that kind of sums up my feelings

My Top 20:

  1. Star Wars
  2. Annie Hall
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  4. Aguirre, the Wrath of God
  5. That Obscure Object of Desire
  6. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  7. Jacob the Liar
  8. Equus
  9. Dersu Uzala
  10. The Goodbye Girl
  11. Black and White in Color
  12. 3 Women
  13. Oh God!
  14. Eraserhead
  15. The Scar
  16. Stroszek
  17. Slapshot
  18. Sandakan no 8
  19. Cria Cuervos
  20. Julia

Academy Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Annie Hall
  • Best Director:  Woody Allen  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Actor:  Richard Dreyfuss  (The Goodbye Girl)
  • Best Actress:  Diane Keaton  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Jason Robards  (Julia)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Vanessa Redgrave  (Julia)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Julia
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Annie Hall
  • Best Foreign Film:  Madame Rosa

Consensus Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Annie Hall
  • Best Director:  Woody Allen  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Actor:  Richard Dreyfuss  (The Goodbye Girl)
  • Best Actress:  Diane Keaton  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Jason Robards  (Julia)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Vanessa Redgrave  (Julia)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Julia
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Annie Hall
  • Best Foreign Film:  That Obscure Object of Desire

Kinski descends into madness as the film moves towards greatness: Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Top 10 Films  (Top 1000):

  1. Aguirre, the Wrath of God –  #91
  2. Star Wars –  #110
  3. Annie Hall –  #116
  4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind –  #226
  5. In the Realm of the Senses –  #257
  6. 1900 –  #267
  7. Providence –  #345
  8. Killer of Sheep –  #350
  9. Eraserhead –  #406
  10. That Obscure Object of Desire –  #430

Top 5 Films  (1977 Best Picture Awards):

  1. Annie Hall
  2. Star Wars
  3. The Turning Point
  4. Julia
  5. The Goodbye Girl

Top 10 Films  (Awards Points):

  1. Annie Hall –  1838
  2. Julia –  1513
  3. The Turning Point –  1118
  4. Star Wars –  1044
  5. Close Encounters of the Third Kind –  838
  6. The Goodbye Girl –  756
  7. Equus –  394
  8. A Bridge Too Far –  394
  9. That Obscure Object of Desire –  301
  10. Saturday Night Fever –  268

Oh, there will be plenty of Star Wars photos. It was the biggest film of all-time.

Top 5 Films  (Box Office Gross):

  1. Star Wars –  $307.26 mil
  2. Smokey and the Bandit –  $126.73 mil
  3. Close Encounters of the Third Kind –  $116.39 mil
  4. Saturday Night Fever –  $94.21 mil
  5. The Goodbye Girl –  $83.70 mil

AFI Top 100 Films:

  • Star Wars –  #15  (1998)  /  #13  (2007)
  • Annie Hall –  #31  (1998)  /  #35  (2007)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind –  #64  (1998)

Ebert Great Films:

  • Saturday Night Fever
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God
  • Star Wars
  • Annie Hall
  • Stroszek
  • 3 Women
  • Killer of Sheep

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture:  Star Wars
  • Best Director:  George Lucas (Star Wars)
  • Best Actor:  Klaus Kinski  (Aguirre, the Wrath of God)
  • Best Actress:  Jane Fonda  (Julia)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Alec Guinness  (Star Wars)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Vanessa Redgrave  (Julia)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Equus
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Star Wars

Annie and Alvy falling in love. Or lerv. Or luff.

Comedy:

  • Best Picture:  Annie Hall
  • Best Director:  Woody Allen (Annie Hall)
  • Best Actor:  Woody Allen  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Actress:  Diane Keaton  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Tony Roberts  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Quinn Cummings  (The Goodbye Girl)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  That Obscure Object of Desire
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Annie Hall

Those are not the costumes that Star Wars won the Oscar and Nighthawk Award for.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:  Star Wars
  • Best Director:  George Lucas  (Star Wars)
  • Best Actor:  Klaus Kinski  (Aguirre, the Wrath of God)
  • Best Actress:  Diane Keaton  (Annie Hall)
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Alec Guinness  (Star Wars)
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Vanessa Redgrave  (Julia)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  That Obscure Object of Desire
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Annie Hall
  • Best Editing:  Star Wars
  • Best Cinematography:  Star Wars
  • Best Original Score:  Star Wars
  • Best Sound:  Star Wars
  • Best Art Direction:  Star Wars
  • Best Visual Effects:  Star Wars
  • Best Sound Editing:  Star Wars
  • Best Costume Design:  Star Wars
  • Best Makeup:  Star Wars
  • Best Original Song:  “Free Four” from The Vallee
  • Best Animated Film:  The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Best Foreign Film:  That Obscure Object of Desire

Do you think he finds Harry's lack of faith disturbing?

Nighthawk Notables:

  • Best Film to Watch Over and Over:  Star Wars
  • Best Line (dramatic):  “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”  (James Earl Jones in Star Wars)
  • Best Line (comedic):  “I forgot my mantra.”  (Jeff Goldblum in Annie Hall)
  • Best Opening:  Star Wars
  • Best Ending:  Annie Hall
  • Best Scene:  the race down the trench in Star Wars
  • Best Ensemble:  Star Wars
  • Performance to Fall in Love With:  Diane Keaton in Annie Hall
  • Coolest Performance:  Harrison Ford in Star Wars
  • Listen to the CD, SKIP the Film:  A Little Night Music
  • Funniest Film:  Annie Hall
  • Worst Film:  The Other Side of Midnight

Film History: Star Wars is released and becomes the biggest film of all-time, the first to gross over $300 million.  It revolutionizes both visual effects (with the introduction of ILM) and sound (with the extensive use of Dolby stereo and the introduction of THX).  The soundtrack from Saturday Night Fever is released; it will go on to become the biggest selling soundtrack of all-time (later to be passed by The Bodyguard).  AFI conducts its first poll of members and declares Gone with the Wind the greatest film in American film history.  Roman Polanski is arrested for statutory rape.  Francis Ford Coppola mortgages all his personal assets as a guarantee for the $10 million loan to him by United Artists to complete Apocalypse Now.  Bette Davis becomes the first person to receive the AFI Life Achievement Award.  Diane Keaton’s personal wardrobe in Annie Hall starts a fashion trend.  Luis Buñuel releases his final film: That Obscure Object of Desire.  Groucho Marx dies on 1 January, Joan Crawford on 10 May, Charlie Chaplin on Christmas and Howard Hawks the day after.  Peter Finch dies on the way to an interview promoting Network, but still goes to to be nominated and then win Best Actor.  Amateur film critic Erik Beck is taken to his first film by his older siblings – Star Wars.

Academy Awards: Woody Allen becomes the first person to win Best Director while starring in the same film.  Annie Hall becomes the first film to ever lose Best Picture (Comedy) at the Golden Globes and go on to win the Oscar.  It also becomes the first Best Picture winner to not get any technical nominations since 1934.  Star Wars becomes the first Science Fiction film ever nominated for Best Picture.  The Turning Point sets a record (tied in 1985) with 11 nominations and no wins.  It still holds the record for points without any wins (335).  Herbert Ross has two films nominated for Best Picture.  Steven Spielberg, having been snubbed two years earlier for Jaws, is nominated for Close Encounters of the Third Kind but it is not nominated for Best Picture.  Close Encounters becomes the fourth film ever to receive nominations for all five major technical awards (Editing, Cinematography, Score, Sound, Art Direction) without a Best Picture nomination – the first of five Spielberg films to earn all 5.  For the 5th straight year a Best Actor nomination goes to an actor from a Sidney Lumet film (Richard Burton in Equus).  Equus also has multiple acting nominations – making it the fourth year in a row that Lumet has directed a film with multiple acting nominations.

I can not complain that my favorite film did not win as it did win all of its technical nominations and the film that did win is high up on the list of my favorite films of all-time.  I find the number of nominations for The Turning Point to be ridiculous.  It is also absurd that Close Encounters did not join Star Wars in the Best Picture race – we would have to wait until 2009 for two Science Fiction films in the same race.  But it is a very weak year and that’s not much there.  The only blatant acting omission is Kinski and in spite of Inside Oscar I don’t think he was eligible.  If Aguirre was eligible then they missed out on a slew of technical nominations.  And of course, the Academy seemed to think that Annie Hall didn’t have awards worthy editing or cinematography.

  • Worst Oscar:  Best Foreign Film for Madame Rosa
  • Worst Oscar Nomination:  Best Supporting Actress for Leslie Browne from The Turning Point
  • Worst Oscar Omission:  Best Picture for Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Worst Oscar-Nominated Film:  The Other Side of Midnight
  • Best Eligible Film with No Oscar Nominations:  Aguirre, the Wrath of God  (Inside Oscar claims it is eligible – if not this than The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh)
  • Best Foreign Film Submitted But Not Nominated:  The Ascent
  • Worst Oscar Category:  Best Cinematography
  • Best Oscar Category:  Best Actress
  • Oscar / Nighthawk Award Agreements:  Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Costume Design

Golden Globes: The two Herbert Ross films are the hits of the Globes; The Goodbye Girl wins all three comedy awards (Picture, Actor, Actress) and Screenplay while The Turning Point wins Picture (Drama) and Director.  Annie Hall only manages to win Actress (Comedy) in a tie, while losing Picture, Director and Screenplay.  Close Encounters also loses the big three while Star Wars only manages to get Picture and Director nominations.  The two sci-fi films combine to go 1 for 8, with Star Wars winning Score.  In an oddity, all three Drama winners lose at the Oscars, with the two Comedy winners taking home the acting prizes and Picture (Comedy) loser Annie Hall winning Picture at the Oscars.  Diane Keaton becomes the first actress in 10 years to compete in both the Drama and Comedy categories (she wins Comedy but loses Drama).

Awards: The National Board of Review goes first and rewards The Turning Point well – giving it Best Picture, Actress and Supporting Actor.  Their second place film, Annie Hall, wins, oddly Best Supporting Actress for Diane Keaton.  Keaton wins Best Actress from both the National Society of Film Critics and the New York Film Critics, which also both give Annie Hall Best Picture and Screenplay.  It also wins Best Screenplay from the LA Film Critics and Best Director from the NYFC.  Star Wars wins the final Best Picture (from the LAFC), but Keaton is the only acting winner to win more than one award, though That Obscure Object of Desire does win Best Foreign Film from both the NBR and the LAFC and Best Director from the NBR and the NSFC.  John Geilgud becomes the first actor in 25 years to win Best Actor (for Providence) from the NYFC and fail to earn an Oscar nomination.

Annie Hall wins both the DGA and the WGA (Allen’s first win in 5 nominations), but The Turning Point comes out ahead, losing the DGA, but winning the other original WGA as well as the ACE and the MPSE.  Close Encounters wins the other Sound Editors award, while losing Director, Screenplay and Editing.  Star Wars simply loses Director, Screenplay and Editing.  The fifth DGA nomination goes to Julia – the first time since 1958 the DGA and Oscars matches 5/5.  Julia and Oh God! win the two Adapted Screenplay categories.

Annie Hall wins Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actress and Editing at the BAFTA’s – the only film between 1970 and 1990 to win the big three.  Its win for Editing is the only win or nomination for a technical category among its 21 wins and 27 nominations in all the awards groups.  In the Picture and Director races it beats 1976 Oscar nominee Network, 1976 Oscar winner Rocky and 1977 complete Oscar snub A Bridge Too FarA Bridge Too Far wins 4 of its 8 nominations but Network and Rocky only manage to go a combined 1 for 14 (with Network winning Best Actor).

The 1977 film version of Peter Shaffer's masterful play Equus

Under-appreciated Film of 1977:

Equus (dir. Sidney Lumet)

Sidney Lumet is widely acknowledged as a great director – 4 Oscar nominations, 7 DGA, 3 BAFTA, 6 Golden Globe (and a win).  Even more impressive let’s look at the 4 Oscars and 18 nominations awarded to actors from his films, including a stretch of 5 years that saw 12 nominations and 4 Oscars, including a Best Actor nomination five years in a row and four years in a row of films with mutiple acting nominations.  Lumet is a consummate actor’s director.  He finds that point of vulnerability within them and turns it loose.  He does that here, not only with Richard Burton, drawing the best performance out of him since Virginia Woolf, but also Peter Firth (earning him an Oscar nomination and the Golden Globe), Colin Blakely (BAFTA nom), Jenny Agutter (BAFTA win), Joan Plowright (BAFTA nom) and Eileen Atkins.  It is an acting triumph, akin to the one he had scored with his actors in Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

The comparison is more than apt.  Equus and Journey are two of the most well-respected plays of the 20th Century (they both won the Tony and Journey won the Pulitzer), yet both have film versions directed by Lumet that don’t quite get the attention they deserve.  Perhaps it is that they are both viewed as “filmed plays” rather than films themselves?  Perhaps it is because of one of the essential differences between film and stage – that on stage we are used to people talking for long stretches of time, that action is limited, while on film people expect more things to happen (that highlights one of the brilliant aspects of Annie Hall – how much it manages to disguise the fact that the film is mostly long stretches of people talking).  Both have great speeches and great roles (and as it so happens, both had performances – Hepburn in Journey and Burton here – that deserved the Oscar more than the performance they lost to).  But both are under-rated films, Equus in particular.  On stage, it is so much more about the relationship between Dysart, the lost psychiatrist, and Strang, the poor delusional young man.  Here, things seem to open up more.  We notice the wonderful performances from both of Strang’s parents (Blakely and Plowright), we see the importance of the role of Hesther, the friend who first brings Strang to Dysart in the first place and we can watch the erotic tragedy of the interplay between Strang and Jill.

But what it comes down, like in the film, is the interplay between psychiatrist and patient.  Firth, who had played the role for years on stage, is masterful here as the lost boy, a performance he would never come close to equaling in his further film career.  But Burton here reminds us that he is one of the great film actors of all-time.  In his eyes, we can see his reluctance to take away the boy’s pain, because he has seen himself in the boy and he understands that sometimes what gives us pain is also what gives us life.  For that is the underlying brilliance of Shaffer’s play.  And that is why as Dysart makes this decision, as he realizes that taking away the boy’s pain forever condemns him to have that chain in his mouth, the camera pans closer and closer, until all we can see is the underlying pain in his eyes.

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