One final happy moment from a very unhappy film.

One final beautiful moment from a very bleak film.

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. The Deer Hunter  **
  2. Midnight Express  *
  3. Interiors
  4. Autumn Sonata
  5. Watership Down
  6. Heaven Can Wait  *
  7. The Ascent
  8. The Chess Players
  9. Superman
  10. Halloween

Analysis:  The Deer Hunter is the second weakest winner ever.  Not to-date, but ever (only The Informer is weaker and they only finished two spots apart in my Best Picture list).  It wouldn’t make the Top 5 in either of the next two years.  It wouldn’t even be the #2 film in any remaining year.  The Top 5 is the weakest since 1970.  This is the last year where the Top 10 doesn’t average a 90 (it averages an 89.5) and is the lowest in six years.
The Deer Hunter is the first War film since 1957 to win Best Picture.  Watership Down is the first Animated film since Bambi to earn a Best Picture nomination.  The first seven films are ****.

  • deerBest Director
  1. Michael Cimino  (The Deer Hunter)  **
  2. Alan Parker  (Midnight Express)  *
  3. Woody Allen  (Interiors)
  4. Ingmar Bergman  (Autumn Sonata)  *
  5. Larisa Shepitko  (The Ascent)
  6. Warren Beatty  /  Buck Henry  (Heaven Can Wait)
  7. Satyajit Ray  (The Chess Players)
  8. Louis Malle  (Pretty Baby)
  9. Terrence Malick  (Days of Heaven)  *
  10. David Lynch  (Eraserhead)

Analysis:  Cimino is almost certainly the worst director to ever win the Nighthawk.  His direction here is incredible, but his career after this is just abysmal.  Cimino has the highest Consensus score between 1974 and 1986.
It’s the first nomination for Parker and the only one for Shepitko and Cimino.  It’s the second nomination for Allen.  It’s the ninth nomination for Bergman; he ties William Wyler for third place with 495 points.
This is the weakest Top 5 since 1970.  But, this shows the importance of the way I do the Oscar grades, in that it has the highest grade in 5 years.  That’s because the Academy did a mostly pretty good job with a weak field.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Midnight Express  **
  2. Heaven Can Wait  *
  3. Watership Down
  4. Superman
  5. The Chess Players
  6. California Suite  *
  7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  8. Conflagration
  9. Same Time Next Year  *
  10. Bloodbrothers  *

Analysis:  This Top 5 is higher than the year before but other than that, the lowest since 1948.  Yet, like Director, it has a higher score than the last several years (78.3) because it does a good job with weak choices.
I’ve read several of the source materials.  I already the play that Heaven Can Wait is based on for my Best Adapted Screenplay 1941.  Watership Down, as the link above makes obvious, is a Top 100 novel.  I have read years and years worth of Superman.  I read the original The Body Snatchers before writing about the original film years ago.  Conflagration is based on Yukio Mishima’s Temple of the Golden Pavilion, which I read in college and have always been a big fan of (it’s also a Top 200 novel).
Oliver Stone wins his first Writing Nighthawk (as well as his first Oscar) for writing Midnight Express.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Interiors  *
  2. Autumn Sonata
  3. The Deer Hunter  *
  4. Bread and Chocolate
  5. The Ascent
  6. Pretty Baby
  7. Coming Home  *
  8. Animal House
  9. Halloween
  10. Days of Heaven

Analysis:  This is the weakest Top 5 in six years.  That’s ironic since we have a Bergman nomination as well as Woody Allen actually outdoing Bergman and winning the award over him.  At the Oscars, both Allen and Bergman lost to Coming Home, but it’s An Unmarried Woman (not on my list), which wins the Consensus behind its three critics awards.
After losing his first five nominations, this is the second of four straight wins for Allen.  It’s the 16th nomination for Bergman; he’s now at 920 points, just one nomination away from catching Billy Wilder for 1st place.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Robert De Niro  (The Deer Hunter)  *
  2. Jon Voight  (Coming Home)  **
  3. Warren Beatty  (Heaven Can Wait)  *
  4. Anthony Hopkins  (Magic)
  5. Laurence Olivier  (The Boys from Brazil)  *
  6. Gary Busey  (The Buddy Holly Story)  *
  7. Brad Davis  (Midnight Express)
  8. Alan Alda  (Same Time Next Year)
  9. Donald Sutherland  (Invasion of the Body Snatchers)
  10. Dustin Hoffman  (Straight Time)

Analysis:  This is the weakest Top 5 since 1949.  Voight crushes everyone else at the Consensus, winning the Oscar, Globe, NYFC, LAFC and NBR.
Hopkins earns his second nomination, Voight his third and Beatty his fourth.  It’s De Niro’s fifth nom but his fourth win and he’s already at 290 points and jumps into the Top 10 just five years after he first appeared on the list.  Olivier, on the other hand, finishing his career, earns his 12th (and final) nom some 39 years after his first points.  He finishes with 470 points and in 2nd place all-time, just 5 points behind Bogart.
This category actually earns a perfect score of 100 because I rate Hopkins and Busey with the same score.  This is the first time since the first Oscar year that this category has earned a perfect score.

  • Best Actress
  1. Ingrid Bergman  (Autumn Sonata)  **
  2. Jane Fonda  (Coming Home)  *
  3. Geraldine Page  (Interiors)  *
  4. Liv Ullmann  (Autumn Sonata)
  5. Jill Clayburgh  (An Unmarried Woman)  *
  6. Ellen Burstyn  (Same Time Next Year)
  7. Glenda Jackson  (Stevie)  *
  8. Mary Beth Hurt  (Interiors)
  9. Isabelle Huppert  (Violette)
  10. Jane Fonda  (Comes a Horseman)

Analysis:  Finally, a category that’s not a disappointment.  This is actually the strongest Top 5 in four years.  Yet, it earns the lowest score in the category in five years.  Still, it earns a 91.2, which is very good.
It’s the only nomination for Clayburgh, the third for Page, the fourth for Fonda, the eighth in 12 years for Ullmann (and the final one) and the ninth (and final) for Bergman and her fourth win.  Ullmann finishes with 315 points and in a tie for 5th place while Bergman finishes with 450 points and in 3rd place.
A word about the Consensus nomination for Jackson and the Consensus win down below for Mona Washburne.  Stevie was a 1978 film that got a little bit of awards traction (LAFC win and BAFTA nom for Washburne, Globe noms for both Jackson and Washburne) then disappeared from theaters.  It got a wider release in 1981, winning the NYFC and NBR for both actresses and the new BSFC for Washburne.  But it had been Academy eligible in 1978 and so it couldn’t be nominated then.

  • walkenBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Christopher Walken  (The Deer Hunter)  **
  2. Michael Caine  (California Suite)
  3. Robert Morley  (Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?)  *
  4. Gene Hackman  (Superman)
  5. John Hurt  (Midnight Express)  *
  6. Jack Warden  (Heaven Can Wait)
  7. John Cazale  (The Deer Hunter)
  8. Bruce Dern  (Coming Home)  *
  9. Richard Farnsworth  (Comes a Horseman)  *
  10. Charles Grodin  (Heaven Can Wait)

Analysis:  It’s the only nomination for Morley.  It’s the first for Walken and the second for Hurt.  Caine (4th nom) and Hackman (5th nom, with 3 wins) are both moving up the points list.
In both supporting categories I have changed things back and forth between the years between my #1 and 2 – both from The Deer Hunter and California Suite, but, for the moment at least, I have settled with the actual Oscar winners.

  • maggie-smithBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Maggie Smith  (California Suite)  *
  2. Meryl Streep  (The Deer Hunter)  *
  3. Maureen Stapleton  (Interiors)  *
  4. Penelope Milford  (Coming Home)
  5. Dyan Cannon  (Heaven Can Wait)  *
  6. Brooke Shields  (Pretty Baby)
  7. Maggie Smith  (Death on the Nile)
  8. Mona Washbourne  (Stevie)  **
  9. Diane Keaton  (Interiors)

Analysis:  Another stronger category – the best in 5 years.  And, obviously, with all five Oscar nominees the same as my nominees, it’s a perfect score of 100.  This is the first year that multiple acting categories earn a score of 100.
Let the era of Streep begin.  This wasn’t her film debut – that was the year before, in Julia.  But The Deer Hunter earned Streep her first awards (NSFC, BAFTA) and her first Oscar nom.
These are the only nominations for Cannon (who I don’t generally like but who is very good here) and Milford.  It’s the first for Stapleton and Streep.  It’s the fourth nom and second win for Smith.
See the note on Washburne under Actress.  I should point out, that just using her 1978 points, Washburne is a Consensus nominee but not the winner.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Interiors
  2. Autumn Sonata
  3. Superman
  4. Midnight Express
  5. Heaven Can Wait
  6. The Ascent
  7. Watership Down
  8. Halloween
  9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  10. Hooper

Analysis:  Interiors is the weakest winner in this category to-date (and probably ever).  It’s the weakest Top 5 in eight years and tied for the second weakest since 1937.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. The Deer Hunter  *
  2. Days of Heaven  **
  3. Autumn Sonata
  4. Interiors
  5. The Ascent
  6. Midnight Express
  7. Eraserhead
  8. Pretty Baby
  9. The Chess Players
  10. Comes a Horseman

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 in six years.  It’s a very close 1-2 finish, but I go with The Deer Hunter even though Days of Heaven easily wins the Consensus (it won the Oscar, LAFC and NSFC).  That gives Vilmos Zsigmond (who died not long before I wrote this) his first win with his fourth nomination.  But we also have the top two cinematographers of all-time, with Gordon Willis coming in 4th and earning his fourth nom (with three wins) and moving up to 175 points.  Longtime Bergman collaborator Sven Nykvist finishes in third with his 8th nomination and is up to 275 points (and in 1st by quite a ways).
With the two best achievements earning Oscar noms, this category earns a score of 50, the highest in five years.

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Superman
  2. Halloween
  3. The Chess Players
  4. The Deer Hunter
  5. Midnight Express
  6. Heaven Can Wait
  7. Watership Down
  8. The Fury
  9. Pretty Baby
  10. Comes a Horseman

Analysis:  A much better category – weaker than the year before, but stronger than everything else since 1969.  Satyijat Ray continues to prove he’s multi-talented, earning his second Nighthawk nomination for writing a score for his own movie.  But it’s John Williams (Superman) who is the real force here, earning his second straight win and his third in four years.  Just four years after his first nomination he’s at 200 points and is in the Top 10 all-time.
This category earns a score of 77.1, the highest in 18 years and the third highest to-date.

  • Best Sound:
  1. The Deer Hunter
  2. Superman
  3. Hooper
  4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  5. Comes a Horseman
  6. The Buddy Holly Story
  7. Midnight Express
  8. Eraserhead
  9. Autumn Sonata
  10. The Duellists

Analysis:  The weakest winner in this category since 1970.  The weakest Top 5 since 1970.  But, the third highest Oscar score to date (83.3) by doing well with the limited options.

  • Pretty-Baby-1978Best Art Direction:
  1. Pretty Baby
  2. The Chess Players
  3. Interiors
  4. Eraserhead
  5. The Wiz
  6. Autumn Sonata
  7. Heaven Can Wait
  8. Midnight Express
  9. Death on the Nile
  10. Violette

Analysis:  I can understand The Chess Players not getting nominated (there are questions of eligibility), but how did Pretty Baby, with its great sets not earn a nomination?  It earned a Best Adaptation Score nomination so you can’t say the Academy completely ignored it.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Superman
  2. Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Analysis:  After the best #2 in this category the year before, we crash back down to earth.  But this is the last year of that – 1979 will see a rise in Sci-Fi films and this category will never lack again.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Superman
  2. The Deer Hunter
  3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  4. Hooper

Analysis:  The Deer Hunter is the weakest #2 in this category since 1965 and there won’t be a weaker one afterwards.  The weakest Top 5 since 1970.  This is the fifth Tech category where Close Encounters would have won, yet in 1977 it didn’t win any because of Star Wars.

  • The Chess Players 5Best Costume Design:
  1. The Chess Players
  2. Pretty Baby
  3. The Duellists
  4. Death on the Nile
  5. Perceval
  6. The Wiz
  7. Days of Heaven
  8. Superman

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1961.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Eraserhead
  2. The Wiz
  3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers


  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Bright Eyes”  (Watership Down)
  2. “You’re the One That I Want”  (Grease)
  3. “Hopelessly Devoted to You”  (Grease)
  4. “Animal House”  (Animal House)
  5. “Grease”  (Grease)
  6. “The Last Time I Felt Like This”  (Same Time Next Year)

Analysis:  The semi-finalists are in orange.
This year kills me a little.  Even though I just re-read High Fidelity, I can’t help but like “Bright Eyes” and how it is used in the film.  It’s an easy win given the other options.
The year after none of the Saturday Night Fever songs even made the semi-finals list, one song from Grease is nominated while the other three eligible songs don’t make the semis.  “Sandy” is the one that didn’t make my list.  There are 145 songs listed at from 68 different films.  I have seen 32 of those films, covering 72 songs.  Almost Summer (10), Big Time (8) and Skateboard (6) are the only ones with more than 4 songs that I haven’t seen.
It’s a terrible group overall.  The Oscar score is 21.1, the worst in six years and the fourth worst to-date.

  • MPW-54085Best Animated Film:
  1. Watership Down

Analysis:  For only the second time, the winner isn’t a Disney film.  Watership Down is the single best Animated Film since Bambi.  There are five eligible films here, two of which are mediocre (Hugo the Hippo, The Mouse and His Child) and two of which are just bad (Metamorphoses, Lord of the Rings).

  • hostsonaten-206010lBest Foreign Film:
  1. Autumn Sonata
  2. The Chess Players
  3. Get Out Your Handkerchiefs
  4. La Cage Aux Folles

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.
India earns its first nomination since 1959.  Bergman breaks his tie with Kurosawa and for the first time holds the lead in this category by himself, with 500 points.  It’s his 10th win and 15th nomination.  Autumn Sonata is the best winner in this category since 1973.
The worst Oscar score in this category to date (25.0) because The Chess Players was submitted but not nominated, but 1979 will be worse.

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.

  • The Deer Hunter  (525)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Sound Editing
  • Interiors   (335)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Art Direction
  • Autumn Sonata  (330)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Foreign Film
  • Midnight Express  (255)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Original Score
  • Superman  (245)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Editing, Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • Watership Down  (150)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Original Song, Animated Film
  • The Chess Players  (135)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Art Direction, Costume Design, Foreign Film
  • The Ascent  (130)
    • Director, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Foreign Film (1977)
  • Heaven Can Wait  (130)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing
  • Coming Home  (100)
    • Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • California Suite  (90)
    • Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers  (70)
    • Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Pretty Baby  (55)
    • Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Bread and Chocolate  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • Hooper  (40)
    • Sound, Sound Editing
  • Eraserhead  (40)
    • Art Direction, Makeup
  • Magic  (35)
    • Actor
  • The Boys from Brazil  (35)
    • Actor
  • An Unmarried Woman  (35)
    • Actress
  • Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?  (30)
    • Supporting Actor
  • The Wiz  (30)
    • Art Direction, Makeup
  • Grease  (30)
    • Original Song, Original Song, Original Song
  • Days of Heaven  (25)
    • Cinematography
  • Halloween  (25)
    • Original Score
  • Comes a Horseman  (20)
    • Sound
  • The Duellists  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Death on the Nile  (10)
    • Costume Design
  • Perceval  (15)
    • Costume Design
  • Animal House  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  This is the only year in the decade in which no film reaches at least 11 nominations.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Conflagration

Analysis:  A ***.5 Japanese film from 1958 that finally got a U.S. release, this adaptation of a great Mishima novel is worth seeing (it was my #13 film of the year).  It doesn’t end up higher than 8th in any category (including Foreign Film, since 1958 was a much, much more competitive year).

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Stevie

Analysis:  A tricky film.  As I mentioned up in Actress, eligible this year but got a bigger release in 1981 and earned several awards.  I combine all of its points into this year.  It won six critics awards and earned one BAFTA and two Globe noms, all for either Actress or Supporting Actress.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. The Deer Hunter
  2. Midnight Express
  3. Interiors
  4. Autumn Sonata
  5. Watership Down
  • Best Director
  1. Michael Cimino  (The Deer Hunter)
  2. Alan Parker  (Midnight Express)
  3. Woody Allen  (Interiors)
  4. Ingmar Bergman  (Autumn Sonata)
  5. Larisa Shepitko  (The Ascent)

Analysis:  These are the only nominations for Cimino and Shepitko.  It’s the first nomination for Parker.  It’s the first Drama nomination for Allen.  It’s the 8th nomination for Bergman; he’s now at 450 points and is in a four-way tie for third place.
The weakest Top 5 in six years.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Midnight Express
  2. Watership Down
  3. The Chess Players
  4. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  5. Conflagration

Analysis:  Significantly better than the year before, yet nonetheless, the third weakest since 1938.  It’s the first Drama writing win for Oliver Stone.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Interiors
  2. Autumn Sonata
  3. The Deer Hunter
  4. The Ascent
  5. Pretty Baby

Analysis:  It’s the first Drama nomination (and win) for Woody Allen.  He won’t be back in Drama again for over a decade.  On the other hand, it’s the 18th for Bergman who becomes the first writer to reach 1000 points in Drama.

  • Robert-De-Niro-in-The-Deer-Hunter-the-deer-hunter-22913857-685-385Best Actor:
  1. Robert De Niro  (The Deer Hunter)
  2. Jon Voight  (Coming Home)
  3. Anthony Hopkins  (Magic)
  4. Laurence Olivier  (The Boys from Brazil)
  5. Brad Davis  (Midnight Express)

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1964 and tied for the weakest since 1949.  It’s the only nomination for Davis.  It’s the second for Hopkins and the third for Voight.  But it’s already the fourth Drama win (and fifth nom) for De Niro in just six years.  He has already leapt into the Top 10 in Drama points.  Olivier, meanwhile, earns his 12th nomination and finishes his career in 2nd place all-time in Drama, with 470 points, behind only Bogart.
The other Globe nominee was Gregory Peck, also from Boys from Brazil, which is surprising because he isn’t actually very good in it.

  • bergmanBest Actress
  1. Ingrid Bergman  (Autumn Sonata)
  2. Jane Fonda  (Coming Home)
  3. Geraldine Page  (Interiors)
  4. Liv Ullmann  (Autumn Sonata)
  5. Jill Clayburgh  (An Unmarried Woman)

Analysis:  This is the only nomination for Clayburgh, the third for Page, the fourth for Fonda (the first time she doesn’t win), the ninth (in just 12 years) for Ullmann and the 10th for Bergman (and fourth win).  This is it for Bergman, who finishes with 485 points and second place, behind only Bette Davis.  Ullmann won’t have another nomination for 27 years.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Christopher Walken  (The Deer Hunter)
  2. John Hurt  (Midnight Express)
  3. John Cazale  (The Deer Hunter)
  4. Bruce Dern  (Coming Home)
  5. Richard Farnsworth  (Comes a Horseman)

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 since 1966.  It’s the only nominations for Dern and Farnsworth.  It’s the first for Walken and the second each for Hurt and Cazale.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Meryl Streep  (The Deer Hunter)
  2. Maureen Stapleton  (Interiors)
  3. Penelope Milford  (Coming Home)
  4. Brooke Shields  (Pretty Baby)
  5. Maggie Smith  (Death on the Nile)

Analysis:  These are the only nominations for Milford and Shields (and it’s a bit surprising for Shields, who would never again show much acting ability, to be here in the first place).  It’s the first nomination for Stapleton and Streep (and her first of many wins).  It’s the third for Smith and her second win.


  • The Deer Hunter  (450)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Midnight Express  (240)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Interiors  (240)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Supporting Actress
  • Autumn Sonata  (240)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, Actress
  • Coming Home  (130)
    • Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Watership Down  (90)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay
  • The Ascent  (85)
    • Director, Adapted Screenplay
  • Pretty Baby  (70)
    • Original Screenplay, Supporting Actress
  • The Chess Players  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Bloodbrothers  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • Magic  (35)
    • Actor
  • The Boys from Brazil  (35)
    • Actor
  • An Unmarried Woman  (35)
    • Actress
  • Comes a Horseman  (35)
    • Supporting Actor
  • Death on the Nile  (30)
    • Supporting Actress

Analysis:  In spite of all the amazing Dramas that are better, The Deer Hunter has the third highest Drama point total for the decade.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Halloween

Analysis:  A very good Horror film (my #10 of the year, 8th best in Drama), but can’t manage to crack the Top 5 in Picture, Director or Original Screenplay.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. Heaven Can Wait
  2. Superman
  3. Bread and Chocolate

Analysis:  It’s the first time since 1958 that I don’t have at least four nominees in this category.

  • Best Director
  1. Warren Beatty  /  Buck Henry  (Heaven Can Wait)
  2. Richard Donner  (Superman)

Analysis:  It’s the first nomination for Beatty and the only ones for Henry and Donner.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Heaven Can Wait
  2. Superman
  3. California Suite
  4. Same Time Next Year

Analysis:  In spite of only having four nominees, this is the strongest Top 5 in this category in six years.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Bread and Chocolate
  2. Animal House

Analysis:  Because Interiors is a Drama, this is the only year from 1977 to 1980 that Woody Allen doesn’t win in this category.

  • beatty

    Given that the Rams are headed back to LA, this seemed appropriate. We’ll see how worthwhile that is. My dad used to have a sign in his office that read “Will the lady who left her 11 kids at Anaheim Stadium please come pick them up? They’re beating the Rams 14-0.”

    Best Actor:

  1. Warren Beatty  (Heaven Can Wait)
  2. Gary Busey  (The Buddy Holly Story)
  3. Alan Alda  (Same Time Next Year)
  4. Alan Alda  (California Suite)
  5. John Travolta  (Grease)

Analysis:  It’s the only nomination for Busey.  It’s the first two for Alda.  It’s the second of back-to-back Comedy noms for Travolta.  It’s the second Comedy nom and first win for Beatty.

  • burstynBest Actress
  1. Ellen Burstyn  (Same Time Next Year)
  2. Julie Christie  (Heaven Can Wait)
  3. Jane Fonda  (California Suite)
  4. Olivia Newton-John  (Grease)

Analysis:  It’s the only nomination for Newton-John.  It’s the only Comedy nomination for Burstyn (she has several in Drama).  It’s the second for Fonda.  It’s the third for Christie.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Michael Caine  (California Suite)
  2. Robert Morley  (Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?)
  3. Gene Hackman  (Superman)
  4. Jack Warden  (Heaven Can Wait)
  5. Charles Grodin  (Heaven Can Wait)

Analysis:  While most everything about this year has been week, this category is the exception.  It is tied for the strongest Top 5 to-date, partially because it’s a full category, but also because the performances are strong, with three of them actually earning regular Nighthawk nominations.
These are the only nominations for Grodin and Morley.  It’s the first Comedy nomination for Hackman.  It’s the first Comedy nomination (and win) for Caine.  It’s the second nom for Warden.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Maggie Smith  (California Suite)
  2. Dyan Cannon  (Heaven Can Wait)

Analysis:  It’s the second nomination for Cannon and second Comedy nomination for Smith.  Smith actually won (tied with Burstyn) in lead – California Suite is an ensemble film so it’s hard to distinguish any leads.


  • Heaven Can Wait  (465)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • California Suite  (265)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Superman  (210)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor
  • Same Time Next Year  (135)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Bread and Chocolate  (130)
    • Picture, Original Screenplay
  • Grease  (70)
    • Actor, Actress
  • Animal House  (40)
    • Original Screenplay
  • The Buddy Holly Story  (35)
    • Actor
  • Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?  (35)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  Heaven Can Wait dominates almost as much as Annie Hall did the year before; it finishes just outside the Top 10 in Comedy Points to this date.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Eskimo Limon

Analysis:  Enjoyable mid-range *** Israeli Comedy (10th best in Comedy) that was submitted for Best Foreign Film, but not good enough to make any of my lists.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  124

By Stars:

  • ****:  7
  • ***.5:  8
  • ***:  51
  • **.5:  33
  • **:  16
  • *.5:  2
  • *:  4
  • .5:  3
  • 0:  0
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  60.09

Analysis:  With one more film better than *** than the year before, but 13 fewer films (and far fewer films below **), this year is over 2 points better than the year before and the first year to break 60 in four years.  Sadly, it’s also the last film to break 60 for four more years.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • The Hungarians  (Best Foreign Film)

note:  This is the most recent Oscar nominee I haven’t seen.

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

  • Once in Paris  (WGA – Original Comedy)

note:  This is the most recent WGA nominee I haven’t seen.

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  With a weak year, it’s natural that this category should be weak.  It ranks 47th, the worst in 8 years and the second worst in the decade.  Four of the choices are strong (only An Unmarried Woman isn’t at least ***.5).  But the main problem is that there is no film at the top – even the best of the nominees doesn’t make the Top 150 nominees.  It’s the first time since 1959 that no film has made the Top 150 and every remaining year will have at least one film better than The Deer Hunter (even the two remaining years without a Top 150 film – 1982 and 1988 – will have one slightly better than The Deer Hunter).

The Winners:  The winners are fairly strong, averaging a finish of 3.44 among all films and 1.82 among the nominees.  Only four categories have an Oscar winner that doesn’t at least earn a Nighthawk nomination (Original Screenplay, Editing, Art Direction, Song) and I agree completely with the Academy winner in eight categories.  Those same four categories are the only ones where the Oscar doesn’t go to the best or second best among the nominees and in no category did they give the Oscar to the worst choice.  It marks only the third year since the 30’s the back-to-back years had no “worst” Oscar choices.

The Nominees:  Overall, though the year isn’t that strong, the Academy made the most of it.  The overall score is a 73.3, higher than any year prior to 1974 and the fourth highest to-date.  The major score is 75.7, which is solid.  The Tech score is a 64.0, which is the second highest to-date.  The acting is the most impressive, being the first year to earn two perfect 100 scores, only the the fourth to earn scores over 90 in three categories and the fourth highest to-date, with a score of 93.6.  That acting score won’t be beaten again for at least a decade.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  This year is 39th out of 66.  It had no choice of being a very good year, as I couldn’t even fill my own Picture category.  They did give their award to what was easily the best eligible film (Heaven Can Wait).  And though California Suite only earns *** from me, it’s my #6, so it’s not a bad choice.  Neither is Grease, my #9.  But the last two choices were not good ones – Foul Play (which they heaped six nominations on – one of the first Comedies to earn this many and the first to earn that many and win none) and Movie Movie.  There were better choices out there, including films like Superman and Animal House.  But what’s especially strange is that three of my top eight Comedy films weren’t nominated, but were nominated for either Actor (The Buddy Holly Story), Actress (Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?), and more amazingly, both (Same Time Next Year).  In fact, the last film was the first to earn nominations in both and win one, yet not earn a Picture nom in Comedy (it wouldn’t happen again for another 20 years).  I rate all those films at ***, but they’re at the high end of ***, rather than the low end like Foul Play and Movie Movie.

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  The Deer Hunter  (reviewed here)

2  –  Midnight Express  (reviewed here)

Woody Allen actually outdoes Bergman.

Woody Allen actually outdoes Bergman.

3  –  Interiors  (dir. Woody Allen)

Family possesses a certain ability to hurt that is far beyond what anyone else can do to us.  It’s not just because they know us so well, sometimes more closely than we know ourselves.  It’s because they have watched us grow and they remember our dreams and our fears and what contributes to each.  That kind of thing can be bad in any family, but in a talented family it can be especially painful.  Though I come from a talented family, do not read too much into my review – after all, I deplore biographical criticism.  My own family is far from perfect, but I would not compare it to either first one here, as written by Woody Allen, and the next one, just below, as written by Ingmar Bergman.

There are three sisters here and they are all talented in their own way (we will return again to three talented sisters years later and it will be the film that best combines Allen’s talent for Comedy with his love of Bergman).  But they struggle, not only with their innate talents, but with the perception of their abilities and their levels of success.  They face two major problems through the film.  The first is the struggle to maintain a level of favoritism among your parents.  It can be a hard thing when a parent favors one child over another and these three siblings are coping with that.  But, an added wrench is thrown in when their father announces his intention to divorce their mother (who struggles with mental illness issues).  He then goes off and remarries someone whom the children disdain.  Now, aside from trying to win the favor of your parent, there’s the added pressure of dealing with parents who have divorced when the children are grown, and the brief bit I will make personal here is that if you think it’s easy to deal with a divorce once you’re an adult, you are way wrong.

All of this would be seen as just dismal and bleak, at Woody Allen’s desperate attempt to be Ingmar Bergman when all his fans wanted him to do was be funny (certainly some of the parts of Stardust Memories must be in reaction to how people reacted to this film) if the film weren’t so damn good.  It is impeccably decorated (which makes sense since the mother in the film is an interior designer).  It is magnificently shot by Gordon Willis, who has already won three Nighthawk Awards at this point and will go on to earn more nominations working with Allen (when he finally earned his first Oscar nomination, in 1983, it would be for a Woody Allen film).  It is intelligently written by Allen, as he understands (far too well for someone who only has sibling) the dynamics that work in a household with several children.  The direction is so good that Allen would earn a second straight Oscar nomination for Best Director, the first director to be nominated the year after winning the Oscar since 1955.

But, as is generally the case with Allen films, especially after Annie Hall, the really remarkable part of the film is the acting.  Geraldine Page manages to convey the mental problems creeping into a mind without seeming overtly crazy.  Maureen Stapleton has the tougher role as the “vulgarian” that the father marries and brings him to his disapproving children (yet, it is she, the “untalented” one in the film who manages to literally save a life).  Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt and Kristin Griffith all sink into their roles as the three children who are battling each other, battling their parents, battling themselves.  As the man in their lives, E.G. Marshall is suitably clueless to how his actions affect the lives of his children, Richard Jordan is both talented and creepy and Sam Waterston so perfectly embodies the man you want your daughter to end up with that Allen would bring him back in a similar role, romancing another sister years later in Hannah.

I remember the first time I watched this film.  It was a day when I didn’t go to Film class and I told my teacher that I had spent it watching a Woody Allen Drama and an Ingmar Bergman Comedy (Smiles of a Summer Night).  She smiled at that and didn’t chide me for missing class, given what I spent my time doing.  This has always been one of Allen’s best films, but it has also generally been one of his most under-appreciated.  If you don’t mind a bit of heavy drama from someone you think of as a comedian, than this is a film you shouldn’t miss.

But Bergman is no slouch.

But Bergman is no slouch.

4  –  Autumn Sonata  (dir. Ingmar Bergman)

Allen’s film, while dealing with the way that parents interact with their children, deals as much with the interaction between siblings and how children interact with their parents in regards to their siblings.  Autumn Sonata, the last film that Ingmar Bergman made specifically for cinemas (he would have several more films, all of which were actually made for television) focuses much more on the parent-child relationship.  Specifically, how does a talented parent fail as a parent and how does a child react to such a failure.

Allen’s film is bleak and almost devoid of light – you would be forgiven if you remembered it as a black-and-white film (especially given the poster), although it is not (Allen would dive into that the next year).  But Bergman, who hadn’t moved into color until this decade, was bringing color brilliantly to life.  Working again with cinematographer Sven Nykvist, the colors bring a passionate life to this small film about a renowned concert pianist returning to visit the daughter that has long felt neglected.  There is also the use of music, as a Chopin sonata highlights the interactions in the film and we remember that how people listen to music is a measure of their differences.

Allen’s film had Diane Keaton, who was already established as his star, but most of the cast was new to Allen and many of them would never work with him again.  This film revolves mostly around two roles.  The first is the daughter, played by Liv Ullmann.  A few days before I wrote this review, Jennifer Lawrence was nominated for her third Oscar in a David O. Russell film, a magnificent example of actor-director collaboration.  But, it’s a sign of how badly the Academy under-valued one of the best actor-director collaborations when you realize that Liv Ullmann only received two Oscar nominations in her incredible career and one of them wasn’t for a Bergman film.  This would be their final film for over 20 years, and Ullmann knows exactly how to bring out the pain in Bergman’s dialogue, reminding her mother of how the mother may have been a success to the world, but where it mattered most, she had essentially abandoned any responsibility.

The mother is played by Ingrid Bergman, the other side of the coin.  Bergman was ending her career after over 30 years in Hollywood that had earned her three Oscars, and here she returns to her native Swedish and works for the first time with the director whose name is so similar to hers.  Bergman, if the new documentary coming out about her is accurate, is clearly not working from personal experience when she plays the part of a demanding mother who doesn’t understand why one daughter can’t measure up to her and why the other one continues to find ways to cling to life (she is severely disabled).  She has been too busy receiving accolades for her work and her life.  She is the kind of woman who believes that abandoning her used car to her daughter, flying home and buying herself a new one is a form of altruism.  She does not appreciate the different ways in which her daughter might bring beauty to music because all she knows is what she does.  This was her final film and it just might be the best performance of an amazing career.  Perhaps she was too good, because while she was receiving numerous accolades, Ullmann was once again having her masterful performance ignored.

Bergman films are rarely ever fun (except for Smiles of a Summer Night).  They can take their toll on you, especially if you worry about the same themes, death (Wild Strawberries), insanity (Through a Glass Darkly), loss of faith (Winter Light), loss of identity (Persona), or family issues (Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata).  But they are among the best ever made, and they are a reminder that Bergman, like Woody Allen, has always been one of the best directors of female actors.

5  –  Watership Down  (reviewed here)

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  2. Damien: The Omen Part II
  3. The Swarm
  4. Piranha
  5. Kingdom of the Spiders

note:  Not surprisingly, the bottom 5 includes a Wild Nature film (actually, three of them), though, in a surprise, none of them were AIP films.

No matter how bad you think a film with this poster could be, the actual film is worse.

No matter how bad you think a film with this poster could be, the actual film is worse.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band  (dir. Michael Schultz)

I have been slowly typing up a Top 100 Albums post which may or may not ever see the light of day, partially because so little of it comes after 2002 that it feels weird.  But, competing for the #1 spot would be two albums that have been competing for my #1 spot for over 20 years – Dark Side of the Moon and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  I have mentioned before that the Beatles are the greatest group in the history of rock music.  This album, no matter what the supporters of Rubber Soul or Revolver would have you believe, is the pinnacle of their artistic success.  This film is so bad it has to be seen to be believed and I highly recommend you don’t do that.

It is by no means impossible to make a great film out of Beatles songs.  I’m not just talking about A Hard Day’s Night, which of course starred The Beatles themselves.  Just look at Across the Universe to see how Beatles songs can become characters, can create a story, can make you feel, sing, live.  If there is a comparable film to this, it is Yellow Submarine.  That film made use of Beatles songs to tell a silly story that took their inspiration from the songs.  But that film had a few excuses going for it, the first being that it was a silly animated film and the second being that it actually used the Beatles.  This film doesn’t.  It uses Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees.  Let me repeat that: instead of The Beatles, it uses Peter Frampton and The Bee Gees.  And it bridges the songs with narration from George Burns.

One of the things that Across the Universe did was teach me that it was okay once again for other people to sing Beatles songs.  A film like this, or the truly awful version of “Across the Universe” by Fiona Apple that was used at the end of Pleasantville made the argument that only the Beatles should sing their songs.  Not every performance in this film is awful – Aerosmith’s version of “Come Together” would be a deserved hit.  According to Wikipedia, it was the first album to go “return platinum”, with over four million copies pulled off shelves and returned to distributors.  But there is no real passion in the songs and that comes across in the film.  The Beatles, as a group, were natural comedians and their talent for comedy lay at the heart of the success of their films.  The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton can’t act and that just brings down the already wretched performances.  And yet, even that is not as bad as the inane storyline put in there to try and hold it all together.

If you truly want to know how bad the plot is, go read about it.  If you truly want to hear how bad the music is and how much you can ruin a Beatles song, go listen to it.  But, unless you are the type of person who deliberately seeks out bad movies to have a good time, I can not recommend enough that you never put yourself through the agony of watching this film.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:   The Deer Hunter  (10)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:   The Deer Hunter  (6)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:   The Deer Hunter  (525)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  The Wiz
  • 2nd Place Award:  Midnight Express  (Picture, Director)
  • 6th Place Award:  Heaven Can Wait  (Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Original Score)  ***
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:   The Deer Hunter  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:   The Deer Hunter  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:   The Deer Hunter  (450)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  The Boys from Brazil
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  Heaven Can Wait  (8)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  Heaven Can Wait  (4)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  Heaven Can Wait  (465)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Grease

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

*** – Kind of strange that all four of these were things where Heaven Can Wait actually earned Oscar nominations.

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:  Ingmar Bergman  (500)

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

  • Drama:  46 (23)  –  Midnight Express  (65.2)
  • Foreign:  44  –  Autumn Sonata  (63.7)
  • Comedy:  21 (8)  –  Heaven Can Wait  (63.6)
  • Horror:  13 (2)  –  Halloween  (38.7)
  • Musical:  7 (1)  –  The Buddy Holly Story  (50.7)
  • Mystery:  6 (1)  –  Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?  (64.5)
  • War:  5 (2)  –  The Deer Hunter  (73)
  • Crime:  5 (1)  –  Straight Time  (58)
  • Kids:  5  –  Return from Witch Mountain  (53)
  • Action:  4 (2)  –  Superman  (59.2)
  • Fantasy:  3 (1)  –  Watership Down  (66)
  • Western:  3 (1)  –  Comes a Horseman  (65.3)
  • Suspense:  3 (2)  –  Coma  (54.3)
  • Sci-Fi:  2  –  Capricorn One  (57)
  • Adventure:  1  –  Crossed Swords  (44)

Analysis:  This year ties for the most Mysteries to-date.  Also, with Vietnam films starting up, there are the most War films in seven years.  Dramas have their best average between 1973 and 1982.  Thanks to Watership Down, Fantasies have their highest average since 1962.  Musicals tank – their 50.7 average is the lowest to-date.
Superman is the first Action film in the Top 10 in seven years.  It could be counted as a Fantasy film, which would make this a banner year for Fantasy.  Watership Down is the first Fantasy film in the Top 10 since 1947 and only the third to-date.  For the first time since 1963, there are multiple War films in the Top 10.  There are 13 Horror films in the year.  Three of them are in the Top 20 (the most since 1968 and tied for the most since 1932).  The other 10 are all in the bottom 30 and seven of them are in the bottom 10.  The Deer Hunter is the first War film to win the Nighthawk since 1957.  It is the fourth war film overall to win and the third different war.

Studio Note:  No studio dominates, with Warners leading with 13 films and UA and Universal having 12 each.  The majors as a whole are back, with just over half the films for the first time since 1971.  Warners has its most films since 1968 while Columbia, with only 6, has it fewest since 1951.  UA (57.4) and Fox (53.0) both have their lowest averages to-date.
AIP finally slows up (which is why it doesn’t have any films in the bottom 5), with only 2 films, the fewest since 1959.  I also don’t have any films from Tojo for the first time since 1957.
Just three years after becoming the last of the still-existing majors to win its third Nighthawk, Universal wins its fourth (also the last to get to four).

35 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):

  • Autumn Sonata  (Bergman, Sweden)
  • Bye Bye Monkey  (Ferreri, Italy)
  • La Cage Aux Folles  (Molinaro, France)
  • The Chess Players  (Ray, India)  *
  • China 9, Liberty 37  (Hellman, Italy)
  • Death of a President  (Kawalerowicz, Poland)
  • A Dream of Passion  (Dassin, France)
  • Drunken Master  (Yuen, Hong Kong)
  • Empire of Passion  (Oshima, Japan)  *
  • La Escopeta nacional  (Garcia Berlanga, Spain)
  • Eskimo Limon  (Davidson, Israel)  *
  • Get Out Your Handkerchiefs  (Blier, France)  ***
  • The Glass Cell  (Geissendorfer, West Germany)  **
  • The Grapes of Death  (Rollin, France)
  • The Green Room  (Truffaut, France)
  • The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting  (Ruiz, France)
  • In a Year of 13 Moons  (Fassbinder, West Germany)
  • The Inglorious Bastards  (Castellari, Italy)
  • Moliere  (Mnouchkine, France)
  • Mugaddar Ka Sikanddar  (Mehra, India)
  • Nick Carter in Prague  (Lipsky, Czeschoslovakia)  *
  • A Night Full of Rain  (Wertmuller, Italy)
  • Occupation in 26 Pictures  (Zafranovic, Yugoslavia)  *
  • Orchestra Rehearsal  (Fellini, Italy)
  • Perceval  (Rohmer, France)
  • Place Without Limits  (Ripstein, Mexico)  *
  • Promise of Love  (Mouradian, Lebanon)  *
  • Rendezvous with Anna  (Akerman, Belgium)
  • Robert et Robert  (Lelouch, France)
  • The Second Awakening of Christina Klages  (Von Trotta, West Germany)
  • The Tree of Wooden Clogs  (Olmi, Italy)
  • Violette  (Chabrol, France)
  • Viva Italia  (Monicelli, Italy)  **
  • The Wedding of Zein  (Al Siddiq, Kuwait)  *
  • White Bim Black Ear  (Rostotsky, USSR)  **

Note:  This is the lowest total since 1962.  I have my first film from Lebanon and my second from Kuwait.  France continues its streak of six straight leading years, this time with 10 films.  Italy is in second place for the sixth straight year, this time with 7.  India gets its 68th film, tying Germany for 5th place.  Only 16 of the 35 films are Dramas, the first time less than 50% have been Dramas since 1972

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

  • Hungary:  The Hungarians  (dir. Fabri)  –  NOMINEE
  • Brazil:  The Lyre of Delight  (dir. Lima)
  • Cuba:  Viva el Presidente  (dir. Littin)
  • Denmark:  Me and Charley  (dir. Arnfred / Kristiansen)
  • Netherlands:  Pastorale 1943  (dir. Verstappen)
  • Spain:  Somnambulists  (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 13 for 19.  The 19 submissions, the lowest since 1970 (it will never again be lower than 23) is part of the reason I have seen so few Foreign films in this year.
The Hungarian submission is the most recent nominee I am missing.  It is also the second straight Hungarian submission I am missing and the fourth overall.  It’s the first submission from Cuba, and of course, I haven’t seen it.  It’s the third time I have missed the Brazilian submission, the fourth time for the Netherlands and sadly, the ninth time for Spain.  But Denmark continues to be the thorn in my side – I am 3 for 19 up to this point.
Cuba and Lebanon submit for the first time while Kuwait does so for the second time.  The only two other countries that didn’t submit the year before that do this year are Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.  But lots of countries that submitted the year before don’t this year (the full list is here).  They are Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, East Germany, Iran, Morocco, Venezuela, and in an oddity, Sweden, since Bergman made a brilliant film this year.

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

  • A Geisha  (1953)
  • Conflagration  (1958)
  • The Night of Counting the Years  (1970)
  • Bread and Chocolate  (1973)
  • The Satanic Rites of Dracula  (1973)
  • Celine and Julie Go Boating  (1974)
  • Master of the Flying Guillotine  (1974)
  • Cat and Mouse  (1975)
  • Dirty Hands  (1975)
  • Hugo the Hippo  (1975)
  • Poachers  (1975)
  • Alice Sweet Alice  (1976)
  • The Best Way  (1976)
  • Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands  (1976)
  • The Greek Tycoon  (1976)
  • The Last Supper  (1976)
  • The Last Woman  (1976)
  • Mado  (1976)
  • Mr Klein  (1976)
  • Sebastiane  (1976)
  • A Slave of Love  (1976)
  • Who Can Kill a Child  (1976)
  • The Ascent  (1977)
  • Ceddo  (1977)
  • The Duellists  (1977)
  • Eraserhead  (1977)
  • Hitch-Hike  (1977)
  • Iphigenia  (1977)
  • Madame Rosa  (1977)
  • Martin  (1977)
  • The Mouse and His Child  (1977)
  • Padre padrone  (1977)
  • The Shaolin 36th Chamber  (1977)

Note:  These 33 films average a 58.5.  Only three films are better than *** (The Ascent, Bread and Chocolate, Conflagration).

Films Not Listed at

  • The Ascent
  • Bye Bye Monkey
  • The Chess Players
  • China 9, Liberty 37
  • Death of a President
  • Dominique
  • La Escopeta nacional
  • Eskimo Limon
  • The Grapes of Death
  • Hitch-Hike
  • Muqaddar Ka Sikanddar
  • My Way Home
  • Nick Carter in Prague
  • Occupation in 26 Pictures
  • Poachers
  • Promise of Love
  • The Second Awakenings of Christina Klages
  • The Wedding of Zein
  • White Bim Black Ear
  • Who Can Kill a Child

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 got an L.A. release.  The list this time has several films that were submitted for Best Foreign Film: The Ascent, The Chess Players, Death of a President, Eskimo Limon, Nick Carter in Prague, Occupation in 26 Pictures, Poachers, Promise of Love, The Wedding of Zein and White Bim Black Ear.

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

  • Attack of the Killer Tomatoes  (1979)
  • Battlestar Gallactica  (1979)
  • La Cage Aux Folles  (1979)
  • Despair  (1979)
  • Fedora  (1979)
  • Game of Death  (1979)
  • Get Out Your Handkerchiefs  (1979)
  • The Green Room  (1979)
  • Newsfront  (1979)
  • Orchestra Rehearsal  (1979)
  • Robert et Robert  (1979)
  • The Silent Partner  (1979)
  • The Tree of Wooden Clogs  (1979)
  • Zoltan: Hound of Dracula  (1979)
  • The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith  (1980)
  • Empire of Passion  (1980)
  • The Getting of Wisdom  (1980)
  • In a Year of 13 Moons  (1980)
  • Moliere  (1980)
  • Nick Carter in Prague  (1980)
  • The Thirty-Nine Steps  (1980)
  • An Enemy of the People  (1981)
  • The Glass Cell  (1981)
  • The Inglorious Bastards  (1981)
  • The Shooting Party  (1981)
  • The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting  (1987)
  • Place Without Limits  (1987)
  • Rendezvous with Anna  (1988)
  • Drunken Master  (1994)

Note:  These 29 films average a 59.7.  There are two truly awful films (Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Zoltan), and La Cage Aux Folles is the only one above ***.