“Red represents for me the interior of the soul” – Ingmar Bergman

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. Cries and Whispers  **
  2. Mean Streets
  3. The Exorcist  *
  4. American Graffiti  *
  5. The Sting  *
  6. Serpico
  7. Last Tango in Paris
  8. Don’t Look Now
  9. The Day of the Jackal  *
  10. The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Analysis:  This is a fantastic Top 5 and a fantastic Top 10.  The Top 10 is the best since 1962 and the third best to date.  All of these are **** films and there are even two more (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, Enter the Dragon).  What’s better is that these 12 films encompass seven different genres (in order: Drama, Crime, Horror, Comedy, Suspense, Western, Action).  This time I ended up putting The Sting in the Top 5 over Serpico, but it easily could have gone the other way.  The sad thing, of course, is that with all these great films, the fifth Best Picture nominee was A Touch of Class which is my #85 of the year.  Still, it does give the year a score of 79.5, the best to date.
Cries and Whispers wins the NYFC and the NSFC and joins Z as the second Foreign language film to win the Consensus Award.

  • ingmar-bergmanBest Director
  1. Ingmar Bergman  (Cries and Whispers)  **
  2. Martin Scorsese  (Mean Streets)
  3. William Friedkin  (The Exorcist)  *
  4. Bernardo Bertolucci  (Last Tango in Paris)  *
  5. Nicholas Roeg  (Don’t Look Now)
  6. Sidney Lumet  (Serpico)
  7. George Lucas  (American Graffiti)  *
  8. George Roy Hill  (The Sting)  *
  9. Sam Peckinpah  (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid)
  10. Peter Yates  (The Friends of Eddie Coyle)

Analysis:  It’s the only nomination for Roeg, the first for Bertolucci, the second (and last) for Friedkin and the first (of many) for Scorsese.  It’s the seventh nomination (and second win) for Bergman.  He’s now at 405 points and tied for sixth place.
Bergman becomes the first director to win the Consensus without a DGA nomination since the DGA began their awards in 1948.  He does it by winning the NYFC and NBR and earning an Oscar nom.  Hill wins the DGA and Oscar but fails to earn any other nominations.
This year earns a fantastic score of 95.1, the best to date
This is a fantastic top 5 – it ties 1969 as the second best to date and is the best of the decade.
This is another category where Serpico ends up in 6th while it used to be in the Top 5.  Don’t count that against Serpico, which is a fantastic film and would be in the Top 5 in most years and probably could end up here on another day.  This Top 5 is just too damn good.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The Exorcist  **
  2. Serpico  *
  3. The Day of the Jackal
  4. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  5. Don’t Look Now
  6. Paper Moon  *
  7. The Last Detail  *
  8. The Policeman
  9. A Doll’s House
  10. Bang the Drum Slowly

Analysis:  As I have often found to be the case, when one category of screenplays is really good, the other suffers.  This is the weakest Top 5 in this category in eight years and the second weakest in 17 years.
I’ve read four of the original sources – The Exorcist (terrible), The Day of the Jackal (okay), The Friends of Eddie Coyle (quite enjoyable) and A Doll’s House (brilliant).

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Cries and Whispers  *
  2. American Graffiti  **
  3. The Sting  *
  4. Mean Streets
  5. Sleeper
  6. Save the Tiger  *
  7. Last Tango in Paris
  8. I Love You Rosa
  9. O Lucky Man
  10. State of Siege

Analysis:  American Graffiti wins the Consensus, but it’s kind of a technical win.  It and Cries both earn Oscar noms and win the NYFC and NSFC awards (Cries wins in 1972 for both), but Cries isn’t eligible for the WGA where Graffiti is nominated, so the latter takes the Consensus win.  Astoundingly, both The Sting and American Graffiti lose at the WGA to A Touch of Class.
Woody Allen earns his fourth nomination in less than a decade.  But he’s outdone by Ingmar Bergman, of course, earning also his fifth in the last decade, his 13th overall and his 7th win, though it’s his first win in 10 years.  He’s now up to 800 points, still 160 behind Billy Wilder.
This year ties for the best top 5 to date.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Marlon Brando  (Last Tango in Paris)  **
  2. Al Pacino  (Serpico)  *
  3. Jack Lemmon  (Save the Tiger)  *
  4. Jack Nicholson  (The Last Detail)  *
  5. Donald Sutherland  (Don’t Look Now)  *
  6. Robert Mitchum  (The Friends of Eddie Coyle)
  7. Edward Fox  (The Day of the Jackal)
  8. Robert Redford  (The Sting)
  9. Paul Newman  (The Sting)
  10. Steve McQueen  (Papillon)

Analysis:  Another strong Top 5 – there hasn’t been a better one since 1963.  The Academy does well, with a score of 97.3, the highest since 1928.
It’s the first nomination for Sutherland.  It’s the second of four straight nominations for Pacino and the first of three straight second place Best Actor finishes for him, all of which are good enough to win, but just have bad luck.  It’s the third nomination for Nicholson, but the first of three straight (two of which he will win).  It’s the fourth nomination for Lemmon and his first in over a decade.  It’s also the fourth for Brando, but it’s his third win.
For years and years I had Pacino as my winner here.  He’s just so phenomenal as Frank Serpico.  But, several years ago when I went through and made a list of the very best performances in film history, I re-watched Last Tango and felt that Brando really does something amazing here, as Pauline Kael says “The excitement of Brando’s performance here is in the revelation of how creative screen acting can be.”

  • Best Actress
  1. Liv Ullmann  (Cries and Whispers)  **
  2. Ingrid Thulin  (Cries and Whispers)
  3. Ellen Burstyn  (The Exorcist)
  4. Joanne Woodward  (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams)  *
  5. Claire Bloom  (A Doll’s House)
  6. Julie Christie  (Don’t Look Now)
  7. Barbra Streisand  (The Way We Were)  *
  8. Marsha Mason  (Cinderella Liberty)  *
  9. Liv Ullmann  (The New Land)  **
  10. Glenda Jackson  (A Touch of Class)  *

Analysis:  Tied with 1967 for the second best Top 5 to date.  But, with the Academy not bothering to nominate either of Bergman’s stars, the score is just a 68.4, the lowest in almost 20 years.
Ullmann wins the Consensus in spite of missing out on an Oscar nom because she wins three critics awards (NYFC, NSFC, NBR) and earns a Globe noms.  But, I combine films for the Consensus, the ways critics do, and so two of those awards are solely for The New Land, one is for both The New Land and Cries and Whispers and her Globe Comedy nom is for The 40 Carats.  Her NYFC award was actually given the year before, as this year they pick Woodward, who, if I didn’t combine films, would win the Consensus Award, also winning the BAFTA and earning Oscar and Globe noms.  I am really rather stunned that Burstyn can’t even manage a Consensus nom, but she only earned Oscar and Globe noms while Mason and Jackson won the two Globe awards and Streisand added a BAFTA nom.
Claire Bloom earns her second (and last) nomination.  Burstyn earns her second, Woodward her fourth and Thulin her fifth (none of which she wins).  In her fifth nomination, Ullmann finally wins, what is surprisingly, her only Nighthawk.  But it’s the appropriate one to win for, as I think this is the best of a magnificent career.

  • deniroBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Robert De Niro  (Mean Streets)  *
  2. Jason Miller  (The Exorcist)
  3. John Houseman  (The Paper Chase)  **
  4. Erland Josephson  (Cries and Whispers)
  5. Robert De Niro  (Bang the Drum Slowly)  *
  6. Robert Ryan  (The Iceman Cometh)
  7. Denholm Elliot  (A Doll’s House)
  8. Martin Balsam  (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams)
  9. Max von Sydow  (The Exorcist)
  10. Vincent Gardenia  (Bang the Drum Slowly)

Analysis:  Ryan actually counts as one of my nominees because of the two nominations for De Niro.
My #11 and 12 are Randy Quaid (The Last Detail) and Jack Guilford (Save the Tiger), both of whom are Oscar and Consensus nominees.  De Niro is listed in the Consensus for both films (he won the NYFC and NSFC).
It’s the only nominations for Miller and Houseman.  It’s the first nomination for Josephson, who will earn another the next year.  It’s the fourth (and final) nomination for Ryan.  De Niro earns his first two nominations; more importantly this is the first of his incredible four acting wins before the decade is over.

  • anderssonBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Harriet Andersson  (Cries and Whispers)
  2. Kari Sylwan  (Cries and Whispers)
  3. Linda Blair  (The Exorcist)  *
  4. Tatum O’Neal  (Paper Moon)  *
  5. Candy Clark  (American Graffiti)  *
  6. Sylvia Sidney  (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams)  **
  7. Madeline Kahn  (Paper Moon)  *
  8. Yvonne Elliman  (Jesus Christ Superstar)

Analysis:  The best Top 5 to date, lead by the two magnificent performances in Cries.
Sidney easily wins the Consensus, as she is the only critics winner (she wins the NBR while the NYFC and NSFC go to Valentina Cortese who won’t be eligible here until 1974) and is the only person nominated for the Oscar, BAFTA and Globe.  This was her first film role in 17 years and was the only time she was ever nominated for an Oscar.  O’Neal won the Oscar while Blair won the Globe.  O’Neal was nominated as a lead at the Globes and if I didn’t go with Academy classification for acting roles, I would put her in the lead – it’s only her age that landed her here.  If she had been in the lead category, she would have been my #5 and bumped Claire Bloom.
Harriet Andersson is the only one of my Top 5 who has ever earned another nomination, before or since.  She earns her fourth nomination and her third win.  She becomes just the fifth actress to win three Nighthawk Awards, joining Lilian Gish, Janet Gaynor, Ingrid Bergman and Katharine Hepburn.  She is only the seventh to win two Nighthawk Supporting Actress awards, joining fellow Bergman star Bibi Andersson.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Cries and Whispers
  2. Don’t Look Now
  3. The Exorcist
  4. Mean Streets
  5. American Graffiti
  6. The Day of the Jackal
  7. Serpico
  8. The Sting
  9. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  10. Battles Without Honour and Humanity

Analysis:  The best Top 5 to date, although 1974 will actually beat it.  The score at the Oscars is a 68.3, sadly the best score to date in the category, but 1975 will fix that.  Cries, I think has the best editing as a whole, but there are few scenes in film history edited as magnificently and creatively as the sex scene in Don’t Look Now.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Cries and Whispers  **
  2. The Exorcist  *
  3. Last Tango in Paris
  4. Mean Streets
  5. Don’t Look Now
  6. Serpico
  7. The Day of the Jackal
  8. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  9. The Sting  *
  10. Battles Without Honour and Humanity

Analysis:  Cries and Whispers is not only the first Foreign film to win this Consensus Award, it’s the first time the winner at the NSFC (at this point the only critics group that gives an award in this category) even earns an Oscar nomination; for good measure it was also nominated at the BAFTAs.
Sven Nykvist wins his third Nighthawk Award and takes over first place with 250 points.
This is tied for the best Top 5 to date.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Battles Without Honour and Humanity
  2. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  3. Papillon
  4. Don’t Look Now
  5. State of Siege
  6. Enter the Dragon
  7. The Way We Were
  8. Last Tango in Paris
  9. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  10. Tom Sawyer

Analysis:  Mikis Theodorakis earns his fourth Nighthawk nomination (this one for State of Siege) and Jerry Goldsmith earns his second (for Papillon).  Bob Dylan comes in 2nd place but this will be his only appearance at the Nighthawks for Score.
The Oscars bombed in this category, earning only a 35.7, the worst score since 1963.

  • Best Sound:
  1. The Exorcist
  2. Serpico
  3. Enter the Dragon
  4. The Day of the Jackal
  5. Mean Streets
  6. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  7. The Sting
  8. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  9. American Graffiti
  10. Battles Without Honour and Humanity

Analysis:  The third best Top 5 to date, and at least the Academy got the winner right.  I can understand them not nominating Enter the Dragon – not really the Academy’s cup of tea – but to nominate The Paper Chase or Paper Moon over the sounds of New York’s streets in Serpico?

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. Cries and Whispers
  2. The Sting
  3. Sleeper
  4. Don’t Look Now
  5. Last Tango in Paris
  6. The Way We Were
  7. The Exorcist
  8. Enter the Dragon
  9. Mean Streets
  10. The Friends of Eddie Coyle

Analysis:  This one I don’t fault the Oscars for – The Sting really has some fantastic sets.  But Cries and Whispers relies partially on its red sets in the way it comes alive.  And Sleeper deserves a lot of credit for its futuristic, yet modernistic sets.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. The Exorcist

Analysis:  I actually thought of including a video clip below of the crab-walk and then I thought, really, do I need to freak the crap out of my readers?

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. The Exorcist
  2. Enter the Dragon
  3. Battles Without Honour and Humanity
  4. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  5. Serpico
  • Best Costume Design:
  1. Cries and Whispers
  2. The Sting
  3. Ludwig
  4. The Way We Were
  5. Lady Caroline Lamb
  6. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  7. The Hireling
  8. The New Land
  9. Paper Moon
  10. Sleeper

Analysis:  A good score for the Academy (92.9), the best in six years; the other Oscar nominee was Tom Sawyer, which was my #13.  Ludwig is a terrible film and Lady Caroline Lamb is fairly mediocre, but they both have good costumes (and Ludwig revolves around one of my favorite places on earth which someday I will get to – Neuschwanstein).

  • Best Makeup
  1. The Exorcist
  2. Cries and Whispers
  3. Papillon
  4. The Day of the Jackal

Analysis:  Again, I thought of putting in an image, and then I thought, nah, better not.  You can just Google it if you think I’m mistaken in this award.

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”  (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid)
  2. I Got a Name”  (The Last American Hero)
  3. Oo-de-lally”  (Robin Hood)
  4. “The Harder They Come”  (The Harder They Come)
  5. “O Lucky Man”  (O Lucky Man!)
  6. “The Way We Were”  (The Way We Were)
  7. “Live and Let Die”  (Live and Let Die)
  8. “Billy”  (Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid)
  9. “You Can Get It If You Really Want It”  (The Harder They Come)
  10. “Love”  (Robin Hood)

Analysis:  The semi-finalists are in orange.
This is the most varied great Top 5 to date.  What I mean by that is that four years beat this one and all four of those, 1937, 1939, 1964 and 1965, are dominated by one or two films.  This year has five different films in the top 5.  In fact, the top five songs are all very different.  But to me, there’s no question that Dylan comes out on top with one of his best songs ever.  My favorite version of it is actually by The Alarm, and if you look closely, maybe you can see my brother and sister in the crowd.  I actually specifically watched The Last American Hero just so I could include “I Got a Name” and “Oo-de-lally” is just such a wonderful little song that Thomas walks around singing.
There are 197 eligible songs from 96 different films according to oscars.org.  Of the 12 films with more than three eligible songs, I have seen all but Runaway (which only had four).  But, most of those songs are terrible.  I should point out that oscars.org doesn’t actually list “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, which is odd, since, as I mention above, it was in the original version released in 1973.  But, screw them, it was written for the film and it’s brilliant, so I’m putting it in.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. none

Analysis:  There are four eligible films in this year.  One of them, The Naked Ape, is only partially animated and is supposed to be a mess, but I haven’t been able to see it.  That leaves three.  The best of those is Charlotte’s Web, which is good, but isn’t good enough to earn a nomination.  After that is Robin Hood, a solid film, but the first Disney film since the 1949 not to earn a nomination and the first since 1947 not to be the best Animated film of the year.  I ranked it at #33 on my Disney list.  The last is Heavy Traffic, a Ralph Bakshi film, which means I think it’s terrible.  I have never seen a Bakshi film I thought was any good.

  • la-nuit-americaine-a01Best Foreign Film:
  1. Day for Night  **
  2. Scenes from a Marriage
  3. Aguirre the Wrath of God
  4. Battles Without Honour and Humanity
  5. The Spirit of the Beehive
  6. Bread and Chocolate
  7. L’Invitation  *

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated (none this year among my list).

Analysis:  With Herzog now in the mix, West Germany has its first nomination since 1959 and Herzog earns his first nomination.  Truffaut earns his fourth win in six nominations and is up to 200 points and tied with Renoir for 4th place.  Bergman earns his 14th nomination and moves up to 420 points, just 20 behind Kurosawa.  The irony is that Scenes is a better film than several of Bergman’s wins.  Scenes is, in fact, the second best #2 in this category to date (and possibly ever), behind only Throne of Blood.  Aguirre is the third best #3 to date, behind only Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and The Cranes are Flying.  The top three ties 1972 for the third best Top 3 to date.  Even with the nine point drop-off to Battles, it’s tied for the third best Top 4 to date.  Even with another seven point drop to Beehive, it’s tied for the fifth best Top 5 to date.

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.

  • Cries and Whispers  (715)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction, Costume Design, Makeup, Foreign Film (1972)
  • The Exorcist   (460)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Mean Streets  (265)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Sound
  • Don’t Look Now  (215)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Art Direction
  • Last Tango in Paris  (160)
    • Director, Actor, Cinematography, Art Direction
  • American Graffiti  (145)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress, Editing
  • The Sting  (125)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Serpico  (115)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Battles Without Honour and Humanity  (90)
    • Original Score, Sound Editing, Foreign Film
  • The Day of the Jackal  (70)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Sound, Makeup
  • Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid  (65)
    • Original Score, Sound Editing, Original Song
  • Sleeper  (60)
    • Original Screenplay, Art Direction
  • State of Siege  (45)
    • Original Score, Foreign Film (1972)
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Enter the Dragon  (40)
    • Sound, Sound Editing
  • The Last Detail  (35)
    • Actor
  • Save the Tiger  (35)
    • Actor
  • A Doll’s House  (35)
    • Actress
  • Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams  (35)
    • Actress
  • Papillon  (35)
    • Original Score, Makeup
  • The Iceman Cometh  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Bang the Drum Slowly  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • The Paper Chase  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Paper Moon  (30)
    • Supporting Actress
  • I Love You Rosa  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • The Way We Were  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Lady Caroline Lamb  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Ludwig  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • O Lucky Man  (10)
    • Original Song
  • The Harder They Come  (10)
    • Original Song
  • Robin Hood  (10)
    • Original Song
  • The Last American Hero  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  With a lot of films getting just one nomination, there are 7 more films receiving nominations than the year before.  The Exorcist is in a tie for 6th place for points for a film that didn’t win Best Picture.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • The Policeman

Analysis:  A very good Israeli comedy that comes in 6th place in Foreign Film in 1971 and is my #19 film of the year.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • A Touch of Class

Analysis:  I can at least understand how this film won Best Actress – Glenda Jackson was clearly a great actress, even if I think she’s the weakest of the five performances.  But that this film was nominated for Best Picture over Serpico or Last Tango in Paris is mind-boggling.  Overall, it won 4 awards (Oscar, 2 Globes (Actor, Actress) and the WGA) and earned 13 total nominations (5 Oscars, 2 BAFTAs, 5 Globes and the WGA).  I said in my review of it that there were 50 better films in the year.  Now that I’ve gone through the year again and seen more films, I can say there are 84 better films in this year.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:

Drama:

  • Best Picture
  1. Cries and Whispers
  2. Mean Streets
  3. The Exorcist
  4. Serpico
  5. Last Tango in Paris

Analysis:  Cries and Whispers was actually nominated for Foreign Film and it was in 1972.  This is the best Top 5 in this category since 1963.

  • Best Director
  1. Ingmar Bergman  (Cries and Whispers)
  2. Martin Scorsese  (Mean Streets)
  3. William Friedkin  (The Exorcist)
  4. Bernardo Bertolucci  (Last Tango in Paris)
  5. Nicholas Roeg  (Don’t Look Now)

Analysis:  It’s the only nomination for Roeg, the first for Bertolucci, the second (and last) for Friedkin and the first (of many) for Scorsese.  It’s the sixth nomination and second win for Bergman, putting him at 360 points and in a tie for 7th place.  It’s the second best Top 5 in this category to date, behind only 1946.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The Exorcist
  2. Serpico
  3. Day of the Jackal
  4. The Friends of Eddie Coyle
  5. Don’t Look Now
  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Cries and Whispers
  2. Mean Streets
  3. Save the Tiger
  4. Last Tango in Paris
  5. I Love You Rosa

Analysis:  After losing five years in a row from 67-71, Bergman wins in this category for the first time since 1963.  It’s his 7th win and his 15 nomination, putting him at 880 points, 120 above anyone else.
This is the best Top 5 in six years, but will be completely blown away by the next year.

  • last tangoBest Actor:
  1. Marlon Brando  (Last Tango in Paris)
  2. Al Pacino  (Serpico)
  3. Jack Lemmon  (Save the Tiger)
  4. Jack Nicholson  (The Last Detail)
  5. Donald Sutherland  (Don’t Look Now)

Analysis:  Surprisingly this is the first Drama nomination for Jack Lemmon, though he’ll have a few more.  It’s the second for Sutherland, second for Pacino, third for Nicholson and fifth for Brando.  It does finally move Brando into the Top 10 in points for Drama with 280.

  • ullmannBest Actress
  1. Liv Ullmann  (Cries and Whispers)
  2. Ingrid Thulin  (Cries and Whispers)
  3. Ellen Burstyn  (The Exorcist)
  4. Joanne Woodward  (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams)
  5. Claire Bloom  (A Doll’s House)

Analysis:  Bloom earns her second Drama nomination, Burstyn earns her second, Thulin earns her fifth (all losses) and Woodward earns her fifth.  Ullmann earns her sixth nomination in seven years and her second straight win; this puts her at 280 points and a tie for 6th place.
This is the second best Top 5 in this category to date, behind only 1950.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Robert De Niro  (Mean Streets)
  2. Jason Miller  (The Exorcist)
  3. John Houseman  (The Paper Chase)
  4. Erland Josephson  (Cries and Whispers)
  5. Robert De Niro  (Bang the Drum Slowly)

Analysis:  Again, these are the only nominations for Houseman and Miller and the first for Josephson.  De Niro earns his first of four wins in just six years.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Harriet Andersson  (Cries and Whispers)
  2. Kari Sylwan  (Cries and Whispers)
  3. Linda Blair  (The Exorcist)
  4. Sylvia Sidney  (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams)

Analysis:  Blair, Sidney and Sylwan earn their only nominations.  Andersson earns her fourth Drama nomination and her second win.
Andersson and Sylwan are so good that this is the best Top 5 in this category since 1962 even though it doesn’t have five nominees.

Points:

  • Cries and Whispers  (495)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Exorcist  (270)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Last Tango in Paris  (205)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor
  • Mean Streets  (195)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • Serpico  (125)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Don’t Look Now  (120)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Save the Tiger  (75)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor
  • Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams  (65)
    • Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Friends of Eddie Coyle  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Day of the Jackal  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • I Love You Rosa  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Last Detail  (35)
    • Actor
  • A Doll’s House  (35)
    • Actress
  • Bang the Drum Slowly  (30)
    • Supporting Actress
  • The Paper Chase  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

Analysis:  My #10 film of the year (#8 in Drama), but none of the acting is strong enough (nor is the writing) and in Picture and Director it’s stuck below the strong top 7 films.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. American Graffiti
  2. The Sting
  3. Sleeper
  4. The Policeman
  5. Paper Moon

Analysis:  It’s a fantastic 1-2 punch, but then there’s a 10 point drop to Sleeper and another 6 point drop to The Policeman.

  • Best Director
  1. George Lucas  (American Graffiti)
  2. George Roy Hill  (The Sting)
  3. Woody Allen  (Sleeper)
  4. Peter Bogdanovich  (Paper Moon)

Analysis:  Hill earns his second nomination while Lucas and Bogdanovich earn their only noms.  Allen earns his first nomination but by the end of the decade he will be in the Top 10 in points.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Paper Moon
  2. The Policeman
  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. American Graffiti
  2. The Sting
  3. Sleeper
  4. O Lucky Man
  5. Gumshoe

Analysis:  Woody Allen earns his sixth Comedy nomination.  He’s already up to 280 points and 4th place, in less than a decade.
This is the best Top 5 in this category since 1952 and tied for the 3rd best to date.

  • stingBest Actor:
  1. Robert Redford  (The Sting)
  2. Paul Newman  (The Sting)
  3. Albert Finney  (Gumshoe)
  4. Ryan O’Neal  (Paper Moon)
  5. Shaike Ophir  (The Policeman)

Analysis:  These are the only nominations for O’Neal and Ophir.  It’s the second nomination for Newman, the third for Finney and the fourth in less than a decade for Redford, though it’s his first win.  For once, I actually have a much longer list in this category, including Carl Anderson (Jesus Christ Superstar), Woody Allen (Sleeper) and George Segal (A Touch of Class).

  • cinderellaBest Actress
  1. Marsha Mason  (Cinderella Liberty)
  2. Glenda Jackson  (A Touch of Class)
  3. Diane Keaton  (Sleeper)

Analysis:  Mason actually won for Drama, which is doubly stupid, first because it’s a Comedy and second because there’s no way she should have won over Burstyn.
Jackson earns her second (and final) Comedy nomination.  Mason earns her first nomination but also marries Neil Simon and will be back for more in his work.  Keaton earns her first, but she’ll have three more nominations by the end of the decade.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. none

Analysis:  Yes, I really couldn’t fill this category, which is surprising because the Best Actor category had a lot more besides my Top 5.  But most of the good Comedies just didn’t have any noteworthy roles for supporting males, let alone performances worth mentioning.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Tatum O’Neal  (Paper Moon)
  2. Candy Clark  (American Graffiti)
  3. Madeline Kahn  (Paper Moon)
  4. Yvonne Elliman  (Jesus Christ Superstar)

Analysis:  O’Neal and Elliman were both nominated for lead, in the former case probably because that’s were she really belonged and in the latter case because there just wasn’t enough to fill the category, as can be seen above.  If I had put O’Neal in the lead category she would have won.
O’Neal, Clark and Elliman earn their only nominations.  Kahn earns her first of three nominations in two years.

Points:

  • American Graffiti  (300)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • Paper Moon  (300)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actress
  • The Sting  (240)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actor
  • Sleeper  (170)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • The Policeman  (125)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Gumshoe  (75)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Cinderella Liberty  (70)
    • Actress
  • O Lucky Man  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • A Touch of Class  (35)
    • Actress
  • Jesus Christ Superstar  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  A big drop in the number of nominated films, with five fewer than the year before.  There’s the weirdness of what categories you end up in.  The Sting is my #5 film of the year but it is beaten in points by Paper Moon, which is my #20 film of the year, primarily because Paper Moon is adapted.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Charlotte’s Web

Analysis:  A nice animated film, my #9 Comedy, but my #37 of the year.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  157

By Stars:

  • ****:  12
  • ***.5:  9
  • ***:  73
  • **.5:  38
  • **:  18
  • *.5:  5
  • *:  1
  • .5:  1
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  63.43

Analysis:  Six points higher than the year before and the highest in five years.  That’s partially because there are 12 **** films, the most since 1963.  There are also only 2 films worse than *.5, the lowest total in six years.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

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

  • The National Health  (BAFTA – Best Editing)

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  This is, by far, the best year to date. I also wrote that in 1972, but it takes that kind of quantum leap again.  This is the 7th best year in history, 16 spots better than any year before it, and there won’t be a better year until 1973.  Yes, they nominated A Touch of Class, and if they had gone with Serpico (Actor, Adapted Screenplay noms) or Last Tango in Paris (Director, Actor noms), it would be the second best year.  As is often the case in a great year, they don’t get the winner right.  This year they picked the fourth best of the nominees.  In the six years better than this, twice they picked the best film but the other four times they picked the worst.

The Winners:  That win is reflected in the score for the winners.  The average Oscar winner ranks at 2.29 among the nominees, the weakest in eight years, including picking the weakest choice in both Director and Actress.  But overall, the winners rank at 3.88 among all films, which is still pretty good.  Only five categories have a winner outside my Top 5 and only Actress is outside my Top 8 (and even that’s my #10).

The Nominees:  The overall score is a 70.8, which is down almost two points from the year before but is still the second best score to date.  The Tech score is a 58.4, which is down five points from the year before but is still considerably above the average to this date.  The acting is a solid 80.0 with a really high score in Actor (97.4) balanced out by a below average Actress score (68.4).  The major categories earn a best-to-date 83.9, namely because Picture (79.5) and Director (95.1) both have new highs.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  At least they got one thing right – they gave the award to American Graffiti.  They also nominated Paper Moon, which was the right choice.  The other three choices weren’t nearly so good: A Touch of Class, Jesus Christ Superstar (I love the stage musical but the film is badly flawed) and Tom Sawyer.  On the one hand, they missed The Sting altogether (it was only nominated for Screenplay – the only Oscar winner to fail to be nominated for Best Picture at the Globes between 1955 and 2005), but with their bizarre classifications, they might have decided it was a Drama.  They still missed out on Sleeper, though.  There wasn’t a great slate of nominees, but it still could have been a lot better.  With the five they did nominate, this year stands at #42 overall (out of 65), which is eight spots worse than the year before, but considerably better than each of the next three years.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  Cries and Whispers  (reviewed here)

Mean-Streets-1973-Theatrical-Poster

Martin Scorsese’s breakthrough into film genius. He’s pretty much stayed there ever since.

2  –  Mean Streets  (dir. Martin Scorsese)

Rock and roll has been in the movies pretty much as long as it’s been around.  Just watch Blackboard Jungle, from 1955, and listen to “Rock Around the Clock”.  Then, it gets carried down through Elvis to the Beatles and they revolutionize what it can do on film.  In 1973, American Graffiti really showed what you could do by filling up the soundtrack and letting it guide you through a film.  But, in this same year, comes Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets.  There are a lot of great openings in film history and several of them use songs to punctuate them (Trainspotting is the first example that comes to mind) but few of them work as well in time with the beat as Mean Streets does, partially because Marty is such a brilliant director, but also partially because the Wall of Sound provides such a perfect musical beat that you can edit along to it.  First comes those fantastic lines (“You don’t make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is bullshit and you know it.”, which seem so right coming from someone who once planned to be a priest), then the beat kicks in right as Harvey Keitel’s head hits the pillow, and then right as the chorus begins comes the title across the screen.  Marty had already made a couple of films but this opening was the arrival of a massive talent and if the Oscars couldn’t be bothered to take notice, at least others did and this film is now rightfully acknowledged as a classic.

But, Marty was not the only talent announcing his presence with authority.  Harvey Keitel had already worked with him, but this was his first really good performance.  And Robert De Niro had been appearing in a few low-budget films but this was the film where he set the celluloid on fire, really kick-starting a career that would bring him two Oscars and two other nominations in less than a decade.

Mean Streets really announces with would me the major themes that would continue to wind their way through Scorsese’s work: moral guilt and familial responsibility (whether or not the family is blood-related or just the family you’ve made from being together on the streets).  You need to take care of those around you but you also have to weigh that responsibility against the cost of your soul.  Sometimes that will end just like this film ends, with a price paid on the streets.  Keitel comes going back to the church, hoping he can find some answers there, but he really knows that he’s going to have to pay for those sins in the streets, not just his own sins, but De Niro’s as well, as sometimes those sins are more than can be paid back and there is no other answer but blood.

3 – The Exorcist  (reviewed here)

4  –  American Graffiti  (reviewed here)

5  –  The Sting  (reviewed here)

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Lost Horizon
  2. Schlock
  3. Ludwig
  4. Cannibal Girls
  5. Ash Wednesday

note:  I’m not surprised to find another AIP film in my bottom 5 (Cannibal Girls).  I am surprised that it’s directed by Ivan Reitman, who will later go on to direct Ghostbusters.  Ludwig, on the other hand, somehow makes it in the Top 1000 over at TSPDT, which is insane, because it’s simply terrible.

Is this it? Is this the worst remake of a Best Picture nominee ever? Perhaps.

Really, what are the odds that an actress would be in my #1 film and my worst film in the same year?

Lost Horizon  (dir. Charles Jarrott)

It’s never been a new idea, taking an earlier story and turning it into a musical.  When Stephen Sondheim was a kid, Oscar Hammerstein II set him four writing exercises: “adapt a good play as a musical, adapt a flawed play as a musical, adapt another form, such as a novel or a short story, into a musical and, finally, write a musical entirely of my own devising.”  (Finishing the Hat, p 3)  That doesn’t mean that anything should be turned into a musical.  Lost Horizon was a product of its time and worked in the 1930s, but to turn it into an all-star musical in the 1970s was a terribly misguided idea.  Once you start trying to adapt these ideas into song it begins to sound like the bad senior thesis from a political science / music double major at Cal trying to solve the world’s problems with a song.  How ironic that this film should be in the same year that Bob Dylan would do film music, since there has never been anyone better at merging social conscience with music unless it be Woody Guthrie.

Actually, there are a lot of ironies about the timing of this film and none of them reflect well on this film.  Most of the stars had either been in Best Picture nominees or been nominated for an Oscar over the previous several years.  Their work in those films just makes this film look all the worse.  Four years before Burt Bacharach and Hal David had (rightfully) won the Oscar for Best Song for “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head”.  But, Roger Ebert nails it on the head here: “I don’t know how much Ross Hunter paid Burt Bacharach and Hal David to write the music for “Lost Horizon,” but whatever it was, it was a too much.”  Yet, the greatest irony is for Liv Ullmann.  I’m not going to bother to look, but it’s hard to believe that any other actor has ever been in both my #1 film and my Worst Film of the Year in the same year.  To be fair, Ullmann is trying to act (and sing) in English with a pretty bad director (“Jarrott’s version lacks visual contrasts, the narrative has no energy, and the pauses for the pedagogical songs are so awkward you may feel that the director’s wheelchair needs oiling,” is how Pauline Kael puts it), whereas in Cries and Whispers, she’s in her native Swedish and is being directed by one of the all-time greats.

This was a movie I didn’t look for, for a long time, mainly because I’ve always known it was terrible (Inside Oscar‘s first paragraph on 1973 is all about this film).  But, as the film with the most eligible songs from this year, as a prominent adaptation, as a film with the great Liv Ullmann (“I never miss a Liv Ullmann musical” Bette Midler cracked, according to Inside Oscar), I felt I should see it.  But it’s not available on DVD and is extremely hard to find on video.  Thankfully, if you start to look for clips on YouTube, you’ll find the whole film in a foreign title (complete with foreign subtitles).  I won’t link directly to it, because I think it should stay available for those who really want to see a trainwreck.  I’m currently watching it while writing this and Michael York, who, the year before had been incredibly effective in Cabaret, is giving the worst performance of his career in an argument with Peter Finch, who never should have been put in a musical.  And yet, it’s far better than York’s pathetic death scene, with complete histrionics and what is clearly a fake body falling down the cliff.

Everything about this film is misguided, from the very concept, to the direction, to the casting (they are a bunch of solid stars, but who ever thought any of them could sing?), to the filming (another Ebert line: “You wouldn’t want to spend all that money and miss the worst single piece of choreography you’ve ever seen in your life. The dancers march about and twirl their scarves as if Leni Reifenstahl’s “Triumph of the Will” had somehow been gotten pregnant by Busby Berkeley.”).  There are several reasons why someone would want to watch this: an interest in the original novel or film, a taste for bad films, masochism.  But, why not go with Midler’s reason?  Who would want to miss a Liv Ullmann musical?

Points:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:   Cries and Whispers  (14)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:  Cries and Whispers  (10)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Cries and Whispers  (715)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  Ludwig
  • 2nd Place Award:  Mean Streets  (Picture, Director)
  • 6th Place Award:  Serpico  (Picture, Director, Cinematography)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:  Cries and Whispers  (8)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:  Cries and Whispers   (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  Cries and Whispers   (495)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  The Paper Chase
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  Paper Moon  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  American Graffiti  (3)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  American Graffiti  /  Paper Moon  (365)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Jesus Christ Superstar

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

Note:  Serpico and Cries and Whispers actually had the most 2nd place finishes.  Serpico and Mean Streets tied for the most points from their 2nd place finishes, but Mean Streets had Picture, so I went with it.

Progressive Leaders:

  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:  The Wizard of Oz  /  The Godfather  (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:  70 (32)  –  Cries and Whispers  (65.7)
  • Foreign:  54  –  Cries and Whispers  (66.5)
  • Comedy:  16 (5)  –  American Graffiti  (68.8)
  • Horror:  16 (1)  –  The Exorcist  (49.2)
  • Crime:  15 (4)  –  Mean Streets  (67.5)
  • Musical:  11 (3)  –  O Lucky Man!  (55.1)
  • Action:  8 (4)  –  Enter the Dragon  (62.1)
  • Western:  4 (1)  –  Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid  (68.3)
  • Kids:  4 (1)  –  Charlotte’s Web  (62.3)
  • Mystery:  4 (1)  –  Gumshoe  (61.5)
  • War:  3 (2)  –  The Dawns Here are Quiet  (70)
  • Suspense:  3  –  The Day of the Jackal  (66.7)
  • Sci-Fi:  3  –  Westworld  (60.3)
  • Adventure:  0
  • Fantasy:  0

Analysis:  In spite of having two **** films, including the second-best ever in the genre (behind only A Clockwork Orange), Horror still can’t average above ** because there are 9 Horror films in the bottom 20 of the year.  This is the first year since 1956 with no Fantasy films and the first year with no Adventure films.  The 16 Comedies are the lowest since 1959 and this is the first year since 1949 that any genre other than Drama has as many as Comedy.  There’s not a lot of Comedies, but lead by American Graffiti and The Sting, they have their highest average since 1961.  The 15 Crime films are by far a new high.  The 70 Dramas are the most since 1933 and they account for almost 45% of the films, the most since 1959.  The 4 Westerns are the fewest since 1963 but there will be only one more year for a long time with more than that; fewer seems to be better as the genre has its highest average since 1962.
With The Exorcist and Don’t Look Now, there are two Horror films in the Top 10 for the first time since 1933.  Even though Cries and Whispers wins Best Picture, it is the only Foreign film in the Top 10 – the first time there have been this few since 1953.  There are even only 5 Foreign films in the Top 20, the lowest since 1964.

Studio Note:  The major studios bounce back a little, accounting for just under half of the total films.  They are lead by 18 films from Columbia, the most ever for the studio.  It’s followed by MGM, UA and Warner Bros, with 12 each.  The best studio is Universal, whose 9 films average a 74.3.  AIP accounts for 10 films while New Yorker Films, known mostly for distributing Foreign films, has 12.  But it’s New World Pictures, whose films are mostly terrible, who distributes Cries and Whispers and becomes the first non-major to win Best Picture since 1963; it is the only film in the Top 10 not distributed by a major studio.
Paramount has 3 films in the Top 10 and 5 in the Top 20.  But it’s Universal who is amazing – their 3 films in the Top 10 is as many as the studio had in the previous 20 years combined; that even translates to box office success, as their two best films, American Graffiti and The Sting, are also massive box office success stories.

44 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):

  • 25 Fireman’s Street  (Szabo, Hungary)
  • Aguirre the Wrath of God  (Herzog, West Germany)
  • The Battle of Sutjeska  (Delic, Yugoslavia)  *
  • Battles Without Honour and Humanity  (Fukasaku, Japan)
  • Bobby  (Kapoor, India)
  • Bread and Chocolate  (Brusati, Italy)
  • A Brief Vacation  (de Sica, Italy)
  • Copernicus  (Petelska, Poland)  *
  • Coup d’Etat  (Yoshida, Japan)  *
  • Day for Night  (Truffaut, France)  ***
  • Days of Betrayal  (Vavra, Czechoslovakia)  *
  • Distant Thunder  (Ray, India)
  • The Dupes  (Saleh, Syria)
  • Earth is a Sinful Song  (Mollberg, Finland)  *
  • Empire M  (Kamal, Egypt)  *
  • Fantastic Planet  (Laloux, France)
  • Four Nights of a Dreamer  (Bresson, France)
  • La Grande Bouffe  (Ferreri, Italy)
  • Happy New Year  (Lelouch, France)
  • Her Third  (Gunther, East Germany)  *
  • The House on Chelouche Street  (Mizrahi, Israel)  **
  • Hunchback of the Morgue  (Aguirre, Spain)
  • Kamouraska  (Jutra, Canada)
  • L’Emmerdeur  (Molinaro, France)
  • L’Invitation  (Goretta, Switzerland)  **
  • Lady Snowblood  (Fujita, Japan)
  • The Legend of Paul and Paula  (Carow, West Germany)
  • Liberation  (Ozerov, USSR)  *
  • Love and Anarchy  (Wertmuller, Italy)
  • The Mother and the Whore  (Eustache, France)
  • Part-time Work of a Domestic Slave  (Kluge, West Germany)
  • The Pedestrian  (Schell, West Germany)  **
  • Photography  (Zolnay, Hungary)  *
  • Reed: Insurgent Mexico  (Leduc, Mexico)  *
  • A River Called Titas  (Ghatak, India)
  • Saudagar  (Roy, India)  *
  • Scenes from a Marriage  (Bergman, Sweden)
  • The Spirit of the Beehive  (Erice, Spain)
  • Touki Bouki  (Mambéty, Senegal)
  • Trafic  (Tati, France)
  • Trinity is Still My Name  (Clucher, Italy)
  • Turkish Delight  (Verhoeven, Netherlands)  **
  • Two Men in Town  (Giovanni, France)
  • Veronica  (Bostan, Romania)  *

Note:  I have my first film from Syria.  I have my first film from Finland since 1952 (partially because it’s the first time they submit a film to the Academy).  I only have 5 films from Italy (lowest since 1959) and only 8 from France.  My top two counties only have 13 combined films, the lowest since 1959 (also the lowest Italy / France combo since 1959).  With 22 of the 44 films being Dramas, it’s the first time Drama accounts for a full 50% since 1963, although it continues to account for over 50% of the total (662 out of 1313 through 1973).

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

  • Brazil:  John, the Knife and the River  (dir. Sluizer)
  • South Korea:  Mute Samyong  (dir. Jang-ho)
  • Spain:  Habla mudita  (dir. Gutierrez Aragon)

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.
This is only the sixth submission from South Korea and I’m missing four of them.  It’s only the second time I am missing a Brazilian submission.  It’s the seventh Spanish submission I am missing.  The only reason I am not missing the Danish submission, I am certain, is because they didn’t submit one for the first time since 1963.
Denmark isn’t the only country that didn’t participate.  A whopping nine countries that submitted in 1972 skipped 1973, including Denmark, for only the fourth time, Sweden for only the second time (although they will also skip the next two years) and Italy for the only time.  The six countries that did submit this year after not submitting the year before include first timers Finland and East Germany.

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

  • Late Autumn  (1960)
  • An Autumn Afternoon  (1962)
  • Adieu Philippine  (1963)
  • Django  (1966)
  • The Priest and Girl  (1966)
  • Le Samourai  (1967)
  • L’enfance nue  (1968)
  • Andrei Rublev  (1969)
  • Diary of a Shinjuku Thief  (1969)
  • Hunting Scenes from Bavaria  (1969)
  • The Adversary  (1970)
  • A Day in the Death of Joe Egg  (1970)
  • Days and Nights in the Forest  (1970)
  • Medea  (1970)
  • The Spider’s Stratagem  (1970)
  • The Blood on Satan’s Claw  (1971)
  • Family Life  (1971)
  • Fists of Fury  (1971)
  • Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster  (1971)
  • Gumshoe  (1971)
  • Love  (1971)
  • The Merchant of Four Seasons  (1971)
  • The New One-Armed Swordsman  (1971)
  • The Policeman  (1971)
  • ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore  (1971)
  • Two English Girls  (1971)
  • Alfredo Alfredo  (1972)
  • Carry On Abroad  (1972)
  • Cesar and Rosalie  (1972)
  • Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things  (1972)
  • Chloe in the Afternoon  (1972)
  • Cries and Whispers  (1972)
  • The Dawns Here are Quiet  (1972)
  • The Harder They Come  (1972)
  • How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman  (1972)
  • I Love You Rosa  (1972)
  • L’aventure, c’est l’aventure  (1972)
  • Lady Caroline Lamb  (1972)
  • Last House on the Left  (1972)
  • Last Tango in Paris  (1972)
  • Limbo  (1972)
  • Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades  (1972)
  • Ludwig  (1972)
  • The Mask  (1972)
  • The New Land  (1972)
  • The Outside Man  (1972)
  • Raw Meat  (1972)
  • Le Rendezvous  (1972)
  • Savages  (1972)
  • Siddharta  (1972)
  • State of Siege  (1972)
  • Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me  (1972)
  • Tout va Bien  (1972)
  • Under the Flag of the Rising Sun  (1972)
  • Wedding in White  (1972)

Note:  These 55 films average a 63.6.  They account for an astounding 24 Nighthawk nominations and 11 wins, including Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress and Supporting Actress (all but Actor for Cries and Whispers).  But it wouldn’t just mean that the films from this year would dominate more – there are several major films on the list down below that would have been among the awards contenders.  In fact, the race for Picture would actually be tighter if I went by original year rather than Oscar eligibility.

Films Not Listed at Oscars.org:

  • Adieu Philippine
  • The Adversary
  • Andrei Rublev
  • An Autumn Afternoon
  • Battles Without Honour and Humanity
  • Bobby
  • Carry On Abroad
  • Copernicus
  • Coup d’Etat
  • The Crazies
  • Days of Betrayal
  • Diary of a Shinjuku Thief
  • Django
  • Empire M
  • Ganja and Hess
  • Her Third
  • How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
  • L’aventure, c’est l’aventure
  • Lady Snowblood
  • Late Autumn
  • The Legend of Paul and Paula
  • Liberation
  • Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart to Hades
  • The Merchant of Four Seasons
  • The New One-Armed Swordsman
  • Part-time Work of a Domestic Slave
  • Penny Gold
  • Photography
  • The Priest and the Girl
  • A River Called Titas
  • Saudagar
  • ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore
  • Veronica

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.  Again this is a long list, with a couple of Ozu films on it.  It includes a whopping nine films that were submitted the Academy for the Best Foreign Film award (Copernicus, Coup d’Etat, Days of Betrayal, Empire M, Her Third, Liberation, Photography, Saudagar, Veronica), a list that will only continue to grow as more countries submit their films.

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

  • Alvin Purple  (1974)
  • Badlands  (1974)
  • Day for Night  (1974)
  • Don Quixote  (1974)
  • Fantastic Planet  (1974)
  • Flesh for Frankenstein  (1974)
  • La Grande Bouffe  (1974)
  • Happy New Year  (1974)
  • I Monster  (1974)
  • Love and Anarchy  (1974)
  • The Mother and the Whore  (1974)
  • The Pedestrian  (1974)
  • Reed: Insurgent Mexico  (1974)
  • Scenes from a Marriage  (1974)
  • That’ll Be the Day  (1974)
  • Trinity is Still My Name  (1974)
  • Turkish Delight  (1974)
  • The Battle of Sutjeska  (1975)
  • A Brief Vacation  (1975)
  • The House on Chelouche Street  (1975)
  • Hunchback of the Morgue  (1975)
  • L’Emmerdeur  (1975)
  • L’Invitation  (1975)
  • Nothing But the Night  (1975)
  • The Asphyx  (1976)
  • Chino  (1976)
  • Distant Thunder  (1976)
  • The Earth is a Sinful Song  (1976)
  • Kamouraska  (1976)
  • Psychomania  (1976)
  • Trafic  (1976)
  • Two Men in Town  (1976)
  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God  (1977)
  • The Spirit of the Beehive  (1977)
  • Bread and Chocolate  (1978)
  • The Satanic Rites of Dracula  (1978)
  • The Wicker Man  (1979)
  • 25 Fireman’s Street  (1982)
  • Touki Bouki  (1991)
  • The Dupes  (1998)

Note:  These 40 films average a 64.8.  It includes four truly great films that would make this a much more complicated year: Badlands, Day for Night, Scenes from a Marriage and Aguirre the Wrath of God.

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