December 2010

With 7 Oscars, The Sting becomes the most successful Comedy in Academy history.

The 46th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 1973.  The nominations were announced on February 19, 1974 and the awards were held on April 2, 1974.

Best Picture:  The Sting

  • Cries and Whispers
  • The Exorcist
  • American Graffiti
  • A Touch of Class

Most Surprising Omission:  Serpico

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Mean Streets

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #8

Rank Note:  If they had nominated Serpico instead of A Touch of Class, this year would rank #1. (more…)

Erland Josephson and Liv Ullmann in Bergman's Cries and Whispers

My Top 20:

  1. Cries and Whispers
  2. Mean Streets
  3. The Exorcist
  4. American Graffiti
  5. Serpico
  6. The Sting
  7. Last Tango in Paris
  8. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  9. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  10. Enter the Dragon
  11. The Day of the Jackal
  12. Battles without Honor or Humanity
  13. Playtime
  14. Sleeper
  15. A Doll’s House
  16. I Love You, Rosa
  17. The Last Detail
  18. State of Siege
  19. Paper Moon
  20. Charley Verrick (more…)

the second (1957) Modern Library cover of Look Homeward, Angel - the version I own

Look Homeward, Angel

  • Author:  Thomas Wolfe  (1900  –  1938)
  • Rank:  #57
  • Published:  1929
  • Publisher:  Charles Scribner’s Sons
  • Pages:  626
  • First Line:  “A destiny that leads the English to the Dutch is strange enough; but one that leads from Epsom into Pennsylvania, and thence into the hills that shut in Altamont over the proud coral cry of the cock, and the soft stone smile of an angel, is touched by that dark miracle of chance which makes new magic in a dusty world.”
  • Last Line:  “Yet, as he stood for the last time by the angels of his father’s porch, it seemed as if the Square already were far and lost; or, I should say, he was like a man who stands upon a hill above the town he has left, yet does not say “The town is near,” but turns his eyes upon the distant soaring ranges.
  • ML Edition:  ML Giant #16  (two dust jackets – 1934, 1957)
  • Film:  two television versions – 1961 German and 1972 U.S.
  • First Read:  February, 1996 (more…)

Not a good time for getting stuff written or being at work.  After never in my life having missed more than 3 days in a row for being sick, I missed a week in October with bronchitis that bordered on pneumonia and now I have a vicious stomach flu which has caused me to miss all of this week so far and now has laid up Veronica and Thomas as well.

A collage of many great scenes from The Godfather (1972)

The 45th Academy Awards for the film year 1972.  The nominations were announced on February 12, 1973 and the awards were held on March 27, 1973.

Best Picture:  The Godfather

  • Cabaret
  • Deliverance
  • The Emigrants
  • Sounder

Most Surprising Omission:  Sleuth

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

Best English Language Film Not Nominated:  Sleuth

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #18 (more…)

the brilliant restaurant scene in The Godfather

My Top 20:

  1. The Godfather
  2. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
  3. Cabaret
  4. Sleuth
  5. Deliverance
  6. The Emigrants
  7. Play It Again Sam
  8. Murmur of the Heart
  9. Tokyo Story
  10. Limelight
  11. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (* But Were Afraid to Ask)
  12. Fat City
  13. Travels with My Aunt
  14. Frenzy
  15. The Heartbreak Kid
  16. Jeremiah Johnson
  17. Fellini’s Roma
  18. The Hot Rock
  19. Early Summer
  20. Mon Oncle Antoine (more…)

the 1st edition cover of Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon

  • Author:  Toni Morrison  (b. 1931)
  • Rank:  #58
  • Published:  1977
  • Publisher:  Alfred Knopf
  • Pages:  337
  • First Line:  “The North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance agent promised to fly from Mercy to the other side of Lake Superior at three o’clock.”
  • Last Line:  “For now he knew what Shalimar knew: If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”
  • ML Edition:  none
  • Acclaim:  National Book Critics Circle Award
  • Film:  none
  • First Read:  Spring, 2001 (more…)

A performance that absolutely deserved the Oscar in a film that earned it - Gene Hackman in The French Connection (1971)

The 43rd annual Academy Awards, for the film year 1971.  The nominations were announced on February 22, 1972 and the awards were held on April 10, 1972.

Best Picture:  The French Connection

  • A Clockwork Orange
  • The Last Picture Show
  • Fiddler on the Roof
  • Nicholas and Alexandra

Most Surprising Omission:  Sunday Bloody Sunday

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  McCabe and Mrs. Miller

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #37

Rank note:  If the Academy had nominated Sunday Bloody Sunday (which seemed headed for a nomination) rather than Nicholas and Alexandra, the year would rank #8 (more…)