In the Heat of the Night becomes the first Best Picture winner without multiple acting nominations since 1958.  It also becomes the first Best Picture winner (or nominee) nominated for Sound Effects.  With only 7 nominations , it is also the first winner since 1932 to tie for the fewest nominations among the nominees.  The Graduate, the first Best Director winner since Giant not to win Best Picture also joins Giant as the only films since 1937 to win Best Director and nothing else, something that has not happened since.  It also becomes the only comedy post-1952 to win Best Director but not Best Picture.

There are whole books written on this year.  The Studio documents the entire year at 20th Century-Fox and their efforts to make and release Doctor Dolittle.  Mark Harris wrote Pictures at a Revolution documenting the five very different Best Picture nominees and how they came to be made and nominated.  Truman Capote’s response to Doctor Dolittle getting nominated over In Cold Blood seems to sum it up best: “Anything allowing a Dolittle to happen is so rooked up it doesn’t mean anything.” (Inside Oscar, p 407 or Pictures, p 388).  The Academy gave their awards to In the Heat of the Night, which seemed fitting, as the ceremony was delayed by two days due to the assassination of Martin Luther King.  But it is Bonnie and Clyde that was the true revolutionary film, the best of the bunch in nearly every category.

In the end, the Oscars would be contrarian.  While they would go with the consensus for Picture, Director and Actor, they would not with the other awards.  They would pass over Edith Evans, winner of two critics awards, the Globe for Drama and later, the BAFTA, and Anne Bancroft, the other Globe winner, and not even nominate critics winner Bibi Andersson to give a second Oscar to Katharine Hepburn after passing her over for her previous eight nominations.  Their Best Supporting Actor would go to George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke), who came in only with a Globe nomination, rather than National Society winner Gene Hackman (Bonnie) while not nominating NBR winner Paul Ford (The Comedians) or Globe winner Richard Attenborough (Dolittle).  They wouldn’t even nominate multiple critics winner Marjorie Rhodes (The Family Way) for Best Supporting Actress and would give the Oscar to Estelle Parsons (Bonnie), who didn’t even get nominated at the Globes rather than Globe winner Carol Channing (Thoroughly Modern Millie).  Most surprisingly, the screenplay for Bonnie and Clyde, which had won both critics groups and two awards from the WGA would lose to Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, which it had beaten in both WGA races.  It would not be until 1982 when a screenplay would again win multiple critics awards and win the WGA to lose at the Oscars to a film that didn’t win any of those (Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and Sunday Bloody Sunday would both lose at the Oscars to films that won the WGA in other categories).

  • Worst Oscar:  Best Special Visual Effects for Doctor Dolittle
  • Worst Oscar Nomination:  Best Picture for Doctor Dolittle
  • Worst Oscar Omission:  Best Song for “Mrs. Robinson” from The Graduate
  • Worst Oscar-Nominated Film:  Doctor Dolittle
  • Best Film with No Oscar Nominations:  Chimes at Midnight
  • Worst Oscar Category:  Best Editing
  • Best Oscar Category:  Best Screenplay – Based on Material from Another Medium
  • Oscar / Nighthawk Award Agreement:  Best Cinematography

Golden Globes: The Graduate becomes the first comedy to win Best Picture and Director at the Globes (the only one to do it since is Prizzi’s Honor).  It also wins Best Actress, but somehow Dustin Hoffman loses Best Actor – Comedy to Richard Harris for Camelot.  Meanwhile, Bonnie and Clyde and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner aren’t so successful, each of them going 0 for 6 (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress and one supporting).  They lose Picture, Screenplay and Actor to In the Heat of the Night, which leads the way with 7 nominations (also earning an extra Actor nomination, Director and two nominations for Supporting Actress).  The final Best Director nomination goes to The Fox, an adaptation of the D.H. Lawrence novel which wouldn’t be eligible for the Oscars until 1968.

Awards: The first awards were the New York Film Critics.  Bosley Crowther, the departing critic of The New York Times and the most fervent detractor of Bonnie and Clyde made a long speech against it after it nearly got the required 2/3 majority on the first ballot.  It slipped in the voting and by the sixth ballot, In the Heat of the Night won with a majority.  (discussed in greater detail on page 383 of Pictures at a Revolution or page 287 of Movie Awards).  Crowther takes digs at the film when presenting the writers, David Newman and Robert Benton with their award for Best Screenplay.  Rod Steiger wins Best Actor for In the Heat of the Night while Edith Evans wins Best Actress for The Whisperers and Mike Nichols takes home Best Director for The Graduate.

The National Board of Review went next and while the NYFC winners won Oscars (Picture, Director, Actor) or were nominated (Actress, Screenplay), the NBR would not be such a good predictor.  Far From the Madding Crowd, which would earn a paltry one Oscar nomination, won Best Picture and Best Actor (for Peter Finch).  Best Director winner Richard Brooks (In Cold Blood) and Best Actress winner Edith Evans would get Oscar nominations, but no such luck for Paul Ford (Best Supporting Actor winner for The Comedians) or Marjorie Rhodes (Best Supporting Actress winner for The Family Way).

Rhodes would repeat her win at the second annual awards from the National Society of Film Critics.  Because supporting awards were relatively new to the critics groups, Rhodes would be the first to win multiple awards.  She would also be, until 1981, the only one to win multiple Supporting Actress critics awards and not get an Oscar nomination  Ingmar Bergman would win the first of what would be consecutive (and 3 out of 4) Best Director wins for PersonaPersona would also take home Best Picture in a close win over Bonnie and Clyde, but Bonnie would rebound to win Best Supporting Actor (Gene Hackman) and Best Screenplay.  Rod Steiger would again win but Best Actress would go to Bibi Andersson for Persona.

Mike Nichols would win Best Director at the DGA over his four fellow future Oscar nominees.  But Bonnie and Clyde would be the big guild film.  With a new category at the Writers Guild, Best Written Screenplay, Bonnie would win two WGA awards (also winning for Drama), would win the Sound Editors Guild and get nominated for the Editors Guild (ACE).  With 5 guild nominations and 270 points it would set records that would not be broken until 1989 (nominations) and 1990 (points).  The Graduate and Thoroughly Modern Millie would win the other two WGA awards, The Dirty Dozen would win the ACE and Doctor Dolittle would win the other Sound Editors award.  With unsuccessful nominations for Director, Screenplay – Drama, Screenplay and Editing, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner would set a guild futility record that would not be matched until 1989 and not beaten until 1994.

A year after sweeping the top Oscars, A Man for All Seasons would completely sweep the BAFTA’s, going 7 for 7.  It would set a record for awards and points but both would only last three years.  It would take home Picture, British Picture, British Actor, Screenplay, Cinematography, Art Direction and Costume Design in the last year before the dropping of the distinction between British and other films.  It would beat In the Heat of the Night, Bonnie and Clyde and A Man and a Woman for Best Picture and Deadly Affair, Blow-Up and The Accident for British Picture.  They would also nominate Orson Welles for Best Foreign Actor, the only nomination from any of the groups for Chimes at Midnight.

Lee Marvin in the corridors of Point Blank

Under-appreciated Film of 1967:

Point Blank (dir. John Boorman)

One early scene of Point Blank is phenomenal.  Lee Marvin walks down an empty corridor, his shoes clanging.  He is all alone but that sound reverberates and the sound carries far beyond his immediate surroundings.  It announces his presence to the rest of the film and forcefully announces the arrival of a great film and a great director.

Point Blank today might find itself on a list of the Top 1000 films, and it clearly belongs there, but it was not so upon its initial release.  Reviews at the time seemed to be generally positive, though the Roger Ebert review seems to sum things up best: he admires it but can’t seem to see past the genre itself.  In the end, it failed to earn so much as a single nomination from any awards group.  While there weren’t as many groups in 1967 as there are today, for such a film with strong reviews to fail to earn any nominations at all is still odd.

The awards groups were flat-out wrong.  This film does what, in many ways, was once intended for Bonnie and Clyde: it fuses American movie story-telling with French New Wave techniques.  It is one of the most daring crime films ever made, took a little known British director and began the process that would turn him into one of the 100 Greatest Directors of All-Time, would permanently establish how god damn cool Lee Marvin can be and yet failed to earn a single Oscar nomination in the same year that Doctor Dolittle received 8 nominations and 2 Oscars.

Lee Marvin plays Walker, a criminal who has been set-up and betrayed during a job and left for dead on Alcatraz by his partner.  Now he wants his revenge, but more importantly, he wants the $93,000 that was his share of the heist.  That’s what he wants and he’s determined to get it.  He doesn’t care who he has to kill to get it.  There is a great moment, late in the film, when one of the men he is facing off against asks him what the hell it will take for Walker to stop being such a pain and he and Walker have the following conversation:

“Why do you run around doing things like this?”

“I want my money.  I want my $93,000.”

“$93,000?  You threaten a financial structure like this for $93,000?  No, Walker, I don’t believe you.  What do you really want?”

The look on Walker’s face as he says “I really want my money,” is one of the most priceless moments in the film.  That’s become all that he cares about.  He is even told by Angie Dickinson, in a lusty wonderful performance, after they have had sex that he’s become so cold that he did die on Alcatraz.

But he’s not quite that cold.  He can still run red hot with rage and bitterness.  The first person he tracks down is his wife, who he has been told is sleeping with his former partner.  In a brilliantly edited scene, he bolts through the door, moves quickly through the house and bursts into the bedroom, emptying his revolver into the bed.  Except the bed is empty.  He is remembering, through all of this, the moments that have brought him here.  How neither the Academy nor the Editors Guild thought to nominate a film that is so well-constructed almost entirely out of its editing is beyond me.  The editing, the sound, the cinematography, all of them work together to create this incredible mood of paranoia and quiet determination.  There are even moments of rare humor, such as when he wants information from a used car dealer, and so buckles up before test-driving the car.  When told by the dealer that it’s unnecessary, he calmly explains “Most accidents happen within three miles of home.”

Point Blank is more treasured today.  People understand that they are watching a classic.  It’s simply too bad that the awards groups at the time couldn’t see that.

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