Death arrives out of the seemingly endless desert.

Death arrives out of the seemingly endless desert.

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. Lawrence of Arabia  **
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird  *
  3. Throne of Blood
  4. The Music Man  *
  5. Jules and Jim
  6. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  7. Through a Glass Darkly
  8. Ride the High Country
  9. The Manchurian Candidate
  10. Last Year at Marienbad

Analysis:  There’s a big drop here after #9 – it drops from a mid-range **** to a high-level ***.5.  This year ties 1960 as having the best Top 9 to date.  Ride the High Country and The Manchurian Candidate really match up with Tunes of Glory and The Hidden Fortress as the best #8 and #9 films to date.  I re-watched Jules and Jim before doing these awards and ended up bumping it up in a few categories, most notably Picture and Director, which ended up costing The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance its only two Nighthawk nominations.  But in years like this, it’s hard to just pick five films at the top.

  • lean-o-tool-tour-lawrence--gBest Director
  1. David Lean  (Lawrence of Arabia)  **
  2. Akira Kurosawa  (Throne of Blood)
  3. Robert Mulligan  (To Kill a Mockingbird)  *
  4. Sam Peckinpah  (Ride the High Country)
  5. Francois Truffaut  (Jules and Jim)
  6. John Ford  (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance)
  7. Ingmar Bergman  (Through a Glass Darkly)
  8. John Frankenheimer  (The Manchurian Candidate)  *
  9. Morton Da Costa  (The Music Man)
  10. Michael Powell  (Peeping Tom)

Analysis:  The Consensus list here is odd because there were 9 DGA nominees (and 7 semi-finalists) and 11 Globe nominees.  The top 5 included Stanley Kubrick for Lolita (DGA / Globe noms), in one of the rare directorial efforts of his that doesn’t earn a Nighthawk nomination (he finished in 11th).  Lean wins the Oscar, DGA, Globe and NBR – with no NYFC Awards because of a writer’s strike, this gives Lean a clean sweep, the first since Lean did it in 1957.  Because the National Society of Film Critics will start their awards in 1966, the same year that someone would again will all those awards, there would not be another complete sweep of the Best Director awards, though Ang Lee (2005) and Kathryn Bigelow (2009) would come close (although neither wins my Best Director award).

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia  *
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird  **
  3. Jules and Jim
  4. The Manchurian Candidate
  5. Throne of Blood
  6. Lolita  *
  7. Billy Budd  *
  8. The Music Man  *
  9. Sweet Bird of Youth
  10. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Analysis:  Only four scripts earned more than 40 Consensus points – To Kill a Mockingbird (Oscar, WGA win), Lawrence of Arabia (Oscar nom, BAFTA win), The Music Man (WGA Musical win) and The Miracle Worker (Oscar, WGA nom).  This left the final two Oscar nominees and the other 8 WGA nominees that were adapted all tied for the 5th and final Consensus spot.
Francois Truffaut earns his second nomination.  Akira Kurosawa earns his 6th nomination (and fourth in three years); he’s now up to 400 points and tied with Chaplin at 400 points in 3rd place among writers.
This list is a complete oddity in that I have actually read the source material for all 10 scripts.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Through a Glass Darkly  *
  2. Ride the High Country
  3. Last Year at Marienbad  *
  4. Viridiana
  5. Peeping Tom
  6. Divorce – Italian Style  *

Analysis:  Ingmar Bergman wins his fifth Nighthawk Award for writing in just five years.  This moves him to 480 points and second place among writers, behind only Billy Wilder.  Luis Buñuel earns his third writing nom.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Peter O’Toole  (Lawrence of Arabia)  *
  2. Gregory Peck  (To Kill a Mockingbird)  **
  3. Robert Preston  (The Music Man)
  4. Toshiro Mifune  (Throne of Blood)
  5. Gunnar Bjornstrand  (Through a Glass Darkly)
  6. Ralph Richardson  (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)
  7. Frank Sinatra  (The Manchurian Candidate)
  8. Paul Newman  (Sweet Bird of Youth)
  9. Charles Laughton  (Advise and Consent)
  10. Joel McCrea  (Ride the High Country)

Analysis:  This is a year of agreed upon solid performances and vastly overlooked great performances.  All five Oscar nominees also earned BAFTA and Globe noms, but as you may notice, three of them aren’t on my list.  But they’re not bad choices – if they were, the score for this category would be lower than the 71.1 it is.  It’s just that there are a lot of over-looked performances that I thought were better.
The BAFTA and Globes both seemed to have unlimited nominees this year, so the Consensus list, which normally only has about 20 names max on it has 29.  So, it does include Robert Preston (Globe nom) giving one of my favorite performances of all-time, as the master con man, turned romantic in The Music Man.  It also has Charles Laughton (BAFTA nom) in his last great performance as the unpleasant senator in Advise and Consent.  Paul Newman is also on there for his cad in Sweet Bird of Youth.  But neither great foreign performance makes the list – not Toshiro Mifune as MacBeth (or, for that matter, his performance in The Lower Depths, which was my #12 or Sanjuro, which was my #19) or Gunnar Bjornstrand as the father of the suffering young woman.  It does not include Ralph Richardson in one of his greatest performances, as the actor ruling the house long into the night.  It ignores both the very good lead performances in Ride the High Country (Randolph Scott was my #18) and The Manchurian Candidate (Laurence Harvey was my #14).  It’s just too stacked of a year.
The other Oscar nominees were Jack Lemmon in The Days of Wine and Roses (my #13), Burt Lancaster, who won the BAFTA for Foreign Actor in Bird Man of Alcatraz (my #15) and Marcello Mastroianni, who actually won the Globe over Preston and won the BAFTA for Foreign Actor the next year for Divorce – Italian Style (my #17).  All of them were quite good, but in this year, there’s just too many performances that were better.
It’s the first nominations for Preston and O’Toole, the second for Bjornstrand and the third for Peck.  It’s the third for Mifune, after winning Supporting twice, and the first of five straight nominations for him as the Kurosawa films start pouring into the States.

  • Best Actress
  1. Harriet Andersson  (Through a Glass Darkly)
  2. Katharine Hepburn  (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)  *
  3. Anne Bancroft  (The Miracle Worker)  **
  4. Geraldine Page  (Sweet Bird of Youth)  *
  5. Shirley Jones  (The Music Man)
  6. Bette Davis  (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane)  *
  7. Rosalind Russell  (Gypsy)
  8. Sylvia Pinal  (Viridiana)
  9. Hayley Mills  (Whistle Down the Wind)
  10. Monica Vitti  (The Eclipse)

Analysis:  This is the second nomination for Jones, the third for Andersson (who won already in Supporting) and the first of several for both Bancroft and Page.  It’s the 11th nomination for Hepburn, but she is still 65 points behind Bette Davis.
I actually had Hepburn as the winner for a long time, and this is her best performance since at least 1951, if not 1940.  But Andersson’s performance in Glass is just amazing and shattering, as the poor woman suffering through her demons.
The fifth Oscar nominee was Lee Remick for Days of Wine and Roses, and though she also earned BAFTA and Globe noms, she is down at #14 on my list.

  • omar-sharif1Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Omar Sharif  (Lawrence of Arabia)  *
  2. Peter Sellers  (Lolita)  *
  3. Ed Begley  (Sweet Bird of Youth)  **
  4. Paul Ford  (The Music Man)
  5. Jason Robards  (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)
  6. Terrence Stamp  (Billy Budd)
  7. Arthur Kennedy  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  8. Robert Ryan  (Billy Budd)
  9. Dean Stockwell  (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)
  10. Jack Hawkins  (Lawrence of Arabia)

Analysis:  This is the first nomination for all five.
I’ve never really understood how the Academy votes.  They have, at times, had no problems giving Oscars to people arriving with force on the scene – witness Audrey Hepburn or Eva Marie Saint in the 50’s.  They continue do it (the oscar for Lupita N’yongo, for example).  So, how did they end up passing up both O’Toole and Sharif?  O’Toole’s is more explainable, given how emotionally people are drawn in to Atticus Finch.  But Sharif’s loss is harder to explain.  I’m also disappointed that they nominated Telly Savalas for The Birdman of Alcatraz and Victor Buono for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (both are on my list, but the final two spots at #15 and 16).  To do that they had to ignore the brilliant performance from Sellers (the best in the film), the hilarious performance from Ford as the mayor of River City and yet another of the great performances in Long Day (all four were great, but they only saw fit to nominate Hepburn).

  • the-manchurian-candidate-mom-son2Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Angela Lansbury  (The Manchurian Candidate)  **
  2. Shelley Winters  (Lolita)
  3. Patty Duke  (The Miracle Worker)  *
  4. Mary Badham  (To Kill a Mockingbird)  *
  5. Hermione Gingold  (The Music Man)
  6. Moira Shearer  (Peeping Tom)
  7. Shirley Knight  (Sweet Bird of Youth)  *
  8. Thelma Ritter  (The Birdman of Alcatraz)  *

Analysis:  This is Lansbury’s fourth nomination and her second win and she is now at 180 points, just outside the Top 10.  It’s the third nomination for Winters.  The other three, two very young actresses and one quite old are all earning their first noms.
Lansbury actually won the Globe and the NBR, which is why she won the Consensus and this might be the best performance of a long and distinguished career.  Winters is great in Lolita (the two supporting performances are by far the strong suit of this film version, as you can read about here).  And Gingold is as hilarious as Paul Ford, her on-screen husband.  Shearer’s performance is painful and tragic and I wish I could have found room for her in my top 5, but I can’t ignore Duke and Badham who give two of the best child performances in screen history.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. The Manchurian Candidate
  4. Jules and Jim
  5. Throne of Blood
  6. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  7. Ride the High Country
  8. Through a Glass Darkly
  9. The Music Man
  10. Peeping Tom

Analysis:  For the second year in a row I actually agree with the Oscar winner.  This has only happened once before (53-54) and won’t happen again until 80-81.  In fact, this category has been so bad, that since the Oscar winner in 1960 was my #3, this is the first time in the 29 years of the award that three Oscar winners in a row have even made my Top 10.  With three Oscar nominees in my Top 10, this year has the best score (59.0) in this category since 1950.  Oscars aside, this is the third best Top 5 in this category to date, behind only 1946 and 1960.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. Throne of Blood
  3. To Kill a Mockingbird
  4. Ride the High Country
  5. Through a Glass Darkly
  6. Last Year at Marienbad
  7. Billy Budd
  8. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  9. The Manchurian Candidate
  10. Jules and Jim

Analysis:  Freddie Young wins his first Nighthawk, but he’ll be back (again with Lean) in three years.  Lower down on the list are a couple of regular collaborators – Asakazu Nagai earns his third nomination working with Kurosawa and Sven Nykvist his third working with Bergman.  Russell Harlan earns his third (and final) Nighthawk nomination for Mockingbird.
Even though only two of them earn Oscar nominations, this is the second best Top 5 to date behind only 1946.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. Jules and Jim
  4. Throne of Blood
  5. Eyes Without a Face
  6. Walk on the Wild Side
  7. Sanjuro
  8. Ride the High Country
  9. Pressure Point
  10. Cape Fear

Analysis:  Maurice Jarre earns his first win and another nomination for Eyes Without a Face.  Elmer Bernstein earns his third nomination, for Mockingbird.  Masaru Sato earns his third of five straight nominations, all with Kurosawa.

  • Best Sound:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. The Music Man
  3. Throne of Blood
  4. Ride the High Country
  5. Billy Budd
  6. Sanjuro
  7. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  8. The Manchurian Candidate
  9. Requiem for a Heavyweight
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird

Analysis:  Again, back-to-back agreement with the Oscars, again only the second time (52-53) and it won’t happen again until 75-76.  Having my top two films both be Oscar nominees earns this category a score of 48.4, which in this category, sadly, is the third best to date.  I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how they decided the sound in That Touch of Mink was more awards worthy than Ride the High Country or Billy Budd.

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. The Music Man
  3. Throne of Blood
  4. Lolita
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird
  6. Last Year at Marienbad
  7. The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
  8. Gypsy
  9. Jules and Jim
  10. Sweet Bird of Youth

Analysis:  This is a good example of variety in the category – adventures in a foreign land, lush musical, strange eccentricities and a slightly historical southern town.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Jack the Giant Killer
  2. Lawrence of Arabia
  3. The Longest Day
  4. Mutiny on the Bounty

Analysis:  The stop-motion effects in Jack aren’t up to the bar set by Ray Harryhausen, but they easily outdistance the other films in a very effects-light year.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. Throne of Blood
  3. Ride the High Country
  4. Sanjuro
  5. Billy Budd
  6. The Longest Day
  7. Mutiny on the Bounty
  • lawrence-costumesBest Costume Design:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. Throne of Blood
  3. The Music Man
  4. The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm
  5. Gypsy
  6. Knights of the Black Cross
  7. Mutiny on the Bounty
  8. Sissi
  9. Billy Budd
  10. Taras Bulba

Analysis:  Again, considerable variety – native Arab costumes (and British military), Japanese period costumes, lush period-piece musical costumes, 19th century German costumes and burlesque.  Knights of the Black Cross is a 1960 Polish film (submitted for the Oscar) with some very nice costumes in color and is well worth seeing.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. Gypsy
  3. Carnival of Souls
  4. Throne of Blood
  5. Tales of Terror
  6. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
  7. Jack the Giant Killer
  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Being in Love”  (The Music Man)
  2. “Follow That Dream”  (Follow That Dream)
  3. “Walk on the Wild Side”  (Walk on the Wild Side)
  4. “Teamwork”  (The Road to Hong Kong)
  5. “What a Wonderful Life”  (Follow That Dream)
  6. “The Days of Wine and Roses”  (The Days of Wine and Roses)

Analysis:  So, it turns out that writing a new song for the film version isn’t an entirely new concept.  But “Being in Love” was also replacing “My White Knight” and is a better song (The Music Man is one of the few musicals where I think the film soundtrack is better than the original Broadway one). lists 113 songs in their database for this year, but this actually why I don’t completely go by it (there will be later years where I nominate songs not on their list) – because they don’t list “Love Song from Mutiny on the Bounty (Follow Me)” which was obviously eligible as it was nominated.  So I know there are some mistakes in the database.  Of those 113 songs, I’ve seen the film for 81 (11 of which come from Girls! Girls! Girls!).  I’ve seen every film that had more than 2 eligible songs.
This is one of the years with semi-finalists, but not only do I only have two nominated songs on my list, none of the five semi-finalists make my list either.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. none

Analysis:  There were only two eligible Animated Films in 1962.  The first was Gay Purr-ee, a Warner Bros film that didn’t use any of the Looney Tunes characters, but instead is about cats in Paris.  In spite of Judy Garland’s voice talent, it is not very good (I rank it at **.5).  The other was a 1959 Czech puppet version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  It is considerably better, but still only a mid-range *** and not good enough to earn awards consideration.

  • jules-et-jim-716941lBest Foreign Film:
  1. Jules and Jim
  2. Harakiri
  3. The Exterminating Angel
  4. Sundays and Cybele  **
  5. The Four Days of Naples  *
  6. Sanjuro

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

Analysis:  The lack of nominees and submitted films on my list are the fault of the origin countries, not the Academy.  I’ve seen 52 Foreign films from this year, including 9 of the 13 submitted films and only two of them (Sundays and Naples) made my top 14.  For instance, Japan submitted the okay Being Two Isn’t Easy (#33) rather than the brilliant Harakiri (#2) or the hilarious Sanjuro (in fact, though it won the Oscar when it was still an honorary award with Rashomon, Japan would not submit a Kurosawa film until 1971).  Mexico went with Tlayucan (my #15, which earned an Oscar nomination, and to be fair, was the third best among submitted films) instead of Buñuel’s surrealistic Exterminating Angel.  Even France won the Oscar (with, to be fair, the best submitted film) with Sundays, which has never appeared on TSPDT rather than Jules and Jim, which is in the Top 100 and for years was in the Top 50.

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.

  • Lawrence of Arabia  (740)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Throne of Blood  (350)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • To Kill a Mockingbird  (295)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction
  • The Music Man  (255)
    • Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Song
  • Through a Glass Darkly  (250)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Foreign Film (1961)
  • Jules and Jim  (225)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Original Score, Foreign Film
  • Ride the High Country  (150)
    • Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing
  • The Manchurian Candidate  (125)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress, Editing
  • Lolita  (80)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Art Direction
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Sweet Bird of Youth  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • The Miracle Worker  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Last Year at Marienbad  (60)
    • Original Screenplay, Foreign Film (1961)
  • Viridiana  (60)
    • Original Screenplay, Foreign Film (1961)
  • Peeping Tom  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Billy Budd  (40)
    • Sound, Sound Editing
  • Jack the Giant Killer  (40)
    • Visual Effects
  • Eyes Without a Face  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Gypsy  (25)
    • Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Longest Day  (20)
    • Visual Effects
  • Mutiny on the Bounty  (20)
    • Visual Effects
  • Sanjuro  (20)
    • Sound Editing
  • Follow That Dream  (20)
    • Original Song, Original Song
  • The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Carnival of Souls  (10)
    • Makeup
  • Tales of Terror  (10)
    • Makeup
  • The Road to Hong Kong  (10)
    • Original Song
  • Walk on the Wild Side  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  The 13 wins for Lawrence are tied for 2nd highest to date, the 14 nominations are tied for the 4th highest to date and the 740 points are the 7th highest to date.  Throne of Blood sets a new record for a film with no wins with 13 nominations and has the second highest points for a film with no wins.  The Best Picture nominees combine with 51 nominations – the most since 1939.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Man who Shot Liberty Valance

Analysis:  This, quite frankly, stunned me.  This is a great film, of course.  I listed it as the 10th greatest Western of all-time.  And yet, here it sits without any nominations.  It is my #6 film of the year, which means it ranks higher than 23 of the 28 films that do earn nominations from me.  It’s just the luck of the draw.  It finishes 6th in Picture and Director (to slightly different films).  It also finishes 6th in Editing (again, to slightly different films).  It has 6 Top 10 finishes (7th in Sound, 8th in Cinematography and 10th in Adapted Screenplay).  It has two other Top 20 finishes (17th in Costume Design, where it was actually Oscar nominated and 20th in Score).  Though to be fair, if I split Costume Design into Color and Black-and-White it would have finished 5th and earned a nomination.  It used to be in the Top 5 in both Picture and Director but Jules and Jim just managed to push it out of both this time.

**** / ***.5 Films With No Top 10 Finishes:

  • The Lower Depths
  • Letter Never Sent
  • Fate of a Man

Note:  Though all three did have one Top 10 finish each, they were all in Foreign Film in earlier years and so don’t appear on the list up above anywhere.  The Lower Depths, my #15 film of the year finishes in the Top 20 8 times but its only Top 10 finish is its 8th place finish in Foreign Film in 1957.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Divorce – Italian Style

Analysis:  It’s my #23 film of the year, a low level ***.5 comedy.  It won Best Original Screenplay at the Oscars (that they would give this the Oscar in between years of nominating Fellini and not giving him the Oscar seems kind of insulting in retrospect) and was nominated for Director and Actor.  The only one of those where it finishes higher than 15th on my list is Screenplay and that’s because it’s in 6th place on a 6 film list.  It also was DGA nominated, won Best Actor – Comedy and Foreign Film at the Globes (again, giving Mastroianni the award in between La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2 just seems wrong) and at the BAFTAs was nominated for Picture and Foreign Actress and won Foreign Actor (over Paul Newman in Hud and Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird – what the bloody hell?).  I repeat, this is a low-level ***.5 film and Mastroianni is nowhere near as good as he is in the two Fellini films.
I feel I also should mention three other films, because all three of them are good films (they are all mid-range *** films), all three of them earned multiple acting nominations at the Oscars (this year had five films that earned multiple acting nominations without a Best Picture nomination – this had only happened once before, in 1952, and has never happened again since), yet none of them earned a nomination from me.  The first is What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, which earned two 6th place finishes (Actress, Makeup), three other Top 20 finishes, and at #39 is the best of the three.  Next is Birdman of Alcatraz, which my #41, which comes in 8th in Supporting Actress and has two other Top 20 finishes.  Finally, there is The Days of Wine and Roses (my #46), which came in sixth in Song and in the Top 20 for both Actor and Actress.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. Throne of Blood
  4. Jules and Jim
  5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Analysis:  With The Music Man in Comedy / Musical, that opens up that fifth slot for Valance.  This is the second best Top 5 to date, behind only 1946; the average of these five films is a 96.2, which is higher than the winner in either 1961 or 1963.

  • Best Director
  1. David Lean  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  2. Akira Kurosawa  (Throne of Blood)
  3. Robert Mulligan  (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  4. Sam Peckinpah  (Ride the High Country)
  5. Francois Truffaut  (Jules and Jim)

Analysis:  The 4th best Top 5 to date.  This list has four Top 100 directors and poor Robert Mulligan who is hopelessly outclassed.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Lawrence of Arabia
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird
  3. Jules and Jim
  4. The Manchurian Candidate
  5. Throne of Blood

Analysis:  Truffaut earns his third Drama nom in four years.  Kurosawa earns his 6th Drama nom and moves into 3rd place.  Another strong showing (3rd best to date).

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Through a Glass Darkly
  2. Ride the High Country
  3. Last Year at Marienbad
  4. Viridiana
  5. Peeping Tom

Analysis:  This is actually Buñuel’s only Drama nom to date.  Bergman, on the other hand, goes up to 440 points and is just behind Billy Wilder for the Drama lead.

  • lawrenceBest Actor:
  1. Peter O’Toole  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  2. Gregory Peck  (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  3. Toshiro Mifune  (Throne of Blood)
  4. Gunnar Bjornstrand  (Through a Glass Darkly)
  5. Ralph Richardson  (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)

Analysis:  It’s the second nomination for Bjornstrand, the fourth for Peck, the fifth for Richardson.  It’s the fourth for Mifune, but the second in a streak of six straight.

  • glass-darklyBest Actress
  1. Harriet Andersson  (Through a Glass Darkly)
  2. Katharine Hepburn  (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)
  3. Anne Bancroft  (The Miracle Worker)
  4. Geraldine Page  (Sweet Bird of Youth)
  5. Bette Davis  (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane)

Analysis:  Andersson earned two previous noms.  Hepburn earns her 8th nomination, but even with her two wins, that only gets her to 350 points, which is 4th place in Drama, behind Davis, Kerr and Bergman.  With Shirley Jones in the Comedy race, this allows Davis to slide into the 5th spot, earning her first Drama nomination in a decade.  It’s her 15th Drama nomination, and with her four wins, this puts her at 660 points, double anyone other than Bergman, Kerr and Hepburn and still almost 300 points above them.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Omar Sharif  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  2. Ed Begley  (Sweet Bird of Youth)
  3. Jason Robards  (Long Day’s Journey Into Night)
  4. Terrence Stamp  (Billy Budd)
  5. Arthur Kennedy  (Lawrence of Arabia)
  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Angela Lansbury  (The Manchurian Candidate)
  2. Patty Duke  (The Miracle Worker)
  3. Mary Badham  (To Kill a Mockingbird)
  4. Moira Shearer  (Peeping Tom)
  5. Shirley Knight  (Sweet Bird of Youth)

Analysis:  Lansbury earns her second Drama win. The other four are all first-time nominees.

  • Lawrence of Arabia  (430)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • To Kill a Mockingbird  (200)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Through a Glass Darkly  (185)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Throne of Blood  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Jules and Jim  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • The Manchurian Candidate  (100)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night  (100)
    • Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Sweet Bird of Youth  (95)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Ride the High Country  (85)
    • Director, Original Screenplay
  • Peeping Tom  (70)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • The Miracle Worker  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance  (50)
    • Picture
  • Last Year at Marienbad  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Viridiana  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • What Ever Happened to Baby Jane  (35)
    • Actress
  • Billy Budd  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  The Drama category in this year is particularly strong.  Overall, it has the second highest score of any year to date (behind only 1946) and the third highest acting to date (behind 1950 and 1946)

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Carnival of Souls

Analysis:  This is a very good Horror film and is my #14 of the year.  It was an independent release and certainly wouldn’t have attracted any awards attention and I might never have seen had not Criterion released it on DVD.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Music Man
  2. Lolita
  3. Sanjuro
  4. Divorce – Italian Style

Analysis:  Divorce actually won Best Foreign Film at the Globes, but Foreign films aren’t eligible in the regular Picture categories.  The Music Man wins this by a mile – the other three are ***.5 films.  The four films are my #4, my #13, my #20 and my #23.

  • Best Director
  1. Morton Da Costa  (The Music Man)
  2. Stanley Kubrick  (Lolita)
  3. Akira Kurosawa  (Sanjuro)

Analysis:  If Mulligan being nominated among four greats looked odd, how odd does this look – for a man who only directed three films to beat out two men who are possibly the two greatest directors of all-time?

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Lolita
  2. The Music Man
  3. Sanjuro
  4. Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation

Analysis:  Because I have a dark notion of what a Comedy is, Kubrick earns his first win here, but he’ll be back for more.  Kurosawa, on the other hand, is making his only appearance in Comedy.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Divorce – Italian Style
  • music-man-trouble1Best Actor:
  1. Robert Preston  (The Music Man)
  2. Marcello Mastroianni  (Divorce – Italian Style)
  3. Toshiro Mifune  (Sanjuro)
  4. James Stewart  (Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation)
  5. Jackie Gleason  (Gigot)

Analysis:  Gleason was actually nominated in Drama.  This is the middle in a streak of three straight Comedy noms for Mastroianni.  It’s the fourth and final Comedy nom for Stewart, but since two of those were wins, it puts him at 210 points and a tie for 5th place.
I am really just stunned that Mastroianni won between his two better Fellini performances when Preston gives one of the great Musical performances of all-time, in spite of the fact that he doesn’t really sing.

  • shirley jones the music man 1962Best Actress
  1. Shirley Jones  (The Music Man)
  2. Rosalind Russell  (Gypsy)
  3. Natalie Wood  (Gypsy)

Analysis:  Natalie Wood earns her second straight Comedy nom in a decade that will see her get a few more.  Russell earns her 5th nom and finally makes it back into the Top 10 with 170 points.  Russell won the Globe because she always won the Globe; that’s not hyperbole – Russell ended her career 0 for 4 at the Oscars but she won all 5 times she was nominated at the Globes, the first two times for Actress (before the split), the last three for Comedy / Musical (this was her last).  The first three wins at least earned her Oscar noms, but the last two didn’t even get her that.
If you think that Shirley Jones’ performance in The Music Man is a major reason I have a thing for librarians with glasses, well, you’re probably right.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Peter Sellers  (Lolita)
  2. Paul Ford  (The Music Man)

Analysis:  This is the second Comedy nom for Sellers and the first of several wins.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Shelley Winters  (Lolita)
  2. Hermione Gingold  (The Music Man)

Analysis:  Gingold earns her second Comedy nom to go along with her work in Gigi, but this is the only appearance of Winters in Comedy.

  • The Music Man  (430)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Lolita  (295)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Sanjuro  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Divorce – Italian Style  (165)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Gypsy  (70)
    • Actress, Actress
  • Gigot  (35)
    • Actor

Analysis:  So much a weaker year for Comedy / Musical than it is for Drama it’s not even funny.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Boccaccio 70

Analysis:  This is an anthology film featuring four Italian directors, including Fellini, de Sica and Visconti.  It’s a good film, my #51 of the year, which makes it my #7 in Comedy and Musical, but the writing isn’t good enough to make the list and no performance among the various short films really stands out.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  154

By Stars:

  • ****:  9
  • ***.5:  16
  • ***:  88
  • **.5:  23
  • **:  12
  • *:  4
  • .5:  2
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  65.2

Analysis:  A big drop of almost two points because of the number of films down at the bottom – almost 4% of the films are awful (* or lower), the highest percentage to date.  But, also, over 16% of the films are higher than ***, which is the fifth highest to date, which is why the average doesn’t drop any lower.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

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

  • Thou Shalt Not Kill  (BAFTA – Best Film)
  • Dock Brief  (BAFTA – Best British Actor)
  • Life for Ruth  (BAFTA – Best British Actress)

note:  None of these three films ever seem to have gotten an Oscar qualifying release.  They were all 1962 BAFTA nominees.

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  This is an interesting year.  It is only of eight years in the 5 Best Picture Era to have three nominees break into the Top 100 nominees.  Yet, it sits all the way down at #35 all-time.  Why is that?  Because it balances out the three great films with two films that are much much lower.  The other two nominees don’t even make the top 400, they are that much weaker.  There is a gap between nominees of over 300 spots – the only other years that have a gap that large between nominees are 1930, 1946 and 1950.  But still, it is the second best to date and almost 50 spots above the following year.

The Winners:  This is a deceptive year.  The rank of the winners among the nominees is a very solid 1.57, matching the year before.  But the overall rank of the winners among all films is 3.38, still strong, but a drop from the year before of over a point.  That’s because of the 8 categories where I agree with the Academy, 7 of them are the Oscars given to Lawrence of Arabia (the other is Adapted Score, a category I don’t actually award).  Still none of the winners rank lower than 3rd among nominees and the only ones that rank below 6th on my overall list are two black-and-white awards: Costume Design (10th) and Cinematography (15th).

The Nominees:  Overall the score is a 58.8, a significant drop from the year before, but still one of the better scores to date.  The Tech score is a 51.0, a little above average to this date.  The Picture-Director-Screenplay score is 62.4, which is the exact same as the year before.  That’s a little strange, as only Adapted Screenplay is within 5 points of the year before and neither Director nor Original Screenplay are within 15 points.  The Director score is only 51.3, the lowest since 1958, the first since 1958 to be lower than Picture and only the second lower than Picture since 1947.  With the excellent The Music Man replaced in Director by two very good films (The Miracle Worker, Divorce – Italian Style) and one bad film (David and Lisa), the replacements don’t help, an oddity in Director.  This is the first year of the 5 Best Picture Era to have a Director score more than 10 points lower than the Picture score.  But the real weakness is acting; the acting scores aren’t bad – both male categories are at 71 and both females at 80.  But, with three of the categories scoring over 90 the year before, that’s a big drop.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  The Musical category, in its last year, drops 9 slots from the year before, but, at #45 overall is still better than the other Musical years.  That’s really because they nominated 5 Musicals again (as opposed to the three from the year before), and aside from The Music Man, there just wasn’t enough quality to go around (the other nominees are Gypsy, The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Girls Girls Girls and Billy Rose’s Jumbo).  The last film, in particular, brings the category down, as it is the worst nominee in the five years the category existed.  This makes The Music Man one of the best choices in Globe history – at a 96, it is almost 26 points higher than the average nominee.

The Comedies are not so lucky.  This category ranks as the 8th worst in Globe history.  And there’s not much they could have done to make it better.  Because they classify Lolita and Gigot as Dramas (they were both nominated for Actor – Drama), because the Musicals are in their own category, and because Foreign films aren’t eligible for the Best Picture awards, my list of five best eligible comedies of the year are Period of Adjustment, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation, If a Man Answers, Only Two Can Play and Best of Enemies.  Those films average a 67, and Period of Adjustment, the best of them, is only a 69 (mid-***).  The actual nominees, Period of Adjustment, If a Man Answers, Best of Enemies, That Touch of Mink (winner), and Boys Night Out, average a 66.  So it’s not like they did horribly given the circumstances.  Though, giving the award to That Touch of Mink, one of the 10 worst winners ever, didn’t do them any favors.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1 –  Lawrence of Arabia  (already reviewed here)

2  –  To Kill a Mockingbird  (already reviewed here)

throne-of-blood-movie-poster-1957-10201993033  –  Throne of Blood  (dir. Akira Kurosawa)

Shakespeare’s plots were hardly original.  Almost all of them had their initial sources in other plays or stories.  So, it’s strange to think of a film as a “Shakespeare” film when it doesn’t use the language, given that the plots so often arose from elsewhere.  Yet, Kurosawa, without using the language, made two films that were clearly based on Shakespeare plays and a third that had at least some elements pulled from Hamlet (The Bad Sleep Well).  For those who don’t see this is as really being the play, try saying that towards the end when Isuzu Yamada is desperately washing her hands, trying to get that blood off.  It may not be the language, but it is definitely the play.

MacBeth, in some ways, seems the Shakespeare play that could be most readily adapted into a great film.  It is a magnificent play, full of darkness and magic and violence, with death and love at the heart of it and ambition always pulling you in.  It has one of the most magnificent speeches that Shakespeare ever wrote and it has a great battle just crying out for the big screen.

Yet, when I think of the great films that have been made from Shakespeare’s plays, using Shakespeare’s language (translation included), here is the list: Henry IV and Richard II (together), Henry V (twice), Hamlet (twice), Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III (twice), King Lear, Othello and Romeo and Juliet.  Yes, both Orson Welles and Roman Polanski took their tries at MacBeth and both made very good films, but Welles was hampered by budget constraints and Polanski focused too much on the gore.  There is the upcoming film version, and with Fassbender and Cotillard in the leads, I am hopeful, but it still comes down to this: the only truly great film version of MacBeth is Throne of Blood.

The credit for that, of course, goes to Kurosawa.  Part of it is his genius as a director – look at how he works with the cinematographer to move his characters in and out of shadows, through the rain in the forest, in the darkness of the castle, and yet out into the bright day for the slaughter certainly awaiting his tragic end.  Part of it, though, is the way in which he merges Shakespeare’s play with Japanese history.  There have been modern versions of MacBeth – merging the idea of rising through bloodshed of one you have faithfully served in the land of business – but Kurosawa does something so much more than simply changing the setting of the play.  As Stephen Prince mentions in his liner notes to the Criterion DVD (how much do I love Kurosawa’s films? – because Criterion, which is the best DVD producer around, is so expensive, I only actually own 10 Criterion DVDs and 7 of them are Kurosawa films), Japanese had its own bloody history erupting in the late 15th Century.  By moving the story of the play to Japan’s own bloody history besot with traitorous actions, Kurosawa brings us a vivid version of the play that also finds its place in Japanese history.

All of this wouldn’t matter much – the brilliant production values, the fascinating setting of the play – if we didn’t have such a dominant presence in the center of the film.  There is, as I have written before, no better collaboration of actor and director than that of Toshiro Mifune and Akira Kurosawa.  Having seen Mifune as the hero (many times) and as the lunatic savage (in Rashomon), here we get someone who is something in between.  He is a living, vital MacBeth – more action-oriented than Welles, much more intense than Jon Finch.  We don’t get Shakespeare’s version of MacBeth, but we get a character as fascinating as any we would see on stage.

4  –  The Music Man  (already reviewed here)

Jules_et_Jim_MPOTW5  –  Jules and Jim  (dir. Francois Truffaut)

Tragedies have tragic characters at their heart.  Tragic characters traditionally have a tragic flaw.  Whether it be Hamlet’s inaction, Othello’s jealousy or Lear’s pride, these characters bring about their own tragedy.  This is what forms the core of humanity at the heart of tragedy – that it is so often brought about by our own actions.  That’s what makes it a tragedy, by classical definition.

How much a tragedy affects us, of course, depends on our investment in the characters.  I have never been much for Romeo and Juliet because I can not get invested in Romeo (and is fickle idiocy really a tragic flaw?).  There is no such problem with Jules and Jim.  They are the title characters, but there would be no tragedy without Catherine, the beautiful young woman who runs them both down with her very being and then draws them into her orbit, an orbit that will eventually decay and burn up.

Jules and Jim deals with a problem that is common to a lot of people: falling in love with the same person.  Both in high school and in college my group of friends dealt with this problem.  It would seem to be strange, but really it makes sense that people who are so close and have so much in common would end up with the same taste in women.  That triangle is always painful to all involved – there is no way for someone to end up happy without someone else ending up unhappy.  For Jules and Jim, who are already divided in a sense by nationality (they will end up on opposite sides of World War I, though they will never have to face each other) this is heartbreaking.  She runs into their lives, the living embodiment of a work of art, and they must deal in the same way any of us when art comes to life.

All of this could have been just simply melodrama, or even a little romantic comedy (depending on how you wanted to conclude it), but with Francois Truffaut we’re not dealing with any ordinary director.  Godard would be the director who would go in strange new directions and really push the limits of cinema, but Truffaut is the real heart of the New Wave because he found ways to bring in new ideas (his use of montage, especially in this film, is inspired) and yet still marry that to a narrative that makes the film worthwhile.  There is inventive use of cinematography here, a truly magnificent score and some wonderful editing.  All of that works so well towards the film as a whole because Truffaut is so naturally at ease behind the camera.  The link that combines three directors who would seem as different as Truffaut, Scorsese and Tarantino is that they first had passionate love for the cinema as an artwork, but they were also able to combine that with an unnatural talent far beyond the level of almost all of their peers.

Jules and Jim would not be awarded at the time, at least in the States.  It was not submitted by France for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars (they would not submit a Truffaut film until 1968).  It did not win the NBR Award for Best Foreign Film and the Globes did not bother to nominate it.  The British would at least nominate it for Best Picture and Best Actress.  But it is fully acknowledged as a classic, today sitting in the Top 100 all-time over at TSPDT.  I wish I didn’t have to bump The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance out of my Top 5.  But I’m not going to regret putting Jules and Jim on my list.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Eegah
  2. Creature from the Haunted Sea
  3. The Vampire and the Ballerina
  4. Mothra
  5. Tonight for Sure

Eegah-1962-Movie-Poster-HQEegah  (dir. Arch Hall)

Want a good sign that you’ve really chosen a terrible film as your Worst Film of the Year?  If you go to try to find it online to rewatch it for your review and see that the first listing for it is the MST3K version of the film.  Any film ever done on MST3K is a pretty fair bet to be one of the worst, if not the worst film of its particular year.  This film also has the added “benefit” of being in the book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.

Eegah is a product of its time.  By that, I don’t mean that it’s a low budget semi-sci-fi film / semi-rock and roll musical.  I mean that it was created at a time when small independent producers could take advantage of two things – the legal break-up of the Studio Era, when Hollywood studios were forced to divest themselves of their theaters and therefore couldn’t monopolize theater bookings as they had done in years past, and the rise of the drive-in.  As the situation changed, the studios weren’t producing as many films, but with there was still a considerable demand for films – especially those that were short and could be shoved into the drive-in as a double bill.  That was partially how independent production company like Allied Artists and AIP became so successful – those films made on very little budget could make their money back without much problem.

So here we have Eegah.  Eegah is the story of a towering caveman found in modern times and about the way he interacts with the people who find him.  Like so many films like this, it has an outlandish premise, but one that could be done with minimal special effects.  They simply cast Richard Kiel.  Kiel would eventually become vitally important to us James Bond fans as one of the few villains to ever appear in multiple Bond films, but here it’s pretty clear that he hasn’t yet developed the minimal acting ability he would display later.  Yet, he has far more than anyone else in the cast, which stars the director, his son, and a young actress so little known that she can’t even earn her own Wikipedia page.

The best way to make it clear how bad this film is isn’t to explain that it was featured on MST3K – it’s to have you actually watch it on MST3K, as they are repulsed by the shaving scene (at one point Eegah is shaved) or as you hear the famous line “Watch out for snakes” which makes as little sense in the context of this film as it would for the remainder of MST3K as they would say it during other films.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  Lawrence of Arabia  (14)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  Lawrence of Arabia  (13)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Lawrence of Arabia  (740)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Mutiny on the Bounty
  • 2nd Place Award:  To Kill a Mockingbird  (Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Original Score)
  • 6th Place Award:  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance  (Picture, Director Editing)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  Lawrence of Arabia  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  Lawrence of Arabia  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  Lawrence of Arabia  (430)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  What Ever Happened to Baby Jane
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  The Music Man  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  The Music Man  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  The Music Man  (430)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation

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:  Throne of Blood (13)
  • 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):

  • Drama:  68 (25)  –  Lawrence of Arabia  (68.3)
  • Foreign:  46  –  Throne of Blood  (69.2)
  • Comedy:  22 (4)  –  Lolita  (62.5)
  • Musical:  12 (2)  –  The Music Man  (64.6)
  • Adventure:  12 (3)  –  Knights of the Black Cross  (62.3)
  • Horror:  11 (3)  –  Carnival of Souls  (50.4)
  • War:  6 (3)  –  Ashes and Diamonds  (67.7)
  • Suspense:  5  –  The Manchurian Candidate  (76.6)
  • Western:  4  –  The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance  (80.5)
  • Action:  3 (2)  –  Throne of Blood  (80.3)
  • Crime:  3 (3)  –  Chased by the Dogs  (68.3)
  • Sci-Fi:  3  –  Creation of the Humanoids  (22.3)
  • Fantasy:  2  –  The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm  (67.5)
  • Kids:  2 (1)  –  A Midsummer Night’s Dream  (64.5)
  • Mystery:  1  –  Mr. Arkadin  (61)

Analysis:  There are the most Dramas since 1933, although with 10 more films in this year than any previous year, the percentage of Dramas still doesn’t match those of the 40’s.  Musicals finally bounce back a little – the highest total in six years.  But Adventure films go through the roof – the first time it has been in double digits in a single year to date.  Comedies sink to their lowest average in 11 years.

A year after there was only 1 Drama in the Top 10, this year there are 5.  And for the first time since 1951 no Comedy makes my Top 10.  For first time since 1948 and only the second time to date, two Westerns make my Top 10; that’s even more impressive when you consider that there are only 4 – the lowest total in the genre since 1951.

Studio Note:  MGM bounces back a bit – with 16 films, it has its most since 1955 and also leads the majors for the first time since 1955.  It’s followed by United Artists, with 15 films.  But with having seen so many more films, the majors still only account for a little over half of the films I’ve seen.  Among the majors, the best is Universal (71.6 average) and the worst is Fox (59.4 average).  A handful of minor studios and distributers, however, become more prominent, with Allied Artists, AIP, Continental, Lopert (6 films), Janus (6), Toho and Embassy accounting for a full 20% of the films I’ve seen.  As is typical, the Toho, lead by Kurosawa are good (4 films, averaging 83.5) and the AIP films aren’t (4 films, averaging 50.25).

Columbia joins UA with 5 Best Picture wins.  But this is much more impressive – while UA’s win the year before was its first in over 20 years, this is Columbia’s fifth win in the last ten years.  But there is no dominant studio – for the first time since 1949 no major studio has more than one Top 10 film, and none has more than two Top 20 films.  Janus Films, on the other side, distributing Foreign films, has two of the top 7 films (Jules and Jim, Through a Glass Darkly).

52 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):

  • Antigone  (Tzavellas, Greece)
  • Assault on the Pay Train  (Farias, Brazil)
  • An Autumn Afternoon  (Ozu, Japan)
  • The Avenger  (Rivalta, Italy)
  • The Awful Dr. Orlof  (Franco, Spain)
  • Being Two Isn’t Easy  (Ichikawa, Japan)  *
  • Boccaccio 70  (De Sica, Italy)
  • Chased by the Dogs  (El Sheikh, Egypt)  *
  • Chushingura  (Inagaki, Japan)
  • The Condemned of Altona  (De Sica, Italy)
  • The Door with Seven Locks  (Vohrer, West Germany)
  • Le Doulos  (Melville, France)
  • The Eclipse  (Antonioni, Italy)
  • Elektra  (Cacoyannis, Greece)  **
  • The Elusive Corporal  (Renoir, France)
  • The End of Summer  (Ozu, Japan)
  • Exterminating Angel  (Buñuel, Mexico)
  • Family Diary  (Zurlini, Italy)
  • The Four Days of Naples  (Loy, Italy)  **
  • The Grim Reaper  (Bertolucci, Italy)
  • Harakiri  (Kobayashi, Japan)
  • I Hate But Love  (Kurahara, Japan)
  • In the Affirmative  (Lelouch, France)
  • Joseph and His Brethren  (Rapper, Italy)
  • Jules and Jim  (Truffaut, France)
  • Kanchenjungha  (Ray, India)
  • Keeper of Promises  (Duarte, Brazil)  **
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla  (Honda, Japan)
  • Kiru  (Misumi, Japan)
  • Love at Twenty  (Truffaut, France)
  • The Loves of Salammbo  (Grieco, Italy)
  • Mafioso  (Lattuada, Italy)
  • Mamma Roma  (Pasolini, Italy)
  • Mothra  (Honda, Japan)
  • My Life to Live  (Godard, France)
  • My Mother and Her Guest  (Sang-ok, South Korea)  *
  • Nine Days of the Year  (Romm, USSR)
  • Phaedra  (Dassin, Greece)
  • Pitfall  (Teshigahara, Japan)
  • Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam  (Alvi, India)  *
  • Salvatore Giuliano  (Rosi, Italy)
  • Sanjuro  (Kurosawa, Japan)
  • Siberian Lady Macbeth  (Wajda, Poland)
  • Sign of Leo  (Rohmer, France)
  • Il Sorpasso  (Risi, Italy)
  • Sundays and Cybele  (Bourguignon, France)  ***
  • Therese Desqueyroux  (Franju, France)
  • The Third Lover  (Chabrol, France)
  • Three Daughters  (Ray, India)
  • Tlayucan  (Alcoriza, Mexico)  **
  • The Treasure of Silver Lake  (Reinl, West Germany)
  • Trial of Joan of Arc  (Bresson, France)

Note:  France and Japan both have 11 films – a new high for Japan.  But Italy has the most on the year with 13 – the second highest from any country in one year to date.
After a year with only 5 genres represented, there are 9 different ones here.  This includes 27 Dramas and 3 Action films (both new highs).

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

  • Argentina:  The Sad Young Men  (dir. Kuhn)
  • Norway:  Cold Tracks  (dir. Skouen)
  • Spain:  Dulcinea  (dir. Escriva)
  • Sweden:  The Mistress  (dir. Sjoman)

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 again 9 for 13.
The Sad Young Men is one of only three submissions from Argentina prior to 1974 (I have seen the other two).  Cold Tracks is one of only two submissions from Norway prior to 1980 (I have seen the other one).  This is the second time I have missed a Swedish submission and the third time I have missed a Spanish submission.

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

  • Mr. Arkadin  (1955)
  • Sissi  (1955)
  • Don Quixote  (1957)
  • Kanal  (1957)
  • The Lower Depths  (1957)
  • Throne of Blood  (1957)
  • Arms and the Man  (1958)
  • Ashes and Diamonds  (1958)
  • The Ballad of Narayama  (1958)
  • Sea of Sand  (1958)
  • Carry on Teacher  (1959)
  • Fate of a Man  (1959)
  • Letter Never Sent  (1959)
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses  (1959)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream  (1959)
  • Bell’Antonio  (1960)
  • The Devil’s Eye  (1960)
  • Everybody Go Home  (1960)
  • Eyes Without a Face  (1960)
  • Knights of the Black Cross  (1960)
  • The Naked Island  (1960)
  • No Love for Johnnie  (1960)
  • Peeping Tom  (1960)
  • The Queen of Spades  (1960)
  • The Vampire and the Ballerina  (1960)
  • The Best of Enemies  (1961)
  • Bon Voyage  (1961)
  • Creature from the Haunted Sea  (1961)
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire  (1961)
  • Divorce – Italian Style  (1961)
  • Early Autumn  (1961)
  • Flame in the Streets  (1961)
  • The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  (1961)
  • Hey Let’s Twist  (1961)
  • The Important Man  (1961)
  • The Intruder  (1961)
  • Last Year at Marienbad  (1961)
  • Leon Morin, Priest  (1961)
  • The Long and the Short and the Tall  (1961)
  • La Notte  (1961)
  • The Phantom Planet  (1961)
  • The Story of the Count of Monte Cristo  (1961)
  • A Taste of Honey  (1961)
  • Through a Glass Darkly  (1961)
  • A Very Private Affair  (1961)
  • Victim  (1961)
  • Viridiana  (1961)
  • Whistle Down the Wind  (1961)

Note:  These 48 films average a 66.7.  They include 3 of the Top 10 and 7 of the Top 20, but also three of the six worst films on the year.

Films Not Listed at

  • Arms and the Man
  • Chased by the Dogs
  • Confessions of an Opium Eater
  • I Hate But Love
  • The Intruder
  • Kiru
  • Leon Morin, Priest
  • Mamma Roma
  • My Mother and Her Guest
  • Pitfall
  • Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam
  • Sign of Leo
  • Sissi
  • Tonight for Sure

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.
These films are mostly 1962 Foreign films that never technically got a U.S. release, including three films submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars (Chased by the Dogs, My Mother and Her Guest, Sahib Bibi aur Ghulam).  The ones that are not from 1962 are Arms and the Man (1958 Best Foreign Film nominee), Leon Morin (1961 film) and Sissi (1955).  There are three English language films – Confessions of an Opium Eater, The Intruder (supposedly the only Roger Corman film to lose money) and Tonight for Sure (Coppola’s directorial debut) – none of which do I know why they aren’t on the list.

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

  • All Night Long  (1963)
  • Antigone  (1963)
  • Beauty and the Beast  (1963)
  • Chushingura  (1963)
  • The Condemned of Altona  (1963)
  • Dr. No  (1963)
  • The Elusive Corporal  (1963)
  • Five Miles to Midnight  (1963)
  • A Girl Named Tamiko  (1963)
  • Joseph and His Brethren  (1963)
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla  (1963)
  • The L-Shaped Room  (1963)
  • Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah  (1963)
  • The Lion  (1963)
  • Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner  (1963)
  • Love at Twenty  (1963)
  • The Loves of Salammbo  (1963)
  • Sundays and Cybele  (1963)
  • Term of Trial  (1963)
  • Therese Desqueyroux  (1963)
  • Three Daughters  (1963)
  • The Trial  (1963)
  • The Avenger  (1964)
  • Eva  (1964)
  • Family Diary  (1964)
  • Harakiri  (1964)
  • In the Affirmative  (1964)
  • Keeper of Promises  (1964)
  • Mafioso  (1964)
  • My Life to Live  (1964)
  • Siberian Lady Macbeth  (1964)
  • Il Sorpasso  (1964)
  • The Third Lover  (1964)
  • Tiara Tahiti  (1964)
  • Tlayucan  (1964)
  • Assault on the Pay Train  (1965)
  • The Awful Dr. Orlof  (1965)
  • The Door with Seven Locks  (1965)
  • Nine Days of the Year  (1965)
  • The Treasure of Silver Lake  (1965)
  • The Wild and the Willing  (1965)
  • Salvatore Giuliano  (1966)
  • Kanchenjungha  (1967)
  • Exterminating Angel  (1968)
  • Trial of Joan of Arc  (1968)
  • Le Doulos  (1969)
  • The Quare Fellow  (1969)
  • The End of Summer  (1970)
  • An Autumn Afternoon  (1973)
  • The Grim Reaper  (1982)

Note:  These 51 films average a 66.4.  There is one great film (Harakiri) and one terrible film (The Awful Dr. Orlof) balancing each other out.