Come for a night of fun and games with George and Martha.

Come for a night of fun and games with George and Martha.

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 7 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  In most year I list the Top 10, but this is too weak of a year to bother with that.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  *
  2. A Man for All Seasons  **
  3. The Professionals
  4. Morgan
  5. Red Beard
  6. The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming  *
  7. Alfie

Analysis:  I have, from the moment I first saw it, thought Woolf was the best film of the year.  But I also appreciated the clear greatness of A Man for All Seasons, even if it always seemed a bit stuffy.  I wonder what I would think now, going back, after I have seen “Wolf Hall”, a different side of much of the same story.  Probably it would hold up the same – after all, it was always the artistry of the story rather than the politics (or religion) of the film that achieved greatness.  Like with 1965, this is a year with only four **** films, which is part of the reason I cut off my lists at 7.  After all, even with the cut-off, there are several categories that don’t get to seven.  Best Picture would actually get to 19, because there are a number of low-level ***.5 films (which are, in order: The Fortune Cookie, Loves of a Blonde, You’re a Big Boy Now, The Shop on Main Street, Lola, Come Drink with Me, Le Bonheur, Georgy Girl, A Man and a Woman, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum).  It doesn’t speak well of Hollywood though, that seven of those films are Foreign and several more are British.
A Man for All Seasons wins the same five awards that Tom Jones won (Oscar, BAFTA, Globe, NYFC, NBR), but because this is the first year of the National Society of Film Critics Awards (which give their award to Blow Up), it does not make a clean sweep (no film will again until Schindler’s List).  However, because both the BAFTA and Globes have fewer nominees than they did during the sweeps in 1957 and 1963, Man does have the highest percentage of points (31.72%) since 1950; because of the addition of more critics groups, no film will beat that again until 1990.
Four of the Oscar nominees make my Top 7; this results in a score of 70.4, the second highest score in the category to date.

  • whos-afraid-virginia-woolfBest Director
  1. Mike Nichols  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)  *
  2. Fred Zinnemann  (A Man for All Seasons)  **
  3. Richard Brooks  (The Professionals)  *
  4. Akira Kurosawa  (Red Beard)
  5. Francis Ford Coppola  (You’re a Big Boy Now)
  6. Michelangelo Antonioni  (Blow Up)  *
  7. King Hu  (Come Drink With Me)

Analysis:  Nichols wins for his film debut.  Coppola earns his first nomination.  Brooks earns his second nomination.  Zinnemann earns his third nomination.  Kurosawa finishes his streak of seven straight years with a nomination.  Before the streak began he wasn’t in the Top 10 in points; now he is #1 with 630 points.  His 450 points over the streak are more than all but four directors have earned to this point.
Nichols would continue to have a strong career, with several great films, but he clearly came in with his best game, following Woolf with his Oscar for The Graduate.  Kurosawa is on his way out here – he wouldn’t make another film until 1971 and would only make two films between now and 1980, when Lucas and Coppola would help rescue his career.
With four of the Oscar nominees in my Top 6 (the other nominee, Claude Lelouch for A Man and a Woman makes my list at #19), the score is 88.9, the highest to date.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  *
  2. A Man for All Seasons  **
  3. Morgan
  4. The Professionals  *
  5. The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming  *
  6. Alfie  *
  7. Red Beard

Analysis:  A Man for All Seasons wasn’t nominated for the WGA (and likely wasn’t eligible), but as a British film, was eligible for the BAFTA (and won).  It becomes the first adapted script to win four awards (Oscar, Globe, BAFTA, NYFC), something that won’t be matched until 1979.  As a side note, only two other screenplay have won all four those same awards – Pulp Fiction and Sideways.
The first two films were magnificent plays (they would actually win the Tony in back-to-back years in 1962 and 1963) and are the only source materials here I have read (though I have read the Tennessee Williams play This Property is Condemned, the film adaptation of which is my #11 on the year).  With all five nominees in my Top 6, the score here is 90.3, the second best score to date.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. The Fortune Cookie  **
  2. A Man and a Woman  **
  3. Loves of a Blonde
  4. What’s Up Tiger Lily
  5. Our Man Flint  *

Analysis:  Woody Allen, the man who will eventually take over first place, earns his first nomination for What’s Up Tiger Lily, a Japanese spy film for which he rewrote dubbed dialogue making it about a search for an egg salad recipe.  Nominated above him in this category is Billy Wilder (eighth win, 16th nomination, 960 points, 1st all-time).
With the WGA still dividing scripts up by genre rather than original/adapted, only two original scripts earn WGA nominations – The Fortune Cookie (which loses, as it does at the Oscars) and Our Man Flint.  With two losses, Fortune Cookie ties A Man and A Woman, which wins the Oscar for the Consensus win.  In the next year, the WGA will establish a Best Original Screenplay category and this problem won’t happen anymore.  Wilder’s WGA nomination moves him up to 680 points at the WGA and is more than 200 points higher than anyone except Ernest Lehman (and he’s still over 100 points above Lehman).
The other three Oscar nominees were the okay Khartoum, the okay Naked Prey and Blow Up, a film in which I thought the script was the weakest aspect of the film.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Richard Burton  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)  *
  2. Paul Scofield  (A Man for All Seasons)  **
  3. Michael Caine  (Alfie)  *
  4. Toshiro Mifune  (Red Beard)
  5. Alan Arkin  (The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming)  *
  6. David Warner  (Morgan)
  7. Steve McQueen  (The Sand Pebbles)

Analysis:  Like with Picture, Director and Screenplay, Scofield would sweep all the awards except the new NSFC award (which went to Caine).  Scofield, Caine and Arkin earn their first nominations (first of many for Caine).  Burton finally wins the Nighthawk in his fourth nomination (though the Oscar would always elude him).  After two straight supporting noms, Mifune is back in the lead race for his fifth consecutive nomination at the Nighthawks and seventh overall, getting him up to 285 points and finally moving him into the Top 10 (knocking out Erich von Stroheim).  Though Burton doesn’t win this as easily as the other three in the film, namely because Scofield is so very good, he does win this and made my Top 10 list.  Again, another great scoring category, with all five nominees in my Top 7 (a score of 97.2, the second best to date and just about as high a score as you can have without having all five in my Top 5).

  • Best Actress
  1. Elizabeth Taylor  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)  **
  2. Lynn Redgrave  (Georgy Girl)  *
  3. Vanessa Redgrave  (Morgan)  *
  4. Anouk Aimee  (A Man and a Woman)  *
  5. Natalie Wood  (This Property is Condemned)
  6. Anouk Aimee  (Lola)
  7. Audrey Hepburn  (How to Steal a Million)

Analysis:  These are the first nominations for both Redgraves, who will be back (Vanessa more often than Lynn).  It’s the second nomination for Aimee.  It’s only the second nomination for Taylor, but it’s her second win.  It’s the fourth nomination for Wood.  Taylor wins this easily – this is one of the great all-time performances.  I listed her in my Top 10 back in 2008.

  • Woolf 3 Nick HoneyBest Supporting Actor:
  1. George Segal  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)  *
  2. Walter Matthau  (The Fortune Cookie)  *
  3. Robert Shaw  (A Man for All Seasons)  **
  4. Theodore Bikel  (The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming)
  5. Mako  (The Sand Pebbles)  *
  6. Robert Stephens  (Morgan)
  7. James Mason  (Georgy Girl)

Analysis:  For the third straight year, the awards were split, with Matthau winning the Oscar, Shaw the NBR and Richard Attenborough the Globe (he’s my #10 for his performance in The Sand Pebbles, but earns a Drama nom).  In fact, it wouldn’t be until 1969 that someone would again win multiple awards for Supporting Actor.  Except for Bikel (earning his second), everyone here is earning their first Nighthawk nominations.  This is one of those awards where it’s clear to me I go with the performance, not the actor.  I much prefer the careers of Matthau and Shaw and I really like their performances to Segal’s career, but his performance is simply the best of the year, part of that all-star cast.  With all five in my Top 7, this is another high scoring category (96.6 – third highest to date).

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Sandy Dennis  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)  *
  2. Viven Merchant  (Alfie)  **
  3. Geraldine Page  (You’re a Big Boy Now)  *
  4. Wendy Hiller  (A Man for All Seasons)  *
  5. Kiyoko Kagawa  (Red Beard)
  6. Judi West  (The Fortune Cookie)
  7. Vanessa Redgrave  (Blow Up)

Analysis:  These are the only nominations for Dennis, Merchant and Dan.  On the other hand, it’s the second of several noms for Page and the fifth (and final) for Hiller.  Dennis wins this easily.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  2. Morgan
  3. The Professionals
  4. You’re a Big Boy Now
  5. A Man for All Seasons
  6. 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
  7. The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming

Analysis:  I feel I should mention that Oscar winner, Grand Prix, is my #8.  But the Academy was still nominating bloated films like The Sand Pebbles rather than crisp editing.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  2. The Professionals
  3. 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
  4. A Man for All Seasons
  5. The Naked Prey
  6. Born Free
  7. Alphaville

Analysis:  A year after earning his first Oscar nomination, Conrad L. Hall earns his second (and his first Nighthawk nomination) for The Professionals.  Hall will go on to be the most successful post-Studio Era cinematographer at the Oscars, winning three among 10 nominations.  Haskell Wexler who will win two Oscars here wins his first Oscar and his first Nighthawk.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. The Professionals
  2. Red Beard
  3. Come Drink With Me
  4. The Bible
  5. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  6. A Man for All Seasons
  7. Torn Curtain

Analysis:  Again the Oscar winner (in this case Born Free) is my #8.  Alex North earns his third Nighthawk nomination (for The Bible).  Masaru Satu earns his sixth nomination in seven years, all with Kurosawa (but doesn’t win any of them); he joins Alfred Newman as the only composers in the Top 10 in points without a Nighthawk win.  Maurice Jarre, on the other hand, wins his second straight Nighthawk and his third in five years; this moves him up to 175 points and a tie for fifth place.

  • Best Sound:
  1. Grand Prix
  2. The Professionals
  3. 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
  4. Fantastic Voyage
  5. The Sand Pebbles
  6. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  7. The Naked Prey

Analysis:  It’s only the seventh time that the Academy and I have agreed here, but it’s the fourth time in less than a decade, so we’re slowly moving towards each other.

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. A Man for All Seasons
  2. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  3. Come Drink with Me
  4. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  5. You’re a Big Boy Now
  6. The Saragossa Manuscript
  7. The Wrong Box

Analysis:  This one seems really odd to me.  No nomination for A Man for All Seasons?  Really?  That seemed like one of its easiest Oscars to me, but I guess not.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Fantastic Voyage
  2. Come Drink with Me
  3. The Bible

Analysis:  This one is easy.  It’s the third year in a row the Oscars and I have agreed on this.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Grand Prix
  2. Fantastic Voyage
  3. The Professionals
  4. 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
  5. Come Drink with Me
  6. The Bible

Analysis:  Again, an easy one.

  • manBest Costume Design:
  1. A Man for All Seasons
  2. Come Drink with Me
  3. The Saragossa Manuscript
  4. Red Beard
  5. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
  6. The Wrong Box
  7. Hawaii

Analysis:  At least they got this one right.  This would be the final year for the black-and-white categories (thankfully) and it’s the one Oscar that Woolf won that I don’t think much of.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Come Drink with Me
  2. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  3. Juliet of the Spirits
  4. The Bible
  5. A Man for All Seasons

Analysis:  I’ll take a minute here to talk about Come Drink with Me.  It’s a Shaw Brothers Martial Arts film.  To me, it seems like a clear influence on Crouching Tiger, and not just because the star of it, Cheng Pei-pei would star as the villain of Crouching Tiger.  It was the official submitted Hong Kong film for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars and I think it’s better than three of the nominees, including the winner.  It’s definitely worth seeing.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Georgy Girl”  (Georgy Girl)
  2. “Hold On”  (Hold On)
  3. “Scratch My Back”  (Paradise Hawaiian Style)
  4. “Born Free”  (Born Free)
  5. “Alfie”  (Alfie)

Analysis:  This year scores decently (61.1) not because the Oscar choices were particularly good but because the eligible songs were so weak across the board.  “Georgy Girl” wouldn’t have made the Top 10 in either of the two previous years (maybe not the Top 15 in 1964).  But it wins my award here.
This year has five semi-finalists (none of which make my list).  There are 155 songs on Oscars.org (I’ve seen 88), 29 of which are from three Elvis films, another 10 are from Hold On! (a Herman’s Hermits film), and another 14 from the two animated films.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. none

Analysis:  There are two animated films in this year: The Daydreamer and A Man Called Flintstone.  The first is Rankin / Bass and the second is Hanna-Barbera.  Neither is particular good (they rank at #96 and 97 on the year).  But more importantly for this category is that Walt Disney dies in 1966.  The Jungle Book, the final film he was involved with and released in 1967, will reach a level of quality that will be unmatched again at Disney until The Little Mermaid in 1989.

  • personaBest Foreign Film:
  1. Persona
  2. The Battle of Algiers  *
  3. La Guerre Est Finie
  4. Hunger
  5. The Round-Up
  6. Red Angel
  7. Loves of a Blonde  *
  8. Come Drink with Me
  9. Intimate Lighting
  10. A Man and a Woman  **

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

Analysis:  I’ve included a Top 10 for a couple of reasons.  The first is because there are actually 10 films in this year that make my list and a lot of years in this era don’t have that (it’s the first time since 1959 I have a full 10 and it won’t happen again until the 80’s), so I felt I should include them all.  The second is to show how much the Academy botched this year.  A Man and a Woman is a very good film, but it ranks 10th.  Only one other winner to this point has been that low on my list for the year.  But in a lot of the years, the Academy is hampered by their rules, of having films submitted.  In five of the first 10 years that this was a competitive category, the score is 100, not because the Academy nominated all the best Foreign films but because they nominated every submitted film that I ranked at ***.5 or ****.  But here, there are a full four films that earn that are that good that were submitted but weren’t nominated.  They, quite simply, screwed it up.  The score of 41.2 is the third lowest to date and there won’t be a lower year until 1975.  There won’t be five submitted films to the level of Persona, Algiers, Hunger, Round-Up and Loves until 1987.
Of the three films in my Top 10 that weren’t submitted, La Guerre Est Finie is French (France submitted A Man and a Woman, which won the Oscars), Red Angel is Japanese (Koto, the Japan submission, I have been unable to see) and Intimate Lighting in Czech (who submitted Loves of a Blonde, which is slightly better, and earned a nomination), so there are no egregious snubs.
Sweden wins for the fifth time in a decade (all by Bergman).  Hungary earns its first nomination.  Denmark earns its first nomination since 1943.  Alain Resnais earns his third nomination.  Ingmar Bergman wins for the sixth time; he’s now up to 320 points, which is still 100 behind Kurosawa, but 120 more than anyone else other than Kurosawa.

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.

  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (685)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction, Makeup
  • A Man for All Seasons  (360)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Professionals  (275)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Red Beard  (240)
    • Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Score, Costume Design, Foreign Film (1965)
  • Morgan  (150)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Editing
  • You’re a Big Boy Now  (120)
    • Director, Supporting Actress, Editing, Art Direction
  • Come Drink with Me  (120)
    • Original Score, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Fortune Cookie  (110)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming  (105)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Grand Prix  (80)
    • Sound, Sound Editing
  • Fantastic Voyage  (80)
    • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • A Man and a Woman  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Alfie  (75)
    • Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Song
  • 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse  (65)
    • Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Georgy Girl  (55)
    • Actress, Original Song
  • The Bible  (55)
    • Original Score, Visual Effects, Makeup
  • The Sand Pebbles  (50)
    • Supporting Actor, Sound
  • Loves of a Blonde  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • What’s Up Tiger Lily  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Our Man Flint  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • This Property is Condemned  (35)
    • Actress
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum  (35)
    • Art Direction, Costume Design
  • The Naked Prey  (25)
    • Original Score
  • The Shop on Main Street  (20)
    • Foreign Film  (1965)
  • The Saragossa Manuscript  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Juliet of the Spirits (10)
    • Makeup
  • Hold On  (10)
    • Original Song
  • Paradise, Hawaiian Style  (10)
    • Original Song
  • Born Free  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  Woolf joins Sunset Blvd. and A Streetcar Named Desire with a complete sweep of the top 7 categories; it won’t happen again.  Its 685 points is the 10th highest to date.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Le Bonheur

Analysis:  A low level ***.5 film from Agnes Varda.  Its only Top 10 finish is in Best Foreign Film (in 1965), where it finishes sixth.  My #14 film on the year.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Blow Up

Analysis:  I think this film is somewhat over-rated.  It’s a high level *** film, but I don’t think it’s one of those all-time great films like some people do.  It does finish in 6th place in Director (where it was Oscar nominated).  It was nominated for two Oscars (Director, Screenplay), a Globe, three BAFTAs (including Best British Film) and won Best Picture and Director at the initial National Society of Film Critics Awards.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture
  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  2. A Man for All Seasons
  3. Red Beard
  4. Alfie
  5. The Shop on Main Street

Analysis:  The Shop on Main Street is the weakest nominee in this category in twenty-two years and it’s the first time since 1945 that the nominees in this category don’t average a 90.  That’s contrasted against Woolf being the strongest winner in this category in four years.

  • Best Director
  1. Mike Nichols  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
  2. Fred Zinnemann  (A Man for All Seasons)
  3. Akira Kurosawa  (Red Beard)
  4. Michelangelo Antonioni  (Blow Up)
  5. King Hu  (Come Drink With Me)

Analysis:  King Hu earns his only nomination (Oscars.org lists him as Chin Chuan – his birth name is Hu Jinquan).  Nichols earns his first, Antonioni his second and Zinnemann his third.  Then there is Kurosawa, earning his seventh consecutive nomination; he’s now 90 points ahead of William Wyler and in 1st place, but he will not earn another nomination again until 1980.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
  2. A Man for All Seasons
  3. Alfie
  4. The Shop on Main Street
  5. Red Beard

Analysis:  The weakest group of nominees in this category in 10 years, and yet, obviously, far far stronger than the Original Screenplay category.  Kurosawa earns his seventh straight Drama writing nomination.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. none

Analysis:  There are a few very good films that qualify in this category (Le Bonheur, Lola, Come Drink with Me), but I don’t think the writing is strong enough in any of them.  Blow Up was Oscar nominated, but I actually think the script is the weak point of the film.

  • 022-elizabeth-taylor-and-richard-burton-theredlistBest Actor:
  1. Richard Burton  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
  2. Paul Scofield  (A Man for All Seasons)
  3. Michael Caine  (Alfie)
  4. Toshiro Mifune  (Red Beard)
  5. Steve McQueen  (The Sand Pebbles)

Analysis:  First nominations for Scofield and Caine and the only one for McQueen.  Meanwhile, Burton earns his fifth and Mifune his eighth (and sixth in a row).  Mifune is up to 350 points and fourth place, behind only Bogart, Rains and Olivier.  This is one of only two Drama categories in this year that isn’t the weakest of the decade.

  • Best Actress
  1. Elizabeth Taylor  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
  2. Natalie Wood  (This Property is Condemned)
  3. Anouk Aimee  (Lola)

Analysis:  Taylor wins this by a mile.  She lost at the Globes to Anouk Aimee (for A Man and a Woman, which I list as a Comedy), but I think this one of the all-time great performances.  Aimee is also nominated down below, earning the rare double nomination.  Taylor earns her second nomination (and second win).  Wood earns her fourth nomination.  This is a rare year where I can’t fill the Drama category, but I did fill the Comedy category.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. George Segal  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
  2. Robert Shaw  (A Man for All Seasons)
  3. Mako  (The Sand Pebbles)
  4. Richard Attenborough  (The Sand Pebbles)

Analysis:  A surprisingly short category with Attenborough, my #10 making it in because of the number of comedic performances.  Attenborough has tended to do better in the Drama category, timing his best performances in years with good comedic ones ahead of him on the list, as this is his fourth Drama nom.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Sandy Dennis  (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
  2. Viven Merchant  (Alfie)
  3. Wendy Hiller  (A Man for All Seasons)
  4. Kiyoko Kagawa  (Red Beard)
  5. Vanessa Redgrave  (Blow Up)

Analysis:  It’s first-time nominations for everyone except for Hiller, who earns her fifth nomination.  Dennis wins this easily.  This is the other category besides Actor that isn’t the weakest in the decade – in fact, this is the strongest in this category in four years.

  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (530)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • A Man for All Seasons  (230)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Red Beard  (200)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Alfie  (155)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Sand Pebbles  (95)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Shop on Main Street  (90)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay
  • Blow Up  (75)
    • Director, Supporting Actress
  • Come Drink with Me  (45)
    • Director
  • This Property is Condemned  (35)
    • Actress
  • Lola  (35)
    • Actress

Analysis:  Overall, this is the weakest group of Drama nominees since 1944 – just a very weak year.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Le Bonheur

Analysis:  My #8 Drama of the year, but it doesn’t rank higher than 8th in any of the Drama categories.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Professionals
  2. Morgan
  3. The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming
  4. The Fortune Cookie
  5. Loves of a Blonde

Analysis:  The Professionals was nominated as a Drama, Morgan was nominated as Best English Language Foreign Film and Loves of a Blonde for Best Foreign Film, so none of them were actually eligible here, but that still doesn’t explain the absence of The Fortune Cookie.  This group is good enough that for only the fourth time to this date the #6 Comedy (You’re a Big Boy Now) is better than the #6 Drama (Lola).
With one exception, every Comedy category in this year is better than 1965.  With two exceptions, every Comedy category in this year is weaker than 1964.

  • Best Director
  1. Richard Brooks  (The Professionals)
  2. Francis Ford Coppola  (You’re a Big Boy Now)
  3. Karel Reisz  (Morgan)
  4. Billy Wilder  (The Fortune Cookie)
  5. Norman Jewison  (The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming)

Analysis:  Of these five, only Wilder has a previous Comedy nomination (and you could debate about whether Brooks even belongs here – the Globes nominated his film as a Drama).  Wilder, on the other hand, is earning his fifth nomination, and with his three wins, he’s up to 405 points and tied with Preston Sturges for second place.  Brooks easily wins this category.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Morgan
  2. The Professionals
  3. The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming
  4. You’re a Big Boy Now
  5. Georgy Girl

Analysis:  This category sees nominations for Richard Brooks and Francis Ford Coppola, two men not normally appearing in the Comedy category.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. The Fortune Cookie
  2. A Man and a Woman
  3. Loves of a Blonde
  4. What’s Up Tiger Lily
  5. Our Man Flint

Analysis:  This is rather appropriate.  The winner is Billy Wilder, who goes up to 720 points, far outdistancing any other comedy writer.  But there is also the first nomination for Woody Allen, the man who will eventually pass Wilder in this category.
This is one of the two Comedy categories stronger than 1964 and in fact, is the strongest in this category since 1958.  As much as we think of Comedies being more original, so many good Comedies in this era came from plays, that this category is often incomplete or has weak films.  Woody Allen will help make this a stronger category in almost year from here on out.

  • arkinBest Actor:
  1. Alan Arkin  (The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming)
  2. David Warner  (Morgan)
  3. Lee Marvin  (The Professionals)
  4. Burt Lancaster  (The Professionals)
  5. Jean-Louis Trintignant  (A Man and a Woman)

Analysis:  First time nominations for Lancaster, Trintignant and Warner as well as for winner Arkin, while Marvin, not normally thought of as a comedic actor, gets his second straight nomination.  This is a very solid category, with several good performances left out, like Zero Mostel (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Jack Lemmon (The Fortune Cookie) and Sean Connery (A Fine Madness), none of whom managed to earn Globe nominations.

  • lynn-redgraveBest Actress
  1. Lynn Redgrave  (Georgy Girl)
  2. Vanessa Redgrave  (Morgan)
  3. Anouk Aimee  (A Man and a Woman)
  4. Audrey Hepburn  (How to Steal a Million)
  5. Joanne Woodward  (A Fine Madness)

Analysis:  Aimee actually won for Drama.  The two Redgraves both earn their first nominations, though they will appear much more in Drama.  They compete here like they did at the Globes (where Lynn won) and the Oscars (where both lost).  It’s the second nomination for Aimee.  It’s the first Comedy nomination for Woodward, though she’s been nominated in Drama several times.  Hepburn, on the other hand, earns her eighth nomination.  This puts her at 385 and ties the other Hepburn for 1st place.  Audrey will take the lead the next year.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Walter Matthau  (The Fortune Cookie)
  2. Theodore Bikel  (The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming)
  3. Robert Stephens  (Morgan)
  4. James Mason  (Georgy Girl)
  5. Paul Ford  (The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming)

Analysis:  Matthau was actually nominated as lead.  Mason and Ford are both earning their second nominations while it’s the first time for everyone else.  Matthau will be back for much more in the Comedy awards in future years.  In an oddity, while I can’t come up with a complete Drama list, Hugh Griffith was actually left off this list for How to Steal a Million.  Matthau wins this by a mile.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Geraldine Page  (You’re a Big Boy Now)
  2. Judi West  (The Fortune Cookie)

Analysis:  The first nomination for Page and the only one for West.  In fact, it’s one of only three film performances from West, but she is quite good as the conniving estranged wife of Jack Lemmon (and sister of Walter Matthau) in The Fortune Cookie.
Even with only two nominees, this is one of the two categories better than 1964, but it’s also the only one weaker than 1965.

  • The Professionals  (300)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actor
  • Morgan  (275)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming  (265)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Fortune Cookie  (265)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • You’re a Big Boy Now  (145)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • Georgy Girl  (140)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • A Man and a Woman  (110)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Loves of a Blonde  (90)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay
  • What’s Up Tiger Lily  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Our Man Flint  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • How to Steal a Million  (35)
    • Actress
  • A Fine Madness  (35)
    • Actress

Analysis:  Not a great year, but a far better one than the year before and actually the fourth best since 1942 because most of the categories are at least complete, even if complete with weak nominees.  With six different films winning an award, no film wins more than two (contrasted against Woolf sweeping the Drama awards).

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Analysis:  I actually surprised myself a little with this because Zero Mostel is made for getting a Globe nom, but as I said up above in Actor, a lot of solid performances didn’t make the list.  It’s my #8 Comedy, just sneaking in at the very bottom of ***.5.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  139

By Stars:

  • ****:  4
  • ***.5:  13
  • ***:  77
  • **.5:  26
  • **:  10
  • *.5:  2
  • *:  4
  • .5:  1
  • 0:  2
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  62.36

Analysis:  A drop of almost a point.  Like the year before, very few **** films but a bunch of ***.5 films.  The drop comes because 5.2% of the films are below **, the highest percentage to date.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

note:  Dear John would be eligible for most Oscar categories in 1966 but its nomination for Best Foreign Film was in 1965.

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

  • Impossible on Saturday  (Golden Globe – Best Foreign Film)

note: This is a French-Italian-Israeli Comedy that is quite difficult to find.

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  In a year that’s weak overall, the Picture choices were fairly good.  The year ranks 43rd overall, which was good enough for 6th best to this date.  And the average film (84.2) was tied for third best to this date.  Four of the nominees are ***.5 or better, something only a handful of years in the 5 Best Picture Era had done to this point.  The only reason it ranks as low as it does is because the two ***.5 films (Russians, Alfie) are mid-range and rank down in the low 200s.  The choices are also good relative to the available films, earning the second highest score in the category to this date (70.4).

The Winners:  The winners are quite good, both in terms of among the nominees (1.68 average) and among all films (3.09 average).  In all eight major categories, the Oscars either went with my #1 or #2 – the fourth time it has happened among the nominees but only the second (along with 1948) among all films.  In only three categories among the nominees did the winner rank lower than second, and it was third in all three of those (Editing, Score, Foreign Film).  Black and White Art Direction is the only category among all films in which the Oscar winner doesn’t make my Top 10 and in only three other categories (Editing, Score, Foreign Film) is the winner outside my Top 4.  In fifteen categories, the Oscar winner was either my overall #1 or 2, the third best to this date.

The Nominees:  In a weak year, the Academy made good choices.  The Tech score is a 54.0, tied for fifth best to this date.  That includes the first time that both Editing and Sound achieve scores above 50.  The acting scores at a 91.7, the second best to date and the first time that it’s been above 90 since the addition of the supporting categories.  With Actor at 97.2 and Supporting Actor at 96.6, it’s the first time multiple acting categories have a score above 95.  The major categories set a new high with 79.0.  The includes a Picture score of 70.4 (second highest to date) and a Director score of 88.9 (new high by over six points).  Overall, this leads to a new high score of 68.9 for the year as a whole, one that won’t be passed until 1972.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  It ranks 39th out of 65.  But it only ranks that low for two reasons.  The first is that there is no great film nominated – the winner (and best nominee), The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming, doesn’t quite make the Top 100.  The second is that the final nominee, Not With My Wife You Don’t, is really quite terrible.  It doesn’t even make the Top 300 and it drags the year down.  When I first did the Globe rankings, I still hadn’t seen Not With My Wife You Don’t (it’s hard to find) and the year ranked 22nd.  The reason the year ranked so well without a great film is that there are three very good films (Russians, You’re a Big Boy Now, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum) and this is only the second time to this point where the Globes managed to actually put three films in the category that belonged there.  And the fourth nominee, Gambit, wasn’t a bad choice (high range ***).  Before I saw Wife, the average nominee was a 77.25, the second highest to date and the second highest prior to 1977.  But Wife really sinks it.  With those first four nominees, they only missed out on one.  Of my Top 11 Comedies, they nominated four of them, one of them they nominated as a Drama (The Professionals), three of them were Foreign films and two of them (Morgan, Georgy Girl) were nominated in the English Language Foreign Film category.  That only leaves out The Fortune Cookie, an odd omission, since it was nominated for Actor while the terrible Wife wasn’t nominated for anything else.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (reviewed here)

2  –  A Man for All Seasons  (reviewed here)

With this cast you know you're in for a good time.

With this cast you know you’re in for a good time.

3  –  The Professionals  (dir. Richard Brooks)

I was actually going to skip writing about this film because it was the film that I wrote about when I covered Richard Brooks in my great director series (see Best Director, above).  But when I looked at it, I didn’t really review the film.  I wrote a little bit about what kind of film it was and the genre it fell into, but that was it.  I felt that this film deserved more.  It does deserve more, not just because it’s one of the best films of 1966, but also because it makes my list among the Top 20 Westerns of all-time.  It holds a special place in Western history, helping to bridge that gap between the 50’s / early 60’s Westerns that were pure entertainment and the much more violent fare that would erupt in 1969 with the release of The Wild Bunch.

This film is, quite simply, good fun.  I think the characters know that as much as we do.  It’s a story of four men (Lee Marvin, Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Woody Strode, who sadly doesn’t get billing even though he’s in the film much more than Palace or Bellamy) hired to go into Mexico and rescue the kidnapped wife of a rich man.  Things happen along the way – we get explosions, we get gunfights, we get betrayals, we get action, adventure and comedy.  At one point Lancaster is captured and hung upside down in his longjohns.  Yet, he never seems to be concerned.  Is it because he knows that Marvin is coming to his rescue?  Not really, I think.  It’s because he’s Burt Lancaster and he knows he’s having a good time.  Yes, Marvin will come in to rescue me, more with gravitas than with an actual bullet (also, Woody Strode will quietly be involved, using a bow and arrow and it’s a pretty cool scene).

Marvin and Lancaster had never worked together before and never would again.  Various reports mention that Lancaster was infuriated by Marvin’s drinking and unprofessionalism (ironic, given the title) and was threatening to throw him off the mountain (the reports only vary in who had to keep Lancaster from tossing Marvin).  But you never see a bit of that on-screen.  They both work together in every scene, they have a nice comradeship that is less reminiscent of previous Western heroes and more prescient of what would come with Butch and Sundance three years later, balancing the comedy in their partnership against the dramatic killings during the other parts of the film.

Westerns were changing at this time.  At the same time as this, Eastwood was in Spain filming with Leone and changing the way we look at Westerns.  Three years later, The Wild Bunch would be released and a new level of violence would be permanently splattered across the screen.  But here, we can see the start of that, but mostly we just get a damn good time.

Is it as strange as the poster makes it seem?  Kind of.  But it's still great.

Is it as strange as the poster makes it seem? Kind of. But it’s still great.

4  –  Morgan – A Suitable Case for Treatment  (dir. Karel Reisz)

Manos: The Hands of Fate, possibly because it has passed out of copyright (who would want to protect it? – see below), is readily available on DVD.  There is even a version (the MST3K version) that you can get from Netflix.  It is one of the worst movies ever made, almost on a par with Glen or Glenda, but if you want to watch it, you’ll have no problem getting hold of it.  Then there is Morgan.  Morgan was Oscar nominated, Globe nominated and BAFTA nominated (for Actress all three times).  It is one of the best films of 1966.  You can’t get it on Netflix.  There is a cheap DVD released by Lionsgate in which one of the stars has both his first and last names spelled wrong, the director has his last name spelled wrong twice and the director is listed as the writer while the writer and producer are listed as the directors.  This is the kind of thing that makes me want to scream at distribution companies.

Morgan is a bit of an odd film, a film very much of its era, and if you can’t get into its philosophy, you’re probably not going to take very well to it.  It’s about a man who could be viewed as very much of a free spirit – an artist obsessed with gorillas and obsessed with not losing his wife, even though he has already lost her and everything he is doing to try and keep her is simply driving her farther away.  Or he could be viewed as a man who is very much off his rocker.  His wife is now sleeping with a former friend of her husband’s, an art gallery owner whose own taste in art doesn’t quite coincide with her husband’s.  All of this could be very ugly and all it could be a mess, but there are a few things that keep it from being that way.

The first is that the film is made with a desperate manic energy – not the kind of thing you would expect from Karel Reisz, who had earlier made Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, one of the definitive “angry young man” British films and would later made such refined films as The French Lieutenant’s Woman.  Reisz never lets up in Morgan’s attempts to win over his wife, partially because Morgan never lets up.  The film is very well edited, constructed in such a way that you never really have a chance to recover from Morgan’s last attempt before he’s on to the next one.

The second is that the film is well written (it was adapted from a teleplay).  We understand what Morgan is going through and we can see what he is attempting to do and where he is coming from (we meet his communist parents, we meet her upper class parents), but we can also see that he is very much going off the deep end.

That we follow him off the deep end is the third reason that the film works.  It has three really rather sympathetic characters at its center.  We can understand that Morgan has been bruised in the brain by his upbringing clashing with his love for his wife and we both want him to succeed and know that succeeding would be terrible for everyone involved.  David Warner’s performance as Morgan is the center of the film.  Warner is usually known more for darker roles, but he brings the right level of manic energy to this performance and I feel bad that I couldn’t nominate him but he seems to just get pushed out.  But we also sympathize with his wife, partially because of the performance by Vanessa Redgrave – because the Actress category in this year is much weaker she’s able to easily earn a Nighthawk nomination, just as she earned Oscar, BAFTA and Globe nominations.  Yet, even the gallery owner that she is now sleeping with we can understand, because Robert Stephens plays him with a nice dignity, forced to put up with all of Morgan’s shenanigans.

You may not take to this film and I think you really have to be in a specific kind of mindset to fully appreciate it.  But at least watch it if you get a chance – it’s simply pathetic that it’s so much easier to get hold of Manos than it is to get hold of Morgan.

The last Kurosawa film of the decade and the last he would make with Toshiro Mifune.

The last Kurosawa film of the decade and the last he would make with Toshiro Mifune.

5  –  Red Beard  (dir. Akira Kurosawa)

This was the end of something beautiful, but neither of the men involved knew that at the time.  Both director Akira Kurosawa and star Toshiro Mifune, who were making their 16th film together, had contracts with Toho that were expiring.  Neither was concerned with that – both believed they were making a great and important film and concentrated on that.  But it would be the last and nothing would be the same for either of them afterwards.

This film is a testament to the human spirit and to the notion that what we do in life matters.  It is the story of a spoiled young doctor, believing that he is headed for the Imperial Court, instead shunted off to be the intern of an older doctor out in the provinces.  The younger doctor must learn something about humanity – both about the people that he helps as a doctor and why he helps those people.  The older doctor is played by Mifune in one of his great dramatic roles.  There would be no samurai sword for him this time (he does get an interesting action scene where he uses his knowledge as a doctor to take out some men who try to stop him from rescuing a young woman from a brothel); he is no longer the brash young samurai, but is instead the dispenser of wisdom.  He holds the film together with his simple presence – even when he isn’t speaking he is the key figure on the screen, partially because he is Mifune and partially in the character that he plays, a man who knows that the only legacy he really has is what he can do as a doctor to help people.

Red Beard is not a great film (though it is high level ***.5); there is a bit too much preaching over the kind of lives we should be leading in trying to help people and the script is not up to the level of most of Kurosawa’s films with Mifune.  It is held together by first-rate cinematography, music and art direction, but primally through the performance of Mifune, who, it could be argued, is actually a supporting role.

Neither Mifune nor Kurosawa could have known what was going to happen; they both thought they could strike out successfully outside of Toho.  Instead, this would be the last great performance of Mifune’s career; he would continue to act for the next 20 years but nothing that would come afterwards would even come close to the performances that he gave under the direction of Kurosawa.  Kurosawa’s story was worse – after enduring a horrible situation with Tora! Tora! Tora!, he would only make two more films in the next 15 years, one of which he would have to go to the Soviet Union to get made.  Were it not for Lucas and Coppola convincing Fox to pick up the overruns for Kagemusha, it’s possible that Kurosawa’s career would have never recovered.  In the end, Red Beard is not a great film, not a film to really cap off their collaboration, but in a weak year like 1966, it’s still a good enough film to be one of the best of the year.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Manos: The Hands of Fate
  2. Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster
  3. Mudhoney!
  4. Hercules Against the Moon Men
  5. Faster, Pussycat!  Kill!  Kill!

note:  There is no AIP film in the bottom five this year because Roger Corman’s The Wild Angels, which had the same score as Pussycat, I ranked one spot higher.  But Russ Meyer manages two of the bottom five.

The 1966 winner for

The 1966 winner for “Yes, it’s as bad as the title makes you think it would be.”

Manos: The Hands of Fate  (dir. Harold P. Warren)

Slight digression time: I have been spending a lot of my downtime reading SuperMegaMonkey, and his amazing work at chronicling his Marvel comic collection.  It seems very me, had I not sold my collection back in 2009.  But recently, I read a bit on his site that linked to another site, where Andrew Weiss chronicles things he notes as “Nobody’s Favorite.”  He defines that with this:  “Awfulness is not a prerequisite for becoming Nobody’s Favorite. Indeed, it is quite possible for a transcendentally terrible character to achieve a level of camp-fueled affection, which is why you won’t see Jericho or Vibe or Paranex the Fighting Fetus ever featured here.  In the entertainment realm, being forgettable is a far worse fate than being terrible. People will flock to a midnight showing of Manos, the Hands of Fate, but good luck finding anyone willing to Netflix Secondhand Lions, even on a dare.  Terry Longs are few and far between. The majority of Nobody’s Favorites dwell in a Grant Morrison-esque Purgatory of the Forgotten, where the best that can be hoped for is an occasional hit on their Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe page.”

I bring that up to point out the generally held belief that Manos: The Hands of Fate is one of the worst films ever inflicted upon society.  Not that it stops people from watching it.  But everyone pretty much agrees it’s awful.  Even the DVD cover agrees that it’s one of the most inept film ever made; it seems to revel in it.

There’s not really an excuse for this film to be this overbearingly bad.  Was it made on a very small budget?  Yes, for $19,000.  But this was $19,000 in 1966, while almost 30 years later, Robert Rodriguez made El Mariachi for $7,000 and Kevin Smith made Clerks for $27,000.  So a low budget alone is not enough to justify a film of absolutely no quality.  What about the fact that no one involved in the film is a professional?  Well, that shouldn’t make the acting as bad as it is – the man who plays the Master gives perhaps the worst performance in the history of film.  A bunch of high school actors could have given far better performances than the ones we see in this film.

Aside from the acting, this film is abysmal at every technical level.  The sound doesn’t match the screen, doesn’t match the action, the editing jumps back and forth.  Everything about watching the film is utterly painful unless you are lucky enough to be watching the MST3K DVD, in which case you can at least enjoy the bots.  Which brings me back to a point from above – this film is readily available on DVD while Morgan can’t even be gotten on Netflix.

One last word about how stupid this film is (without even getting in to how repulsive it is, given that a family ends up being taken in by a polygamous cult and the young daughter apparently ends up as one of the Master’s wives at the conclusion of the film – there you know more about the plot than you need to know).  Manos is the Spanish word for hands.  So, this film is Hands: The Hands of Fate.  That’s how stupid it is.

Points:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (12)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (9)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (685)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Hold On
  • 2nd Place Award:  A Man for All Seasons  (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor)
  • 6th Place Award:  Morgan  (Actor, Supporting Actor)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (530)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  The Sand Pebbles
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  Morgan / The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  The Professionals / The Fortune Cookie  (2)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  The Professionals  (300)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  A Fine Madness

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  (960)
  • 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):

  • Foreign:  51  –  Red Beard  (66.3)
  • Drama:  44 (22)  –  Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  (65.7)
  • Comedy:  37 (13)  –  Morgan  (62.7)
  • Crime:  8 (6)  –  1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse  (60.7)
  • Western:  7 (3)  –  The Professionals  (65.9)
  • Suspense:  7  –  Blow Up  (62.7)
  • Musical:  7 (1)  –  A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum  (60.9)
  • Horror:  6  (1)  –  Dracula: Prince of Darkness  (47.3)
  • Adventure:  5  (2)  –  The Saragossa Manuscript  (63)
  • Mystery:  4 (1)  –  The Sleeping Car Murders  (68)
  • Action:  4 (1)  –  Come Drink with Me  (60)
  • War:  3 (1)  –  Father of a Soldier  (68)
  • Sci-Fi:  3  –  Fantastic Voyage  (45)
  • Kids:  2  –  The Daydreamer  (60)
  • Fantasy:  1  –  Hercules Against the Moon Men  (15)

Analysis:  For the second year in a row, Foreign films have more than any genre.  The 37 Comedies are the most to date.  The Dramas only account for 31.7% of the films, the lowest since 1943.  The 6 Horror films are the fewest since 1959.  There are 11 Mystery or Suspense films, the most since 1951.
For the first time since 1940, half of the Top 10 films are Comedies.  Seven of the Top 20 films are Comedies, the most since 1954.  It’s also the first time since 1954 that there are as many Comedies in the Top 20 as there are Dramas.

Studio Note:  For the second straight year Columbia has the most films, but this time it’s only with 13.  No other major studio has more than 10 but none of them have fewer than 8.  Though Disney releases five films in the year I haven’t seen any of them making this the first year since 1952 where I haven’t seen a Disney film.  The majors account for only 48% of the films I’ve seen, the lowest to date.
Warner Bros wins its first Nighthawk in a decade and joins UA and Columbia as the only studios with five.  But Woolf is the only Warners film in the Top 20; the only studios with more than 1 Top 20 film are Columbia and UA, both with three.

58 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):

  • 10:30 PM Summer  (Dassin, France)
  • Amrapali  (Tandon, India)  *
  • Au Hasard Balthazar  (Bresson, France)
  • The Battle of Algiers  (Pontecorvo, Italy)  **
  • The Birds, the Bees and the Italians  (Germi, Italy)
  • Black Girl  (Sembene, Senegal)
  • Black Wind  (Gonzalez, Mexico)  *
  • Brigitte and Brigitte  (Moullet, France)
  • Cairo 30  (Abu Seif, Egypt)  *
  • Come Drink with Me  (Hu, Hong Kong)  *
  • Daisies  (Chytilova, Czechoslovakia)
  • Le deuxieme souffle  (Melville, France)
  • Django  (Corbucci, Italy)
  • Don’t Look Now We’re Being Shot At  (Oury, France)
  • The Face of Another  (Teshigahara, Japan)
  • Faraon  (Kawalerowicz, Poland)  **
  • Father of a Soldier  (Chkeidze, USSR)
  • Fighting Elegy  (Suzuki, Japan)
  • For a Few Extra Dollars  (Ferroni, Spain)
  • For Love and Gold  (Monicelli, Italy)
  • The Game is Over  (Vadim, France)
  • Gammera the Invincible  (Yuasa, Japan)
  • La Guerre Est Finie  (Resnais, France)
  • Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon  (Kuroda, Japan)
  • The Hawks and the Sparrows  (Pasolini, Italy)
  • Hunger  (Carlsen, Denmark)  *
  • The Hunt  (Saura, Spain)
  • Intimate Lighting  (Passer, Czechoslovakia)
  • James Batman  (Marquez, Philippines)
  • July Rain  (Khutsiyev, USSR)
  • Loves of a Blonde  (Forman, Czechoslovakia)  **
  • Made in U.S.A.  (Godard, France)
  • Mademoiselle  (Richardson, France)
  • A Man and a Woman  (Lelouch, France)  ***
  • Masculin Feminin  (Godard, France)
  • My Sister My Love  (Sjoman, Sweden)
  • Nayak: The Hero  (Ray, India)
  • Nightmare Castle  (Caiano, Italy)
  • The Nun  (Rivette, France)
  • Persona  (Bergman, Sweden)  *
  • Pervyy uchitel  (Konchalovsky, USSR)
  • The Pornographers  (Imamura, Japan)
  • The Priest and the Girl  (de Andrade, Brazil)
  • Red Angel  (Masumura, Japan)
  • A Report on the Party and Guests  (Nemec, Czechoslovakia)
  • The Round-Up  (Jancso, Hungary)  *
  • The Silent Wife  (Lee, Taiwan)  *
  • The Thirst for Love  (Kurahara, Japan)
  • Three  (Petrovic, Yugoslavia)  **
  • Traces of Stones  (Beyer, East Germany)
  • The Uprising  (Muresan, Romania)  *
  • Violence at Noon  (Oshima, Japan)
  • The War of the Gargantuas  (Honda, Japan)
  • Who are You Polly Magoo  (Klein, France)
  • Wings  (Shepitko, USSR)
  • Yesterday Girl  (Kluge, West Germany)
  • Young Torless  (Schlondorff, West Germany)  *
  • Your Money or Your Life  (Mocky, France)

Note:  The 58 total films is a new high.  I have my first film from Taiwan.  I also have my first film from Senegal, which is also my first film from Africa other than Egypt.  I have my first film from Romania in over a decade.  France leads with 14 films – the most for any country since 1960 and the first time France has lead since 1961.  It’s followed by 9 from Japan and 6 from Italy (the first time Italy hasn’t been in the top two since 1959).  Then comes 4 Soviet films and 4 films from the Czech New Wave.  For the first time, all 14 genres have at least one film.

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

  • Greece:  Queen of Clubs  (dir. Skalenakis)
  • Israel:  The Flying Matchmaker  (dir. Becker)
  • Japan:  Koto  (dir. Tasaka)
  • South Korea:  Rice  (dir. Sang-ok)

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 15 for 19.
South Korea is problematic – they only submitted six times before the mid-80’s and I am missing four of them.  Israel is also rough – I have only seen of the 5 Israeli films submitted in the 60’s.  This is the first time I am missing a film from Greece.  This is the second time I am missing one from Japan, but the first of three straight years which, annoyingly, includes a nominee in 1967.

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

  • La Terra Treme  (1948)
  • Le Amiche  (1955)
  • Eroica  (1958)
  • 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse  (1960)
  • Les Bonnes Femmes  (1960)
  • Lola  (1961)
  • The Long Absence  (1961)
  • Night Tide  (1961)
  • Salvatore Giuliano  (1962)
  • Before the Revolution  (1964)
  • The Gospel According to St. Matthew  (1964)
  • Hercules Against the Moon Men  (1964)
  • King and Country  (1964)
  • A Walk Around Moscow  (1964)
  • Alphaville  (1965)
  • Le Bonheur  (1965)
  • The Face of Fu Manchu  (1965)
  • Faster Pussycat Kill Kill  (1965)
  • Frankenstein Conquers the World  (1965)
  • Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster  (1965)
  • The Heroes of Telmark  (1965)
  • Juliet of the Spirits  (1965)
  • La Mandragola  (1965)
  • Minnesota Clay  (1965)
  • The Moment of Truth  (1965)
  • Moment to Moment  (1965)
  • Mudhoney!  (1965)
  • Of a Thousand Delights  (1965)
  • A Pistol for Ringo  (1965)
  • Red Beard  (1965)
  • The Saragossa Manuscript  (1965)
  • The Shameless Old Lady  (1965)
  • The Shop on Main Street  (1965)
  • The Sleeping Car Murders  (1965)
  • Tarzan and the Valley of Gold  (1965)
  • Tattooed Life  (1965)
  • Ten Little Indians  (1965)
  • Zhenitba Balzaminova  (1965)

Note:  These 38 films only average a 60.  Five of them are quite terrible (Moment to Moment, Faster Pussycat, Hercules, Mudhoney, Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster) while only four of them rank above *** (Red Beard, The Shop on Main Street, Lola, Le Bonheur) and all of this except Red Beard are very low-level ***.5.

Films Not Listed at Oscars.org:

  • 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse
  • Amrapali
  • Black Wind
  • Les Bonnes Femmes
  • Brigitte and Brigitte
  • Cairo 30
  • Daisies
  • Daleks Invasion Earth: 2150 AD
  • Eroica
  • Fighting Elegy
  • For a Few Extra Dollars
  • For Love and Gold
  • James Batman
  • July Rain
  • Le deuxieme souffle
  • Manos: The Hands of Fate
  • Of a Thousand Delights
  • Pervyy uchitel
  • A Pistol for Ringo
  • Tattooed Life
  • They’re a Weird Mob
  • Traces of Stones
  • The Uprising
  • A Walk Around Moscow
  • Who are You Polly Magoo
  • Your Money or Your Life
  • Zhenitba Balzaminova

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.
As is generally the case, all but a handful of these are 1966 films that don’t seem to have ever had an official U.S. release.  Daleks Invasion Earth is actually the second “Dr Who” film but the first, released in 1965 in the U.K. would get a U.S. release in 1969.  The only really notable films are 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse, which is Fritz Lang’s return to his criminal character (which earns three Nighthawk nominations) and Manos, which is the worst film of the year.  Most of Lang’s films after his return to Germany would not get an official Oscar eligible release, but many of them did get U.S. releases, so they will be appearing on this list.

Films Released This Year Originally But Eligible in a Different Year 

  • The Alphabet Murders  (1967)
  • The Brides of Fu Manchu  (1967)
  • Carry On Screaming  (1967)
  • The Deadly Affair  (1967)
  • The Deadly Bees  (1967)
  • The Face of Another  (1967)
  • The Game is Over  (1967)
  • The Hunt  (1967)
  • La Guerre Est Finie  (1967)
  • Made in U.S.A.  (1967)
  • Masculin Feminin  (1967)
  • The Mummy’s Shroud  (1967)
  • One Million Years B.C.  (1967)
  • Penelope  (1967)
  • Persona  (1967)
  • The Quiller Memorandum  (1967)
  • The Spy with a Cold Nose  (1967)
  • Three  (1967)
  • Thunder Alley  (1967)
  • Yesterday Girl  (1967)
  • The Battle of Algiers  (1968)
  • The Birds, the Bees and the Italians  (1968)
  • Cul-de-Sac  (1968)
  • Doctor Faustus  (1968)
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly  (1968)
  • Here’s Your Life  (1968)
  • Hunger  (1968)
  • My Sister My Love  (1968)
  • Report on the Party and Guests  (1968)
  • Young Torless  (1968)
  • Don’t Look Now We’re Being Shot At  (1969)
  • Gammera the Invincible  (1969)
  • Nightmare Castle  (1969)
  • The Round-Up  (1969)
  • Au Hasard Balthazar  (1970)
  • Billy the Kid vs. Dracula  (1970)
  • Black Girl  (1970)
  • Navajo Joe  (1970)
  • The War of the Gargantuas  (1970)
  • The Hawks and the Sparrows  (1971)
  • Red Angel  (1971)
  • Intimate Lighting  (1972)
  • The Nun  (1972)
  • Ride in the Whirlwind  (1972)
  • Django  (1973)
  • The Priest and the Girl  (1973)
  • Nayak: The Hero  (1974)
  • Gulliver’s Travels Beyond the Moon  (1975)
  • Violence at Noon  (1988)
  • Wings  (1996)
  • Faraon  (2001)

Note:  These 51 films average a 63.1.  With a number of great films (The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Persona, The Battle of Algiers), there’s no question that 1966 loses out based on Oscar eligibility.  The Battle of Algiers also suffers – it would earn Picture and Director nominations here easily but in the much more competitive 1968 it doesn’t earn either.

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