Suicide is painless indeed.

Suicide is painless indeed.

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.  Why am I only listing the Top 7 when I’ve been listing the Top 10 for quite a while now?  Well, how should I put this?  This is a TERRIBLE YEAR FOR FILM.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. M*A*S*H  **
  2. Five Easy Pieces  *
  3. Patton  *
  4. The Twelve Chairs
  5. Women in Love
  6. Mississippi Mermaid
  7. Lovers and Other Strangers

Analysis:  How terrible a year in film?  Well, there are only three **** films.  It’s the first year since 1930 that there have been less than four.  Patton is also the weakest #3 film since 1930.  Five Easy Pieces is the weakest #2 film since 1945.  In the 1960’s M*A*S*H would have won the award in several years; Five Easy Pieces would have only been nominated in three years.  In the 1950’s, M*A*S*H would only have won the award in two years and Patton would have never finished higher than sixth.  Both the Top 5 and the Top 10 are the weakest since 1945.

  • altmanBest Director
  1. Robert Altman  (M*A*S*H)  **
  2. Franklin J. Schaffner  (Patton)  *
  3. Bob Rafelson  (Five Easy Pieces)  *
  4. Ken Russell  (Women in Love)  *
  5. Francois Truffaut  (Mississippi Mermaid)
  6. Yasujiro Ozu  (Floating Weeds)
  7. David Lean  (Ryan’s Daughter)

Analysis:  Robert Altman starts breaking rules and wins this award with ease.  It’s the weakest Top 5 since 1945.  It’s the first nomination for Altman, the third for Truffaut and the only ones for Schaffner, Rafelson and Russell.
The fifth Consensus nominee, appallingly, is Arthur Hiller for Love Story.  He somehow earned DGA and Oscar noms and even won the Globe.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. M*A*S*H  **
  2. The Twelve Chairs
  3. Women in Love  *
  4. Lovers and Other Strangers  *
  5. Patton  *
  6. Floating Weeds
  7. The Joke

Analysis:  Please see the note in the next category about Patton.
Well, it’s better than 1965, but that and 1956 are the only years it is better than since 1948.
Among the Consensus nominees, with Oscar and WGA nominations, is the dreadfully written Airport.
Mel Brooks earns his second nomination for only his second film.  Francis Ford Coppola earns his first nomination (for Patton, which he doesn’t direct).
I’ve done better in this category than I often do before starting my Adapted Screenplay posts.  I have read four of the seven source pieces here (the first three plus The Joke).  The Joke I actually deliberately sought out because it’s based on a Milan Kundera novel, but both the novel and film are quite good.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Five Easy Pieces  *
  2. The Passion of Anna
  3. My Night at Maud’s  **
  4. Big Dig
  5. The Out-of-Towners  *

Analysis:  Patton is actually the Oscar and WGA winner in Original Screenplay.  It ended up there because the category name at this time is “Story and Screenplay – Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Produced or Published”.  The category would only keep that name through 1973 and it would only affect one other film (Young Winston).  But under today’s rules, Patton would be considered an Adapted Screenplay, so that is where I have considered it.
An astounding drop from the incredible Top 5 of the year before and the very good of the year before that.  The Passion of Anna earns Bergman a nomination though his considerably better Hour of the Wolf did not earn one in 1968 because this year is so much weaker.
I am actually more appalled by the Consensus nomination (because of its Oscar and WGA noms and, worst of all, its Globe win) for Love Story than I was for Airport.  The writing is the worst thing about that ridiculous film.
In spite of not winning its Oscar nom and being ineligible for a WGA nom, My Night at Maud’s becomes the first Foreign Film to be the Consensus winner in this category (and, until 2002 the only one) thanks to its NYFC and NSFC wins.
Ingmar Bergman earns his 12th nomination.  He’s at 720 points and 2nd place but is far behind Billy Wilder.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Jack Nicholson  (Five Easy Pieces)  *
  2. George C. Scott  (Patton)  **
  3. Melvyn Douglas  (I Never Sang for My Father)  *
  4. James Earl Jones  (The Great White Hope)  *
  5. Alan Arkin  (Catch-22)
  6. Donald Sutherland  (M*A*S*H)
  7. Max von Sydow  (The Passion of Anna)

Analysis:  James Earl Jones earns his first nomination.  Alan Arkin and Melvyn Douglas earn their second.  Scott earns his fourth nomination.  Nicholson earns his second nomination, but more importantly, his first win; he’ll win two more in just a few years.
I’m going against the grain by picking Nicholson.  Scott won the Consensus by a mile; he sets a new record for Consensus points (ironically broken by Nicholson a few years later) and becomes the first actor to win the NYFC, NSFC and NBR.  The only thing Scott doesn’t win is the BAFTA and he loses to Robert Redford (for two films from 1969).  But for me, it’s Nicholson’s more restrained performance, with sudden exploding bursts that is the more interesting performance.

  • Best Actress
  1. Glenda Jackson  (Women in Love)  **
  2. Carrie Snodgrass  (Diary of a Mad Housewife)  *
  3. Liv Ullmann  (The Passion of Anna)
  4. Jane Alexander  (The Great White Hope)
  5. Sarah Miles  (Ryan’s Daughter)  *
  6. Catherine Deneuve  (Mississippi Mermaid)
  7. Catherine Deneuve  (Tristana)

Analysis:  It’s the only nomination for Snodgrass and Miles and the first for Jackson and Alexander.  For Ullmann, on the other hand, it’s the third nomination in just four years.
Jackson wins this by a mile.  By this, I mean the Nighthawk, and the Consensus, where she wins 4 awards, becoming the first actress to win three critics awards (NYFC, NSFC, NBR).  She, surprisingly, doesn’t win the BAFTA, but she was eligible the year before and had to go up against Maggie Smith for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.  Jackson has the second highest Consensus point total to date and won’t be passed again until 1977.

  • hackmanBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Gene Hackman  (I Never Sang for My Father)  *
  2. Trevor Howard  (Ryan’s Daughter)
  3. John Mills  (Ryan’s Daughter)  *
  4. Jon Voight  (Catch-22)
  5. Frank Langella  (The Twelve Chairs)  *
  6. Robert Duvall  (M*A*S*H)
  7. Frank Langella  (Diary of a Mad Housewife)  *

Analysis:  The Consensus winner is Chief Dan George, who finished 8th on my list.  John Mills joins Gig Young from the year before in winning the Oscar and Globe (and earning a BAFTA nom) but finishing 2nd at the Consensus because of the critics awards.
Frank Langella earns his only nomination.  Jon Voight earns his second nomination (in a row).  John Mills and Trevor Howard earns their third nominations.  Gene Hackman earns his second win in four years (and will win Best Actor the next year).
This is a case where I stick with the Academy’s classification.  I think that Hackman really is the lead in the film, but the Academy put him in supporting, so, to Trevor Howard’s detriment, I keep him there.  It’s a shame that Langella wasn’t nominated; he actually won the NBR for the two roles.  For a long time I had Duvall as an easy nominee, but that last time I went back to the film I thought he was good but not as good as I had remembered; I also bumped up Voight who is brilliant as Milo Minderbinder.

  • mash_082Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Sally Kellerman  (M*A*S*H)  *
  2. Karen Black  (Five Easy Pieces)  **
  3. Bibi Andersson  (The Passion of Anna)
  4. Jennie Lindon  (Women in Love)
  5. Lois Smith  (Five Easy Pieces)  *
  6. Helen Hayes  (Airport)  *
  7. Maureen Stapleton  (Airport)  *

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 in five years.  It’s much like with Actress – only nomination for Lindon, Kellerman and Smith and the first for Black.  The Bergman actress, Andersson, on the other hand, is earning her fifth nomination; with her two wins she’s now at 210 points and has moved into the Top 10.  Hayes and Stapleton wouldn’t be on this list at all in most years, but the Academy can be more forgiven for nominating them in such a weak year; giving Hayes the Oscar was dumb though.

  • Best Editing:
  1. M*A*S*H
  2. The Twelve Chairs
  3. Five Easy Pieces
  4. Floating Weeds
  5. Patton
  6. Mississippi Mermaid
  7. My Night at Maud’s

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1937.  For me, M*A*S*H wins this by a long ways.  Yet, with two of my Top 5 nominated, this year actually scores a 65.4, the highest to date in this category.
A word here about Documentaries.  I don’t count them.  I don’t track them the way I do feature films.  I mention this here because Woodstock, the remarkable documentary, was nominated for Best Editing (the first nomination for multiple Oscar winner Thelma Schoonmaker).  If I included documentaries, I would have nominated it (and for Best Sound, where it was also Oscar nominated).

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Ryan’s Daughter  **
  2. Women in Love  *
  3. Patton  *
  4. M*A*S*H
  5. Mississippi Mermaid
  6. Floating Weeds
  7. The Wild Child  *

Analysis:  Ryan’s Daughter becomes the fifth David Lean film to win the Oscar for Best Cinematography; no other director has more than three.  It’s the fourth time a Lean film has won the Nighthawk.  No other director to this point has more than two.  It’s only the 12th time the Nighthawk winner is also the Oscar winner, yet four of those are Lean films.  It’s the third win for Freddie Young, all of them working for Lean.  Young’s non-Lean work isn’t all that great, so perhaps a lot of the credit should go to Lean himself.
With the top three films on my list all earning nominations, the score is a 67.9, the highest since 1950.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Ryan’s Daughter
  2. Love Story
  3. Patton
  4. Two Mules for Sister Sara
  5. M*A*S*H
  6. Tora! Tora! Tora!
  7. The Taste of Black Earth

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1957.  Jerry Goldsmith (Patton) earns the first of many nominations.  Maurice Jarre (Ryan’s Daughter) earns his fourth win in less than a decade, three of them working with David Lean.  This is the fourth time a Lean film has won the Nighthawk, second behind only Chaplin.  Ennio Morricone (Two Mules for Sister Sara) earns his fifth nomination in four years, his first not working with Sergio Leone, though it’s still a Western and still stars Clint Eastwood.  Jarre is up to 225 points (tied for 4th place) and Morricone is at 200 points (6th place).  The score from Love Story is definitely the best part of that idiotic film.

  • Best Sound:
  1. Patton
  2. M*A*S*H
  3. Tora! Tora! Tora!
  4. Catch-22
  5. Ryan’s Daughter
  6. The Molly Maguires
  7. Five Easy Pieces

Analysis:  At least the Academy got this one right.  In fact, they got is so right that the score is an 84.0, the highest score to date by almost 30 points.  For the record, that score does reflect Woodstock’s nomination.

  • wilBest Art Direction:
  1. Women in Love
  2. M*A*S*H
  3. The Twelve Chairs
  4. Floating Weeds
  5. The Molly Maguires
  6. Catch-22
  7. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes

Analysis:  The Academy goes with Patton, a rare win in this category for a war film.  For me, Women in Love is the easy win and it’s a little surprising that the Oscars ignored the costume drama which is usually their favorite here.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Patton

Analysis:  Patton is the only Best Picture winner since 1942 to be nominated for Best Visual Effects and to lose.  It loses to Tora! Tora! Tora!, but I don’t think those effects are really good enough to merit a nomination.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Patton
  2. Tora! Tora! Tora!
  3. M*A*S*H
  4. Catch-22
  5. Two Mules for Sister Sara

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1957.

  • women-in-loveBest Costume Design:
  1. Women in Love
  2. Little Big Man
  3. The Twelve Chairs
  4. Cromwell
  5. Floating Weeds
  6. Scrooge
  7. Fellini Satyricon

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1961.  Just remember – Women in Love wasn’t nominated but Airport was.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Little Big Man
  2. Scrooge
  3. The Molly Maguires
  4. Patton
  5. The Twelve Chairs
  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Suicide is Painless”  (M*A*S*H)
  2. “Hope for the Best (Expect the Worst)”  (The Twelve Chairs)
  3. “For All We Know”  (Lovers and Other Strangers)
  4. “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat”  (The Aristocats)
  5. “Tomorrow is the Song I Sing”  (The Ballad of Cable Hogue)
  6. “Comin’ Thru to Me”  (Lovers and Other Strangers)
  7. “Love That’s America”  (Watermelon Man)

Analysis:  Actually the best Top 5 since 1965.  Had I actually included the Beatles songs (see below) it would have been the fourth best to-date.  By ignoring two of their own semi-finalists, the Academy earns a rather pathetic 30.3.  If I had included the Beatles songs, the score would have been a 25.6.
This year has five semi-finalists (marked in orange).
There were 306 eligible songs in this year, from 112 different films, if you go by the oscars.org list.  Both of those numbers are extremely high.  I have seen exactly half those films, accounting for 189 songs.  The only films with more than 4 eligible songs that I haven’t seen are The Artful Penetration, an exploitation film made by Tinto Brass (and also known as Nerosubianco) and Norwood.  The oscars.org list is not perfect however.  It does not list any songs from Let it Be, even though the title song was a semi-finalist.  For the record, as noted above in Best Editing and Best Sound, I don’t include Documentaries, even when they are nominated in a regular category, so even if all the songs from Let it Be are actually eligible, I wouldn’t nominate them.  If I did, “Across the Universe” would win over “Suicide is Painless” and the nominations would include “Let it Be”, “I Me Mine” and “The Long and Winding Road”.

  • aristocatsBest Animated Film:
  1. The Aristocats

Analysis:  There are five eligible films in this year.  The Aristocats is a low-level ***.5, but just good enough to earn this award.  It’s followed by A Boy Named Charlie Brown, the first Peanuts film, and a solid *** film, The Little Norse Prince, a bottom level *** film by Isao Takahata, who would be one of the founders of Studio Ghibli (and would have much better films in his future), the **.5 Phantom Tollbooth (the book works for me, the film not so much) and the ** Dougal and the Blue Cat (though it is much better than the eventual Dougal film that would follow some 25 years later).

  • Investigation_of_a_Citizen_Above_Suspicion-755926696-largeBest Foreign Film:
  1. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion  **
  2. The Conformist
  3. Tristana  *

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.  Obviously there aren’t any in this year that make my list.

Analysis:  As pathetic as this list is, until I re-watched several films before doing my awards for this year, this list was one film long.  But, upon re-watching both The Conformist and Tristana, I bumped them up from high-level *** to low-level ***.5, and thus eligible for my list.  This is the worst in this category since 1947.  Including the next two films on the list (The Adversary and Le Cercle Rouge) it’s the weakest Top 5 since 1950.  It’s also the weakest Top 10 Foreign Films since 1950.
With Luis Buñuel back in Spain, it earns its first nomination since 1955.  Meanwhile, Italy earns its first win since 1956.  This is the first time France has failed to earn a nomination since 1963 and it’s the first year without a nomination from either France or Japan since 1947.  It joins 1935, 1940 and 1947 as the only years without a nomination from France, Japan or Sweden.  Buñuel earns his 9th nomination; he’s now at 200 points and tied with Renoir for third place.

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.

  • M*A*S*H  (510)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Original Song
  • Patton  (385)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Women in Love  (330)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Five Easy Pieces  (330)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing
  • Ryan’s Daughter  (215)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound
  • The Twelve Chairs  (200)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup, Original Song
  • The Passion of Anna  (105)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Catch-22  (105)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor, Sound, Sound Editing
  • I Never Sang for My Father  (95)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Mississippi Mermaid  (90)
    • Director, Cinematography, Foreign Film (1969)
  • Floating Weeds  (80)
    • Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Foreign Film (1959)
  • The Great White Hope  (70)
    • Actor, Actress
  • Lovers and Other Strangers  (50)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Original Song
  • The Aristocats  (50)
    • Original Song, Animated Film
  • Two Mules for Sister Sara  (45)
    • Original Score, Sound Editing
  • Big Dig  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • My Night at Maud’s  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Out-of-Towners  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Tora! Tora! Tora!  (40)
    • Sound, Sound Editing
  • Diary of a Mad Housewife  (35)
    • Actress
  • Little Big Man  (35)
    • Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Molly Maguires  (30)
    • Art Direction, Makeup
  • Love Story  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Tristana  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • Cromwell  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Scrooge  (10)
    • Makeup
  • The Ballad of Cable Hogue  (10)
    • Original Song

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Joke

Analysis:  A Czech comedy fills the spot for a second straight year.  It’s my #10 film of the year but it doesn’t rank higher than #7 in any category (and is hampered by being from 1969 which had a much tougher list for Best Foreign Film).  I actually watched this film because I have read the Kundera novel, which I also recommend (see above).

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Airport

Analysis:  18 nominations.  That’s how many nominations this terrible film received from the Oscars, BAFTA, Globes and Guilds combined.  It boggles the mind.  Both the Oscars and the Globes nominated it for Best Picture.  It won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.  It does end up at 6th on my Supporting Actress list but that’s the highest it gets and it gets nowhere near my Picture or Editing list (it was nominated for the Oscar and the Eddie, amazingly enough).

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture
  1. Five Easy Pieces
  2. Patton
  3. Women in Love
  4. Mississippi Mermaid
  5. Floating Weeds

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 in this category since 1938.  It’s the first time since 1944 that this category has averaged less than ****.  Women in Love is only the second film lower than **** to reach the #3 spot since 1944 and it won’t happen again.  Patton is the lowest #2 film since 1934.  Five Easy Pieces is the weakest winner since 1931.

  • Best Director
  1. Franklin J. Schaffner  (Patton)
  2. Bob Rafelson  (Five Easy Pieces)
  3. Ken Russell  (Women in Love)
  4. Francois Truffaut  (Mississippi Mermaid)
  5. Yasujiro Ozu  (Floating Weeds)

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1942.  It’s the third nomination for Truffaut, the second (and final) for Schaffner and the only ones for Rafelson, Russell and Ozu.  I’d have to look at my full list to be certain, but Schaffner might be the worst director to ever win this award.  Aside from Schaffner’s career, his direction here is the weakest to ever win this award.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Women in Love
  2. Patton
  3. Floating Weeds
  4. Mississippi Mermaid
  5. The Great White Hope

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 in this category since 1938, when there was only one nominee.  Francis Ford Coppola earns his first nomination.  Francois Truffaut, after a break of seven years, earns his fifth nomination.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Five Easy Pieces
  2. The Passion of Anna
  3. My Night at Maud’s

Analysis:  A big drop from the year before, yet, sadly, better than 1964-66.  Ingmar Bergman earns his fourth consecutive nomination.  This puts him at 760 points and a tie with Kurosawa for 1st place.

  • He's about to tell you where you can hold the toast.

    He’s about to tell you where you can hold the chicken.

    Best Actor:

  1. Jack Nicholson  (Five Easy Pieces)
  2. George C. Scott  (Patton)
  3. Melvyn Douglas  (I Never Sang for My Father)
  4. James Earl Jones  (The Great White Hope)
  5. Max von Sydow  (The Passion of Anna)

Analysis:  It’s the first nomination for Jones, the second for Douglas and von Sydow, the second (and first of many wins) for Nicholson and the third for Scott.  The fifth nominee, just like at the Oscars, was Ryan O’Neal.  The Globes really loved Love Story.

  • womeninloveBest Actress
  1. Glenda Jackson  (Women in Love)
  2. Carrie Snodgrass  (Diary of a Mad Housewife)
  3. Liv Ullmann  (The Passion of Anna)
  4. Jane Alexander  (The Great White Hope)
  5. Sarah Miles  (Ryan’s Daughter)

Analysis:  Snodgrass actually won for Comedy but I didn’t remotely consider it a Comedy.  Again, Ullmann is the only one not earning her first (or only) nomination – she, instead, is earning her fourth straight.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Gene Hackman  (I Never Sang for My Father)
  2. Trevor Howard  (Ryan’s Daughter)
  3. John Mills  (Ryan’s Daughter)
  4. Frank Langella  (Diary of a Mad Housewife)
  5. Chief Dan George  (Little Big Man)

Analysis:  It’s the second win for Hackman, the second nominations for Howard and Mills and the only nominations for Langella and George.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Karen Black  (Five Easy Pieces)
  2. Bibi Andersson  (The Passion of Anna)
  3. Jennie Lindon  (Women in Love)
  4. Lois Smith  (Five Easy Pieces)
  5. Helen Hayes  (Airport)

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1963.  Hayes is at least earning her second nomination, some 38 years after her first.  Black, Lindon and Smith are earning their only nominations.  Andersson earns her fifth nomination and also moves into the Top 10 here.

  • Five Easy Pieces  (385)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Women in Love  (275)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Patton  (215)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • The Passion of Anna  (140)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Mississippi Mermaid  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • Floating Weeds  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • The Great White Hope  (110)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • I Never Sang For My Father  (95)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Ryan’s Daughter  (95)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Diary of a Mad Housewife  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actor
  • My Night at Maud’s  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Little Big Man  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Airport  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Tristana

Analysis:  Luis Buñuel’s surrealistic drama can’t break through in any of the major categories.  It’s my #11 film of the year (my #7 Drama).

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. M*A*S*H
  2. The Twelve Chairs
  3. Lovers and Other Strangers
  4. The Joke
  5. Big Dig

Analysis:  With such a weak year for Dramas, this is the only third time since 1944 where the Dramas average less than three points better than the Comedies.

  • Best Director
  1. Robert Altman  (M*A*S*H)
  2. Mike Nichols  (Catch-22)
  3. Mel Brooks  (The Twelve Chairs)
  4. Jaromil Jires  (The Joke)

Analysis:  It’s the first nomination for Altman, the only one for Jires and the second for both Nichols and Brooks.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. M*A*S*H
  2. The Twelve Chairs
  3. Lovers and Other Strangers
  4. The Joke
  5. Where’s Poppa

Analysis:  Thanks to M*A*S*H and The Twelve Chairs, this is actually the best in this category since 1964 and the fourth best in this category to-date and it won’t be passed again until the 80’s.  Mel Brooks earns his second nomination.  Catch-22 doesn’t make my list because the screenplay has some serious flaws, but it is a Top 100 novel, so I feel I should mention it.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Big Dig
  2. The Out-of-Towners

Analysis:  The worst in this category since 1962 and tied for the worst since 1951.

  • catch-22-963_214924cBest Actor:
  1. Alan Arkin  (Catch-22)
  2. Donald Sutherland  (M*A*S*H)
  3. Michael Brandon  (Lovers and Other Strangers)
  4. George Segal  (Where’s Poppa)
  5. Jack Lemmon  (The Out-of-Towners)

Analysis:  It’s the second win for Arkin, but aside from Lemmon, the others are making a rare appearance in the Comedy category.  Lemmon, on the other hand, is earning his sixth Comedy nomination; he’s now at 305 points and is only behind Chaplin, Grant, Cagney and Guinness.

  • Lovers-and-Other-Strangers-1970-bonnie-bedelia-20065699-640-480Best Actress
  1. Bonnie Bedelia  (Lovers and Other Strangers)

Analysis:  The worst in this category since 1951 but there really wasn’t just anything to work with in this year.  The Globes choice was bizarre (see Drama) and their nominations were for performances that I didn’t think were particularly good.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Jon Voight  (Catch-22)
  2. Frank Langella  (The Twelve Chairs)
  3. Robert Duvall  (M*A*S*H)
  4. Orson Welles  (Catch-22)
  5. Richard Castellano  (Lovers and Other Strangers)

Analysis:  The third best in this category to date and it won’t be bested again until 1978.
It’s not a group of actors really thought of as being comedic, and its the only nomination for all of them.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Sally Kellerman  (M*A*S*H)
  2. Eva Marie Saint  (Loving)

Analysis:  Again, obviously, a very weak category.  Saint, known more for Drama, earns her only Comedy nomination.

  • M*A*S*H  (395)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Lovers and Other Strangers  (225)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor
  • Catch-22  (205)
    • Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Twelve Chairs  (165)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • The Joke  (135)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • Big Dig  (130)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay
  • Where’s Poppa  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • The Out-of-Towners  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor

Analysis:  Only 8 films nominated this year as compared to 17 from the year before.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • The Aristocats

Analysis:  It’s my #6 Comedy of the year, but the writing isn’t good enough to break into my lists and as an animated film, I don’t really include the acting.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  169

By Stars:

  • ****:  3
  • ***.5:  10
  • ***:  64
  • **.5:  40
  • **:  32
  • *.5:  6
  • *:  9
  • .5:  4
  • 0:  1
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  56.35

Analysis:  As I mentioned in the previous year, things really drop out here.  Part of it is just that I have seen a lot more films and they aren’t good.  The 169 films here are the highest in a single year by 13.  The average drops five points from 1969, which was already a point lower than any previous year.  For the first time since 1930 the **** films account for less than 2% of the films.  The percentage of **** and ***.5 is the lowest since 1936.  The percentage of films that are ** or worse is over 30% while in no previous year was it ever more than 20%.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • Hoa-Binh  (Best Foreign Film)
  • Paix Sur Les Champs  (Best Foreign Film)

note:  Hoa-Binh would actually be eligible for other awards in 1971, but was nominated here for Best Foreign Film.

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

  • Ore’ach B’Onah Metah  (Golden Globe – Best Foreign Film)

note:  A little surprisingly, this is the most recent Globe nominee for Best Foreign Film that I’m missing.  After this, the only Globe nominees I’m missing are for Song.

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  Only four films worse than Airport and Love Story have ever been nominated for Best Picture.  It’s bad enough to have one bad film be nominated, but to have two bad ones in the same year?  The average nominee is a 71.2, the third lowest average since 1934.  This year ranks 75th out of 87 and no year since had been within 10 spots of that.
The irony is that, though this is a weak year for Best Picture, it earns a very high score (75.0 – only the third time to this point that it has scored above 70).  That’s because it was such a weak year overall and because the score is calculated based on what should have been nominated.

The Winners:  The Academy did a fairly solid job of picking the winners.  There isn’t a single 4th or 5th place among the nominees that wins and there are 9 times where they picked the best of the nominees.  In the Tech categories they were especially good, picking the best or second best nominee in every category except Art Direction.  Outside of Tech, the only categories were they didn’t pick the best or second best choice was Picture and Supporting Actress.  Even among all nominees they did very well, averaging a 3.00, and picking the Nighthawk winner or 2nd place finisher in 11 categories.  The only two categories where they didn’t pick a Nighthawk nominee were Supporting Actress (where they went with my 6th choice) and Art Direction (14th).  Overall, it was the best score since 1961 and the fourth best to-date.  It may have been a terrible year but the Academy at least picked decent winners.

The Nominees:  They even, for the most part, picked decent nominees.  The overall score is a 66.6, an improvement of nine points over the year before and eight points over an average year from the 60’s.  But this is the start of an upwards trend – it will actually be the second lowest score of the decade.  The year scored a 62.7 among the Tech categories (best to date), including best to-date scores of 65.4 in Editing and 84.0 in Sound.  In Acting, the score was 77.6, a very marginal drop from the year before.  The major categories earned a 71.1, the fourth highest score to date and a big improvement over the year before.  All the major categories scored at least a 68 – in no all previous years at least one major category had a 63 or lower.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  This is a big improvement over the year before, but not good enough.  It still ranks 45th out of 65.  They got the winner dead right, of course, with M*A*S*H.  They also got one nominee right, Lovers and Other Strangers.  But they went for the big budget mediocre musicals (Scrooge and Darling Lili), the film I don’t even classify as a Comedy (Diary of a Mad Housewife).  They missed out on the hilarious Mel Brooks film (The Twelve Chairs) or the Disney film (The Aristocats – it wouldn’t be until 1989 that they would think to nominate an animated Disney film).  What is strange is that they completely passed over Catch-22, not only for Picture, but also for Actor (when he should have won).  There were several other films that, though they wouldn’t make my nominee list, would certainly have been better choices than those the Globes made (Where’s Poppa, The Out-of-Towners, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Start the Revolution Without Me).

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  M*A*S*H  (reviewed here and here)

2  –  Five Easy Pieces  (reviewed here)

3  –  Patton  (reviewed here)

4  –  The Twelve Chairs  (reviewed here)

5  –  Women in Love  (reviewed here)

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Myra Breckenridge
  2. The Wizard of Gore
  3. The Losers
  4. Trash
  5. Trog

note:  Myra Breckenridge is the rare major studio film in this era to finish in dead last (it’s made by 20th Century-Fox).  Finishing outside the bottom 5 are Count Yorga Vampire (the worst AIP film, 7th worst overall) and Cherry, Harry & Raquel (Russ Meyer getting all the way up to the 11th worst overall).  Myra is a zero star film – the other four all earn either a 2 or 3 (out of 100).

“As bad a movie as ever made.” – Gore Vidal, who wrote the novel.

Myra Breckendridge  (dir. Michael Sarne)

I first came across this film in a book.  It’s a silly little book called Movielists and it advertises itself on the front as “250 factual, fictional and funny film lists”.  I bought it at Powells some 20 years ago because, as you may have noticed, I am an obsessive list-maker who is passionate about film.  It’s not a particularly good book but I continue to hold on to it (and add to some of the lists in pencil (adding, for instance Get Shorty, The Player and Circle of Friends to “Ten Movies that Contain Cinema Screenings of Real Films” or Salman Rushdie in Bridget Jones’ Diary to “Ten Novelists Who’ve Appeared in Movies”).  The final list is “Fifty Ways to Sell a Movie”, which is essentially a collection of taglines, some of them famous, like “Garbo Talks” for Anna Christie, some of them brilliant, like “They’re young . . . they’re in love . . . and they kill people!” for Bonnie and Clyde or “In space no one can hear you scream!” for Alien and some of them just marketing ploys, like “The third dimension is terror!” for Jaws 3-D.  There was a picture on the page of Raquel Welch sitting on John Huston’s lap, with the tagline for this film: “At last, the book that couldn’t be written is the motion picture that couldn’t be made.”

But, let’s face it, this is the motion picture that shouldn’t have been made.  It’s a tricky subject, especially now, the idea of transvestism.  To make a satire out of it requires a careful touch.  Now, I haven’t actually read Gore Vidal’s novel, but I have read other of his works and a careful touch isn’t really his style.  Although, it doesn’t matter what his style was.  The book received some serious praise and there’s no one ever who has given praise to this film.  It is so bad as to be almost unwatchable.  Everyone seems to agree on that.  That’s too bad because it is a serious subject that deserves more class than this film or Glen or Glenda.  Perhaps the problem is that Glen or Glenda was made by someone completely devoid of talent, and while this film had some serious actors in it, the director clearly had no talent either.

This movie doesn’t know what it wants to be and that’s part of the problem.  The Lavender Screen, that very useful book about gay themed films seems to want to imply that this film isn’t as bad as it seems, but then doesn’t actually manage to disprove it.  It does, however, point out, that it’s not really about transvestism at all: “Although only nominally about a transsexual and not gay-themed at all, Myra was treated as a gay movie, though it’s dominated by sex symbol Welch.  She even shares scenes with her male alter ego (Reed), and Myra’s implied fellatio of Myron suggests that they’re lovers, instead of before-and-after.” (p 108)

This duality points out the problem with this film: it knows it wants to be a Comedy but it doesn’t know how to go about it.  The premise is that Myron is a movie fan, he becomes Myra, takes over her uncle’s acting school, tames her best student by anally raping him with a dildo (possibly what inspired the famous savaging of this film by TIME Magazine: “Myra Breckenridge is about as funny as a child molester.”) and then, well, I can’t remember after that, but it won’t matter because you’re unlikely to get that far.  But it doesn’t know that the situation itself isn’t funny, that some of the things are horrifying and some of them are just painful to watch.  It wants to sometime be about sex but it doesn’t understand what might actually be considered erotic and what might just be pathetic.  Director Michael Sarne did such an unbelievably poor job with this film that it pretty much destroyed his directing career.

Is there anything good about this film?  Well, no, and especially not the acting of Rex Reed, that’s for certain.  Yes, Rex Reed, the “critic” who gave bad reviews to Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom and Birdman but good reviews to The Cobbler and Gangster Squad.  He plays Myron.  However, if you don’t like Reed (and who does?), you might like this.  It is written by John Simon, the nastiest film critic I have ever read (his descriptions of Barbra Streisand border on libelous) and I quote it from p 110 of The Lavender Screen:

A minor though distinct horror is the presence of Rex Reed.  I had hoped that this campy butterfly and self-styled critic – cast, I am told, so as to make certain things about Myron obvious without the script’s having to spell them out – would portray himself on screen so that on the strength of his success, we would be rid of him as a writer.  No such luck.  His acting is on a par with his writing.

Points:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  M*A*S*H  /  Patton  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  M*A*S*H  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  M*A*S*H  (510)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Love Story
  • 2nd Place Award:  Five Easy Pieces  (Picture, Supporting Actress)
  • 6th Place Award:  Mississippi Mermaid  (Picture, Actress, Editing)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  Five Easy Pieces  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  Five Easy Pieces  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  Five Easy Pieces  (385)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  Airport
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  M*A*S*H  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  M*A*S*H  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  M*A*S*H  (395)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  The Out-of-Towners

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  /  Bonnie and Clyde  (14)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Bonnie and Clyde  (865)
  • 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:  Katharine Hepburn  (560)
  • Director:   Billy Wilder  (585)
  • Writer:  Billy Wilder  (960)
  • Cinematographer:  Arthur Edeson  /  Gregg Toland / Sven Nykvist  (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:  67 (24)  –  Five Easy Pieces  (60.2)
  • Foreign:  44  –  Mississippi Mermaid  (63.9)
  • Comedy:  27 (5)  –  M*A*S*H  (58.5)
  • Horror:  16 (2)  –  Taste the Blood of Dracula  (37.9)
  • Western:  15 (1)  –  The Ballad of Cable Hogue  (61)
  • Musical:  9 (2)  –  Purab Aur Pachhim  (53.2)
  • Crime:  7 (2)  –  Borsalino  (49.3)
  • War:  6 (1)  –  Patton  (70.7)
  • Kids:  6 (2)  –  The Aristocats  (58.2)
  • Action:  5 (2)  –  Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo  (48.4)
  • Sci-Fi:  4  –  Beneath the Planet of the Apes  (46.3)
  • Suspense:  3 (1)  –  This Man Must Die  (60.7)
  • Mystery:  2 (1)  –  The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes  (60.5)
  • Adventure:  1  –  Captain Nemo and the Underwater City  (46)
  • Fantasy:  1 (1)  –  Fando & Lis  (19)

Analysis:  Almost all the genres are equally terrible.  Only War and Foreign (barely for the latter) manage to earn a *** average.  Dramas and Comedies both hit all-time lows for their averages; Foreign is a slight improvement over the year before but is still the third worst average to-date.  Even Horror, which hasn’t managed a *** average since 1954, has its second worst to-date.  Musicals has its second lowest to-date.  What’s worse, they do this with lots of films – Drama has its third highest total to-date.  Horror ties its high to-date.  Westerns set a new high.  It’s not helped that Foreign, which traditionally has one of the higher averages, only accounts for a quarter of the films, the lowest total since 1958.
The genre films are marginalized.  Nine out of the Top 10 films I classify primarily as a Drama or a Comedy; never have those two so dominated.  They also account for 15 of the Top 20, the highest total since 1936.  While Foreign films are down overall, for only the fourth time they account for half of the Top 20.  Like the Oscars, my top award doesn’t often go to Comedies; M*A*S*H becomes only the fifth one to win.

Studio Note:  For the fourth straight year, United Artists has the most films, this time with 18, the most by any studio since 1960.  Paramount is in second for the third straight year, this time with 14.  For the first time since 1955, I’ve seen 10 films from Universal.  This puts all seven majors in double digits for the first time ever and the majors bounce back to 52% of all the films I’ve seen.  That’s doesn’t mean they’re any good, though.  MGM is the lowest (51.4 avg), but only 20th Century-Fox manages to average *** and that’s not by much (64.3 avg).  Two independents really increase here – I’ve got 10 films from AIP and another 8 by AVCO Embassy, though their averages are a terrible 45.6 and 52.0 respectively.
The Top 10 are lead by UA (3 films – the first time in six years by any studio) and Fox (2 – the first time it has had multiple Top 10 films since 1950).  They are also the only studios with multiple Top 20 films, with 4 for UA and 3 for Fox (first time since 1957).  Thirty years after becoming only the third studio to win two Nighthawks for Best Picture, Fox finally wins a third (the sixth studio to do that).

37 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):

  • The Adversary  (Ray, India)
  • Aladdin and His Magic Lamp  (Image, France)
  • The American Soldier  (Fassbinder, West Germany)
  • Baksa Badal  (Datta, India)
  • Bed and Board  (Truffaut, France)
  • The Bird with the Crystal Plumage  (Argento, Italy)
  • Borsalino  (Deray, France)
  • Claire’s Knee  (Rohmer, France)
  • Cleopatra Queen of Sex  (Tezuka, Japan)
  • The Confession  (Costa-Gavras, France)
  • The Conformist  (Bertolucci, Italy)
  • Count Dracula  (Franco, Spain)
  • Crime and Punishment  (Kluidzhanov, USSR)
  • Days and Nights in the Forest  (Ray, India)
  • Donkey Skin  (Demy, France)
  • Dougal and the Blue Cat  (Danot, France)
  • Even Dwarfs Started Small  (Herzog, West Germany)
  • First Love  (Schell, Switzerland)  **
  • Gods of the Plague  (Fassbinder, West Germany)
  • Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion  (Petri, Italy)  ***
  • Le Cerle Rouge  (Melville, France)
  • Love Film  (Szabo, Hungary)  *
  • Medea  (Pasolini, Italy)
  • The Night of Counting the Years  (Salam, Egypt)  *
  • Pippi in the South Seas  (Hellbom, Sweden)
  • Promise at Dawn  (Dassin, France)
  • Purab Aur Pachhim  (Kumar, India)
  • La Rupture  (Chabrol, France)
  • The Spider’s Stratagem  (Bertolucci, Italy)
  • Sunflower  (De Sica, Italy)
  • A Swedish Love Story  (Andersson, Sweden)  *
  • Swimming Pool  (Deray, France)
  • The Taste of Black Earth  (Kutz, Poland)  *
  • They Call Me Trinity  (Barboni, Italy)
  • To Die of Love  (Cayatte, France)
  • Tristana  (Buñuel, Spain)  **
  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders  (Jires, Czechoslovakia)
  • Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo  (Okamoto, Japan)

Note:  First Love is my first film from Switzerland.  It is also the first film submitted, let alone nominated, to be the worst Foreign film I’ve seen on the year.  Of the five Oscar nominees, I agree with the winner, I nominate a second, two I haven’t seen and the other is the worst of the year.  As has generally been the case since 1960, France is in first (12) and Italy in second (7).  This the first time since 1961 I haven’t seen a Brazilian film.  I’ve only seen one Soviet film, the lowest since 1963.  I’ve only seen two Japanese films, the lowest since 1950.  With both Fassbinder and Herzog now making films, West Germany will still rising quickly; right now it is 9th overall, but by the mid-80’s it will move all the way up into 5th place.  The Spaghetti Western craze starts to die down; I only have 1 Western – the lowest since 1964.

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

  • Belgium:  Paix sur les champs  (dir. Boigelot) – NOMINEE
  • France:  Hoa-Binh  (dir. Coutard) – NOMINEE
  • Brazil:  Mortal Sin  (dir. Faria)
  • Denmark:  Re. Lone  (dir. Ernst)
  • Japan:  The Scandalous Adventures of Buraikan  (dir. Shinoda)
  • West Germany:  O.K.  (dir. Verhoeven)

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 7 for 13.
The 13 countries are the lowest since 1962 and there will never again be anywhere near as few as this.  My 54% is also the lowest I am at by a considerable margin, made worse by the fact that I am missing two of the actual nominees.
It’s the first time I am missing a French submission (made more annoying by the fact that it was nominated).  It’s only the third submission from Belgium but it’s the second I’m missing.  It’s the first time I am missing a Brazilian submission.  It’s only the second time I am missing a West German submission.  It’s the fifth Japanese submission I am missing.  I continue to have a terrible time finding Danish submissions – this is the 12th and it’s the 10th that I haven’t been able to see.

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

  • Floating Weeds  (1959)
  • A Simple Story  (1959)
  • The End of Summer  (1962)
  • Passenger  (1964)
  • Raven’s End  (1964)
  • Spider Baby  (1964)
  • Wizard of Mars  (1964)
  • Godzilla vs Monster Zero  (1965)
  • Au Hasard Balthazar  (1966)
  • Billy the Kid vs Dracula  (1966)
  • Black Girl  (1966)
  • Navajo Joe  (1966)
  • The War of the Gargantuas  (1966)
  • Anyone Can Play  (1967)
  • A Bullet for the General  (1967)
  • The Last Adventure  (1967)
  • Mouchette  (1967)
  • Terra em Transe  (1967)
  • They Came From Beyond Space  (1967)
  • Zatoichi Challenged  (1967)
  • The Devil’s Bride  (1968)
  • Fando & Lis  (1968)
  • The Little Norse Prince  (1968)
  • Oedipus the King  (1968)
  • The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood  (1968)
  • Who’s That Knocking at My Door  (1968)
  • Adalen 31  (1969)
  • The Assassination Bureau  (1969)
  • Beyond the Valley of the Dolls  (1969)
  • Big Dig  (1969)
  • Burn  (1969)
  • Coming Apart  (1969)
  • Double Suicide  (1969)
  • Fellini Satyricon  (1969)
  • Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed  (1969)
  • The Joke  (1969)
  • Kuragejima — Legends from a Southern Island  (1969)
  • The Looking Glass War  (1969)
  • Love is a Funny Thing  (1969)
  • Mississippi Mermaid  (1969)
  • My Night at Maud’s  (1969)
  • The Passion of Anna  (1969)
  • Putney Swope  (1969)
  • Tell Them Willie Boy is Here  (1969)
  • This Man Must Die  (1969)
  • A Walk with Love and Death  (1969)
  • The Wild Child  (1969)
  • Women in Love  (1969)

Note:  These 48 films average a 59.2, so a slight improvement over this dreadful year.  It includes one top 5 film and four other Top 10 films (including the next three not listed up at the top: Floating Weeds, The Passion of Anna and The Joke).  In spite of having five films on this list at *, only one of them, The War of the Gargantuas, actually ends up in the bottom 10, and it’s only the ninth worst film of the year.

Films Not Listed at Oscars.org:

  • Baksa Badal
  • Big Dig
  • Dougal and the Blue Cat
  • The End of Summer
  • Fando & Lis
  • Floating Weeds
  • Gas-s-s-s
  • The Joke
  • Lovefilm
  • The Little Norse Prince
  • Passenger
  • Purab Aur Pachhim
  • Raven’s End
  • A Simple Story
  • A Swedish Love Story
  • The Taste of Black Earth
  • Terra em Transe
  • This Man Must Die
  • The Walking Major
  • The Wizard of Gore

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 usually the case, most of these are Foreign films which never get an L.A. release.  Three of them (Lovefilm, A Swedish Love Story, The Taste of Black Earth) were even submitted the Academy for the Best Foreign Film award.

Films Released This Year Originally But Eligible in a Different Year 

  • Bed and Board  (1971)
  • Brewster McCloud  (1971)
  • Claire’s Knee  (1971)
  • The Conformist  (1971)
  • Equinox  (1971)
  • Even Dwarfs Started Small  (1971)
  • Figures in a Landscape  (1971)
  • The Go-Between  (1971)
  • Horror of Frankenstein  (1971)
  • Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion  (1971)
  • Invincible Six  (1971)
  • Kes  (1971)
  • The Music Lovers  (1971)
  • The Railway Children  (1971)
  • Scars of Dracula  (1971)
  • They Call Me Trinity  (1971)
  • THX-1138  (1971)
  • Wanda  (1971)
  • Waterloo  (1971)
  • When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth  (1971)
  • Cleopatra: Queen of Sex  (1972)
  • Hercules in New York  (1972)
  • Mark of the Devil  (1972)
  • To Die of Love  (1972)
  • The Adversary  (1973)
  • A Day in the Death of Joe Egg  (1973)
  • Days and Nights in the Forest  (1973)
  • Medea  (1973)
  • The Spider’s Stratagem  (1973)
  • Bombay Talkie  (1974)
  • Pippi in the South Seas  (1974)
  • Three Sisters  (1974)
  • Aladdin and His Magic Lamp  (1975)
  • Crime and Punishment  (1975)
  • Donkey Skin  (1975)
  • La Rupture  (1975)
  • Valerie and Her Week of Wonders  (1975)
  • The American Soldier  (1976)
  • Count Dracula  (1977)
  • Gods of the Plague  (1977)
  • The Night of Counting the Years  (1978)
  • The Plot Against Harry  (1990)
  • Le Cercle Rouge  (2003)

Note:  These 43 average a 60.5, which is better than the year as a whole.  By far the film that makes the biggest difference is Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion, and yet, it is a perfect example of why I put films in the years that I do.  At the Oscars, it won Best Foreign Film in this year, so I place it for that purpose in this year (where it also wins the Nighthawk).  However, it was nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 1971 (and was eligible for other awards).  So, for all other awards, I place it in that year (where it also earns a Nighthawk nomination for Best Original Screenplay).  It is actually to that film’s detriment; if it was simply placed in 1970, it would be the third best film and also nominated for Picture and Director, but in the considerably better 1971, it ends up in ninth place.  But, as I have said numerous times, I like to compare apples to apples, so I follow the Academy’s years.  To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, it’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so are the Oscars.

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