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. Dr. Strangelove  *
  2. Mary Poppins  *
  3. A Hard Day’s Night
  4. Harakiri
  5. High and Low
  6. My Fair Lady  **
  7. The Night of the Iguana
  8. The Americanization of Emily
  9. The Best Man
  10. Goldfinger

Analysis:  For the second straight year, all of the Top 10 are **** films.  This year is slightly better than the year before in the Top 5 and Top 10, but that’s because 1963 didn’t have anything higher than a 95, while Dr. Strangelove is a 99 and Mary Poppins is a 96.  This year also shows much more homegrown (or British grown) quality – there are only 5 Foreign films in the Top 20, as opposed to the 7 Foreign films in the Top 10 the year before.  Goldfinger becomes the first Bond film to make the Top 10.  If this year was as weak a year as the next year, From Russia With Love would also make the Top 10.  The top three films are all Comedies; not only is this the first time this has happened, it’s the first time since 1934 that even the top two films were both Comedies.

  • dr-strangelove-1963-006-stanley-kubrick-with-cast-looking-at-chess-gameBest Director
  1. Stanley Kubrick  (Dr. Strangelove)  *
  2. Masaki Kobayashi  (Harakiri)
  3. Akira Kurosawa  (High and Low)
  4. Robert Stevenson  (Mary Poppins)  *
  5. John Huston  (The Night of the Iguana)  *
  6. George Cukor  (My Fair Lady)  **
  7. Sidney Lumet  (Fail Safe)
  8. Franklin J. Schaffner  (The Best Man)
  9. Kenji Mizoguchi  (The Life of Oharu)
  10. John Frankenheimer  (Seven Days in May)

Analysis:  Kobayashi and Stevenson earn their only Nighthawk nominations.  Huston earns his fifth nomination, moving him into the Top 10 in points (270).  It’s Kubrick’s fourth nomination, but first win and the first of three films in a row that will win him Best Director.  Kurosawa earns his eighth nomination and his fifth in a row; he’s now at 540 points and is one nomination away from tying Billy Wilder for 1st place.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Dr. Strangelove  *
  2. High and Low
  3. Harakiri
  4. Mary Poppins  *
  5. The Americanization of Emily
  6. The Best Man  *
  7. The Night of the Iguana  *
  8. The Chalk Garden
  9. Goldfinger
  10. My Fair Lady  *

Analysis:  With his fourth nomination (and second win), Kubrick moves up to 240 points and into the Top 10.  Kurosawa earns his fifth nomination in a row (and ninth overall), but stays in third place behind Bergman and Wilder.  There is a very surprisingly strong element of Comedy on this list.
I’ve read three of the original sources on my list – The Night of the Iguana, Goldfinger and My Fair Lady.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. A Hard Day’s Night  *
  2. That Man from Rio  *
  3. The Silence
  4. The Pink Panther  *
  5. Il Diavolo
  6. The Organizer  *
  7. Seduced and Abandoned

Analysis:  Benefiting from a very weak year, Bergman earns his third straight nomination and his ninth overall, though it’s the first time since his second nomination that he doesn’t win.  He moves up to 600 points, but he’s still far behind Billy Wilder for first place.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Peter Sellers  (Dr. Strangelove)  *
  2. George C. Scott (Dr. Strangelove)
  3. Rex Harrison  (My Fair Lady)  **
  4. Tatsuya Nakadai  (Harakiri)
  5. Richard Burton  (The Night of the Iguana)
  6. James Garner  (The Americanization of Emily)
  7. Henry Fonda  (The Best Man)
  8. Richard Attenborough  (Guns at Batasi)
  9. Peter O’Toole  (Becket)  *
  10. Henry Fonda  (Fail Safe)

Analysis:  I know that people wanted to honor Harrison for doing a great job in the same role he had done a great job with on stage and I know people were entranced by Sellers masterfully playing three very different roles.  But not a single group nominated Scott and I find that incomprehensible.  To me, Scott and Sellers are very close and almost interchangeable in the top two spots.  Burton was nominated at the Oscars and the Globes, but for his performance in Becket, which I thought lacked all the passion of his performance in Iguana.  The other two Consensus nominees were Oscar / BAFTA / Globe nominee (and NBR winner) Anthony Quinn for Zorba the Greek, who is #18 on my list and BAFTA winner / Globe – Comedy nominee Marcello Mastroianni for Divorce Italian Style, who didn’t even make my list.
This is my only nomination for Harrison, my first for Nakadai (he’ll be back in the 80’s, working with Kurosawa), my second for Sellers, second for Burton and third for Scott, though for the last three, it is their first as a lead.

  • Best Actress
  1. Anne Bancroft  (The Pumpkin Eater)  *
  2. Julie Andrews  (Mary Poppins)  *
  3. Ingrid Thulin  (The Silence)
  4. Deborah Kerr  (The Night of the Iguana)
  5. Deborah Kerr  (The Chalk Garden)
  6. Julie Andrews  (The Americanization of Emily)
  7. Ava Gardner  (The Night of the Iguana)  *
  8. Kinuyo Tanaka  (The Life of Oharu)
  9. Kim Stanley  (Seance on a Wet Afternoon)  **
  10. Gunnel Lindblom  (The Silence)

Analysis:  Because I nominate five different actresses (like the Oscars – if two performances are making the top 5, they choose the one with the higher total), Andrews gets in, but then because she is already nominated, Gardner gets in as well.  Gardner earns her only nomination.  Andrews earns her first and second noms.  Thulin earns her second of back-to-back and fourth overall.  Bancroft earns her second nom.  Kerr is the real vet here – these are her 10th and 11th nominations; combined with her two wins, she is now up to 445 points and is in third place, though these are also her final nominations.
Andrews actually finishes in third in Consensus (she wins the Oscar and Globe – Comedy and earns a BAFTA nom, but Bancroft wins the BAFTA and Globe – Drama and is Oscar nominated while Stanley wins the NYFC and NBR while earning Oscar and BAFTA noms).  This is only the third time the Oscar winner has finished lower than second but it will become more common as more awards start to be added.

  • StrangeloveRipper1Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Sterling Hayden  (Dr. Strangelove)
  2. Toshiro Mifune  (High and Low)
  3. Lee Tracy  (The Best Man)  *
  4. Yutaka Sada  (High and Low)
  5. Stanley Holloway  (My Fair Lady)  *
  6. James Coburn  (The Americanization of Emily)
  7. Takashi Shimura  (Scandal)
  8. John Geilgud  (Becket)
  9. Fredric March  (Seven Days in May)
  10. Toshiro Mifune  (The Idiot)

Analysis:  Hayden was nominated at the BAFTAs in lead, but to be fair, at this time the BAFTAs didn’t have a supporting award.  March was nominated at the Globes in lead, which I find very strange.  The Consensus winner is Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (Oscar win, Globe nominee in lead) who is #11 on my list.  To me, Hayden is the easy winner in the performance of a lifetime.
It’s Mifune’s fifth nomination (and third in a row) and Hayden’s second.  The other three are nominated for the first and only time.

  • grayson-hall_the-night-of-the-iguana-01Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Grayson Hall  (The Night of the Iguana)  *
  2. Edith Evans  (The Chalk Garden)  *
  3. Ann Sothern  (The Best Man)
  4. Gladys Cooper  (My Fair Lady)  *
  5. Margaret Leighton  (The Best Man)
  6. Lila Kedrova  (Zorba the Greek)  **
  7. Glynis Johns  (Mary Poppins)
  8. Agnes Moorehead  (Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte)  *

Analysis:  It’s the only nominations for Hall and Sothern.  Leighton earns her first nomination but she’ll earn another in 1971.  Evans is earning her second of back-to-back nominations.  That leaves Cooper, who earns her third nomination, her first since back-to-back nominations in 1942 and 1943.
Kedrova (Oscar win, BAFTA nom for lead, Globe nom) only wins the Consensus because of how I weigh the points – in raw total she had the same as Evans (NBR win, Oscar nom, BAFTA nom for lead).

  • Best Editing:
  1. Mary Poppins
  2. A Hard Day’s Night
  3. Dr. Strangelove
  4. High and Low
  5. Harakiri
  6. Goldfinger
  7. Fail Safe
  8. The Americanization of Emily
  9. From Russia With Love
  10. Seven Days in May

Analysis:  This is another one of those times where the Academy just completely blows it in this category.  This Top 5 is tied with 1946 and 1960 as the best to date, yet what did the Academy nominate?  Bloated films like Becket and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, rather then precision editing like in A Hard Day’s Night or High and Low.  And yet, surprisingly, they get the winner right for the third time in four years.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Harakiri
  2. High and Low
  3. Mary Poppins
  4. The Night of the Iguana
  5. The Idiot
  6. The Pumpkin Eater
  7. Seven Days in May
  8. The Life of Oharu
  9. Dr. Strangelove
  10. Cruel Gun Story

Analysis:  For the third year in a row, working with Kurosawa, Asakazu Nakai comes in second place.  This gives him five total nominations and moves him up to 150 points and a tie for fourth place.
This is the weakest Top 5 in this category in 10 years.  The Oscars themselves don’t do so well.  My Fair Lady isn’t a bad choice, but it is a bit uninspired.  It’s a much better choice though than Zorba the Greek, the black-and-white winner and the worst choice in all the tech categories.  As is clear from my list, the best cinematography is really being done in Japan (an astonishing five of the Top 10).

  • Best Original Score:
  1. The Pink Panther
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Harakiri
  4. Zorba the Greek
  5. High and Low
  6. The Fall of the Roman Empire
  7. The Night of the Iguana
  8. The Life of Oharu
  9. A Shot in the Dark
  10. The Pumpkin Eater

Analysis:  Mikis Theodorakis (Zorba) and Toru Takemitsu (Harakiri) both earn the first of several nominations.  Henry Mancini (Pink Panther) earns his second win.  Masaru Sato earns his fifth nomination in a row working with Kurosawa, but still doesn’t have a win.  Dmitri Tiomkin hasn’t earned a nomination since 1952, but he continues to rack up Top 10 finishes, this time with his Oscar nominated score for The Fall of the Roman Empire.
The Pink Panther, of course, is one of the great all-time scores, which is why it beats out the excellent Mary Poppins score that actually won the Oscar.  Zorba the Greek, which didn’t deserve any of its 7 nominations and certainly didn’t deserve its three Oscars here actually doesn’t get a nomination when it did deserve it.  More astute observers may be surprised to see the score for A Shot in the Dark, but Pink Panther fans will know that it actually doesn’t use the classic score and has its own, quite good score.

  • Best Sound:
  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Harakiri
  4. Goldfinger
  5. High and Low
  6. My Fair Lady
  7. From Russia With Love
  8. Guns at Batasi
  9. The Americanization of Emily
  10. Robinson Crusoe on Mars

Analysis:  The Academy has always loved Musicals in this category (The Unsinkable Molly Brown was also nominated), yet they didn’t nominate A Hard Day’s Night, which had truly remarkable sound recording.

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. Mary Poppins
  2. My Fair Lady
  3. Dr. Strangelove
  4. High and Low
  5. Harakiri
  6. The Life of Oharu
  7. What a Way to Go
  8. Becket
  9. The Carpetbaggers
  10. The Night of the Iguana

Analysis:  You could probably go either way with the the top two films here, but I prefer the more varied sets in Mary Poppins over the constant upper-class drawing rooms of My Fair Lady.  The color category at the Oscars scores a 93.9, the second highest score to date in the category.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Mary Poppins
  2. Goldfinger
  3. Robinson Crusoe on Mars
  4. From Russia With Love
  5. Seven Faces of Dr. Lao

Analysis:  The second best year to date in this category, namely because I’m actually able to fill it for the first time.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Goldfinger
  2. Harakiri
  3. From Russia With Love
  4. Robinson Crusoe on Mars
  5. Mary Poppins
  6. Dr. Strangelove
  7. Zulu

Analysis:  Goldfinger is the first Bond film to win an Oscar, and until 2012, was one of only two Bond films to ever win an Oscar (Thunderball would win Visual Effects the next year).

  • MARY POPPINS, Dick Van Dyke, Karin Dotrice, Matthew Garber, Julie Andrews, 1964Best Costume Design:
  1. Mary Poppins
  2. My Fair Lady
  3. The Life of Oharu
  4. What a Way to Go
  5. Harakiri
  6. The Fall of the Roman Empire
  7. Becket
  8. Zulu
  9. The Unsinkable Molly Brown
  10. Seven Faces of Dr. Lao

Analysis:  Again, you could probably go either way with the top two in this category.  The color category at the Oscars scores a 96.7, the highest to date, and all five nominees make my Top 9.  But the black-and-white category earns a score of 0; it really needed to be done away with by this time – by this point most of the best work done in costumes and sets in black-and-white were in foreign films and they just weren’t nominating enough (though the costume designers tended to be better at this than the art decorators).

  • Best Makeup
  1. Seven Faces of Dr. Lao
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. Harakiri
  4. My Fair Lady

Analysis:  This award is presented for the first time, as an honorary award and it deservedly goes to Seven Faces of Dr. Lao.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”  (Mary Poppins)
  2. “A Hard Day’s Night”  (A Hard Day’s Night)
  3. “Chim Chim Cher-ee”  (Mary Poppins)
  4. “Spoonful of Sugar”  (Mary Poppins)
  5. “Let’s Go Fly a Kite”  (Mary Poppins)
  6. “If I Fell”  (A Hard Day’s Night)
  7. “I Should Have Known Better”  (A Hard Day’s Night)
  8. “Feed the Birds”  (Mary Poppins)
  9. “Viva Las Vegas”  (Viva Las Vegas)
  10. “Tell Me Why”  (A Hard Day’s Night)

Analysis:  The best Top 5 ever in this category.  I ended up a little surprised that only one song from A Hard Day’s Night made my Top 5, but clearly they’re stacked in the second five.  “Goldfinger”, which many people are big fans of (I’m not a huge fan of it) is at #13, beind “And I Love Her” (A Hard Day’s Night) and “It Had Better Be Tonight” (The Pink Panther).  A Hard Day’s Night would have done better, but “Can’t Buy Me Love”, which Inside Oscar lists as eligible, was actually written and released as a single before the film.  If it had been eligible, it would have finished at #3.
A quick word about how I do this category.  Because there are only five nominations, only five songs from a particular film make my list.  While that wouldn’t have affected A Hard Day’s Night (the only other eligible song, “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” would have finished much lower down the list), this does affect Mary Poppins, with songs like “The Life I Lead” or “Step in Time” not making the list, where they would have finished around 11th place or so.
This year has five semi-finalists.  “Spoonful of Sugar” at least is there, but not a single song from A Hard Day’s Night.  The Academy never would grasp the brilliance of The Beatles – they will completely dominate this list in 1965, for while Help isn’t nearly as good a film, it actually has better original songs.  But to not even put “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” on the semi-final list just shows how completely moronic the music branch was.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. none

Analysis:  There are two Oscar eligible films in this year (Hey There It’s Yogi Bear and The Incredible Mr. Limpet) and one non-eligible film that made it stateside this year (The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon).  None of them are better than low-range *** at best.  Little Prince is the best of the mediocre bunch of Anime films that will make it to the States in this decade (which isn’t saying much).  Yogi is the first feature film from Hanna / Barbera, a company, of course, which focused more on television (most of their films will be feature length versions of their shows) and none of which will be good enough to earn nominations.  From here on out, there will be at least a couple of eligible films in almost every year, but the next time a non-Disney film earns a nomination will be 1978.

  • Poster_USSR.3164049_largeBest Foreign Film:
  1. Hamlet
  2. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg  *
  3. That Man from Rio  *

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

Analysis:  Hamlet becomes the first Soviet film to win the Nighthawk, in the country’s 10th nomination.  In spite of having the most eligible films (12), Japan fails to earn a Nighthawk nomination for the first time since 1950.  It’s also the first year without a nomination by either Kurosawa, Bergman, Buñuel or Truffaut since 1947; there won’t be another year lacking all four of those directors again until 1979.
This is, of course, a very weak year.  Hamlet is the weakest winner since 1947 and would have been #10 in both 1955 and 1957.  This is the first year since 1954 not to have at least four nominees.  It’s the lowest average for the five best foreign films in a year since 1950 (the two next best films are Charulata and Red Desert).
The Oscar winner is Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.  It is the only winner in the decade not to earn at least ***.5 and make my list and one of only two not to earn at least a Nighthawk nomination.  It is my #26 Foreign Film on the year.  There won’t be a winner this weak again in this category until 1979.

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.

  • Dr. Strangelove  (480)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Art Direction
  • Mary Poppins  (480)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup, Original Song, Original Song, Original Song, Original Song
  • Harakiri  (375)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • High and Low  (330)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Foreign Film (1963)
  • The Night of the Iguana  (235)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography
  • A Hard Day’s Night  (205)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Editing, Sound, Original Song
  • My Fair Lady  (140)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Pink Panther  (90)
    • Original Screenplay, Original Score
  • The Best Man  (90)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Goldfinger  (80)
    • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • The Americanization of Emily  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress
  • The Silence  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • The Pumpkin Eater  (70)
    • Actress
  • The Chalk Garden  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • That Man From Rio  (60)
    • Original Screenplay, Foreign Film
  • The Idiot  (45)
    • Cinematography, Foreign Film (1951)
  • Il Diavolo  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • From Russia With Love  (40)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Robinson Crusoe on Mars  (40)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Seven Faces of Dr. Lau  (40)
    • Visual Effects, Makeup
  • The Life of Oharu  (35)
    • Costume Design, Foreign Film (1952)
  • Zorba the Greek  (25)
    • Original Score
  • What a Way to Go  (15)
    • Costume Design

Analysis:  Mary Poppins has the second most nominations to this date and the third most points for a film that doesn’t win Best Picture.  It might seem like cheating, since it has four nominations for Song, but it’s beaten out by Wizard of Oz, whose 18 nominations included five nominations for Song.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • A Shot in the Dark

Analysis:  A fantastic comedy – actually considerably better than the first Pink Panther film.  But its good score is up against a strong year and it can’t even come close to breaking through in the very stacked year for Adapted Screenplay.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Becket

Analysis:  I wish I liked this film more than I do.  It’s got interesting history and two of the best actors in the history of British film.  I must blame the direction, because O’Toole and Burton seem to lack a lot of the passion of their other roles.  Sure, they’re good, but they’re not at their levels of greatness that they had achieved before and would later.  It does make four appearances in my Top 10, with Costume Design at #7 being the highest.  It was a big hit on the awards circuit though.  Overall, it earned 1107 points, the second most behind Marty for a film to blank at the Nighthawks to this point.  It earned 28 total nominations and 7 wins.  This includes 12 Oscar nominations and 1 win (Adapted Screenplay), 5 Globe noms and 2 wins (Picture – Drama, Actor – Drama), 2 BAFTA wins among 7 noms a WGA win, a DGA nom, an ACE nom and Best Picture at the NBR.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. Harakiri
  2. High and Low
  3. The Night of the Iguana
  4. The Best Man
  5. The Chalk Garden

Analysis:  High and Low was nominated for Best Foreign Film (in 1963), making it ineligible for Best Picture at the Globes.
This a year with considerable dichotomy.  While the Comedies are the best in over 20 years, the Dramas are a much weaker group.  This Top 5 is the weakest in this category since 1945.  It’s only the second time since 1952 that a ***.5 film makes this list.

  • Best Director
  1. Masaki Kobayashi  (Harakiri)
  2. Akira Kurosawa  (High and Low)
  3. John Huston  (The Night of the Iguana)
  4. Sidney Lumet  (Fail Safe)
  5. Franklin J. Schaffner  (The Best Man)

Analysis:  The only nomination for Kobayashi, the first for Schaffner (ironically, a much lesser director than Kobayashi, but his two best films both earn him nominations), the second for Lumet, the fifth for Huston (his only one between 1951 and 1975) and the eighth for Kurosawa.  Kurosawa goes up to 540 points and 1st place in Drama.
Again, a weak group, the weakest since 1955.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. High and Low
  2. Harakiri
  3. The Best Man
  4. The Night of the Iguana
  5. The Chalk Garden

Analysis:  Another dichotomy.  This group isn’t as weak as the other categories precisely because the scripts are all so stacked in favor of Adapted.
John Huston earns his first Drama nomination since 1951 and his sixth overall.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. The Silence
  2. The Organizer

Analysis:  The weakest in this category since 1945.  With both Kurosawa and Bergman winning, they both move up to 600 Drama points and stay tied for 1st place.  This is Bergman’s third straight win in this category.

  • harakiri-1962-05-gBest Actor:
  1. Tatsuya Nakadai  (Harakiri)
  2. Richard Burton  (The Night of the Iguana)
  3. Henry Fonda  (The Best Man)
  4. Richard Attenborough  (Guns at Batasi)
  5. Peter O’Toole  (Becket)

Analysis:  Nakadai, the winner, is also the only first-time nominee.  It’s the second nomination for O’Toole, the third for Attenborough, the third for Burton and the fifth for Fonda.  Attenborough actually won the BAFTA for his performance.  The weakest in this category since 1949.

  • the-pumpkin-eaters-27498_3Best Actress
  1. Anne Bancroft  (The Pumpkin Eater)
  2. Ingrid Thulin  (The Silence)
  3. Deborah Kerr  (The Night of the Iguana)
  4. Deborah Kerr  (The Chalk Garden)
  5. Ava Gardner  (The Night of the Iguana)

Analysis:  Gardner and Bancroft earn their second nominations.  Thulin earns her fourth nomination and second in a row.  Kerr earns her 9th Drama nomination; since three of those were wins, she is now up to 445 points and second place all-time.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Toshiro Mifune  (High and Low)
  2. Lee Tracy  (The Best Man)
  3. Yutaka Sada  (High and Low)
  4. Takashi Shimura  (Scandal)
  5. John Geilgud  (Becket)

Analysis:  First time nominees Tracy, Sada and Geilgud are joined by Shimura (second straight nomination, fourth overall) and Mifune (fourth straight nomination, sixth overall, third win).  Mifune now has 285 Drama points and is in 8th place.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Grayson Hall  (The Night of the Iguana)
  2. Edith Evans  (The Chalk Garden)
  3. Ann Sothern  (The Best Man)
  4. Margaret Leighton  (The Best Man)
  5. Lila Kedrova  (Zorba the Greek)

Analysis:  Unlike the lead category, all five are earning their first nominations and only Leighton will earn another one.  Kudos to the Globes for actually nominating Sothern, who is very good and went un-nominated at the Oscars.

  • Harakiri  (300)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • The Night of the Iguana  (300)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • High and Low  (265)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Best Man  (260)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Chalk Garden  (155)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Silence  (115)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • The Pumpkin Eater  (70)
    • Actress
  • Becket  (65)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Fail Safe  (45)
    • Director
  • The Organizer  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Guns at Batasi  (35)
    • Actor
  • Scandal  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Zorba the Greek  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  The average winner among Drama is the weakest since 1942; this is contrasted against the very strong group of winners in Comedy.  In fact, this ties 1931 and 1934 for the years in which the winners in Comedy have the most dominance against Drama.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • The Idiot

Analysis:  A very good Kurosawa film (which makes it one of the weaker Kurosawa films, given how great a director he is).  The best it does in Drama is Supporting Actor, where it comes in 7th.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. Dr. Strangelove
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. A Hard Day’s Night
  4. My Fair Lady
  5. The Americanization of Emily

Analysis:  This is actually the best Top 5 in this category to date, beating out the fantastic 1940 group by one point.  Goldfinger is the next film on the list, the best #6 film in this category since 1940.

  • Best Director
  1. Stanley Kubrick  (Dr. Strangelove)
  2. Robert Stevenson  (Mary Poppins)
  3. George Cukor  (My Fair Lady)
  4. Louis Malle  (Zazie in the Subway)
  5. Arthur Hiller  (The Americanization of Emily)

Analysis:  The only nomination for Stevenson, the first for Hiller (like Schaffner, not a particularly good director, but managed to score with his two best films), the first of back-to-back for Malle, the second nomination and first of two wins for Kubrick (because I consider Lolita and Clockwork to be Comedies) and the fifth nomination for Cukor.  This moves Cukor to 225 points and a tie for 7th in Comedy.  This is a rare year where I actually have more people on this list than a Top 5, with this list followed by Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger), Richard Lester (A Hard Day’s Night) and Philippe de Broca (That Man from Rio).
This group of five ties 1952 for the best Top 5 to date.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Dr. Strangelove
  2. Mary Poppins
  3. The Americanization of Emily
  4. Goldfinger
  5. My Fair Lady

Analysis:  A fantastic group of five, tied for the second best in this category to date, but that’s partially because, like with Drama, the scales are tipped way in favor of Adapted.  Dr. Strangelove may very well be the all-time winner in this category.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. That Man from Rio
  3. The Pink Panther
  4. Il Diavolo
  5. Seduced and Abandoned

Analysis:  There’s a big drop from Night to the other four scripts.  Sadly, this is the best in this category in four years because this category has been so weak.

  • sellersBest Actor:
  1. Peter Sellers  (Dr. Strangelove)
  2. George C. Scott (Dr. Strangelove)
  3. Rex Harrison  (My Fair Lady)
  4. James Garner  (The Americanization of Emily)
  5. Peter Sellers  (A Shot in the Dark)

Analysis:  The only nomination for Harrison in Comedy, the first for Scott and the second (straight) for Garner.  But it’s the third and fourth for Sellers, including his second win, and it moves him to 200 points and 9th place in Comedy, knocking Spencer Tracy out of the Top 10.  The best to-date in this category and it won’t be surpassed until the 80’s.

  • Julie-Andrews_Mary-Poppins-4Best Actress
  1. Julie Andrews  (Mary Poppins)
  2. Julie Andrews  (The Americanization of Emily)
  3. Debbie Reynolds  (The Unsinkable Molly Brown)
  4. Audrey Hepburn  (My Fair Lady)
  5. Shirley MacLaine  (What a Way to Go)

Analysis:  Not actually that strong a Top 5, with a big drop after the two Andrews performances, yet still the strongest in this category since 1956.  It’s the second nomination for Reynolds and the first and second for Andrews but MacLaine and Hepburn, at ages 35 and 30, are already old pros.  MacLaine earns her fifth nomination, goes to 245 points and a tie for 4th place.  Hepburn earns her 7th nomination and is up to 350 points and 2nd place.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Sterling Hayden  (Dr. Strangelove)
  2. Stanley Holloway  (My Fair Lady)
  3. James Coburn  (The Americanization of Emily)
  4. Peter Ustinov  (Topkapi)
  5. David Tomlinson  (Mary Poppins)

Analysis:  Holloway earns his third Comedy nomination but it’s the first and only nomination for the other four.  Ustinov was nominated for lead at the Globes but he won the Oscar in Supporting.  I may have gotten a new appreciation for Tomlinson’s character by watching Saving Mr. Banks.  The second best Top 5 in this category to date, behind only 1961.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Gladys Cooper  (My Fair Lady)
  2. Glynis Johns  (Mary Poppins)

Analysis:  Obviously, with only two nominees, this is the weak link in Comedy, but it’s still better than a lot of years in the 40’s and 50’s where I couldn’t find any nominees for this category.  It is the only nomination for both Cooper and Johns.

  • Dr. Strangelove  (435)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actor, Supporting Actor
  • My Fair Lady  (295)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Mary Poppins  (265)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Americanization of Emily  (235)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • A Hard Day’s Night  (130)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay
  • Zazie in the Subway  (45)
    • Director
  • Goldfinger  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • That Man from Rio  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Pink Panther  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Seduced and Abandoned  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • A Shot in the Dark  (40)
    • Actor
  • The Unsinkable Molly Brown  (40)
    • Actress
  • What a Way to Go  (35)
    • Actress
  • Topkapi  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  While Drama has far fewer films than the year before, this has a lot more.  That’s because the major films dominate, but beyond that, there’s a lot of parity.  It’s also partially because of the long list of very good Comedy films in this year.  The average winner in Comedy in this year is tied with 1961 for second-best to date (behind only 1940); it would probably have been in first place if not for Supporting Actress.  The average nominee, kept down by the not full category in Supporting Actress, is way better than any year to this point except 1940.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • From Russia With Love

Analysis:  The luck of the draw.  In 1963, From Russia With Love would have been the #3 Comedy and would have earned Picture and Adapted Screenplay nominations.  In 1965, it would have won Best Picture – Comedy.  But here, in a year where it’s the #7 Comedy and where five of those six films above it are adapted, it can’t make it into any category.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  156

By Stars:

  • ****:  10
  • ***.5:  12
  • ***:  83
  • **.5:  31
  • **:  11
  • *.5:  1
  • *:  2
  • .5:  3
  • 0:  3
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  62.97

Analysis:  It’s only the second time that both **** and ***.5 reach double digits.  But it’s also the first time that every star category has at least one film.  The awful films (*, .5, 0) account for more than 5% of the films for the first time.  As a result, the average only rises .07 above the previous year and is the third worst to date.  The 156 films are a new high for a single year to date.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • A House is Not a Home  (Best Costume Design)

note:  The most recent Oscar nominee I haven’t seen nominated for anything other than Song or Foreign Film.

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

  • Crimson Blade  (BAFTA – Best British Cinematography – 1963)

note:  I actually had this film listed as Scarlet Blade, but it appears at oscars.org under Crimson Blade in 1964.

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  On the one hand, I could point that this year ranks #46 all-time, which places it right in the middle.  It’s not great and not terrible.  But, it is pretty bad when compared to 1961 and 1962 (both of which are in the low 30’s).  But it also comes between 1963 (#84) and 1965 (#71) and that makes it look pretty damn good.  There are two films in the Top 100 balanced out by two films that can’t even make the Top 400.

The Winners:  Not a good year – the average winner among the nominees is 2.59, the worst since 1958 and there won’t be another one that is worse for at least a decade (that’s as far as I’ve done).  I only agree with the winner among the nominees in four categories (Editing, Visual Effects, Sound Effects, Song), the lowest since 1944.  Interestingly, the 6.83 average winner among all films is slightly better than the year before because 1963 made better choices among the nominees – it just didn’t make good choices of nominees.  Particularly bad is the choice of writing winners.  Becket is only the third Adapted winner to not make my Top 20 for the year while Father Goose is only the second original winner.  Becket contrasts against the category – it will be another 13 years before there’s even another Adapted winner that doesn’t earn a Nighthawk nomination, let alone not make the Top 20.

The Nominees:  The overall score of 56.8 is down from 1961 and 1962 but way up from 1963.  That’s because a high Tech score (58.7) and major category score (54.0) make up for the lowest acting score since 1958 and the second lowest since 1947 (71.4).  This is mainly because of the 54.3 score in Supporting Actor, the lowest in the category since 1938.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  Wow, did the Globes ever waste an opportunity here.  Two years before, they had abandoned the idea of a separate Musical category.  Which means that the list of eligible films included My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins.  They did, with Lady winning.  But then they nominated the okay Father Goose and Unsinkable Molly Brown and the mediocre The World of Henry Orient.  They didn’t nominate Dr. Strangelove, one of the greatest comedies, if not the greatest comedy ever made.  That alone, in place of Henry Orient, would have moved this year from 36th place (where it is) to 14th place.  They also missed out on A Hard Day’s Night (possibly not eligible because of the way they did Foreign film).  Put that in, in place of Molly and you’ve moved up to fourth place.  But first place was still possible, because of The Americanization of Emily.  That’s five great films.  And that’s not including other films that could have made the list, films like Goldfinger or From Russia With Love or A Shot in the Dark.  There are even higher range *** films like The Pink Panther, What a Way to Go, Tiara Tahiti and Good Neighbor Sam.  Not all these films were completely ignored (Pink Panther earned an Actor nomination while From Russia With Love was nominated for Song).  There are some years where the Globes just didn’t have much to work with.  Here, in a phenomenal year for Comedies, they totally dropped the ball.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb  (reviewed here and here)

2  –  Mary Poppins  (reviewed here)

Here's something Elvis apparently never thought of: have your movie be hilarious.

Here’s something Elvis apparently never thought of: have your movie be hilarious.

3  –  A Hard Day’s Night  (dir. Richard Lester)

“If you are not of the belief that the Beatles are the greatest and most important band in the history of rock and roll, then you are wrong.”  I wrote that in the very first film review I put up on this site.  I still hold it to be true.  The Beatles are not my favorite band (that would be U2).  I don’t love them as passionately as R.E.M., the Levellers or The Clash.  But The Beatles are The Beatles.  It’s as simple as that.  A few days ago I watched a wonderful Spanish film called Living is Easy with Eyes Closed, about a middle aged teacher in Spain obsessed with John Lennon.  Because of that and the title, I have had “Strawberry Fields Forever”, a song that wouldn’t make my top 50 Beatles songs, stuck in my head and I haven’t particularly minded.  They are, after all, The Beatles.  What they did in less than a decade was rewrite the very concept of rock and roll.  And what they did with this film was rewrite the very concept of a film musical.

If you watch the Elvis films (and, in my quest to see as many Oscar eligible songs as possible, I have seen almost all of them), you will find Elvis thrown into all sorts of ridiculous plots.  Those films were determined to make an actor out of Elvis.  The Beatles didn’t bother with such a thing as a plot.  They made a film that fit their style – they ran about, they had fun, they were themselves.  Part of the reason that Help, in spite of actually having better songs, isn’t any better than a high range *** film and this film is a high level **** is because they used more of an Elvis type plot rather than just being themselves.  What was instantly clear (and had been growing clearer in their music, but would be made much clear in later albums) was how incredibly funny the four lads were.  They didn’t just shake the world, they made us shake with laughter.

That originality and humor works so well, not just because the lads are funny, not just because the script is funny, but because those things work today in the way the film is shot.  The direction and cinematography on this film are hardly ground-breaking and certainly below the other four top films.  But there’s a good reason this is my #2 choice for Best Editing.  In the interview scene, when they are talking to a large group of reporters, the script, the humor and the editing all work together with absolutely hilarious results, bouncing back and forth, and yet, we can be assured, as Paul says, they are just good friends.

This film only earns one Best Song nomination from me, partially because Mary Poppins is in this same year, and partially because it turns out that “Can’t Buy Me Love” wasn’t actually written for the film.  That’s a shame, not only because it’s an absolutely brilliant song, but because even today, when music videos have been an industry for decades, there are few videos that can capture to pure joy and fun of watching “Can’t Buy Me Love” in this film.

A reminder that other directors aside from Kurosawa made brilliant samurai films.

A reminder that other directors aside from Kurosawa made brilliant samurai films.

4  –  Harakiri  (dir. Masaki Kobayashi)

When you first sit down to watch this film, it may take you a while to realize what is going on, especially if you are not particularly knowledgeable about Japanese society, specifically the society of the early part of the Edo period.  You will wonder what the connection is between the two different men – the one sitting in front of a lord asking permission to kill himself in the courtyard, and the story he is told of another man, much like himself.  But as you listen to the slow intonation of Tatsuya Nakadai, as you start to understand his story, as the situation slowly unfolds on the screen, you begin to understand.  You might not really grasp the concept of death before dishonor as the poster says you will.  But you will understand the depths of desperation that sent one man to kill himself (though not really) in a highly honorable ritual and you will realize, not only what a masterful film is unfolding in front of you, but how much it has to say about the very concepts of death and honor in the first place.

Understanding that there are those for whom death is preferable to dishonor, is the first part of understanding the film.  Because when that honor is gone, there are those who will gladly choose death; there are those however, who will not make that choice and the differences as to why they will not do that vary and that is what the film makes so clear to us as the story unfolds.

Cowardice and power are reasons why some choose to go on living.  They are so attached to what they have, they cannot fathom that they must give it up, no matter what they have sworn to do.  Desperation is another; the film holds for us the stark choices of a man who is supposed to choose death before some of the other choices that he makes, but it is also makes quite clear that this would not only mean death for himself, but death for those he loves and that is the choice he can not bring himself to make.  He chooses to sacrifice important to himself so that he will not have to make anyone else sacrifice their all.  But there is also duty.  For some people, to take your own life is the duty that is required.  But for others, another duty is placed upon them and seppuku (or harakiri, as it also known) is actually a luxury they are not allowed to take for themselves – their sacrifice is not to die.

All of this is played out in a film that is first-rate on every level – from the costumes to the music to the cinematography, everything is exactly what we would want.  The direction is the career best from Masaki Kobayashi, a director that some would hold to be even greater than Kurosawa.  The writing, which seems confusing at first, merely serves to give a slow introduction so that we can get our bearing before we really are forced to witness the various tragedies of the film.  We learn the story as most in the film are also learning the story and it is with careful deliberation that it is handed down to us.

All of that works so well because of the intense, yet measured performance from Tatsuya Nakadai at its center.  Nakadai had been a favorite of Kobayashi from the start of both of their careers and this was his best work for the director.  The year after this he, would have a key role in Kurosawa’s High and Low (see below), and in the 80’s would take the starring role in Kurosawa’s Kagemusha and Ran.  Between his slow, yet careful detailing of his story, we also get his incredible duels, the ones that mean more to him than his very life, and in the end, we get incredible bursts of action punctuated by intense bursts of heart-felt dialogue.  Kobayashi’s film is so well-thought out, has so much to say about the notions of honor and duty, and why both can be important and why sometimes one is more important than the other, it would have been a great film no matter what.  But Nakadai’s forceful presence at its heart turns it into something truly remarkable.

Proof that Kurosawa doesn't have to make a period piece for his film to be brilliant.

Proof that Kurosawa doesn’t have to make a period piece for his film to be brilliant.

5  –  High and Low  (dir. Akira Kurosawa)

By 1963, Akira Kurosawa had done a wide range of films.  He had created brilliant original period films like Seven Samurai and Hidden Fortress.  He gone original in modern day with Stray Dog.  He had adapted classic Japanese literature (Rashomon), Shakespeare (Throne of Blood), Dostoevsky (The Idiot) and Gorky (The Lower Depths).  But none of that really prepares us for what he does here, taking a genre author like Ed McBain and turning his novel about New York into a riveting thriller set in Yokohama.

This film is essentially two different films.  The first part of the film is a thriller.  An executive at a shoe company, played with great intensity by Toshiro Mifune, gets a ransom note about his son being kidnapped.  However, the kidnappers have taken the wrong child – they have the son of his chauffeur.  They still insist on the ransom, which comes at a bad time because the executive is trying to buy out the company and all his money is tied up.  How would this be made today?  Would the executive be seen as a decent man trying to do the right thing who is limited by bad timing?  Somehow I doubt it.  But we can buy that in Mifune and in the end, he gives the money, the child is released and he loses his job and his fortune.  Like with Harakiri, honor is tied up in all of this.  The executive does what is right and it hurts him and his family badly.  And the look in the chauffeur’s eyes at the end of the film, knowing that getting back his son has cost his boss dearly says it all.

But there is a whole other part of the film (that is why Mifune is listed as a supporting actor – because I don’t really feel that there is a lead, given the way the film is split basically in half).  That is when this goes from a thriller to a detective story, as the main police detective (played by Tatsuya Nakadai, who I wouldn’t recognize without the facial hair from Harakiri) tracks down the kidnapper and finds a sense of justice for the end of the film.  The cinematography, music and editing are all key parts of the second half of the film, especially in a long sequence where the police are following the kidnapper and there is almost no dialogue.

Kurosawa was never limited by the concept of genre.  He could make dramas, comedies, romance, action films, and here he makes one of the very best suspense film, taking an English language cop novel and turning it into one of the best films of the year.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  2. The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
  3. Horror of Party Beach
  4. The Creeping Terror
  5. Two Thousand Maniacs

note:  This is the first year with three zero star films.  It’s a year with such bad films at the bottom of the list that a .5 star film by Russ Meyer (Lorna) can’t make the bottom five.  Two Thousand Maniacs is the first of what will be several Herschell Gordon Lewis films in the bottom five (basically any Lewis film I’ve seen except Blood Feast, also in this year, and only the eighth worst film of the year).

Yes, it really is as bad as the name suggests it might be.

Yes, it really is as bad as the name suggests it might be.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians  (dir. Nicholas Webster)

Some films earn a cult following because of their title (for example, Snakes on a Plane).  Other films are just as bad as their ridiculous name might imply.  Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is an example of the latter.  It is a ridiculously stupid title, but then it is a ridiculously stupid film.

“It’s so bad it’s good.”  Some people say that about films.  I am not one of those people, of course.  To me, guilty pleasure films are films that are usually mediocre but have enjoyability, or films that are bad in enjoyable ways (like Flash Gordon, for example).  My response, in a film like this, when someone tries to say it’s so bad it’s good is to say that it’s so bad that it goes past being good and comes out the other side as just being bad again.  This film is so bad that it beats out the other zero star film of the year, a film that might even have a worse title (The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies).

The very concept behind this film is stupid.  It’s about children who live on Mars who get obsessed with watching Earth television.  Because of this, a plot comes in about the need to kidnap Santa Claus, but Mars has to make certain they get the right Santa Claus and then it just goes on from there.  It’s made without a single scrap of talent at any level.  The writing and directing is below amateurish, the acting is on the level of a grade school talent show and the budget for the film must have been about $100.  I could make a better film than this in the backyard.  It just boggles the mind that this film ever could have gotten a release, let alone one enough that it could be brought back years later and revived on MST3K.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  Mary Poppins  (17)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  Dr. Strangelove / Mary Poppins  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Dr. Strangelove / Mary Poppins  (480)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Zorba the Greek
  • 2nd Place Award:  Mary Poppins  (Picture, Actress, Original Score, Sound, Makeup)  ***
  • 6th Place Award:  My Fair Lady  (Picture, Director, Sound)  ****
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  The Night of the Iguana / The Best Man  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  Harakiri  (3)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  Harakiri / The Night of the Iguana  (300)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  Zorba the Greek
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  My Fair Lady  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  Dr. Strangelove  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  Dr. Strangelove  (435)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Topkapi

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

*** – Usually the winner of the 2nd place award is a film that would have won a lot of awards if not for the first place film; think To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962.  But here, Mary Poppins comes in 2nd place five times, but to five different films.

****  –  Not a lot of films have 3 third place finishes, let alone finish in 6th place in Picture and Director.  But there is also, in this year, The Americanization of Emily, which finishes in third place in Actor, Actress and Supporting Actor, although because of Deborah Kerr, it does earn an Actress nomination in spite of its 6th place finish.

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  (360)

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

  • Drama:  56 (22)  –  The Night of the Iguana  (66.5)
  • Foreign:  54  –  Harakiri  (64.7)
  • Comedy:  34 (9)  –  Dr. Strangelove  (65.3)
  • Horror:  11 (3)  –  Masque of the Red Death  (35.1)
  • Musical:  10  –  A Hard Day’s Night  (65.7)
  • Crime:  10 (8)  –  The Organizer  (64.2)
  • Action:  6 (4)  –  Harakiri  (79.8)
  • Kids:  6  (1)  –  Mary Poppins  (65.7)
  • Suspense:  5  (2)  –  High and Low  (72.2)
  • Sci-Fi:  5  –  First Men in the Moon  (31.4)
  • Adventure:  4 (2)  –  The Long Ships  (66)
  • Western:  3  –  Cheyenne Autumn  (59.7)
  • Fantasy:  3  (2)  –  Seven Faces of Dr. Lao  (52.3)
  • War:  2  –  Fail Safe  (69)
  • Mystery:  1 (1)  –  Paris Belongs to Us  (68)

Analysis:  Action films set a new high with 6 films, twice as many as any previous year; not only are there more, but they are good.  Comedy films also set a new high.  The 10 Crime films are the second highest to date.  The 54 Foreign films are by far a new high, but they aren’t very good – they hit their lowest average since 1942.  They’re not as bad as the Horror films, which set a new low.  War films, on the other hand, have their lowest total since 1954.
While there have never been more than 3 Action films in a year to date, this year not only has 6, but has 2 in the Top 10 (never more than one before) and 3 in the Top 20 (only two previous years even had two).  There are also, surprisingly enough, two Musicals in the Top 10 for the first time (it would be three if I counted Mary Poppins); it’s even the first time since 1953 that there have been two in the Top 20.  But, there are only two Foreign films in the Top 10, the lowest since 1955 and only five in the Top 20, the lowest since 1957.  Dr. Strangelove, possibly the best Comedy ever made, becomes the first Comedy to win my Best Picture since 1942 (ironically, since Comedies won the Oscar in 1960 and 1963).

Studio Note:  For the first time the major studios actually account for less than half the films I’ve seen – 77 out of 156.  MGM leads the way yet again with 15 (though it’s the last time MGM will have the most films), followed by Paramount and United Artists with 11 each.  UA has the best films (74.27 avg) while 20th Century-Fox has the worst (58.9 avg).  AIP leads the way among the indies with 7 films, though as usual, they’re not very good (52.86 avg).  It’s followed by Continental, which are much better (6 films, 75.83 avg).
In spite of the smaller percentage overall, the majors account for 8 of the Top 10 films, the most since 1955 and 14 of the Top 20, the most since 1957.  MGM has two Top 10 films for the first time since 1959 and UA continues its streak of quality with 3 Top 10 (the first by any studio since UA had 4 in 1957) and 5 Top 20 (the first by any studio since 1953).  But it’s Columbia that’s amazing – after becoming the last of the majors to win Best Picture, it has now won its sixth in twelve years, the first studio to win six.

51 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):

  • Agent 38-24-36  (Molinaro, France)
  • All These Women  (Bergman, Sweden)
  • Band of Outsiders  (Godard, France)
  • Before the Revolution  (Bertolucci, Italy)
  • Black God, White Devil  (Rocha, Brazil)  *
  • Black Sun  (Kurahara, Japan)
  • Blood and Black Lace  (Bava, Italy)
  • The Cat in the Sack  (Groulx, Canada)
  • Charulata  (Ray, India)
  • Cruel Gun Story  (Furukawa, Japan)
  • Destination Death  (Staudte, East Germany)
  • Diamonds of the Night  (Nemec, Czechoslovakia)
  • Diary of a Chambermaid  (Buñuel, France)
  • The Divided Heaven  (Wolf, East Germany)
  • Dry Summer  (Erksan, Turkey)  *
  • The Evil Eye  (Bava, Italy)
  • Gate of Flesh  (Suzuki, Japan)
  • Ghidrah, the Three Headed Monster  (Honda, Japan)
  • Godzilla vs Mothra  (Honda, Japan)
  • The Golden Cockerel  (Gavaldon, Italy)
  • The Gospel According to St. Matthew  (Pasolini, Italy)
  • The Guns  (Guerra, Brazil)
  • Hamlet  (Kozintsev, USSR)
  • The Horrible Dr. Hichcock  (Freda, Italy)
  • Intentions of Murder  (Imamura, Japan)
  • Joy House  (Clement, France)
  • King Kong Escapes  (Honda, Japan)
  • Lemonade Joe  (Lipsky, Czechoslovakia)  *
  • Male Hunt  (Molinaro, France)
  • Mother of the Bride  (Salem, Egypt)  *
  • Onibaba  (Shindo, Japan)
  • Pale Flower  (Shinoda, Japan)
  • Passenger  (Munk, Poland)  *
  • The Peach Thief  (Radev, Bulgaria)
  • Raven’s End  (Widerberg, Sweden)  **
  • Red Desert  (Antonioni, Italy)
  • Sallah  (Kishon, Israel)  **
  • Samurai from Nowhere  (Uchikawa, Japan)
  • Seduced and Abandoned  (Germi, Italy)
  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors  (Parajanov, USSR)
  • The Soft Skin  (Truffaut, France)
  • That Man From Rio  (De Broca, Italy)
  • Three Outlaw Samurai  (Gosha, Japan)
  • Tintin and the Blue Oranges  (Condroyer, France)
  • Treason  (Manoussakis, Greece)  *
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg  (Demy, France)  **
  • Une fille et des fusils  (Lelouch, France)
  • A Walk Around Moscow  (Daneliya, USSR)
  • Welcome, or No Trespassing  (Klimov, USSR)
  • Woman in the Dunes  (Teshigahara, Japan)  **
  • Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow  (De Sica, Italy)  ***

Note:  Japan has its most films to date, and leads the way with 12 films.  It is followed, of course, by France and Italy, with 9 each, the fifth straight year that these three countries have been the top three.  The continued rise of Monster films lead to 6 Horror films, the second most to date.  There are also 9 Comedies, the most in one year to date.  On the other hand, for the first time in four years, less than half the films are Dramas.  The Cat in the Sack is the first film I’ve seen from Canada, Dry Summer the first from Turkey and Sallah the first from Israel.
The irony is that none of the 12 films from Japan are good enough to merit inclusion in my Best Foreign Film category (***.5 or better), while there are four Japanese films from earlier years that are ***.5 or better (Harakiri, High and Low, The Idiot, The Life of Oharu).

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

  • Denmark:  Sextet  (dir. Hovmand)
  • Hong Kong:  Between Tears and Smiles  (dir. Hua / Feng)
  • South Korea:  The Deaf Samyong  (dir. Sang-ok)
  • Spain:  The Girl in Mourning  (dir. Summers)
  • Taiwan:  Lovers’ Rock  (dir. Pan)
  • Yugoslavia:  Skoplje 63  (dir. Bulajic)

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 12 for 18.  It’s the only time I’m missing Yugoslavia in the 60’s, but it’s the fourth time (out of 8) to this date that I’m missing Spain.  It’s Denmark, though, that continues to be the real thorn in my side – this is the sixth submission from that country and I’m missing all of them.

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

  • Scandal  (1950)
  • The Idiot  (1951)
  • The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice  (1952)
  • The Life of Oharu  (1952)
  • Colossus and the Amazon Queen  (1960)
  • Moderato Cantabile  (1960)
  • Paris Belongs to Us  (1960)
  • Le Trou  (1960)
  • Zazie in the Subway  (1960)
  • The Hand in the Trap  (1961)
  • Hercules in the Haunted World  (1961)
  • Joan of the Angels  (1961)
  • Summer Skin  (1961)
  • The Avenger  (1962)
  • Eva  (1962)
  • Family Diary  (1962)
  • Harakiri  (1962)
  • In the Affirmative  (1962)
  • Keeper of Promises  (1962)
  • Mafioso  (1962)
  • My Life to Live  (1962)
  • Siberian Lady MacBeth  (1962)
  • Il Sorpasso  (1962)
  • The Third Lover  (1962)
  • Tiara Tahiti  (1962)
  • Tlayucan  (1962)
  • Alone on the Pacific  (1963)
  • Any Number Can Win  (1963)
  • Billy Liar  (1963)
  • Black Sabbath  (1963)
  • Blood Feast  (1963)
  • The Cool World  (1963)
  • Il Diavolo  (1963)
  • From Russia With Love  (1963)
  • High and Low  (1963)
  • The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon  (1963)
  • The Organizer  (1963)
  • The Playgirls and the Vampire  (1963)
  • The Servant  (1963)
  • The Silence  (1963)
  • Summer Holiday  (1963)
  • Sunday in New York  (1963)
  • Tamahine  (1963)
  • Los Tarantos  (1963)
  • Twin Sisters of Kyoto  (1963)
  • Marriage Italian Style  (1965)  *

*  –  Marriage Italian Style is a singular oddity in the history of Oscar eligibility.  Because the Best Foreign Film category works on what year a film was released in its home country while the rest of the categories work on the Los Angeles release date, many foreign films are eligible years later in most categories than they were in foreign film.  However, the dates that the Best Foreign Film category use aren’t January 1 – December 31 – their year ends in October.  Marriage Italian Style was released in Italy in early December of 1964 and then in L.A. a couple of weeks later.  It earned a nomination for Best Actress, then, the next year, was submitted by Italy and nominated for Best Foreign Film.  In theory, this could happen to other films, but so far, it is the only film to be nominated in regular Oscar categories the year before being nominated for Best Foreign Film.

Note:  These 46 films average a 65.5.  The Nighthawk Awards for this year definitely gain from the eligibility rules – this year gains two of its top five (Harakiri and High and Low).

Films Not Listed at Oscars.org:

  • Alone on the Pacific
  • Black Sun
  • Colossus and the Amazon Queen
  • The Creeping Terror
  • Cruel Gun Story
  • Destination Death
  • The Divided Heaven
  • The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice
  • French Dressing
  • The Golden Cockerel
  • In the Affirmative
  • The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies
  • Intentions of Murder
  • The Life of Oharu
  • The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon
  • One Way Pendulum
  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
  • Siberian Lady MacBeth
  • Three Outlaw Samurai
  • Two Thousand Maniacs
  • Tintin and the Blue Oranges
  • Treason
  • Le Trou

Note:  I use the list at Oscars.org 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 Oscars.org database but that end up in this year.
This a bit of an oddity of a list.  Most films that appear on this annual list are foreign films that never got a U.S. release and so are listed in their original release year in their home country.  But this list has several films from earlier years with an IMDb listed U.S. release, though perhaps they didn’t get a U.S. release.  These are Alone on the Pacific, The Flavour of Green Tea Over Rice, In the Affirmative, The Life of Oharu, The Little Prince and the Eight-Headed Dragon, Siberian MacBeth and Le Trou.  It may not be a coincidence that a number of those are Japanese – they might have played New York, and a number of other earlier Japanese films did get L.A. releases in this year.  The other oddity is that a couple of low-budget films, the worst films of the year, aren’t listed: The Incredible Strange Creatures… and Santa Claus….  It may be that they just never got official L.A. releases and just played small theaters in various places around the country.  The rest of the list are the usual: foreign films without a confirmed U.S. release.  Treason was submitted for Best Foreign Film.

Films Released This Year Originally But Eligible in a Different Year 

  • Agent 38-24-36  (1965)
  • Blood and Black Lace  (1965)
  • Carry on Cleo  (1965)
  • Charulata  (1965)
  • Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb  (1965)
  • Diary of a Chambermaid  (1965)
  • Genghis Khan  (1965)
  • The Gorgon  (1965)
  • The Horrible Dr. Hichcock  (1965)
  • The Leather Boys  (1965)
  • Male Hunt  (1965)
  • The Naked Kiss  (1965)
  • Onibaba  (1965)
  • The Pawnbroker  (1965)
  • The Pleasure Seekers  (1965)
  • Psyche 59  (1965)
  • Red Desert  (1965)
  • Sallah  (1965)
  • The Soft Skin  (1965)
  • The Tomb of Ligeia  (1965)
  • The Train  (1965)
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg  (1965)
  • Welcome, or No Trespassing  (1965)
  • Woman in the Dunes  (1965)
  • The Yellow Rolls-Royce  (1965)
  • Before the Revolution  (1966)
  • The Gospel According to St. Matthew  (1966)
  • Hercules Against the Moon Men  (1966)
  • King and Country  (1966)
  • A Walk Around Moscow  (1966)
  • Band of Outsiders  (1967)
  • Dry Summer  (1967)
  • A Fistful of Dollars  (1967)
  • Hamlet  (1967)
  • Lemonade Joe  (1967)
  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors  (1967)
  • Une fille et des fusils  (1967)
  • The Cat in the Sack  (1968)
  • Diamonds of the Night  (1968)
  • King Kong Escapes  (1968)
  • Ghidrah, the Three Headed Monster  (1969)
  • The Peach Thief  (1969)
  • Passenger  (1970)
  • Raven’s End  (1970)
  • Spider Baby  (1970)
  • Wizard of Mars  (1970)
  • Black God, White Devil  (1971)
  • Black Peter  (1971)
  • Pale Flower  (1971)
  • The Guns  (1974)
  • Dr. Syn  (1975)

Note:  These 51 films average a 64.1.  The Pawnbroker is the only great film, while there are a few very good films (A Fistful of Dollars, Hamlet, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg).  There are only two films below **: Hercules Against the Moon Men and Spider Baby.