The love story is nice, but it's the music and dancing that make West Side Story the best film ever made out of a Broadway musical.

The love story is nice, but it’s the music and dancing that make West Side Story the best film ever made out of a Broadway musical.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. West Side Story  **
  2. The Hustler  *
  3. La Dolce Vita
  4. One, Two, Three
  5. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  6. Yojimbo
  7. The Bridge
  8. Elevator to the Gallows
  9. L’Avventura
  10. The Guns of Navarone  *

Analysis:  Though still a very solid Top 5, this is a significant drop from the last several years.  The Hustler is actually the weakest #2 film in 6 years and La Dolce Vita is the weakest #3 film in 16 years.  Ironically, though, because I have no point difference between my #3 and #7 films, The Bridge is the third best #7 film to date.  But, because of the strength of 1960 and because only the top 8 films here are ****, there is an incredible 28 point difference between the Top 10 of 1960 (avg: 94.5) and the Top 10 of 1961 (avg: 91.7).

  • west-side-storyBest Director
  1. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins  (West Side Story)  **
  2. Robert Rossen  (The Hustler)  *
  3. Akira Kurosawa  (Yojimbo)
  4. Federico Fellini  (La Dolce Vita)
  5. Billy Wilder  (One, Two, Three)
  6. Louis Malle  (Elevator to the Gallows)
  7. Bernhard Wicki  (The Bridge)
  8. Michelangelo Antonioni  (L’Avventura)
  9. J. Lee Thompson  (The Guns of Navarone)  *
  10. Elia Kazan  (Splendor in the Grass)

Analysis:  It’s the first and only nominations for Wise, Robbins (who was primarily a dance director) and Rossen.  It’s the second nom for Fellini.  It’s the fourth nom for Kurosawa, but the first time he doesn’t win, and he’s now up to 315 points and a three-way tie for 6th place.  Wilder earns his 10th and final nomination.  That puts Wilder at 585 points, a full 135 points (three noms, or a win and a nom) above any other director, but Kurosawa will rise so quickly (because of the release of a number of his older films) over the next few years that by 1965 he will tie Wilder and in 1966 he will move past Wilder and into 1st.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. West Side Story  *
  2. The Hustler  **
  3. One, Two, Three  *
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s  *
  5. The Bridge
  6. Elevator to the Gallows
  7. A Raisin in the Sun  *
  8. Pocketful of Miracles
  9. The Misfits
  10. Macario

Analysis:  The Hustler wins the WGA for Drama and the NYFC Best Screenplay but loses the Oscar.  This will happen to another Paul Newman film two years later (Hud) but since then only one adapted script has managed to do that (Election, in 1999).
Billy Wilder earns his third nomination in a row and his 15th overall for writing.  He’s now at 880 points and has more than twice as many points as any other writer.
I have, so far, read four of the original sources – West Side Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, A Raisin in the Sun and A Pocketful of Miracles (which is based on Lady for a Day, which I already covered in my 1933 Adapted Screenplay post).

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Yojimbo
  2. La Dolce Vita  *
  3. Splendor in the Grass  **
  4. L’Avventura
  5. The Ninth Circle
  6. Breathless

Analysis:  Splendor is the first of three straight films and five out of the next six to win the Oscar in Original Screenplay and fail to even earn a WGA nom (which nominates at this point by genre, not by category).  But after that, it won’t happen again until 1981.  Fellini earns his 4th nomination in six years.  Kurosawa wins his second Nighthawk in a row and his 4th overall in writing.  But he’s still got less than half the points that Wilder has.  This category will continue to be dominated by Foreign films until the late 60’s.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Paul Newman  (The Hustler)  *
  2. Maximilian Schell  (Judgment at Nuremberg)  **
  3. James Cagney  (One, Two, Three)
  4. Marcello Mastroianni  (La Dolce Vita)
  5. Sidney Poitier  (A Raisin in the Sun)  *
  6. Toshiro Mifune  (Yojimbo)
  7. Charles Boyer  (Fanny)
  8. Maurice Chevalier  (Fanny)
  9. George Peppard  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  10. Albert Finney  (Saturday Night and Sunday Morning)  *

Analysis:  With Finney winning the NBR (and earning a BAFTA nom), Poitier earning BAFTA and Globe noms and Peter Finch winning the BAFTA (for Trials of Oscar Wilde), for the first time we have three Oscar nominees (Boyer, Spencer Tracy for Judgment at Nuremberg, Stuart Whitman for The Mark) left out of the Consensus nominees.  How rare is this for Best Actor?  Rare enough that it would be another 11 years before another year with even two Oscar nominees left out and there’s never been another year with three left out.
Cagney is the only nominee with more than one previous nomination – his 5 previous nominations (and one win) get him up to 240 points, but in the crowded Best Actor field, that’s only good enough for a tie for 12th place.
For a very long time I had Schell as the winner in this category and I still wouldn’t argue with anyone who flipped my top two.  But in the end, when I did my Best Picture project, I ended up putting Newman on top.  Either way, there’s a bit of a drop after the top two.  Chevalier really thought he was going to earn an Oscar nom and made a big push, but was passed over for his co-star Boyer.  Either way, this is by far the best dramatic performance of Chevalier’s career.

  • Best Actress
  1. Audrey Hepburn  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  2. Natalie Wood  (Splendor in the Grass)  *
  3. Shirley MacLaine  (The Children’s Hour)
  4. Piper Laurie  (The Hustler)  *
  5. Monica Vitti  (L’Avventura)
  6. Sophia Loren  (Two Women)  **
  7. Geraldine Page  (Summer and Smoke)  *
  8. Deborah Kerr  (The Innocents)
  9. Marlene Dietrich  (Judgment at Nuremberg)
  10. Annie Girardot  (Rocco and His Brothers)

Analysis:  Because there were three BAFTA winners and a number of BAFTA nominees, Audrey Hepburn, with one of her best performances doesn’t earn a Consensus nomination in spite of her Oscar and Globe noms.  These are the first nominations for Vitti and Laurie, the second for Wood, the third for MacLaine and the fourth for Hepburn.  With two wins, Hepburn is up to 210 points and a tie for 6th place.
Like with Actor, there is a significant drop between the #2 and #3 spots.

  • scottBest Supporting Actor:
  1. George C. Scott  (The Hustler)  *
  2. George Chakiris  (West Side Story)  **
  3. Montgomery Clift  (Judgment at Nuremberg)  *
  4. Burt Lancaster  (Judgment at Nuremberg)
  5. Martin Balsam  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  6. Jackie Gleason  (The Hustler)  *
  7. Peter Falk  (Pocketful of Miracles)  *
  8. Warren Beatty  (Splendor in the Grass)
  9. Horst Buchholz  (One, Two, Three)
  10. Russ Tamblyn  (West Side Story)

Analysis:  It’s Clift’s third nomination and Lancaster’s fourth, but Scott now has two wins in three years while none of the other top 9 have a win yet.
This is the best Top 5 in this category since 1950 and the second best to date.  Lancaster was actually widely expected to earn a Best Actor nom at the Oscars, but since he didn’t, I put him where I think he belongs.  Balsam would say after winning his Oscar in 1965 “I won because I didn’t get it for Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961.”  (Inside Oscar, p 389).  Obviously, with all the Oscar nominees in my Top 7, I think they did a fairly good job – in fact it earns a score of 97.1, the highest score in any acting category since 1951.

  • westBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Rita Moreno  (West Side Story)  **
  2. Judy Garland  (Judgment at Nuremberg)  *
  3. Arlene Francis  (One, Two, Three)
  4. Anouk Aimee  (La Dolce Vita)
  5. Fay Bainter  (The Children’s Hour)  *
  6. Ruby Dee  (A Raisin in the Sun)  *
  7. Una Merkel  (Summer and Smoke)
  8. Zhanna Prokhorenko  (Ballad of a Soldier)
  9. Lotte Lenya  (The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone)  *

Analysis:  This is the third nomination for Bainter and the fourth for Garland, but the first for the other three.

  • Best Editing:
  1. West Side Story
  2. The Hustler
  3. Yojimbo
  4. One, Two, Three
  5. Elevator to the Gallows
  6. The Bridge
  7. Splendor in the Grass
  8. La Dolce Vita
  9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  10. L’Avventura

Analysis:  This is the first time in four years and only the fourth time in the first 28 years of the category where I have agreed with the Academy on the winner.  That doesn’t mean I think the Academy did a good job with the category, though, as is evidenced by its pathetic score (33) and the lack of any other nominees in my Top 10.  The Guns of Navarone, at my #11, is the only other Oscar nominee to even make my 19 film list.  Judgment at Nuremberg, which is way too long and has the pace of a dead snail, is an especially bad choice for the Academy.  One, Two, Three has especially good editing for a comedy, with a great crisp flow to the film.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. West Side Story
  2. The Hustler
  3. La Dolce Vita
  4. Yojimbo
  5. Elevator to the Gallows
  6. L’Avventura
  7. Ballad of a Soldier
  8. The Misfits
  9. The Children’s Hour
  10. The Guns of Navarone

Analysis:  In all the years that there were two Cinematography awards (1939-1966), this is the only one where the two winners were my #1 and #2 of the year (the only other year where I agreed with both winners was 1950, but my top two that year were both black-and-white).
The top 5 cinematographers here are all first or second-time nominees.  In 8th place is Russell Metty, who has one Nighthawk win (Touch of Evil) and one nomination (Spartacus), but this is his 6th time in the Top 10.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  2. Yojimbo
  3. La Dolce Vita
  4. The Hustler
  5. Elevator to the Gallows
  6. Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece
  7. L’Avventura
  8. Underworld U.S.A.
  9. Splendor in the Grass
  10. The Comancheros

Analysis:  I’m not a jazz fan, so it’s to the credit of how good the score is for Elevator that I nominate a Miles Davis score.  Nino Rota earns his third nomination (all for Fellini films) and Mancini earns his second.  Masaro Sato earns his second of five straight nominations and six out of seven years (all for Kurosawa films).  I will talk more about Tintin when I eventually do my For Love of Books post, but the film is now available on YouTube and the look (and the score) are really good and make the effort (and lack of subtitles) worth it.
This list is a little deceptive when compared to the Academy.  The other four Oscar nominees (The Guns of Navarone, Summer and Smoke, Fanny, El Cid) are my #11, 13, 14 and 15, so it’s not like I thought the choices were terrible.

  • Best Sound:
  1. West Side Story
  2. Yojimbo
  3. The Hustler
  4. The Bridge
  5. The Guns of Navarone
  6. Elevator to the Gallows
  7. The League of Gentlemen
  8. Underworld U.S.A.

Analysis:  Not only is this a good year for this category (second best to date behind only 1952), but it’s a good example of the variety of sounds on film.  My top 5 are a Musical, a Samurai action film, a Sports film (where the sound of the balls is especially important), a War film and another War film with a lot of action sequences.  I don’t agree that much with the Academy (though its score of 42.4 is higher than most years to date), but it is only the 7th out of 35 years so far where the Oscar winner also wins the Nighthawk.

  • West Side Story 1_0Best Art Direction:
  1. West Side Story
  2. La Dolce Vita
  3. The Hustler
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  5. Yojimbo
  6. The Innocents
  7. Babes in Toyland
  8. Splendor in the Grass
  9. Flower Drum Song
  10. Pocketful of Miracles

Analysis:  The best showing in this category in years, especially since the Academy did a solid job in both the Color and Black-and-White categories.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Mysterious Island
  2. The Guns of Navarone

Analysis:  The Guns of Navarone isn’t a bad choice, but Mysterious Island has work from Ray Harryhausen.  Nuff said.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Yojimbo
  2. The Bridge
  3. The Guns of Navarone
  4. West Side Story
  5. Mysterious Island
  • yojimboBest Costume Design:
  1. Yojimbo
  2. West Side Story
  3. Flower Drum Song
  4. Babes in Toyland
  5. El Cid
  6. The Innocents
  7. Splendor in the Grass
  8. Fathers and Sons
  9. The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll
  10. King of Kings

Analysis:  The costume designers were always more willing to embrace foreign films.  The Earrings of Madame De…, Ugetsu and Yojimbo all earned their only Oscar nominations in this category (and The Virgin Spring was nominated here, but it also won Best Foreign Film).  West Side Story is one of those examples of really good contemporary costume design, a category often ignored by the Academy.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Yojimbo
  2. The Flower Drum Song
  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Moon River”  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  2. “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”  (Blue Hawaii)
  3. “Cruella De Vil”  (101 Dalmatians)
  4. “Almost Always True”  (Blue Hawaii)
  5. “Let’s Get Together”  (The Parent Trap)
  6. “Pocketful of Miracles”  (Pocketful of Miracles)

Analysis:  A really tough choice between #1 and 2.  “Can’t Help Falling in Love” is not only the best #2 to date, it is one of the best of all-time (it will be rivaled in 1964) and is my favorite Elvis song.  But “Moon River” is “Moon River”.  Not to be missed is “Almost Always True“, maybe Elvis’ best comic song and the scene is one of the best reasons to see Blue Hawaii.  Because I didn’t see 101 Dalmatians until I was an adult, it’s actually “Let’s Get Together” that is the big childhood memory for me on this list.  This is the best year for this category since 1939 and “Moon River” is the first Oscar-winning song since 1949 to also win the Nighthawk.

  • one_hundred_and_one_dalmatians_ver3Best Animated Film:
  1. 101 Dalmatians

Analysis:  Ranked #19 on my list of Disney films, Dalmatians is a low level ***.5 film, but that makes it good enough to qualify for this category.  I have seen three other animated films from this year, all of them Japanese films from previous years.  Two of them were eligible (Magic Boy, Alakazam the Great); the former is a **.5 film the latter a ** film.  The other, Panda and the Magic Serpent, was much better (mid-range ***) but still wasn’t good enough for my award (and isn’t on the list at

  • throughBest Foreign Film:
  1. Through a Glass Darkly  **
  2. Yojimbo
  3. Last Year at Marienbad
  4. Viridiana
  5. The Human Condition Part III
  6. Lola
  7. Divorce Italian Style  *

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.

Analysis:   Sweden is the first country to win back-to-back in this category since Japan in 1950-51 and Bergman joins Renoir (36-37) and Kurosawa (50-51) as a back-to-back winner.  Also, for the second year in a row, Bergman and Kurosawa finish 1-2.  Japan has multiple nominees for the first time since 1954.  Mexico gets its first nomination since 1956 and only its third overall.  Masaki Kobayashi earns his first nomination while Luis Buñuel earns his fourth and finally moves into the Top 10 in points.
I rank these 5 as the 10th best to date, but they are significantly weaker than the previous four years.  With only seven films on my list, this is the shortest list in five years.

By Film:

note:  They’re in points order.  You get twice as many points for a win as for a nomination.  Hopefully your math skills will let you figure out the system.

  • West Side Story  (575)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Costume Design
  • The Hustler  (415)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction
  • Yojimbo  (350)
    • Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup, Foreign Film
  • La Dolce Vita  (290)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction, Foreign Film (1960)
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s  (280)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Score, Art Direction, Original Song
  • One, Two, Three  (225)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing
  • Judgment at Nuremberg  (125)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Bridge  (100)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Sound, Sound Editing, Foreign Film (1959)
  • Elevator to the Gallows  (95)
    • Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Foreign Film (1958)
  • L’Avventura  (95)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress, Foreign Film (1960)
  • Splendor in the Grass  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • The Children’s Hour  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Guns of Navarone  (60)
    • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Mysterious Island  (60)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • 101 Dalmatians  (50)
    • Original Song, Animated Film
  • The Ninth Circle  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • A Raisin in the Sun  (34)
    • Actor
  • The Flower Drum Song  (25)
    • Costume Design, Makeup
  • Blue Hawaii  (20)
    • Original Song, Original Song
  • El Cid  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Babes in Toyland  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • The Parent Trap  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  At least there are no sub *** films getting in on one performance or a song.  The only films that are even lower range *** are Babes in Toyland, Blue Hawaii and Flower Drum Song.  Yojimbo sets a new record for a film without a Best Picture nomination with 11 nominations.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Macario

Analysis:  My #13 film of the year.  Its best finish is #6, which is for Foreign Film in 1960.  A Best Foreign Film nominee at the 1960 Oscars, you should see it if you can.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

Analysis:  A bit of an over-wrought British drama.  Its only appearance on my list is Albert Finney at Best Actor in 10th place.  But Finney won the NBR, Rachel Roberts won Best British Actress at the BAFTAs, it won Best British Film at the BAFTAs and earned three other BAFTA nominations (though the BAFTA noms were in 1960).

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. The Hustler
  2. Yojimbo
  3. The Bridge
  4. Elevator to the Gallows
  5. L’Avventura

Analysis:  Drama as a whole, and this category in particular is the weakest since 1955.  L’Avventura is the first ***.5 film since 1952 to make it into the Top 5 in Drama.  The Hustler is the weakest winner in this category since 1955 and the second weakest since 1945.  That being said, it is better than all the Comedy winners from 1945 to 1957 except for two.
Guns of Navarone won at the Globes, and as my #6, it’s not a bad choice.

  • Best Director
  1. Robert Rossen  (The Hustler)
  2. Akira Kurosawa  (Yojimbo)
  3. Louis Malle  (Elevator to the Gallows)
  4. Bernhard Wicki  (The Bridge)
  5. Michelangelo Antonioni  (L’Avventura)

Analysis:  Stanley Kramer won at the Globes for Judgment at Nuremberg, and that, in my opinion, is a bad choice.  This is Rossen’s only nom, Wicki’s only nom, Antonioni’s first nom, Malle’s first nom (and his only one until the 80’s).  Then there is Kurosawa – this is his fourth nom, but like with the regular Nighthawk Awards, it’s the first time he hasn’t won and his 315 points put him in 7th place.  Again, this is the weakest group in this category since 1955.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The Hustler
  2. The Bridge
  3. Elevator to the Gallows
  4. A Raisin in the Sun
  5. The Misfits

Analysis:  Elevator is the first Drama nomination for Malle.  Only the weakest group in this category since 1956.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Yojimbo
  2. Splendor in the Grass
  3. L’Avventura
  4. The Ninth Circle
  5. Breathless

Analysis:  Breathless is the first of three straight Truffaut nominations.  Yojimbo is the second straight win for Kurosawa; this moves Kurosawa into a tie with Bergman and Emeric Pressburger for 2nd place in Drama.  Not a great year, but since this category hasn’t traditionally been very strong, it’s better than a lot of years.

  • Paul Newman in 'The Hustler'Best Actor:
  1. Paul Newman  (The Hustler)
  2. Maximilian Schell  (Judgment at Nuremberg)
  3. Sidney Poitier  (A Raisin in the Sun)
  4. Toshiro Mifune  (Yojimbo)
  5. Charles Boyer  (Fanny)

Analysis:  Mifune earns his third Drama nomination, but more importantly, it’s the first of six straight nominations.  This is a solid group of five.

  • splendorBest Actress
  1. Natalie Wood  (Splendor in the Grass)
  2. Shirley MacLaine  (The Children’s Hour)
  3. Piper Laurie  (The Hustler)
  4. Monica Vitti  (L’Avventura)
  5. Sophie Loren  (Two Women)

Analysis:  Geraldine Page wins at the Globes for Summer and Smoke, and again, is my #6.  My points system has this is the weakest this category has offered since 1955, but it’s very close to all the previous years, so it’s stronger in comparison to other categories.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. George C. Scott  (The Hustler)
  2. Montgomery Clift  (Judgment at Nuremberg)
  3. Burt Lancaster  (Judgment at Nuremberg)
  4. Jackie Gleason  (The Hustler)
  5. Warren Beatty  (Splendor in the Grass)

Analysis:  Lancaster earns his 5th Drama nomination but still doesn’t have a win.  Surprisingly, given the weakness in other Drama categories, this is the strongest group since 1954 and the third best group to date.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Judy Garland  (Judgment at Nuremberg)
  2. Fay Bainter  (The Children’s Hour)
  3. Ruby Dee  (A Raisin in the Sun)
  4. Una Merkel  (Summer and Smoke)
  5. Zhanna Prokhorenko  (Ballad of a Soldier)

Analysis:  This group, on the other hand, is significantly weaker, the worst five since 1956.  Garland easily wins my award here – it isn’t even close.

  • The Hustler  (465)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Yojimbo  (210)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • L’Avventura  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Judgment at Nuremberg  (155)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Splendor in the Grass  (140)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • The Bridge  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • Elevator to the Gallows  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • A Raisin in the Sun  (105)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Children’s Hour  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Misfits  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Ninth Circle  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Breathless  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Fanny  (35)
    • Actor
  • Two Woman  (35)
    • Actress
  • Ballad of a Soldier  (30)
    • Supporting Actress
  • Summer and Smoke  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  The Hustler is without question a great film.  But that it ends up with the 8th highest point total in Drama to date, passing Treasure of the Sierra Madre and Bridge on the River Kwai is a reflection of the weakness of this year (and that The Hustler, unlike those films, had a female performance, which adds some points).  Similarly, L’Avventura is nominated for Picture, Director and Screenplay and in 1960 would not have come close to getting nominated for any of those.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • The Guns of Navarone

Analysis:  A very good film and my #10 of the year (which makes it my #6 Drama), but it just kept ending up in 6th place and never made it into the top 5 (and the acting isn’t that strong).

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. West Side Story
  2. La Dolce Vita
  3. One, Two, Three
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  5. 101 Dalmatians

Analysis:  West Side Story is the second best film in the Comedy / Musical category to date behind only The Wizard of Oz.  This is the best group of nominees since 1940 and the second best to date.  That’s because this is only the third time there have been four **** films in this category, following 1938 and 1940 (when there were six).  There is, though, a 15 point drop from Breakfast to Dalmatians.
The five Drama films average a 91.4 while the Comedy films average a 90.2.  That’s the closest in the averages since 1944.  I do have Pocketful of Miracles as a bottom level ***.5 film (which means I probably rate it higher than most people).  That makes it the first ***.5 to not make the Top 5 in Comedy since 1954 and it’s only the 7th time I have more than 5 Comedy / Musical films that qualify for Picture.

  • Best Director
  1. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins  (West Side Story)
  2. Federico Fellini  (La Dolce Vita)
  3. Billy Wilder  (One, Two, Three)
  4. Frank Capra  (Pocketful of Miracles)
  5. Blake Edwards  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)

Analysis:  In spite of Wise’s two Oscars for Musicals, this is his only Nighthawk nom.  It is also the only nom for Edwards, who directed a lot of good comedies but whose direction wasn’t always so good.  It’s only the second Comedy nom for Fellini, but he will eventually make it as high as the Top 5 in points.  Capra does Wise one better – though he won 3 Oscars for directing Comedy films, this is the 6th, and final time he’s been nominated in Comedy and he loses them all (he’s tied for 4th in points with 270).  Wilder, on the other hand, is the Kurosawa of Comedy – it’s only his fifth nom, but the first time since 1934 he’s nominated in this category and doesn’t win.  His 360 points put him in 3rd for Comedy points, behind only Chaplin and Preston Sturges.
This group is tied for 3rd best to date.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. West Side Story
  2. One, Two, Three
  3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  4. Pocketful of Miracles

Analysis:  Billy Wilder is now up to 600 points and no other Comedy writer will get within 100 points of him until the 90’s.  This is the best this category has had to offer since 1940 and the third best to date.  This category has been in dregs for a while.  In the 30’s, lots of comedic plays were adapted for films, but it’s not been good for a while.  I give as many points to these five scripts as I did for all the adapted comedic scripts from 1957 to 1960 combined.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. La Dolce Vita

Analysis:  This category, on the other hand, is the worst in four years because of only having one film.  The second Comedy win for Fellini.

  • CAGNEYBest Actor:
  1. James Cagney  (One, Two, Three)
  2. Marcello Mastroianni  (La Dolce Vita)
  3. George Peppard  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  4. Richard Beymer  (West Side Story)

Analysis:  Mastroianni earns his first of three straight Comedy nominations.  Cagney’s 4th win (and 8th nomination) gets him up to 415 points, but he’s still in third place (behind Chaplin and Cary Grant).  There’s a significant drop from the first two performances (Cagney is so brilliant in his line delivery in this film) to the other two.

  • holly-catBest Actress
  1. Audrey Hepburn  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  2. Bette Davis  (Pocketful of Miracles)
  3. Natalie Wood  (West Side Story)

Analysis:  Though she’s by far the leader in Drama, this is only the second Comedy nomination for Davis.  Hepburn, on the other hand, with this win moves up to 280 points, passing Marie Dressler into 2nd place, behind only the other Hepburn.  Like with Actor, there is a significant drop here from Hepburn to Davis.  Hepburn gives one of the all-time great comedic performances.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. George Chakiris  (West Side Story)
  2. Martin Balsam  (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
  3. Peter Falk  (Pocketful of Miracles)
  4. Horst Buchholz  (One, Two, Three)
  5. Russ Tamblyn  (West Side Story)

Analysis:  By several points the best group of five in this category to date.  Buchholz was often cast as a young hothead, but here his hothead has great comic delivery.  Chakiris is the first Supporting Actor in a Comedy / Musical to win Best Supporting Actor at the Globes and the first to win the Oscar since 1955.  It would be another 11 years before another Comedy / Musical performance in this category would win both the Oscar and the Globe.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Rita Moreno  (West Side Story)
  2. Arlene Francis  (One, Two, Three)
  3. Anouk Aimee  (La Dolce Vita)

Analysis:  Likewise, Moreno is the first winner from a Comedy / Musical in this category at the Oscars since 1950 and there won’t be another comedic performance to win both the Oscar and Globe until 1969.  But don’t ignore Francis who gets some of the very best lines in One, Two, Three.

  • West Side Story  (490)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s  (270)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • One, Two, Three  (265)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • La Dolce Vita  (240)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Pocketful of Miracles  (150)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • 101 Dalmatians  (50)
    • Picture

Analysis:  Ironically, though West Side Story ties Wizard of Oz for the 5th highest point total to date for a Comedy / Musical, it is lower than the previous three winners (The Apartment, Some Like It Hot, Smiles of a Summer Night).  For the record, the only film with more points than West Side Story not from the three previous years is The Awful Truth.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Lover Come Back

Analysis:  One of the better Rock Hudson / Doris Day comedies.  It’s my #7 comedy of the year and #30 overall.  Tony Randall is actually on my Supporting Actor list from this film, but that’s the most crowded category here and he doesn’t make the top 5.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  123

By Stars:

  • ****:  8
  • ***.5:  9
  • ***:  76
  • **.5:  20
  • **:  9
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  66.91

Analysis:  Without a single film below ** for the first time since 1950, this year goes up a full point and has the highest overall average since 1952.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • Harry and the Butler  (Best Foreign Film)

note:  See my note on this film down below under Submitted Foreign Films.

Other Award Nominated Films I Have Not Seen (in descending order of points total):

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  The best year in this category up to this date, and the best until 1972, but only #31 overall.  Partially this is due to the strength of West Side Story, but it’s mainly due to the lack of a bad film.  Judgment at Nuremberg, the weakest nominee, is still only down at #361.  Only 26 years have a worst film that is better.  At #31, this year is between the years 1992, which it is nothing like, and 2006, which it is very similar to (one truly great film, one film that ends up in the low 100’s, one film around 250, a fourth film that’s a bit weaker and a final film around 350).

The Winners:  Among nominees, the average winner is a 1.57, which is quite good.  It’s lead by a remarkable 1.18 among Tech categories (every category was either the best or second best choice).  In fact, the only categories at all that weren’t the best or second best were Actress (4th) and Adapted Screenplay (5th).  But among all films, this is the best year to date, averaging a 2.33.  I agree completely with 13 winners (second best to date behind 1953) and another four go to my second place.  That only leaves four categories: Original Screenplay (3rd), Black-and-White Costume Design (3rd), Actress (6th) and Adapted Screenplay (16th).

The Nominees:  The overall score is a 65, the second best to date.  The major categories (P-D-S) earn a 62.4, the best score in 7 years.  The acting is a phenomenal 89.3, second best behind only 1927-28 (when there were only two acting categories).  It’s the first time that more than two acting categories score over 90 in the same year, and the first time since 1927-28 that more than one acting category is over 90 in the same year.  Supporting Actress is a 90, Actress is a 93.8 (second highest to date behind 1951) and Supporting Actor is a 97.1 (second highest to date behind 1945).  The Tech categories are also a very respectable 57.4, the second highest to date, behind only 1932, when there only two Tech categories.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  This is the fourth of the five years where the categories were split and it was becoming obvious that the split wasn’t working – there are only 3 nominees for Best Picture Musical.  However, that means we end up with the best ranking for that category (36th overall, nine spots higher than the other four Musical years) because one of those three films is West Side Story.  The other two are Babes in Toyland and The Flower Drum Song, which aren’t great choices, but there aren’t great choices available – Babes in Toyland is my #2 Musical of the year.

The actual Comedy choices are the best to date, and in fact, the best until 1982.  It includes One, Two, Three, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pocketful of Miracles.  They also nominated The Parent Trap (which I think is the 5th best eligible film, so not a bad choice).  The problem they had was that they gave the award to A Majority of One, by far the weakest of the five films.  When comparing the rank of the winning film, compared to the rank of the average nominee, this makes the third worst year in Globes history, behind only 1988 and 1993.  I rank A Majority of One as one of the 10 worst winners of Best Picture – Comedy or Musical at the Globes, which is especially embarrassing, as I have West Side Story as the second best winner of all-time, behind only Hannah and Her Sisters.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1 –  West Side Story  (already reviewed here)

Though I have already reviewed West Side Story, I feel the need to re-iterate something.  This is, to my mind, the single best film ever adapted from a stage musical.  It is a daring and revolutionary film, with incredible acting, fight scenes that are part action part ballet, some of the best songs ever written for Broadway, visionary directing and a triumph on every technical level.  If you ever get a chance to see it on screen, do so.

2  –  The Hustler  (already reviewed here)

Roger Ebert's favorite film.

Roger Ebert’s favorite film.

3  –  La Dolce Vita  (dir. Federico Fellini)

This is the transitional film in the oeuvre of Federico Fellini.  The criticism that is leveled at Fellini (by the obnoxious guy in Annie Hall, but also by me and others) is that he is self-indulgent.  His films, starting in the 60’s, tend to dive further into Fellini’s fantasies, and except for Amarcord, it hurts most of his later films.  That descent into (sometimes) obscene excess begins in this film, with the long wild night in Rome.  But, for the most part, Fellini reigns it in here (he’s not so successful in 8 1/2, which is why I don’t think it’s as good a film as this one), and with the strong acting, the fascinating night and the wonderful technical achievements, this is one of Fellini’s best films.

Strengths abound in this film.  The music from Nino Rota is among his best, and when you hear his score for other Fellini films you know how high a compliment that is.  The cinematography and art direction are both amazing (I think the art direction is even better than the Oscar winner for black-and-white, The Hustler).  In spite of its three hour length, it doesn’t drag.  It keeps you interested in the decadence you see in almost every frame.

Our favorite films say as much about us as they do about the films.  Roger Ebert didn’t really call this his favorite film, but it was clear from the way that he wrote about it that it was.  It represented a decadent life that he hoped to someday be a part of, a journalistic observer also able to intrude on the good life.  That’s not my interest, so I have never been struck by it in the way that he has.  But I am impressed with it as a film.

The most impressive thing, as with the film below, is the lead performance.  Marcello Mastroianni is not of my favorite actors.  But he is the perfect actor for the role here, somehow straddling the line between the decadence that tries to pull him in and the journalism that allows him to keep it just a little bit away.  This might very well be his best performance, and it is certainly the one that made it clear that he was an international star to be reckoned with.  The film’s success, from start to finish, while it may be Fellini’s, it hinges entirely on his lead.

4  –  One, Two, Three  (already reviewed here)

I'm so glad she goes back for the cat.

I’m so glad she goes back for the cat.

5  –  Breakfast at Tiffany’s  (dir. Blake Edwards)

You can think that Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a great film no matter what you think of the ending and what you think that ending says about Holly Golightly.  You can also think it’s a great film in spite of the one major problem at the heart of the production (I say production, because it’s not a problem with the film, but a casting choice – there’s no way in getting around the fact that Mickey Rooney’s portrayal is offensive and ridiculous and never should have been put in the film – it hurts the film but it’s a side enough part of the film that you can get past it).  But how much you might come to love the film might depend on what you think of that ending and what the ending says about Holly.

There is a line from Capote’s book that perhaps captures the spirit of Holly perfectly: “It’s better to look at the sky than to live there.  Such an empty place; so vague.  Just a country where the thunder goes and things disappear.”  That is Holly Golightly, the girl who likes to have breakfast at Tiffany’s, staring in at what she really can’t have.  She is trying to live in the sky and all her words and actions back that idea up.  I called her a girl for a reason.  She’s not grown up yet – thinking that the party will last forever, that she can embrace the good times and wash the bad times away with a pretty song on the guitar.  She pushes Doc away because she knows he would never be able to understand her need to try to live in the sky.  We love to watch her in the film because she’s living in a way that many people wish they could but know they cannot.  She is wish fulfillment and she exists in her own little fantasy world.  She may be someone we would want, but she’s not really someone you could ever love.

All of that comes from the performance of Audrey Hepburn.  Yes, there are other really well-done things about the film – it has a wonderful Henry Mancini score (which rightfully won the Oscar), it has one of the most beautiful songs ever written for a film, it has a good, bizarrely hilarious performance from Martin Balsam, a solid straight-man performance from George Peppard.  It is well-written and has the best direction of Blake Edwards’ career.  But it is Hepburn’s performance, the way she pushes in the sadness and finds her moments of joy, that is the heart of this film and should have won her a second Oscar.

And it is Hepburn who descends from the sky when she decides to embrace actual life.  In the heart of the playgirl who just wants to be free, in the cynical depths that makes her think she needs to push everything away, she realizes that she can’t do it.  And that’s what gives the film a happy ending, and one we can embrace.  Because the Holly Golightly who has learned, who has realized things that make life worth living beyond what can be found in the window of Tiffany’s is what makes her get out of the car and go out in the rain.  We desire Holly and we envy her for the life she seems to be able to live, away from anything that might bring her out of the sky.  But we actually find a way to love her because in the end, she steps out of the rain and goes back for the cat.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Caltiki, the Immortal Monster
  2. By Love Possessed
  3. The Hand
  4. Alakazam the Great
  5. Two Loves

note:  Both By Love Possessed and Two Loves are directed by men who were at one point nominated for Best Director at the Oscars (John Farrow and Charles Walters, respectively) and that is the only reason to see either one.

To be fair, this is a much better film than the "worst" film of the several previous years.

To be fair, this is a much better film than the “worst” film of the previous several years.

Caltiki, the Immortal Monster  (dir. Robert Hamton)

In some ways, it is hard to properly judge how bad a film Caltiki is.  Had it been made in the U.S., it might have been turned out by Roger Corman and might have been cheaply.  Or it might not have – it might have involved the visionary work of Ray Harryhausen and had some daring visual effects in the service of a silly story.

What we have is what is in front of us.  And that involves a plot that’s not so different from a lot of 50’s Sci-Fi films.  Two archeologists are exploring Mayan ruins and come upon a monster that seems to be exacting revenge on behalf of Caltiki, a Mayan goddess for her temple being intruded upon.  It grows in size (it has to do with radiation) and there is the usual business about getting the government to help.  The quality of this kind of film often hinges on the quality of the effects – the effects in this film aren’t as laughable as in a Corman film, but they aren’t particularly good either.

So what makes this just a ** film and not one of those terrible films I’ve written about in the previous few years?  Well, because this is film is actually made with a modicum of talent – the director (Robert Hamton is the listed director, but that’s a stand-in name for Riccardo Freda, an Italian director who made a number of sword-and-sandal films) actually had some ability to create mood and atmosphere.

In fact, the worst thing about the film is really the narration and some of the dialogue and that’s where we get into the question of how good it is.  Because all of that is dubbed – this is an Italian film that was dubbed into English.  Maybe the narration wasn’t so awful before.  Perhaps the dialogue didn’t sound so bad with the actual Italian actors as opposed to the horrible dubbing job.  Either way, this wasn’t going to be a great film – it’s just not that well-made.  But even with the bad lines (and worse delivery), this is still clearly a big step up on those Corman cheapies.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  West Side Story  /  The Hustler  /  Yojimbo  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  West Side Story  (8)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  West Side Story  (575)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  The Flower Drum Song
  • 2nd Place Award:  The Hustler  (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography)
  • 6th Place Award:  Elevator to the Gallows  (Director, Adapted Screenplay, Sound)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  The Hustler  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  The Hustler  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  The Hustler  (465)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  Two Women
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  West Side Story  (8)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  West Side Story  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  West Side Story  (490)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Pocketful of Miracles

Note:  * means a Nighthawk record up to this point; ** ties a Nighthawk record

Progressive Leaders:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  The Wizard of Oz  (18)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  The Wizard of Oz  (14)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  The Wizard of Oz  (795)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards without winning Best Picture:  Frankenstein  /  The Magnificent Ambersons  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Best Picture Nomination:  Yojimbo  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Nighthawk Award:  My Man Godfrey (11)
  • Actor:  Humphrey Bogart  (475)
  • Actress:  Bette Davis  (555)
  • Director:   Billy Wilder  (585)
  • Writer:  Billy Wilder  (880)
  • Cinematographer:  Arthur Edeson  /  Gregg Toland  (200)
  • Composer:  Max Steiner  (450)
  • Foreign Film:  Akira Kurosawa  (340)

Breakdown by Genre  (Foreign in parenthesis, best film in genre following, avg. score is afterwards, in parenthesis):

  • Foreign:  46  –  La Dolce Vita  (69.0)
  • Drama:  39 (13)  –  The Hustler  (65.9)
  • Comedy:  17 (3)  –  La Dolce Vita  (69.2)
  • Musical:  9 (2)  –  West Side Story  (66.6)
  • Horror:  9 (4)  –  The Testament of Dr. Cordelier  (60.7)
  • War:  8 (6)  –  The Bridge  (74.3)
  • Adventure:  8 (4)  –  El Cid  (65.3)
  • Western:  8  –  The Comancheros  (65.3)
  • Crime:  7 (4)  –  Elevator to the Gallows  (74)
  • Kids:  6 (3)  –  101 Dalmations  (63)
  • Fantasy:  4 (2)  –  Macario  (66)
  • Suspense:  3 (2)  –  Purple Noon  (63.3)
  • Mystery:  2 (2)  –  L’Avventura  (78)
  • Sci-Fi:  2  –  The Incredible Petrified World  (51)
  • Action:  1 (1)  –  Yojimbo  (92)

Analysis:  This is the third year (along with 1935 and 1959) to be represented in all 15 genres.  It also has the widest range to date of Foreign films among the various genres.  The 46 Foreign films are a new high, as are the 8 Adventure films.  Musicals, on the other hand, drop into single digits for the first time since 1946.  This is the first year that Drama has not had the most films, and it also has its lowest average in five years.  The Drama films only account for 31% of the films I’ve seen, the second lowest to date behind only 1943.  Comedies drop a lot in quantity but go up in quality – they have their highest average since 1954 and second-highest since 1944.  With only two Sci-Fi films, and neither of them terrible, it has an average over 50 for the first time in six years.

The Comedies really are better.  There are 3 in the Top 10 (first since 1951) and 4 in the Top 10 (first since 1954).  On the other hand, there is only 1 Drama in the Top 10 and 5 in the Top 20 (both the lowest since 1953).  Macario becomes the first Fantasy film in the Top 20 since 1954.  West Side Story becomes the first Musical to win Best Picture at the Nighthawks, leaving Adventure and Sci-Fi as the only categories yet to have a winner.

Among sub-genres, there are a few trends.  There are seven World War II films, five of them foreign.  We have the first three Anime films to reach the States, none of them particularly good (Panda and the Magic Serpent, Magic Boy, Alkazam the Great).  There are also still a number of lit adaptations, including Turgenev, Faulkner, two Jules Verne adaptations, two versions of Jekyll and Hyde and two adaptations of Tennessee Williams plays.

Studio Note:  For the first time since 1930 there is only one major studio that I’ve seen more than 10 films from (13 from United Artists).  The majors only account for 52.85% of the films I’ve seen, the lowest to date.  Among the majors, Columbia has the highest average, with a 71.1 (the highest for the studio since 1950).  MGM hits two new lows – only 8 films (the first time I’ve seen fewer than 10 MGM films) and a 56.4 average.

United Artists becomes the first studio to win 5 Best Pictures.  But it’s the first in 24 years, back when UA was still a conglomeration of major producers.  With West Side Story and One, Two, Three it is the only studio with multiple Top 10 films and the only one with three Top 20 films.

30 Films Eligible for Best Foreign Film (alphabetical, with director and country in parenthesis – red are ****, blue are ***.5 – both those colors qualify for my Best Foreign Film Award; an asterisk means it was the Official selection for the Oscar, two asterisks were nominated, three asterisks won the Oscar):

  • Accattone  (Pasolini, Italy)
  • Cleo from 5 to 7  (Varda, France)
  • The Colossus of Rhodes  (Leone, Italy)
  • A Difficult Life  (Risi, Italy)
  • Divorce Italian Style  (Germi, Italy)
  • Early Autumn  (Ozu, Japan)
  • Girl with a Suitcase  (Zurlini, Italy)
  • The Hand in the Trap  (Nilsson, Argentina)
  • Hercules in the Haunted World  (Bava, Italy)
  • Hermanos del Hierro  (Rodriguez, Mexico)
  • The Human Condition Part III  (Kobayashi, Japan)
  • Immortal Love  (Kinoshita, Japan)  **
  • The Important Man  (Rodriguez, Mexico)  **
  • Joan of the Angels  (Kawalerowicz, Poland)
  • Last Year at Marienbad  (Resnais, France)  *
  • Leon Morin, Priest  (Melville, France)
  • Lola  (Demy, France)
  • The Long Absence  (Colpi, France)
  • Love and Faith  (Bomba, Egypt)
  • La Notte  (Antonioni, Italy)  *
  • Placido  (Garcia Berlanga, Spain)  **
  • The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo  (Autant-Lara, France)
  • Summer Skin  (Nilsson, Argentina)  *
  • Through a Glass Darkly  (Bergman, Sweden)  ***
  • Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece  (Vierne, Belgium)
  • Two Women  (De Sica, Italy)
  • A Very Private Affair  (Malle, France)
  • Viridiana  (Buñuel, Mexico)
  • A Woman is a Woman  (Godard, France)
  • Yojimbo  (Kurosawa, Japan)

Note:  The 30 total films are the lowest since 1954.  France and Italy lead with 8 films each.  Argentina has multiple films for the first time.  There is no Soviet film for the first time since 1955 and no Indian or West German film for the first time since 1954.  There are only 4 Japanese films, the lowest amount since 1952.
Only five of the 14 genres are represented.  There are 17 Dramas, almost 60% of the total.  There are also 6 Comedies.  More surprisingly there are 5 Adventure films, as many as from 1934 to 1960 combined.  This is because of the rise of the Sword and Sandal films in Italy (which also accounts for the one Fantasy film).  The final film is an Action film.  War and Crime films are absent for the first time since 1954, there are no Horror films for the first time since 1953 and this is the first year since 1950 where I haven’t seen a Foreign Musical (possibly also connected to the lack of films from India).

Foreign Films Submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars That I Haven’t Seen:

  • Denmark:  Harry and the Butler  (dir. Christensen)  –  NOMINEE
  • Austria:  Jedermann  (dir. Reinhardt)
  • India:  Stree  (dir. Shantaram)
  • Switzerland:  Lengthening Shadows  (dir. Vajda)

note:  At this point I am making a concerted effort to see as many submitted films as I can.  The full list can be found here.  This year I am 9 for 13.
I am only missing 16 of the first 70 submitted films and annoyingly, that includes the first 5 submissions from Denmark, including three actual nominees.  If anyone knows why Denmark’s films are so hard to track down, please, let me know.

Films Eligible in This Year But Originally Released in a Different Calendar Year:

  • Three Strange Loves  (1949)
  • Secrets of Woman  (1952)
  • Neopolitan Carousel  (1954)
  • Othello  (1956)
  • The Incredible Petrified World  (1957)
  • Big Deal on Madonna Street  (1958)
  • The Cheaters  (1958)
  • Elevator to the Gallows  (1958)
  • Panda and the Magic Serpent  (1958)
  • Ballad of a Soldier  (1959)
  • The Bridge  (1959)
  • La Cucaracha  (1959)
  • A Double Tour  (1959)
  • Fathers and Sons  (1959)
  • The Great War  (1959)
  • The Human Condition Part II  (1959)
  • Nazarin  (1959)
  • Odd Obsession  (1959)
  • Roses for the Prosecutor  (1959)
  • Shadows  (1959)
  • Testament for Dr. Cordelier  (1959)
  • Alakazam the Great  (1960)
  • Battle of Blood Island  (1960)
  • Black Sunday  (1960)
  • Blood and Roses  (1960)
  • A Breath of Scandal  (1960)
  • Breathless  (1960)
  • Caltiki, the Immortal Monster  (1960)
  • La Dolce Vita  (1960)
  • The Fabulous World of Jules Verne  (1960)
  • The Flesh and the Fiends  (1960)
  • General Della Rovere  (1960)
  • The Grass is Greener  (1960)
  • The Hand  (1960)
  • Hell is a City  (1960)
  • Khovanshchina  (1960)
  • L’Aventurra  (1960)
  • The League of Gentlemen  (1960)
  • The Little Shop of Horrors  (1960)
  • Macario  (1960)
  • Magic Boy  (1960)
  • The Millionairess  (1960)
  • The Ninth Circle  (1960)
  • The Plunderers  (1960)
  • Purple Noon  (1960)
  • Rocco and His Brothers  (1960)
  • Saturday Night and Sunday Morning  (1960)
  • The Savage Innocents  (1960)
  • Sword of Sherwood Forest  (1960)
  • The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll  (1960)
  • La Verite  (1960)
  • The Young One  (1960)

Note:  These 52 films average a 68.  This lists includes 4 of the Top 10 and 8 of the Top 20.  It also includes 3 of the worst 4 films but none of them are worse than **.

Films Not Listed at

  • La Cucaracha
  • Dancing in the Rain
  • A Difficult Life
  • A Double Tour
  • Hermanos del Hierro
  • Immortal Love
  • Neopolitan Carousel
  • The Ninth Circle
  • Panda and the Magic Serpent
  • Placido
  • Roses for the Prosecutor
  • Testament of Dr. Cordelier
  • Three Strange Loves
  • Tintin and the Mystery of the Golden Fleece

Note:  I use the list at for deciding which year films are eligible in.  Some films, however, don’t appear in that database.  For those films, I use the IMDb.  These are the films that aren’t listed in the database but that end up in this year.
Immortal Love was submitted for Best Foreign Film in 1961 but doesn’t seem to have gotten a U.S. release.  Several of these films, unlike in previous years, are actually older films that the IMDb lists with a U.S. release, but perhaps didn’t play in LA, including Bergman’s Three Strange Loves (1949), Neopolitan Carousel (1954), Panda and the Magic Serpent (1958 – the first color Anime film), Renoir’s Jekyll and Hyde film Testament of Dr. Cordelier (1959), Roses for the Prosecutor (1959), Claude Chabrol’s A Double Tour (1959), La Cucaracha (1960), and The Ninth Circle, which was a 1960 Best Foreign Film nominee.  The other four films are all 1961 Foreign films that don’t seem to have ever earned a U.S. release.

Films Released This Year Originally But Eligible in a Different Year:

  • The Best of Enemies  (1962)
  • Bon Voyage  (1962)
  • Creature from the Haunted Sea  (1962)
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire  (1962)
  • Divorce Italian Style  (1962)
  • Early Autumn  (1962)
  • Flame in the Streets  (1962)
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  (1962)
  • Hey Let’s Twist  (1962)
  • The Important Man  (1962)
  • The Intruder  (1962)
  • Last Year at Marienbad  (1962)
  • Leon Morin, Priest  (1962)
  • The Long and the Short and the Tall  (1962)
  • La Notte  (1962)
  • The Phantom Planet  (1962)
  • The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo  (1962)
  • A Taste of Honey  (1962)
  • Through a Glass Darkly  (1962)
  • A Very Private Affair  (1962)
  • Victim  (1962)
  • Viridiana  (1962)
  • Whistle Down the Wind  (1962)
  • Battle of the Worlds  (1963)
  • Cleo from 5 to 7  (1963)
  • The Hellfire Club  (1963)
  • Hercules and the Captive Women  (1963)
  • Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World  (1963)
  • The Hand in the Trap  (1964)
  • Hercules in the Haunted World  (1964)
  • Joan of the Angels  (1964)
  • Summer Skin  (1964)
  • The Human Condition Part III (1965)
  • A Woman is a Woman  (1965)
  • Lola  (1966)
  • The Long Absence  (1966)
  • Night Tide  (1966)
  • Accattone  (1971)

Note:  These 38 films average a 61.9.  That’s because while there is one great film (Through a Glass Darkly) and a number of very good films (Last Year at Marienbad, Viridiana, Whistle Down the Wind, The Human Condition Part III, Lola, Divorce Italian Style), there are four simply awful films as well (Battle of the Worlds, Hercules and the Captive Women, The Phantom Planet, Creature from the Haunted Sea).