It was tough finding a picture that perfectly embodied the film without being too disturbing or obscene for the main picture in a post on what is still a family blog.

It was tough finding a picture that perfectly embodied the film without being too disturbing or obscene for the main picture in a post on what is still a family blog.

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

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

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. A Clockwork Orange  **
  2. The French Connection  *
  3. The Last Picture Show  *
  4. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  5. Sunday Bloody Sunday  *
  6. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  7. Harold and Maude
  8. Klute
  9. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
  10. The Hospital

Analysis:  Oh, what a relief to be back in a good year.  Patton, the #3 film in 1970 wouldn’t make the Top 10 here (it would be #11).  All 10 of these films are ****.  And beyond this Top 10, there are several high-level ***.5 films like Walkabout, MacBeth and Straw Dogs.  The Hospital is the best #10 film since 1963 and one of the best to-date.  Remember, with all this wealth of riches, the Academy nominated the terrible Nicholas and Alexandra.  In spite of that, this was the best slate of Best Picture nominees in nine years and the sixth best to-date (see below).
A word here about genre.  A Clockwork Orange fits a few different genres.  In the breakdown below, between Comedy and Drama, I consider it a Comedy, making this the first time to date that back-to-back years have a Comedy at the top of the list.  It could be listed as a Sci-Fi film, which would make this my second Sci-Fi winner, after Kubrick did it in 1968.  But I actually classify it as a Horror film, meaning this is the first Horror film since 1929 to win my award and the first English language Horror film to do so.  I give it a sub-genre of Urban Horror, which is what I call films that show the horrors of living in the urban society (well, duh).  Other examples I classify under this are Taxi Driver and Trainspotting.

  • Clockwork-Orange-18Best Director
  1. Stanley Kubrick  (A Clockwork Orange)  **
  2. William Friedkin  (The French Connection)  *
  3. Peter Bogdanovich  (The Last Picture Show)  *
  4. Robert Altman  (McCabe & Mrs. Miller)
  5. John Schlesinger  (Sunday Bloody Sunday)  *
  6. Alan J. Pakula  (Klute)
  7. Roman Polanski  (MacBeth)
  8. Nicholas Roeg  (Walkabout)
  9. Vittorio de Sica  (The Garden of the Finzi-Continis)
  10. Sam Peckinpah  (Straw Dogs)

Analysis:  It’s the first nomination for Friedkin.  It’s the only nomination for Bogdanovich.  In spite of being a Top 100 Director, it’s actually the only nomination for Schlesinger.  It’s the second nomination for Altman, a year after he won.  Kubrick, on the other hand, is not only winning his third, but it’s his third consecutive film to win him the award (matched only by David Lean, and later, Peter Jackson).  Kubrick moves up to 405 points and a tie for 6th place.
I feel a little bad picking Kubrick over Friedkin.  Friedkin’s direction is absolutely magnificent and he absolutely earned his Oscar; he’s the best #2 in this category since 1957.  Bogdanovich is also magnificent, a film that displayed a remarkable amount of talent.  Neither Friedkin or Bogdanovich would live up to their displays of talent they displayed here.
With Schlesinger making it into the Oscar lineup in place of Nicholas and Alexandra, this year has the third highest score in the category to date (82.1).

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. A Clockwork Orange  *
  2. The French Connection  *
  3. The Last Picture Show  **
  4. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  5. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  6. They Might Be Giants
  7. The Conformist
  8. Sometimes a Great Notion
  9. Dodes Ka-den

Analysis:  Yes, I would rather cut off my list than list the other two Consensus nominees, Kotch and The Go-Between (although I considered listing the latter).
Both They Might Be Giants and Dodes Ka-den are strange little movies – the latter is easy to find because it was directed by Kurosawa while the former used to be a lot more difficult to find.  Both of them are enjoyable in a certain mindset.
I have read four of the original source materials – Clockwork (obviously, as it is a Top 100 Novel), Last Picture Show, Garden and Notion.
This ranking shows how the rankings and scores don’t quite line up.  With all five nominees in my Top 7, it still only scores an 86.1, the fifth highest to date.  That’s because there’s a big drop from #5 to #6, so the nomination of The Conformist (a very good script) over McCabe (a great script) hurts more than it would seem like just from looking at the list.
Kubrick earns his third Nighthawk for writing (all in Adapted) and his sixth nomination overall.  He’s now in fifth place, behind Wilder, Bergman, Kurosawa and Chaplin.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday  **
  2. Harold and Maude
  3. The Hospital  *
  4. Klute  *
  5. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
  6. Carnal Knowledge
  7. The Rite
  8. Bananas
  9. Boy
  10. Red Angel

Analysis:  The score of 78.1 is the second highest since 1959 in this, the category the Academy hadn’t been doing as well with, thanks to their tendency to over-rate a number of foreign scripts.
The Consensus win is a little mis-leading.  The Hospital, with Oscar, WGA, Globe and BAFTA wins has the fourth-highest score in this category to date and no script will have a higher score for another five years.  But, with my weighted total, the score for Sunday Bloody Sunday (WGA, NYFC, NSFC wins, Oscar, BAFTA noms) is just a few points higher.  Amazingly enough, only one other original script has ever swept the awards groups: Chinatown.  The only other original scripts to win the Oscar, Globe and BAFTA were Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, and Quentin Tarantino isn’t a WGA member so those weren’t WGA eligible.  Several adapted scripts, starting in 1993, have done this, but The Hospital and Chinatown remain the only original ones to have done so (and, oddly, both failed to win any critics awards).

  • Best Actor:
  1. Gene Hackman  (The French Connection)  **
  2. Peter Finch  (Sunday Bloody Sunday)  *
  3. Warren Beatty  (McCabe & Mrs. Miller)
  4. Malcolm McDowell  (A Clockwork Orange)
  5. George C. Scott  (The Hospital)  *
  6. Topol  (Fiddler on the Roof)  *
  7. George C. Scott  (They Might Be Giants)
  8. Donald Sutherland  (Klute)
  9. Jack Nicholson  (Carnal Knowledge)
  10. Richard Attenborough  (10 Rillington Place)

Analysis:  The Oscars did a great job with picking the acting in this year.  It’s only the third time that all four categories have scored over an 80 and the first time they have all scored over an 85.  But the final nominee here, Walter Matthau for Kotch, is really just a silly pick (made worse in that he was also Globe, and thus, Consensus nominated).
George C. Scott’s Oscar (and Consensus) nomination are actually out of the ordinary in this time period.  The Academy seemed to decide they had done their duty by giving someone an Oscar.  Most of the Oscar winners since the mid 40’s had failed to ever even earn another nomination, and if they did, it was after a considerable amount of time.  Scott is the first winner in a decade to even have to wait less than a decade for another nomination.  He’s the first winner since Bing Crosby in 1944 to earn a nomination again the next year.  But that trend changes here – after Scott, most of the winners in this decade would earn more nominations, and they wouldn’t have to wait that long for them either.  Of the other eight winners in the decade (Peter Finch won’t count as his Oscar was posthumous), only Art Carney would never again be nominated and five of them would have to wait less than eight years for their nomination, with Brando getting nominated again the year after he wins.
It’s the only nomination for McDowell.  It’s the first nomination for Finch.  It’s the second for Beatty.  It’s the fifth for Scott, but also his last.  It’s the third for Hackman but it’s also his third win in just five years.  He and Beatty will continue to rise over the next decade.

  • Best Actress
  1. Jane Fonda  (Klute)  **
  2. Glenda Jackson  (Sunday Bloody Sunday)  *
  3. Julie Christie  (McCabe & Mrs. Miller)  *
  4. Ruth Gordon  (Harold and Maude)
  5. Vanessa Redgrave  (Mary, Queen of Scots)  *
  6. Bibi Andersson  (The Touch)
  7. Glenda Jackson  (Mary, Queen of Scots)
  8. Joanne Woodward  (They Might Be Giants)
  9. Francesca Annis  (MacBeth)
  10. Jessica Walter  (Play Misty for Me)

Analysis:  Jane Fonda matches Glenda Jackson’s four wins from the year before; no other actress will have as many again until 1977.  For a long time I had Jackson with the win, but watching both performances again, I give the slight nod to Fonda.  But it’s really close and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who chose Jackson.  After a decade of being the sexiest kitten around, Fonda was proving that They Shoot Horses wasn’t a fluke – she really could act and this would be her decade.
Christie, Jackson and Redgrave earns their second nominations.  Gordon earns her third.  It’s only Fonda’s second nomination, but it’s also her second win.  Redgrave is the only nominee not to already have won a Nighthawk Award (though Gordon’s was in Supporting), but she will win a Supporting Actress award before the decade is over.

  • Last-Picture-Show-Ben-JohnsonBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Ben Johnson  (The Last Picture Show)  **
  2. Jeff Bridges  (The Last Picture Show)  *
  3. Roy Scheider  (The French Connection)  *
  4. Edward Fox  (The Go-Between)  *
  5. John Hurt  (10 Rillington Place)  *
  6. Bruce Dern  (Drive He Said)  *
  7. Richard Jaeckel  (Sometimes a Great Notion)  *
  8. Timothy Dalton  (Mary, Queen of Scots)
  9. Murray Head  (Sunday Bloody Sunday)
  10. Leonard Frey  (Fiddler on the Roof)  *

Analysis:  You might well ask why there are so many Consensus nominees.  That’s because, aside from Johnson, there was no consensus.  Almost everyone agreed that Johnson gave the best performance of the year – he won the Oscar, Globe, BAFTA (in 1972), NYFC and NBR.  Only the NSFC dissented, picking Dern.  But no one else agreed – the Oscars nominated Bridges, Scheider, Jaeckel and Frey.  The BAFTAs went with Fox (their winner), Hurt, Michael Gough and Ian Hendry.  The Globes chose Tom Baker, Art Garfunkel, Paul Mann and Jan-Michael Vincent.
For me, Johnson is the easy winner as well.  He gives a career best performance – the kind of thing every older actor hopes for at this point in their careers.  How appropriate that he should be there as a mentor for Bridges, just starting his storied award winning career.  Because the NYFC and BAFTA awards are fairly new, he’s the first to win more than two awards and the first to win a lot of combinations.  He’s even the first to win the Oscar and the Globe since 1961.  It will be five years before anyone matches his point total and twelve years before anyone matches his five wins.  Surprisingly, it will be 22 years before anyone else wins the Oscar, BAFTA and Globe.  But he definitely deserved it.
It’s the only nomination for Johnson and Fox.  It’s the first nomination for Dern, Scheider and Bridges.

  • EB-lastpictureshow-creditsBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Ellen Burstyn  (The Last Picture Show)  *
  2. Cloris Leachman  (The Last Picture Show)  **
  3. Eileen Brennan  (The Last Picture Show)  *
  4. Ann-Margret  (Carnal Knowledge)  *
  5. Margaret Leighton  (The Go-Between)  *
  6. Barbara Harris  (Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?)  *

Analysis:  In a category that hasn’t had a whole lot of consensus, Leachman and Burstyn have the highest and third highest score in the category to date.  Leachman joins Karen Black from the year before as only the second person to win three awards (Oscar, BAFTA, NBR) and Burtsyn joins Black as only the second person to win two critics awards (NYFC, NSFC).  It will be another eight years before another actress joins Leachman in winning both the Oscar and the BAFTA.
It’s the only nominations for Leachman, Brennan and Ann-Margret and the second for Leighton.  It’s the first in a stretch of very good years for Burstyn.

  • Best Editing:
  1. A Clockwork Orange
  2. The French Connection
  3. Walkabout
  4. The Last Picture Show
  5. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  6. Klute
  7. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  8. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
  9. The Hospital
  10. Get Carter

Analysis:  It’s a good thing the Academy did such a good job picking the acting, because clearly they weren’t so good with the Tech categories.  From 1970 to 1975, four times the Academy will earn a new high score in this category.  The other two times, 1974 and this year, they will be pretty bad.  Actually two out of five, and those being my top two isn’t bad for the Academy in the Best Editing category.  It earns a score of 47.2, which is over 10 points higher than the average score in the 60’s.  But it’s a big step back from the 65.4 score in 1970.  The other Oscar nominees were The Andromeda Strain, Summer of ’42 and Kotch.  I again feel bad for not picking The French Connection.  It’s hard to choose between the brilliant Beethoven montages and the car chase scene.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. The French Connection  *
  2. A Clockwork Orange  *
  3. McCabe & Mrs. Miller  *
  4. The Last Picture Show  *
  5. MacBeth
  6. Walkabout
  7. Klute
  8. Dodes Ka-Den
  9. Straw Dogs
  10. The Conformist  *

Analysis:  Because only Fiddler on the Roof overlapped between the BAFTAs and Oscars, every BAFTA and Oscar nominee ended up on the Consensus list.  The only critics award (NSFC) went to The Conformist, which wasn’t Oscar or BAFTA nominated.
It’s the first nominations for two big cinematographers – Owen Roizman (French Connection) and Vilmos Zsigmond (McCabe).  In 7th place, with his first Top 10 finish is Gordon Willis, who, by decade’s end, will be tied for 2nd in this category.  I’m still a little stunned that Fiddler won the Oscar.  I mean, really, The French Connection won five Oscars, but not one for its incredible Cinematography?  What the hell is up with that?

  • Best Original Score:
  1. A Clockwork Orange
  2. Walkabout
  3. The Trojan Women
  4. Klute
  5. Dodes Ka-Den
  6. The French Connection
  7. Summer of ’42
  8. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  9. Boy
  10. Mary, Queen of Scots

Analysis:  Finishing in 5th, with his third nomination, is Toru Takemitsu.  He’ll earn a final nomination 14 years later.  In 3rd place is Mikis Theodorakis, whose music continues to be the best part of the Greek films that he composes for; it’s his third nomination as well.  John Barry is in 2nd place, also earning his third nomination.
This is the one category where this year is lacking; it’s the weakest Top 5 since 1957.  It’s the only Tech category that is weaker than the year before.

  • Best Sound:
  1. The French Connection
  2. A Clockwork Orange
  3. Klute
  4. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  5. Get Carter
  6. The Hospital
  7. The Last Picture Show
  8. Walkabout
  9. Sometimes a Great Notion
  10. Diamonds are Forever

Analysis:  The Academy goes with its obsessions with Musicals again.  In this category, The Glenn Miller Story won over Rear Window, South Pacific won over Vertigo, Oliver won when 2001 wasn’t even nominated, Hello Dolly won over Butch Cassidy and now Fiddler on the Roof wins over The French Connection.  But that’s almost over.  After the next year, when Cabaret will beat The Godfather, no traditional musical will win the Oscar again for 30 years.

  • 044-a-clockwork-orange-theredlistBest Art Direction:
  1. A Clockwork Orange
  2. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  3. The Last Picture Show
  4. Dodes Ka-Den
  5. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  6. The Go-Between
  7. The Conformist
  8. The Music Lovers
  9. Harold and Maude
  10. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Analysis:  Yes, that’s right, not a single Oscar nominee even made my Top 10.  The winner, Nicholas and Alexandra, is my #12, making it the second straight winner to fail to make my Top 10.  Thankfully that’s not the start of a trend, as the next three winners will be my #2 and the three after that will win the Nighthawk.  Yet, surprisingly, the score is only 46.9, a slight increase over the year before.  Just the oddities of the year.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  2. Diamonds are Forever

Analysis:  A really weak year, but until Star Wars this will continue to be an on-again, off-again category.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. The French Connection
  2. A Clockwork Orange
  3. Diamonds are Forever
  4. MacBeth
  5. Get Carter
  6. Red Angel

Analysis:  After abolishing this award in 1968, the Academy would bring it back as a special award in 1975 for Jaws.  They should have brought it back this year for The French Connection.

  • mccabe-and-mrs-miller-drinking-gameBest Costume Design:
  1. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  2. Mary, Queen of Scots
  3. MacBeth
  4. The Go-Between
  5. Nicholas and Alexandra
  6. The Music Lovers
  7. The Conformist
  8. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  9. The Last Picture Show
  10. A Clockwork Orange

Analysis:  Art Direction and Costume Design often go hand in hand (indeed, Nicholas wins both).  But in 1970 and 1971 the Art Direction winners won’t make my Top 10 and the Costume Design winners will earn Nighthawk nominations.

  • Best Makeup
  1. MacBeth
  2. Walkabout
  3. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  4. A Clockwork Orange
  5. Dodes Ka-Den
  6. The Devils
  • Best Original Song:
  1. Portabello Road”  (Bedknobs and Broomsticks)
  2. “If You Want to Sing Out”  (Harold and Maude)
  3. “Sweetback’s Theme”  (Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song)
  4. “Don’t Be Shy”  (Harold and Maude)
  5. “Age of Not Believing”  (Bedknobs and Broomsticks)
  6. “Theme from Shaft”  (Shaft)
  7. “Candy Man”  (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
  8. “Oompa-Loompa Doompadee-Doo”  (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory)
  9. “Diamonds are Forever”  (Diamonds are Forever)
  10. “Last of the Unnatural Acts”  (Brewster McCloud)

Analysis:  Again, a pretty bad year that is still an improvement over 1970, with the score here at 35.7.  The score would be worse except the eligible songs aren’t that great a crop.  Compare this to 1964, when another Shirley Bassey James Bond theme was eligible – that one was “Goldfinger”, which was much better than “Diamonds are Forever” and it finished in 13th.
This year has five semi-finalists (normally marked in orange, but none make my list).
There are 247 eligible songs in this year, from 97 different films, if you go by the list.  That includes 7 different films with at least 7 songs (four of which I have seen), including Shinbone Alley, with 14 mediocre eligible songs.  In fact, there are 22 films that have 3 or more eligible songs and they only end up with one combined nominee and no other semi-finalists (“Age of Not Believing”), while 6 of the 10 semi-finalist songs are the only eligible songs, not including the two eligible songs from Shaft, one of which is a semi-finalist and the other of which wins the Oscar.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. none

Analysis:  Shinbone Alley is the only eligible film and it’s really quite bad – a low-level ** film.

  • Lear russo Korol LirBest Foreign Film:
  1. King Lear
  2. Garden of the Finzi-Continis  *
  3. Murmur of the Heart
  4. The Emigrants  **
  5. Dodes Ka-den
  6. The Policeman  **

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.  Obviously there aren’t any in this year that make my list.  There are those who would put El Topo, which was submitted, on their lists, but I think it’s a terrible film.

Analysis:  This is only the third time to this date that there have been five different countries in the top five.  It’s also the Top 5 at this point (Germany is still slightly ahead of the USSR by points, but doesn’t exist at this point).  It’s the only nomination for Jan Troell, the second for Louis Malle, the second (and second win) for Grigori Kozintsev, the third for Vittorio de Sica and the 16th for Akira Kurosawa.  Kurosawa is in first place by 80 points, but Bergman will catch him in just a few years.
The Top 5 is a vast improvement over the year before but still a drop from the last four years of the sixties.

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.

  • A Clockwork Orange  (520)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • The Last Picture Show   (415)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction
  • The French Connection  (390)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller  (325)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday  (245)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Klute  (155)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress, Original Score, Sound
  • Harold and Maude  (95)
    • Original Screenplay, Actress, Original Song, Original Song
  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis  (80)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Art Direction, Foreign Film
  • Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion  (80)
    • Original Screenplay, Foreign Film (1970)
  • MacBeth  (80)
    • Cinematography, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • The Hospital  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor
  • The Go-Between  (75)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Costume Design
  • Dodes Ka-den  (75)
    • Original Score, Art Direction, Makeup, Foreign Film
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks  (70)
    • Visual Effects, Original Song, Original Song
  • Walkabout  (60)
    • Editing, Original Score, Makeup
  • Mary, Queen of Scots  (50)
    • Actress, Costume Design
  • Get Carter  (40)
    • Sound, Sound Editing
  • Diamonds are Forever  (40)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • 10 Rillington Place  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Carnal Knowledge  (30)
    • Supporting Actress
  • The Trojan Women  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Boy  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1969)
  • The Conformist  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1970)
  • Nicholas and Alexandra  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (10)
    • Makeup
  • Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  Films like The Hospital and Garden of the Finzi-Continis, which can’t make it to 100 points, would have been dominating films with well over 200 points had they been in 1970.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Straw Dogs

Analysis:  Normally when a mid-range ***.5 film doesn’t earn any Nighthawk nominations I find it kind of a bummer.  But, with a film this unpleasant (it’s very well made, but unlikeable), I’m okay with it.  It’s the #13 film of the year but the only Top 10 finishes are Cinematography (9th) and Director (10th).  Even Score, where it was Oscar nominated, it only finishes in 15th place.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Fiddler on the Roof

Analysis:  My issues with the film are addressed in my review.  It won 3 Oscars, 2 Globes (Picture and Actor – Comedy / Musical) and the Sound Editors Guild.  It also earned 18 total nominations, including Picture and Director at the Oscars and a WGA nom (Adapted Comedy).  It almost makes it into my Best Actor list, coming in at 6th.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. The French Connection
  2. The Last Picture Show
  3. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  4. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  5. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis

Analysis:  Sunday Bloody Sunday won the Best English Language Foreign Film award at the Globes, thus making it ineligible for the regular Best Picture award.  The top four films all would have won in 1970 and Garden would have been the #2 film.  The French Connection isn’t my overall winner, making this the first time that back-to-back years have a Drama winner that isn’t the overall winner.

  • Best Director
  1. William Friedkin  (The French Connection)
  2. Peter Bogdanovich  (The Last Picture Show)
  3. Robert Altman  (McCabe & Mrs. Miller)
  4. John Schlesinger  (Sunday Bloody Sunday)
  5. Alan J. Pakula  (Klute)

Analysis:  The only nomination for Bogdanovich.  Surprisingly, the only Drama nomination for Altman.  The first nominations for Friedkin and Pakula.  The second nomination for Schlesinger.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The French Connection
  2. The Last Picture Show
  3. McCabe & Mrs. Miller
  4. The Garden of the Finzi-Continis
  5. The Conformist

Analysis:  I’m quite surprised that The Last Picture Show wasn’t nominated by the Globes.  They nominated much weaker scripts like Kotch and Mary Queen of Scots and the script is one of the best aspects of the film.  But, like in 1968 (and again in 1973), only one film was nominated for both Director and Screenplay.  That’s contrasted against 1972 when all five Director nominees earn Screenplay nominees.  Yet, in all the years since 1973, only once (2000) has this happened and only one other time has it been as few as two; usually it’s at least three, if not four or even five.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Sunday Bloody Sunday
  2. Klute
  3. Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
  4. The Rite
  5. Boy

Analysis:  After winning in this category six times from 1958 to 1964 without a loss, this is the fifth straight year that Ingmar Bergman is nominated and loses.  He is now at 800 points and breaks a tie with Kurosawa and moves into 1st place, which he still holds today.

  • french-connection-e1361500158509Best Actor:
  1. Gene Hackman  (The French Connection)
  2. Peter Finch  (Sunday Bloody Sunday)
  3. Warren Beatty  (McCabe & Mrs. Miller)
  4. Donald Sutherland  (Klute)
  5. Richard Attenborough  (10 Rillington Place)

Analysis:  Three of the Globe’s nominees for Best Actor – Drama can be found below on my list for Best Actor – Comedy.  First nomination for Finch and Sutherland.  Beatty is earning his third, but his next couple will be in Comedy.  Hackman earns his third Drama win already.  Attenborough only has one regular Nighthawk nomination, but surprisingly, this is his fifth Drama nomination – he’s always just outside the Top 5 in a year where some comedic performances make the Top 5.

  • janefondaklute4Best Actress
  1. Jane Fonda  (Klute)
  2. Glenda Jackson  (Sunday Bloody Sunday)
  3. Julie Christie  (McCabe & Mrs. Miller)
  4. Vanessa Redgrave  (Mary, Queen of Scots)
  5. Bibi Andersson  (The Touch)

Analysis:  With Andersson replacing Gordon from the main list, again everyone already has won an award except Redgrave.  The Touch is sub-par Bergman but Andersson, as always, is quite good.  Jackson was nominated by the Globes for Mary Queen of Scots; her performance in that is my #6.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Ben Johnson  (The Last Picture Show)
  2. Jeff Bridges  (The Last Picture Show)
  3. Roy Scheider  (The French Connection)
  4. Edward Fox  (The Go-Between)
  5. John Hurt  (10 Rillington Place)

Analysis:  It’s the first nomination for all five, but for three of them (not Hurt or Bridges), it will be the only one as well.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Ellen Burstyn  (The Last Picture Show)
  2. Cloris Leachman  (The Last Picture Show)
  3. Eileen Brennan  (The Last Picture Show)
  4. Margaret Leighton  (The Go-Between)

Analysis:  Again, it’s first nominations for all of them except Leighton.


  • The French Connection  (370)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Last Picture Show  (345)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Sunday Bloody Sunday  (245)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • McCabe & Mrs. Miller  (205)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Klute  (190)
    • Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis  (90)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay
  • 10 Rillington Place  (65)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Go-Between  (60)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Conformist  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Rite  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Boy  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Airport  (35)
    • Actress
  • The Touch  (35)
    • Actress

Analysis:  In almost every category, this year is better than 1970 but weaker than 1969.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Walkabout

Analysis:  Nicholas Roeg’s bleak Australian drama is very good (my #11, making it my #8 Drama) but the direction can’t make the list and the acting isn’t its strength.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. A Clockwork Orange
  2. Harold and Maude
  3. The Hospital
  4. Carnal Knowledge

Analysis:  Clockwork was nominated as a Drama, of course, because the Globes have less of a sense of humor than I do.  The top 3 films are much better than the year before, but the #4 film is at exactly the same level and it’s the first time in five years I can’t fill the category.

  • Best Director
  1. Stanley Kubrick  (A Clockwork Orange)
  2. Arthur Hiller  (The Hospital)
  3. Hal Ashby  (Harold and Maude)
  4. Ken Russell  (The Music Lovers)
  5. Mike Nichols  (Carnal Knowledge)

Analysis:  The only nomination for Russell, the second (and last) for Hiller, the first in a very impressive decade for Ashby and the third for Nichols (in only five years).  Kubrick wins his second award, with his third nomination; he’s at 225 points and in the Top 10 for Comedy.
The Music Lovers is not a traditional Musical, but rather a biopic about Chopin and there is a strong argument to be made that I shouldn’t include it, but I try to be more inclusive than exclusive when putting films in the Comedy / Musical categories.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. A Clockwork Orange
  2. They Might Be Giants

Analysis:  Kubrick, not normally thought of as comic, wins in this category for the third time in a decade.  Granted, that means I consider Lolita and A Clockwork Orange to be comedies.  Still, this puts him at 240 points, and behind only Wilder, Chaplin and Preston Sturges in this category.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Harold and Maude
  2. The Hospital
  3. Carnal Knowledge
  4. Bananas

Analysis:  Woody Allen earns his third nomination and moves back into the Top 10, which he had briefly fallen out of the year before.  He will actually double his points the next year, moving into the Top 5 and will be #3 by the end of the decade.  This is the fourth best in this category to date, in spite of not having a fifth nominee.

  • A-Clockwork-Orange-a-clockwork-orange-14752450-965-577Best Actor:
  1. Malcolm McDowell  (A Clockwork Orange)
  2. George C. Scott  (The Hospital)
  3. Topol  (Fiddler on the Roof)
  4. George C. Scott  (They Might Be Giants)
  5. Jack Nicholson  (Carnal Knowledge)

Analysis:  The Hospital was also nominated as a Drama.  Even Carnal Knowledge was nominated as a Drama.  What the hell is wrong with those people?  They did nominate Bud Cort for Harold and Maude and Walter Matthau for Kotch and they would have earned nominations if I went by their classifications and moved McDowell, Scott and Nicholson.  McDowell and Topol earn their only nominations.  Scott earns his second and third nominations.  Nicholson earns his first, but he’ll eventually be back.  Luckily, I go with my own definition of Comedy and this ends up the best Top 5 in this category since 1964.

  • maudeBest Actress
  1. Ruth Gordon  (Harold and Maude)
  2. Joanne Woodward  (They Might Be Giants)
  3. Glenda Jackson  (The Music Lovers)
  4. Angela Lansbury  (Bedknobs and Broomsticks)

Analysis:  Just remember that Ruth Gordon’s fantastic performance as Maude lost to Twiggy.  Seriously.  Twiggy.
Surprisingly, Woodward, known more for Drama, is earning her second Comedy nomination.  23 years after winning in Supporting Actress, Lansbury earns a second Comedy nomination.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Leonard Frey  (Fiddler on the Roof)

Analysis:  There’s really just nothing to work with in this year.  Frey, who barely makes my list at all, wins by default.  It’s, of course, his only nomination.  This category continues to be a problem – this year is still better than 1967 and 1973 when there won’t be any nominees.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Ann-Margret  (Carnal Knowledge)
  2. Barbara Harris  (Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?)

Analysis:  Well, at least there’s more to work with than there was in Supporting Actor.  This is actually Harris’ second nomination.


  • A Clockwork Orange  (340)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Harold and Maude  (245)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Carnal Knowledge  (230)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Hospital  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • They Might Be Giants  (110)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor Actress
  • Fiddler on the Roof  (95)
    • Actor, Supporting Actor
  • The Music Lovers  (80)
    • Director, Actress
  • Bananas  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Bedknobs and Broomsticks  (35)
    • Actress
  • Who is Harry Kellerman and Why is He Saying Those Horrible Things About Me?  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  Still a low number of nominated films, with a lot of categories that I just can’t fill.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Bed and Board

Analysis:  By far the weakest of the full-length Antoine Doinel films, yet still a good film.  My #7 Comedy of the year, but the writing and acting in this installment just aren’t good enough to make my lists.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  153

By Stars:

  • ****:  10
  • ***.5:  10
  • ***:  66
  • **.5:  38
  • **:  17
  • *.5:  4
  • *:  7
  • 0:  1
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  61.18

Analysis:  A jump of nearly five points.  That’s because in 1970 less than 70% of the films were **.5 or above while in this year over 80% are.  Still, we’ve entered the era with a lot more bad films that I’ve seen and this year will have the second highest average of the decade.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

note:  Hoa-Binh would actually be eligible for the Oscars in 1971 and I haven’t seen it, but its actual Oscar nomination, for Best Foreign Film, was in 1970.

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

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  In spite of nominating one of the ten worst films ever nominated (Nicholas and Alexandra), this year is not only a huge improvement over the year before, but it’s the best year since 1962 and the sixth best to-date.  That’s because its one of only ten years to have three films in the Top 100 among nominees.  In fact, The Last Picture Show, which I rank third best among the nominated films, is the fourth highest film to be ranked third in its year, and at this point it’s the best (there won’t be a better third ranked film until A Room with a View).  The score drops a bit from the terrible year before because 1970 didn’t have great films for its last two spots whereas this year did, but that’s a reflection of how good the non-nominated films in this year are.  Overall this year ranks 39th with a score of 65.8.

The Winners:  This is another strong year for the winners.  Among the nominees it’s a very good year – it’s the first year since 1966 where the worst nominee isn’t given the Oscar in any category.  In fact, no winner ranks lower than 3rd, and only two winners are even that low: Cinematography and Sound (both won by Fiddler on the Roof).  Among all films it’s still a fairly strong year, with the winners averaging a finish of 4.44.  In the major and acting categories, the only finish lower than 2nd is Screenplay, which is 3rd.  The Tech categories aren’t nearly as strong, averaging a 7.25, the weakest since 1963, with three categories (Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction) not even making the Top 10.  Overall, I only completely agree with four winners, but seven others are my #2, the most since 1952.

The Nominees:  The Tech categories are not very strong, with an overall score of 51.8 and no category scores above a 70.  But that’s made up in the other categories.  The major categories earn a 77.9, the second highest score to date.  The two writing categories earn an 86.1 and a 78.1, the first time they have both scored over a 76.  The acting scores an 89.6, the third highest score to date, and as I said above, it’s the first time they all score over an 85.  The overall score is a 68.7, only .2 behind 1966 for the best score to date.  And yet, this year will be surpassed by each of the next five years as the Oscars finally get their act together.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  This is not a good year.  As can be seen by looking at my list, they had already handicapped themselves by placing many of the years best comedies (A Clockwork Orange, The Hospital, Carnal Knowledge) in Drama.  But then they did something inexcusable: they nominated Harold and Maude for both Actor and Actress but not for Picture.  This was actually the third of four straight years where this would happen to a Comedy, but this film is much better than John and Mary, The Out-of-Towners and Pete n’ Tillie.  Not again until 1986 would they make themselves look so stupid by acknowledging the great lead performances and passing over the very worthy film (in that case it will be Something Wild and 1986 will have much better nominees).  The winner here is Fiddler on the Roof, which isn’t a great choice but is a predictable one.  The other nominees are A New Leaf (good), Kotch (okay), Plaza Suite (okay) and The Boy Friend (mediocre).  Now, I only have four nominees and three of them were placed in Drama.  But, aside from Harold and Maude, which should have easily been the winner, they could have picked better films like They Might Be Giants or Bananas, or gone a bit more off-beat and picked Who is Harry Kellerman or Brewster McCloud.  Given their options, it never could have been a good year, but it certainly could have been better.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  A Clockwork Orange  (reviewed here and here)

2  –  The French Connection  (reviewed here)

3  –  The Last Picture Show  (reviewed here)

Proof the M*A*S*H wasn't a fluke. Altman's talent was for real.

Proof the M*A*S*H wasn’t a fluke. Altman’s talent was for real.

4  –  McCabe & Mrs. Miller  –  dir. Robert Altman

“Some people are just incapable of not getting themselves killed.”  Roger Ebert wrote that in his Great Film review of McCabe & Mrs. Miller.  He wrote that in relation to the scene where a young Keith Carradine can’t manage to keep himself from being killed, but also in reference to the end of the film and how the two things relate.  McCabe, with his actions, has set himself down an irrevocable path that can only have one end.

There is an irony here, of course.  Think of some of Warren Beatty’s classic films: Bonnie and Clyde (gunned down), McCabe (dead in the snow), The Parallax View (killed and then blamed for the conspiracy that killed him), Reds (dying in the new Soviet world he reported), Bugsy (running down this same irrevocable path), even Heaven Can Wait (dies no less than three times).  Is there any other actor who seems so perfectly suited for this role, the man who thinks he can talk himself out of anything, only to find himself caught up in actions that are beyond the ability of anyone to talk themselves out of.  But I haven’t gotten to the ironic bit.  Beatty came to Hollywood as a pretty boy, resembling George Hamilton, who had just made it big before Beatty arrived.  Beatty had to contend with his good looks and the success of his older sister.  And yet, he did.  He succeeded far beyond the wildest dreams anyone might have had for him.  Within a decade he was an Oscar nominee, not only as an actor, but also as a producer.  Within another decade he would be only the second person to ever be nominated as a producer, director, writer and actor in the same film.  A few years later he would do it again and would become only the second director to win an Oscar while directing himself.  Another couple decades down the road, he was still making movies and being honored by his peers with the Thalberg Award.  He is probably still primarily thought of as an actor (even though he only actually acted in 23 films) but of his 14 Oscar nominations only 4 of them were for acting.  For a man whose best characters so often end up dead, he is a born survivor in a ruthless industry.

But he has often been a dreamer.  Even in some of his most violent roles (Clyde, Bugsy), he has dreams and his life, and eventual death, is caught up in those dreams.  McCabe has a simple dream – he wants to take this pathetic little western town and make something more out of it.  He imports some whores and makes a business out of it.  But that’s not enough.  He meets a woman.  Actually, he often meets a woman.  For the dreamer who will end up dead, Beatty is surprisingly not much of a lone wolf.  Where would Clyde have gotten without Bonnie?  Would Bugsy have had his dream of Vegas without Virginia Hill to inspire him?  How far would John Reed have gotten if he hadn’t met Louise Bryant?  Here his woman is Mrs. Miller, the drug-addicted madame who has a head for business, when it’s not being clouded up and subdued.  The two of them make a go of this before tragedy intervenes.

You can’t watch this film and not know that tragedy will intervene.  Look at the bleak, but fantastic cinematography of Vilmos Zsigmond (the first great work from one of the best cinematographers).  Listen to the imaginative use of Leonard Cohen songs on the soundtrack (but no actual score).  Watch the way that Robert Altman, so far away from the biting satire of M*A*S*H, sets up the scenes, especially the death of young Carradine on the bridge.  You can’t ever imagine that anything good will come out of this.  Well, except for the quality of this film, with some great directing, one of the best performances of Julie Christie’s career and another great performance from Beatty.

It's not the U2 song, but it is fantastic.

It’s not the U2 song, but it is fantastic.

5  –  Sunday Bloody Sunday  –  dir. John Schlesinger

Glenda Jackson was never the most beautiful of actresses.  Indeed, when nominated for Best Actress in this year she would compete against Julie Christie (playing a madame) and Jane Fonda (playing a high priced call girl).  Yet, Jackson had a sensuality that worked so well for her and helped to make her, in a series of roles that relied on it, one of the best actresses of the decade.  Indeed, she might have been one of the best of all-time had she not stepped away, first to take more roles on stage, and then to become an MP and stop acting altogether.

In Women in Love, for which she won her first Oscar, though surrounded by a solid cast, she was clearly the star.  It was her performance that captivated people.  But here, in a love triangle with a Jewish doctor, she must share that with Peter Finch.  Of course, she and Finch aren’t directly involved – young Murray Head is the bisexual man who brings them together, and though he is good enough, it is really the performances from Jackson and Finch, the way we understand why they would both be having an affair with this young man, that drives the film forward.  Well, that and the writing.

In my recently completed Best Adapted Screenplay: 1945 I discussed two quite different films that had something in common: The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Body Snatcher.  They are two films that revolve around material that had to be adapted in a certain way to make them passable in the Production Code era.  Yet, in all the time since the code was dropped, no more satisfactory film of that story has yet been made.  Those two films essentially back up the notion that the Code had value, that it made writers and directors work hard to come up with new ways to bring material to the screen.  I don’t necessarily agree with that idea, but it is an idea that has supporters and those two films provide some evidence to back it up.  But now we come to the other part of the Code.  There were certain things you just couldn’t show, no matter what.  This love affair is one of them.  Certainly you could have a love triangle during the Code, but it had to be heterosexual.  You never could have had this touching story, with one part played by a woman who is trying to escape the unsatisfactory life she has managed to end up with at this point, with one part played by a doctor who is trying to escape the confining routine, both of his profession, and of his religion.  Both of those two are trying to find some relief in the young attractive man who provides some emotional support, but mainly just some sex and escape.  That the two of them each know of the other one, that they function in the same overall larger society and that at the end, they will be forced to confront their own lives when their lover moves, just adds an extra poignancy to the proceedings.  It helps, of course, that the writing in this film is first-rate and that the two lead performances are fantastic.  The Code never would have allowed this and we are all better for it having been dropped so that stories like this, stories that the Code and the censors would have preferred to pretend just couldn’t exist, are finally allowed to be told with some dignity and some grace.

Two last little notes about this film.  If, like me, you grew up with U2, the title might throw you off.  Think of emphasizing the second word, as if a Brit is complaining about what day it is, it’s “Sunday, bloody Sunday.”  Second, if you want some film history, look closely at the tallest of the vandals scratching up cars in the church parking lot at the 42 minuted mark, the dark-haired one.  Yes, that brooding face looks familiar, because this is the film debut of one Daniel Day-Lewis, almost 20 years before he will become an Oscar winning actor.

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. I Drink Your Blood
  2. 200 Motels
  3. Werewolves on Wheels
  4. Godzilla’s Revenge
  5. Glen and Randa

note:  Three of the bottom five films are Horror films, but they are very different.  Blood is a splatter film.  Werewolves is a werewolf film crossed with a biker film.  Godzilla’s Revenge only qualifies as a Horror film because I classify all Godzilla films as Horror films; really it’s a Kids film and an unbearably bad one as well – fnord has reviewed it and that review speaks for my feelings as well.
For the record, Godzilla’s Revenge is the only one of these films I had watched before I started watching my down TSPDT’s 13,000 initial films list – I don’t know where they derived the films for that master list but I am stunned at how many mind-numbingly awful films I have watched because of it.

Thankfully I have only seen one half of this horrific double feature.

Thankfully I have only seen one half of this horrific double feature.

I Drink Your Blood  (dir. David Durston)

In the film Juno, Jason Bateman’s character is a fan of Herschell Gordon Lewis films.  He is also a fan of Sonic Youth.  Those two things tie together in my brain.  In both cases, your sense are so pummeled that you no longer have the ability to process information; it is sheer sensory overload.  No wonder he’s not ready to have a baby; that would require him to actually make use of his senses and at this point in his life he’s just looking to numb his senses to the point where they no longer function properly.

Now, I Drink Your Blood, the worst film of 1971, isn’t a Herschell Gordon Lewis film, but it certainly bears the imprint of the man who is the foremost purveyor of the splatter film.  They are the progenitors of such artistically empty films like the Hostel films or the Saw films, what has come to be called torture porn.

This film doesn’t just have Lewis to thank for its mindless gore; it is also clearly inspired by the Manson murders.  The story itself deals with a “charismatic” cult leader who takes his followers through drugs, rape and murder.  We even get a bizarre conclusion to the film where not only the cult members, but also a construction crew end up with rabies thanks to, in order, a dead dog, a meat pie and some seduction.

But part of the problem, aside from the assault on anything in your brain that judges morality or taste, is that the film is so badly made.  I put the word “charismatic” in quotes because while all accounts of Manson himself make it clear how much his charisma was a key to the hold he had over his followers, but Bhaskar Roy Chowdhury’s performance as the leader of the family lacks anything even resembling that.  We are simply informed that he the family follows him – we see nothing that would indicate why.

Now, Lewis might be your thing.  Splatter films might be your thing.  Personally, I find that whole subgenre to be rather worthless; not that I believe you can’t make a good splatter film, but that I have never seen any evidence that a good one has ever been made.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:   A Clockwork Orange / The Last Picture Show  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  A Clockwork Orange  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  A Clockwork Orange  (520)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Nicholas and Alexandra
  • 2nd Place Award:  The French Connection  (Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Editing)
  • 6th Place Award:  Klute  (Director, Editing)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  The Last Picture Show  (8)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  The French Connection   (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  The French Connection   (370)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  The Touch
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  Carnal Knowledge  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  A Clockwork Orange  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  A Clockwork Orange  (340)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Fiddler on the Roof

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  (440)

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

  • Drama:  59 (19)  –  The Last Picture Show  (64.0)
  • Foreign:  42  –  Mississippi Mermaid  (63.5)
  • Comedy:  22 (5)  –  Harold and Maude  (68.0)
  • Horror:  16 (3)  –  A Clockwork Orange  (49.4)
  • Action:  9 (1)  –  The French Connection  (67.1)
  • Western:  9 (4)  –  McCabe & Mrs. Miller  (60.4)
  • Crime:  8 (3)  –  10 Rillington Place  (65.6)
  • War:  6 (2)  –  Johnny Got His Gun  (58.7)
  • Musical:  6 (1)  –  The Music Lovers  (52)
  • Kids:  4  –  The Railway Children  (60.5)
  • Sci-Fi:  4  –  The Andromeda Strain  (49.5)
  • Adventure:  3 (2)  –  Michael the Brave  (63)
  • Suspense:  3 (1)  –  Klute  (55.3)
  • Fantasy:  3 (1)  –  The Hawks and the Sparrows  (55)
  • Mystery:  0

Analysis:  The genre films continue to flex their muscle.  Dramas, Comedies and Musicals account for only 56.8% of the films I’ve seen, the third lowest to date.  That’s because Horror hits 16 films again (tying its high) and Action hits 9 films (second highest to date).  This is only the second year that Action has been one of the five highest genres and only the third time that Musicals haven’t been.  Most of the genres are better as well.  Foreign, Musicals and Western are down a little while Suspense and War are down a lot (it’s the first time War hasn’t averaged ***).  But the other genres are all up from the year before.
As noted above, A Clockwork Orange is only the second Horror film to win the Nighthawk and 1970 and 1971 are the first back-to-back years when a film I classify as a Comedy in my Globes wins the overall award.  The French Connection is not only the best Action film to this date (in my genre list in 2008 I rated it the second best of all-time), but it’s the first Action film in the Top since 1965 and even the first in the Top 20 since 1966.  There are only two Foreign films in the Top 10 (lowest since 1967) and only 7 in the Top 20 (lowest since 1964).  But there are 12 Dramas in the Top 20, the highest since 1965.

Studio Note:  United Artists has only 11 films; these are its fewest since 1966, the first time it hasn’t had the most films since 1966 and the first time it hasn’t been one of the top two since 1965.  Instead, Paramount leads with 15; surprisingly, this is the first time Paramount has come out on top though it has been in second place many times, especially recently.  The 15 films from Paramount are the most I’ve seen from the studio in one year since 1933.  Columbia also has 15, its most since 1966.  Next is Universal, whose 12 films are the second most I’ve seen from the studio in one year.  Warners has the best films – it averages a 69.8, the highest by any studio in four years.  MGM is the worst, averaging a 56.86, though Paramount’s 59.47 is only the fifth time the studio has dropped below 60.  Overall, the majors account for 52% of all the films I’ve seen, the highest in four years and a height that won’t be reached again for a long time.
Warner Bros wins Best Picture at the Nighthawks for the fourth time in six years and the it is the first studio to reach 8 wins, with Columbia the only other one up to 6.  Oddly, though this is the third Kubrick win, they are all with different studios.  Warners also becomes the first studio other than UA since 1955 to land three films in the Top 10 (Clockwork, McCabe, Klute).  The majors account for 9 of the Top 10 for the first time since 1953 (Garden is the lone holdout).  Play Misty for Me comes in 20th overall on the year, making it the first Universal film in seven years to make the Top 20.

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):

  • A Bay of Blood  (Bava, Italy)
  • Le Beoucher  (Chabrol, France)
  • Black Seed  (Cenevski, Yugoslavia)  *
  • The Castle  (Noelte, West Germany)  *
  • The Ceremony  (Oshima, Japan)
  • Companeros  (Corbucci, Italy)
  • The Crook  (Lelouch, France)
  • Daughters of Darkness  (Kumel, Belgium)
  • Death in Venice  (Visconti, Italy)
  • The Decameron  (Pasolini, Italy)
  • Deep End  (Skolimowski, Belgium)
  • Dodes Ka-Den  (Kurosawa, Japan)  **
  • The Emigrants  (Troell, Sweden)  **
  • Family Life  (Zanussi, Poland)  *
  • Fists of Fury  (Lo, Hong Kong)
  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis  (de Sica, Italy)  ***
  • The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick  (Wenders, West Germany)
  • Just Before Nightfall  (Chabrol, France)
  • King Lear  (Kozintsev, USSR)
  • Love  (Makk, Hungary)  *
  • Maid in Sweden  (Wolman, Sweden)
  • Malpertuis  (Kumel, Belgium)
  • The Merchant of Four Seasons  (Fassbinder, West Germany)
  • Michael the Brave  (Nicolaescu, Romania)  *
  • Mon Oncle Antoine  (Jutra, Canada)  *
  • Murmur of the Heart  (Malle, France)
  • The New One-Armed Swordsman  (Chang, Hong Kong)
  • The Policeman  (Kishon, Israel)  **
  • Porcupines are Born Without Bristles  (Petrov, Bulgaria)  *
  • Pra Quem Ficha, Tchau  (Faria, Brazil)  *
  • Ramparts of Clay  (Bertucelli, France)  *
  • Reshma Aur Shera  (Dutt, India)  *
  • Sacco and Vanzetti  (Montaldo, Italy)
  • She Killed in Ecstasy  (Franco, Spain)
  • Smic Smac Smoc  (Lelouch, France)
  • Tchaikovsky  (Talankin, USSR)  **
  • Ten Days Wonder  (Chabrol, France)
  • Tis Pity She’s a Whore  (Griffi, Italy)
  • Tombs of the Blind Dead  (de Ossorio, Spain)
  • El Topo  (Jodorowsky, Mexico)  *
  • Touch of Zen  (Hu, Hong Kong)
  • Two English Girls  (Truffaut, France)
  • Vampyros Lesbos  (Franco, Spain)
  • The White Sun of the Desert  (Motyl, USSR)
  • Whity  (Fassbinder, West Germany)
  • A Woman and a Man  (Mostafa, Egypt)  *

Note: I have my first film from Bulgaria in seven years and my first Canadian film in French in seven years.  I have my first film from Mexico in five years.  I have three films from Belgium, as many as I had from 1948 to 1970 combined.  I have three films from Hong Kong, as many as 1964 to 1970 combined.  I have no film from Czechoslovakia for the first time since 1963 (partially because they don’t submit a film to the Oscars).  I set a new high from West Germany with four films, although with Fassbinder, Wenders and Herzog now all working that will continue to stay higher.  For the second year in a row, I have two films from Japan after not having that few since 1950.  The leaders, of course, are France (8) and Italy (7), although those numbers are both below average.
Thanks partially to Chabrol, there are four Suspense films, as many as 1965 to 1970 combined.  There are no Kids films for the first time since 1964.

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

  • Denmark:  The Missing Clerk  (dir. Fredholm)
  • Netherlands:  Mira  (dir. Rademakers)
  • Spain:  Marta  (dir. Conde)

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 17 for 20, my best in eight years.
I am of course missing Denmark, as is the case almost every year.  I went through a lot of effort to get Mira to no result.  This is the sixth time I am missing the Spanish submission.  It’s the only the fifth time that the Netherlands has submitted but it’s the second one I am missing; they will soon start to rival Denmark.
Nine countries submit that didn’t the year before, including the first submission from Bulgaria.

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

  • Senso  (1954)
  • Accattone  (1961)
  • Black God, White Devil  (1964)
  • Black Peter  (1964)
  • Pale Flower  (1964)
  • The Hawks and the Sparrows  (1966)
  • Red Angel  (1966)
  • The Dirty Outlaws  (1967)
  • Death by Hanging  (1968)
  • The Battle of Neretvna  (1969)
  • Boy  (1969)
  • Godzilla’s Revenge  (1969)
  • The Red Tent  (1969)
  • The Rite  (1969)
  • Bed and Board  (1970)
  • Brewster McCloud  (1970)
  • Claire’s Knee  (1970)
  • The Conformist  (1970)
  • Equinox  (1970)
  • Even Dwarfs Started Small  (1970)
  • Figures in a Landscape  (1970)
  • The Go-Between  (1970)
  • Horror of Frankenstein  (1970)
  • Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion  (1970)
  • Invincible Six  (1970)
  • Kes  (1970)
  • The Music Lovers  (1970)
  • The Railway Children  (1970)
  • Scars of Dracula  (1970)
  • They Call Me Trinity  (1970)
  • THX-1138  (1970)
  • Wanda  (1970)
  • Waterloo  (1970)
  • When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth  (1970)

Note:  These 34 films average a 63.3.  But they only account for 7 Nighthawk nominations (three of which are Foreign Film in their original years), so they’re not as big a deal as in previous years.  There are five films in the Top 20 but only one in the Top 13 (Investigation).

Films Not Listed at

  • Black God, White Devil
  • Black Peter
  • Black Seed
  • Bleak Moments
  • The Dirty Outlaws
  • Even Dwarfs Started Small
  • Family Life
  • Figures in a Landscape
  • Malpertuis
  • Michael the Brave
  • Porcupines are Born Without Bristles
  • Pra Quem Fica, Tchau
  • Punishment Park
  • Red Angel
  • Reshma Aur Shera
  • Seemabaddha
  • She Killed in Ecstasy
  • Touch of Zen
  • Vampyros Lesbos
  • Wake in Fright
  • The White Sun of the Desert
  • Whity
  • A Woman and a Man

Note:  I use the list at for deciding which year films are eligible in.  Some films, however, don’t appear in that database.  For those films, I use the IMDb.  These are the films that aren’t listed in the database but that end up in this year.
As is usually the case, most of these are Foreign films which never get an L.A. release.  Seven of them (Black Swan, Family Life, Michael the Brave, Porcupines are Born Without Bristles, Pra Quem Fica Tchau, REshma Aur Shera, A Woman and a Man) were even submitted the Academy for the Best Foreign Film award – that number will continue to grow as the submission list gets longer.

Films Released This Year Originally But Eligible in a Different Year 

  • A Bay of Blood  (1972)
  • Le Beoucher  (1972)
  • Bloomfield  (1972)
  • Companeros  (1972)
  • Countess Dracula  (1972)
  • The Decameron  (1972)
  • Dracula vs. Frankenstein  (1972)
  • The Emigrants  (1972)
  • A Fistful of Dynamite  (1972)
  • Kidnapped  (1972)
  • Mon Oncle Antoine  (1972)
  • Murmur of the Heart  (1972)
  • Ramparts of Clay  (1972)
  • Red Sun  (1972)
  • Smic Smac Smoc  (1972)
  • Ten Days Wonder  (1972)
  • Tombs of the Blind Dead  (1972)
  • Uncle Vanya  (1972)
  • Under Milk Wood  (1972)
  • The Blood on Satan’s Claw  (1973)
  • Family Life  (1973)
  • Fists of Fury  (1973)
  • Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster  (1973)
  • Gumshoe  (1973)
  • Love  (1973)
  • The Merchant of Four Seasons  (1973)
  • The New One-Armed Swordsman  (1973)
  • The Policeman  (1973)
  • Tis Pity She’s a Whore  (1973)
  • Two English Girls  (1973)
  • And Now for Something Completely Different  (1975)
  • Happy Birthday, Wanda June  (1975)
  • Just Before Nightfall  (1975)
  • Maid in Sweden  (1975)
  • The Ceremony  (1977)
  • The Goalie’s Anxiety at the Penalty Kick  (1977)
  • King Lear  (1977)

Note:  These 37 average a 59.7.  The Emigrants would have contended in several categories but it’s King Lear that is the big film that moves into another year.  It’s the best film on this list by nine points.