Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

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.  Anything in olive is a link to another post that I didn’t want to show up accidentally in blue and make it appear like it’s a nominee.

I’m listing the top 8 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  The reason I have dropped it to 8 is because there is often a big drop between #8 and #9 and a lot of categories don’t even go past 8.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Gallipoli
  3. Reds
  4. Atlantic City
  5. Excalibur
  6. Ragtime
  7. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  8. Body Heat

Analysis:  My Top 5 are easy, as there are only five **** films for the first time since 1972 and the last time to-date.  The drop between #5 and #6 (four points) is the largest since 1972 and the second largest since 1957.

  • spielbergBest Director
  1. Steven Spielberg  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)  *
  2. Peter Weir  (Gallipoli)
  3. Warren Beatty  (Reds)  **
  4. John Boorman  (Excalibur)
  5. Louis Malle  (Atlantic City)  *
  6. Lawrence Kasdan  (Body Heat)
  7. Milos Forman  (Ragtime)
  8. Karel Reisz  (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)

Analysis:  These are the only nominations for Beatty and Malle, which is a little surprising.  It’s the second nominations for Weir and Boorman.  Spielberg, on the other hand, earns his third nomination and second win.
With Beatty winning while Chariots wins Best Picture, this is the fourth time (joining 1936, 1937 and 1951) that the Picture winner doesn’t make my Top 10 (Chariots is my #19) while the Director winner is in my Top 5.  With Best Director nominations for Hugh Hudson (Chariots) and Mark Rydell (On Golden Pond), the Oscar score is only a 60.5, the lowest in the category since 1968.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The French Lieutenant’s Woman  *
  2. Ragtime  *
  3. Excalibur
  4. Buddy Buddy
  5. The Lady from Musashino
  6. Superman II

Analysis:  On Golden Pond was the easy Consensus winner (Oscar, WGA, Globe wins, BAFTA nom) but I think it’s sentimental and trite and doesn’t deserve accolades for its writing.
Billy Wilder earns his 17th and final Nighthawk nomination, finishing with 1000 points exactly and in 1st place (until Bergman ties him in 1983 and passes him in 1984).
The weakest Top 5 in four years, but the second weakest since 1942.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Atlantic City  **
  3. Reds  *
  4. Gallipoli
  5. Absence of Malice  *
  6. Body Heat
  7. My Dinner with Andre
  8. The Last Metro

Analysis:  Atlantic City would lose the Oscar to Chariots of Fire (my #9), the WGA to Reds, the BAFTA to Gregory’s Girl and the Nighthawk to Raiders, but won three critics awards (NYFC, LAFC, NSFC).  If it had been in 1980 or 1982, it would have won the Nighthawk.
Lawrence Kasdan earns his second nomination and first win for Raiders, while just missing out for Body Heat.

  • Best Actor:
  1. Warren Beatty  (Reds)  *
  2. Burt Lancaster  (Atlantic City)  **
  3. Harrison Ford  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  4. Paul Newman  (Absence of Malice)  *
  5. Jeremy Irons  (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)  *
  6. Henry Fonda  (On Golden Pond)  *
  7. Mel Gibson  (Gallipoli)
  8. William Hurt  (Body Heat)

Analysis:  Lancaster has the highest Consensus total (399 points) to-date and the fourth highest in history for someone who doesn’t win the Oscar.  He win the NYFC, LAFC, NSFC, BSFC and BAFTA and earns Oscar and Globe noms.
These are the first nominations for Ford and Irons.  It’s the sixth, and final, nomination for Lancaster, who, sadly never wins a Nighthawk but finishes in second twice.  It’s the fifth nomination and second win for Beatty.  It’s also the fifth nomination for Newman.

  • Best Actress
  1. Diane Keaton  (Reds)  *
  2. Meryl Streep  (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)  **
  3. Karen Allen  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  4. Kathleen Turner  (Body Heat)
  5. Susan Sarandon  (Atlantic City)
  6. Catherine Deneuve  (The Last Metro)
  7. Sally Field  (Absence of Malice)
  8. Katharine Hepburn  (On Golden Pond)  *

Analysis:  Streep is the best #2 in this category in seven years.  She also earns the first of her incredible five Consensus wins for Best Actress (plus her overwhelming one in Supporting Actress in 1979).
This is the only nomination for Karen Allen.  It’s the first nom for both Susan Sarandon and Kathleen Turner.  It’s the fourth for Keaton (and her second win).  It’s already the fifth for Streep, thanks to her three nominations in 1979.

  • rollinsBest Supporting Actor:
  1. Howard Rollins, Jr.  (Ragtime)  *
  2. Jack Nicholson  (Reds)  *
  3. Nicol Williamson  (Excalibur)
  4. John Gielgud  (Arthur)  **
  5. Ian Holm  (Chariots of Fire)  *
  6. Mandy Patinken  (Ragtime)
  7. Brad Dourif  (Ragtime)
  8. Robert Preston  (S.O.B.)

Analysis:  Nicholson has the highest 2nd place Consensus finish to-date and won’t be passed until 1993.  Both Gielgud (Oscar, Globe, LAFC, NYFC wins, BAFTA nom) and Nicholson (BSFC, NBR, BAFTA wins, Oscar, Globe noms) have over 200 points and no one else has over 100.  Gielgud is the first Oscar winner in eight years not to be either my #1 or 2.
These are the only nominations for Rollins, Gielgud and Williamson.  It’s the second nomination for Holm.  Nicholson beats them all, earning his seventh nomination and moving into a tie for 6th place.

  • ragtimeBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Elizabeth McGovern  (Ragtime)  *
  2. Maureen Stapleton  (Reds)  **
  3. Helen Mirren  (Excalibur)
  4. Melinda Dillon  (Absence of Malice)  *
  5. Jane Fonda  (On Golden Pond)  *
  6. Mary Steenburgen  (Ragtime)
  7. Kate Reid  (Atlantic City)
  8. Joan Hackett  (Only When I Laugh)  *

Analysis:  Stapleton is the best #2 in this category in eight years.  She’s also the third straight Consensus winner to receive more than 45% of the total Consensus points.
It’s the only nomination for McGovern, the first for Helen Mirren and the second for both Maureen Stapleton and Melinda Dillon.  It’s the sixth, and last, for Jane Fonda.  She finishes with 275 points and in 7th place.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Gallipoli
  3. Reds
  4. Ragtime
  5. Atlantic City
  6. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  7. Excalibur
  8. Superman II

Analysis:  Raiders is definitely among my contenders for best edited film of all-time.  The Oscar score is a 70.0, which is the second highest to-date in this category.

  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark  *
  2. Excalibur  *
  3. Reds  **
  4. Gallipoli
  5. Body Heat
  6. Atlantic City
  7. Ragtime  *
  8. Pennies from Heaven  *

Analysis:  The Top 5 is weaker than the previous two years, but still among the five best to-date.  I don’t mind the win for Reds because my top three are all fantastically filmed.  With those three leading the way, the Oscar score is an 85.0, the highest to-date in a year with five nominees (in other words, the highest since 1950).

  • Best Original Score:
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Chariots of Fire
  3. Ragtime
  4. Body Heat
  5. Superman II
  6. Time Bandits
  7. The Lady from Musashino
  8. Victory

Analysis:  John Williams writes the best score in film history, earning his fifth straight nomination and his fourth win in five years.  Williams is now at 325 points and tied for 3rd place.  Meanwhile, the score for Chariots of Fire is one of the greatest #2 finishes in film history.  In third place, is the first nomination for Randy Newman, my dad’s high school classmate.  In 4th place is John Barry, earning his fourth nomination.  In fifth place is not John Williams, but rather Ken Thorne, with his new music for Superman II.  Another strong Oscar score (75.9), the highest in the category since 1960 and the third highest to-date.

A quick note about the clip below.  I really wanted the end of the film for the score.  This was the only clip on YouTube I found.  I don’t know why it has a TIE Fighter superimposed on the shot or why the credits for The Empire Strikes Back comes up.  Ah, the mysteries of YouTube.

  • Best Sound:
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Excalibur
  3. Gallipoli
  4. Reds
  5. Superman II
  6. Ragtime
  7. Blow Out
  8. Pennies from Heaven
  • raiders2Best Art Direction:
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Ragtime
  3. Excalibur
  4. Reds
  5. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  6. The Last Metro
  7. Atlantic City
  8. Time Bandits

Analysis:  The Top 5 is tied with the year before for the best Top 5 to-date.  The Oscar score is marred by their nomination of Heaven’s Gate over Excalibur.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Clash of the Titans
  3. Time Bandits
  4. Excalibur
  5. Superman II
  6. Dragonslayer
  7. Outland

Analysis:  Tied with 1979 for the best Top 5 to-date.  Thanks to Raiders and Star Wars, I didn’t really appreciate the effects in Clash of the Titans at the time, but my appreciation of Harryhausen can be seen in the review here.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Excalibur
  3. Superman II
  4. Gallipoli
  5. Time Bandits
  6. Blow Out
  7. For Your Eyes Only
  8. Outland

Analysis:  Raiders won a special Oscar in this category.  The third best Top 5 to-date.

  • ragtime-costumesBest Costume Design:
  1. Ragtime
  2. Excalibur
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  4. Reds
  5. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  6. Time Bandits
  7. Pennies from Heaven
  8. Chariots of Fire

Analysis:  The second best Top 5 to-date.  With all five nominees in my Top 8, it also earns an Oscar score of 89.2, the highest in seven years.

  • Best Makeup
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Excalibur
  3. An American Werewolf in London
  4. The Howling
  5. Time Bandits
  6. Clash of the Titans
  7. Scanners
  8. The Last Metro

Analysis:  The third best Top 5 to-date, but in the first year of it being a competitive Oscar nomination, the score is a terrible 23.5, as they miss out on both Raiders and Excalibur (the other Oscar nominee was Heartbeeps).

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Arthur’s Theme”  (Arthur)
  2. “One More Hour”  (Ragtime)
  3. “For Your Eyes Only”  (For Your Eyes Only)
  4. “The Inquisition”  (History of the World Part I)
  5. “Dreamaway”  (Time Bandits)
  6. “Best of Friends”  (The Fox and the Hound)
  7. “Hey!  A Movie”  (The Great Muppet Caper)
  8. “The First Time it Happens”  (The Great Muppet Caper)

Analysis: lists songs from different films.  It lists 147 songs from 53 different films.  I have only seen 22 of those films (accounting for 65 songs).  I have seen the film with the most songs listed (Heavy Metal) but not the next two (The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia, Sharky’s Machine).  Overall, it’s a pretty damn weak year for songs, especially when compared to a year like 1979.  Just look at how “For Your Eyes Only” was my 3rd Best Bond song and earns a nomination, while my #1 Bond song (“A View to a Kill”) won’t earn a nomination in 1985 because it’s such a tougher year for original songs.  This is one of those categories where there is no #9 on my list.  “The First Time It Happens” barely made my list.
This is only the fourth time since 1949 that I agree with the Oscar winner and it will be another seven years before it happens again.

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. The Fox and the Hound

Analysis:  There are seven eligible films (three of which were not listed at, tied for the second most to-date.  The Fox and the Hound is the weakest film to ever win the award, just scraping by with a 76, the lowest score possible to still be eligible for my list.  Since the total films will now start growing, they will be listed separately down below by the Foreign films.

  • dasbootBest Foreign Film:
  1. Das Boot  *
  2. Mephisto  *
  3. Three Brothers  *
  4. Pixote  **
  5. The Boat is Full
  6. Man of Iron

note:  Films in green were submitted to the Academy but not nominated.  There are none this year, meaning the Academy did a damn good job with what was submitted – it’s rare for four nominees to make my Top 6 (the fifth nominee, Muddy River, ranked 10th).  The five nominees averaged a 79.2, the second best to-date, behind only 1968, and it won’t be beaten until 2000.

Analysis:  Argentina Brazil (Pixote) and Switzerland (The Boat is Full) earn their first Nighthawk nominations while Hungary (Mephisto) earns its first in 15 years.  For only the third time since 1963, France does not earn a nomination and it will be another seven years before it misses out again.  It’s the first time since 1964 and second time since 1947 that none of the big four foreign directors earn a nomination (Kurosawa, Bergman, Truffaut, Buñuel).  Truffaut does make a film, but it’s his last and one of his weakest.
It’s the best Top 5 and best Top 10 in eight years.  Man of Iron is the first film to make my list and not earn a nomination in eight years.  Das Boot is the best winner in eight years but Mephisto is the weakest #2 in eleven years.  The 10 point difference between them is the largest between a #1 and #2 since 1946.

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.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark  (685)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Reds   (440)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Excalibur  (325)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Cinematography, Sound, Art Direction, Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup
  • Ragtime  (270)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing, Original Score, Art Direction, Costume Design, Original Song
  • Atlantic City  (230)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Editing
  • Gallipoli  (225)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Editing, Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing
  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman  (185)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Art Direction, Costume Design
  • Absence of Malice  (105)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Body Heat  (85)
    • Actress, Cinematography, Original Score
  • Superman II  (85)
    • Original Score, Sound, Visual Effects, Sound Editing
  • The Lady from Musashino  (60)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Foreign Film (1951)
  • Time Bandits  (60)
    • Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup, Original Song
  • Chariots of Fire  (55)
    • Supporting Actor, Original Score
  • Arthur  (50)
    • Supporting Actor, Original Song
  • Buddy, Buddy  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Fox and the Hound  (40)
    • Animated Film
  • On Golden Pond  (30)
    • Supporting Actress
  • Clash of the Titans  (20)
    • Visual Effects
  • The Last Metro  (20)
    • Foreign Film (1980)
  • Pixote  (20)
    • Foreign Film
  • The Howling  (10)
    • Makeup
  • An American Werewolf in London  (10)
    • Makeup
  • For Your Eyes Only  (10)
    • Original Song
  • The History of the World Part II  (10)
    • Original Song

Analysis:  There are six fewer films receiving nominations than the year before.  Raiders will end up with the second most award points of the decade.  Ragtime is tied for sixth most points without a Best Picture nomination to-date.  Excalibur is tied for the second most nominations without a win (12) and has the fifth most points to-date.

Best Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • My Dinner with Andre

Analysis:  I give it a 75, which puts it right at the top of ***, but I just don’t think the Screenplay is quite good enough to make my list.

Biggest Awards Film Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Awards:

  • Pennies from Heaven

Analysis:  It won Best Cinematography from the NSFC and BSFC (but didn’t earn an Oscar nom because, hey, it’s Gordon Willis), won Best Actress – Comedy / Musical at the Globes and was nominated for Picture and Actor (and to be fair, earns Actor and Actress nominations in my Comedy / Musical awards) and was nominated for Adapted Screenplay, Sound and Costume Design at the Oscars.  It does end up with 5 Top 10 finishes but nothing higher than its 7th place finish in Costume Design.

Nighthawk Golden Globes:


  • Best Picture
  1. Gallipoli
  2. Reds
  3. Atlantic City
  4. Excalibur
  5. Ragtime

Analysis:  Gallipoli and Atlantic City were both nominated for Foreign Film (and thus ineligible for Picture) at the Globes.
This is the weakest Top 5 in this category in nine years.

  • Best Director
  1. Peter Weir  (Gallipoli)
  2. Warren Beatty  (Reds)
  3. John Boorman  (Excalibur)
  4. Louis Malle  (Atlantic City)
  5. Lawrence Kasdan  (Body Heat)

Analysis:  These are the only Drama nominations for Beatty and Kasdan.  Malle earns his first nomination, Weir his second and Boorman his third.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The French Lieutenant’s Woman
  2. Ragtime
  3. Excalibur
  4. The Lady from Musashino
  5. Superman II

Analysis:  If I had considered Superman II a Comedy, this category would have been incomplete, a rarity in Drama.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Atlantic City
  2. Reds
  3. Gallipoli
  4. Absence of Malice
  5. Body Heat

Analysis:  Lawrence Kasdan earns his second straight nomination.  This is the best Top 5 in this category in five years which is especially surprising since Atlantic City is the weakest winner in this category in nine years.

  • still-of-diane-keaton-and-warren-beatty-in-reds-(1981)-large-pictureBest Actor:
  1. Warren Beatty  (Reds)
  2. Burt Lancaster  (Atlantic City)
  3. Paul Newman  (Absence of Malice)
  4. Jeremy Irons  (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)
  5. Henry Fonda  (On Golden Pond)

Analysis:  Irons earns his first nomination, Beatty his fourth (and second win) and Newman his fifth.  Lancaster and Fonda both earn their seventh (and last) nominations.

  • Best Actress
  1. Diane Keaton  (Reds)
  2. Meryl Streep  (The French Lieutenant’s Woman)
  3. Kathleen Turner  (Body Heat)
  4. Susan Sarandon  (Atlantic City)
  5. Catherine Deneuve  (The Last Metro)

Analysis:  This is, surprisingly, the only Drama nom for Kathleen Turner.  It’s the first for Sarandon, the third for Deneuve, the third for Keaton, and already the fourth for Streep.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Howard Rollins, Jr.  (Ragtime)
  2. Jack Nicholson  (Reds)
  3. Nicol Williamson  (Excalibur)
  4. Ian Holm  (Chariots of Fire)
  5. Mandy Patinken  (Ragtime)

Analysis:  These are the only nominations for Williamson and Patinken, the first for Rollins and the second for Holm.  Nicholson earns his 7th and moves into the Top 10 in Drama points.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Elizabeth McGovern  (Ragtime)
  2. Maureen Stapleton  (Reds)
  3. Helen Mirren  (Excalibur)
  4. Melinda Dillon  (Absence of Malice)
  5. Jane Fonda  (On Golden Pond)

Analysis:  With all of the best performances stacked in Drama, this is the strongest Top 5 since 1959.
This is the first nom for Mirren and the second for McGovern, Stapleton and Dillon.  It’s the sixth for Fonda.  She’s now at 345 points and in sixth place in Drama.


  • Reds  (335)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Atlantic City  (245)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Ragtime  (240)
    • Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Gallipoli  (230)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay
  • Excalibur  (195)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman  (150)
    • Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Body Heat  (120)
    • Director, Original Screenplay, Actress
  • Absence of Malice  (105)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actress
  • On Golden Pond  (65)
    • Actor, Supporting Actress
  • Superman II  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Lady from Musashino  (40)
    • Adapted Screenplay
  • The Last Metro  (35)
    • Actress
  • Chariots of Fire  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  The four Drama acting winners as a whole are the strongest since 1974 and among the strongest ever.  Reds is an oddity here, having the most points without winning any of the three biggest awards.

Best Drama Not Nominated for Any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Pixote

Analysis:  Hector Babenco’s film is moving, but as my #10 Drama of the year, can’t make it close to any Top 5.

Comedy / Musical:

  • Best Picture
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Buddy Buddy
  3. The Fox and the Hound

Analysis:  The weakest Top 5 in five years (counting the next two films which don’t make my list – Zoot Suit and The Four Seasons).

  • Best Director
  1. Steven Spielberg  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  2. Terry Gilliam  (Time Bandits)
  3. Billy Wilder (Buddy Buddy)

Analysis:  Spielberg earns his first Comedy nomination (and win) and Gilliam his first nom.  Billy Wilder earns his 8th nomination and finishes his career with 495 points, third all-time behind Chaplin and Buñuel.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Buddy Buddy

Analysis:  With his final film, Billy Wilder earns his 14th Comedy nomination and his 7th win (third in Adapted Comedy) and finishes in 1st place with 840 points, where he will stay until Woody Allen ties him in 1987 and passes him in 1994.
Not the lowest Top 5 all-time, but the lowest since 1958.

  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. The Four Seasons
  3. Time Bandits
  4. Arthur

Analysis:  Lawrence Kasdan earns his 1st Comedy win.

  • Indy-MarionBest Actor:
  1. Harrison Ford  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  2. Dudley Moore  (Arthur)
  3. Steve Martin  (Pennies from Heaven)
  4. Walter Matthau  (Buddy Buddy)
  5. Alan Alda  (The Four Seasons)

Analysis:  Matthau was nominated, but for First Monday in October.
These are the only nominations for Moore and Ford.  It’s the second for Alda.  It’s the first for Martin, but he will earn five more before the end of the decade.  It’s the sixth, and last, for Matthau, who finishes with 270 points and in 6th place for Comedy points.

  • Best Actress
  1. Karen Allen  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  2. Bernadette Peters  (Pennies from Heaven)
  3. Carol Burnett  (The Four Seasons)

Analysis:  It’s the only nomination for Allen and Peters and the second for Burnett.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. John Gielgud  (Arthur)
  2. Robert Preston  (S.O.B.)
  3. John Rhys-Davies  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)
  4. Denholm Elliott  (Raiders of the Lost Ark)

Analysis:  It’s the only Comedy nominations for Gielgud and Rhys-Davies.  It’s the first for Elliott, who will earn two more in the decade.  It’s the second for Preston, who will this award the next year.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Liza Minnelli  (Arthur)

Analysis:  Minnelli was nominated as a lead at the Globes in what was a pretty thin category.  It’s the third nomination and second win in Comedy for Minnelli.


  • Raiders of the Lost Ark  (470)
    • Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actor
  • Buddy, Buddy  (210)
    • Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor
  • Arthur  (195)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress
  • The Four Seasons  (110)
    • Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress
  • Time Bandits  (100)
    • Director, Original Screenplay
  • Pennies from Heaven  (70)
    • Actor, Actress
  • The Fox and the Hound  (50)
    • Picture
  • S.O.B.  (30)
    • Supporting Actor

Analysis:  A slim group, and if I didn’t count Raiders it would be a horror show.

Best Comedy Not Nominated for any Nighthawk Golden Globes:

  • Zoot Suit

Analysis:  The fourth best Comedy (actually, Musical) of the year, but I didn’t think it was good enough in any category to merit inclusion on the list.  I don’t blame the Globes for nominating it though – it is a high ***.

Roundup for the Year in Film:

Eligible Films I Have Seen:  144

By Stars:

  • ****:  5
  • ***.5:  10
  • ***:  65
  • **.5:  27
  • **:  16
  • *.5:  4
  • *:  9
  • .5:  7
  • 0:  1
  • Average Film Score for the Year, out of 100:  57.51

Analysis:  Up close to a point, but still quite bad.  That’s because while there are a lot more *** films than the year before, there is a dearth of **** films.  It’s the fewest **** films since 1972 and there won’t be another year after this with less than 7.  It also joins the year before as only the second year where over 10% of the films are * or less.

Oscar-Nominated Films I Have Not Seen:

  • none

Oscar Quality:

Best Picture:  It’s a big drop from the year before, down to #34.  That’s the worst of the stretch from 1979 to 1984.  Yet, it is still better than any year prior to 1972 except 1961.  The one top film (Raiders – #11) is balanced out by the bottom one (On Golden Pond – #450).

The Winners:  The rank, among the nominees is a 2.5, the worst since 1964.  While there are seven categories where the Oscar choose the best of the nominees (four of which are won by Raiders), it is also the first time in eight years where there is more than one category where they gave the Oscar to the worst nominee: Adapted Screenplay (first time since 1961) and Costume Design (first time since 1955).  It’s the first time since 1958 that both the actors (3.25 average) and major categories (3.75 average) have an average of 3.25 or worse.  Among all nominees, it’s not too bad, with a 4.37 overall average, lowered to 3.56 without Best Picture.  That’s because while they didn’t a great job of choosing among the nominees, they weren’t overall bad choices.  Best Picture (19th) is the only category where the winner falls outside my Top 10.

The Nominees:  Overall, this year sets a new high for an Oscar score with a 75.5 (although that will be beaten the next year).  It is lead by a new high in the Tech score with 75.5.  The acting is a bit strange – it’s the second year in a row with all four acting categories over 80.  However, this is the only year so far when all four categories have a score over 80 but none of them have a score over 90, with Supporting Actor (88.2) the highest.  The major categories only earn a 63.2, the lowest since 1969, kept down by the nominations in all three categories for Chariots of Fire and On Golden Pond.

Golden Globe Best Picture – Comedy / Musical:  This year is exceedingly strange.  As can be seen from my Comedy / Musical awards, I don’t think it’s a good year for them (and the only nomination Raiders received was Director, so it’s not certain they would have considered it one).  But there are 66 years in this category (not counting the three years that only had a winner, but counting as extra years the five years where Musical was a separate category).  In 55 of those 66 years, at least one film among the nominees ranks among the Top 150 nominees (out of 329 films).  This year is not one of those years – the best film, Zoot Suit, ranks at #157.  So, you would expect this year to rank near the bottom.  But it doesn’t; it ranks 36th out of 66.  It is one of only 10 years that doesn’t have any films ranking higher than ***, yet it ranks above 30 other years.  How?  Well, because it’s a year of the quite good, but not very good.  Zoot Suit might be the best of the films (a 74, ranked at #157) but Arthur is the weakest (a 71, ranked at #187).  The other three (The Four Seasons, Pennies from Heaven, S.O.B.) are all also high-level *** films.  There aren’t any great, or even very good films, but none of the films are weak.  More importantly, all of them are my Top 10 for Comedy / Musical in the year.  Do I think they could have done better?  Well, certainly.  But, if they didn’t count Raiders as Comedy (certainly a possibility), the best they could have hoped for was a 74.6 average of the top five and they averaged a 73.0.  So, with what was available, the Globes did okay (for the record, the other films I have above Arthur but not good enough to make my list are Time Bandits and For Your Eyes Only).

Top 5 Films of the Year:

1  –  Raiders of the Lost Ark  (reviewed here and here)

Australian resentment against the Brits produces another great film.

Australian resentment against the Brits produces another great film.

2  –  Gallipoli  (dir. Peter Weir)

How will history judge us?  How will that judgment change over time?  Let’s look at the case of Winston Churchill.  His career went through massive ups and downs (he became First Lord of the Admiralty while still in his 30’s then was forced from the position during the Great War, then of course, his importance during the Second World War, followed by his removal from power before the war’s conclusion).  If you start to type in “Greatest Man of the 20th Century” it will actually fill in Winston Churchill afterwards.  Yet, a century from now, when even more time has passed and the legacy of imperialism is studied, how will he be judged?  I mention Churchill, of course, because Churchill has long received the blame for the disastrous Dardanelles campaign, the British chain of mistakes that ended with hundreds of thousands of casualties and one battle of which is portrayed in the film Gallipoli.

I certainly always thought of Churchill as the man who deserved the large share of the blame for these events, which director Peter Weir so masterfully depicts in this film (with, it must be said, historical inaccuracies).  In this same spot, in the year before, was Breaker Morant, the sister film to this one, and that becomes more relevant than ever.  Both films helped the Australian New Wave become such a big success, with Weir going on to numerous Oscar nominations and launching (in conjunction with the first two Mad Max films) the international career of Mel Gibson back when he was actually an actor with charisma and presence and not just a deranged lunatic.  So, how interesting was it to realize that while many share the blame for the disaster that lead to all those Australian troops lying dead half a world away from home, that Lord Kitchener, the same man whose policies lead to the execution of Breaker Morant himself, shares more blame than Churchill.  Churchill, in fact, tried to do what he could to prevent such a disaster:

The political world did not know at the time that, if Churchill had been listened to, the Dardanelles campaign could have been won at a time when only a few hundred casualties had been incurred; and that it was because the admirals and generals had overruled him that Britain had embarked on a campaign that was in the process of costing her more than 200,000 casualties.  Thus it failed to grasp the essential fact that Britain’s generals and admirals were losing the war for her and that the country urgently needed not less but more civilian control of the military.  (A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin, p 161)

But that’s just the history part.  Gallipoli would be nothing if it were just a history lesson (especially, since as I said, there are inaccuracies that fit the film’s theme of the British using the Australians and letting them take the brunt).  Well over a third of the film takes place before the two main characters, both of them fast on their feet who meet in a race, even enlist.  The film shows the kind of life that Australians were living – they were very different from the rest of the British Empire.  One of them (Gibson) has been working on a railroad and living on the edge.  He is carefree and relaxed.  The other has been relentlessly trained as a runner by his uncle and his running is a kind of release (not so dissimilar from a far inferior film about two runners from this same year that managed to win Best Picture at the Oscars).  Both of them are off to enlist in the war almost as a form of adventure.  They have no firm notions of queen and country.  This is just the next step for something different.

Little could they know what was waiting for them.  The beautiful vistas of the outback that Weir has been given us make way for the bloody trenches on the edge of the beach.  Even though they are Australian troops, they fall under the purvey of the English and the English Army is a very different thing.  They want order and discipline and that means taking a hill that can not be taken.

In this film, in the attempt to find order in chaos, to attempt to do something that can not be done, to find meaning in meaninglessness, we see the pain and horror of war.  And behind it all are the British, striving to do what they know can not be done because their relentless need for order is what caused the botch job in the first place and left these men stranded on the end of a beach trying to take a hill that can not be taken.  Watch the film and see it all in painful poetry.  Or read Fromkin’s book and wonder at how much this all got screwed up and the thousands upon thousands of people who died for it.

3  –  Reds  (reviewed here)

4  –  Atlantic City  (reviewed here)

5  –  Excalibur  (reviewed here)

5 Worst Films  (#1 being the worst):

  1. Maniac
  2. Tarzan the Ape Man
  3. Mommie Dearest
  4. Happy Birthday to Me
  5. Caveman

note:  I was really surprised to not have The Legend of the Lone Ranger appear here, but I give it a 10, and these films earn a 0, 7, 8, 8 and 9.  Tarzan the Ape Man is the worst Tarzan film I have ever seen, which is saying a lot since I saw Tarzan and the Lost City in the theater.

The Razzies:  I’ve made my way through the Razzies, in order to compare them to the worst films of the year.  The winner is my third worst film of the year and my second worst is nominated.  The other three nominees are my 6th worst (The Legend of the Lone Ranger), my 9th worst (Heaven’s Gate) and my 14th worst (Endless Love).  They earn a total of 63 points, so they average a 12.6, which almost pushes it to *, so they could have made better choices (rounding out my Top 10 worst are Hawk the Slayer, Saturday the 14th and An American Werewolf in London).  But I don’t blame them for what they nominated: two of their nominees were directed by former Oscar nominees (Mommie Dearest by Frank Perry and Endless Love by Franco Zeffirelli) while Heaven’s Gate was directed by a former Oscar winner (Michael Cimino).  The Legend of the Lone Ranger, for me, is the most disappointing because I wanted it to be good.  I even went back to it in the early 2000’s, thinking I must have been too hard on it (I hadn’t seen it since I was a kid) and ended up rating it much lower than I had originally (I originally had it at *.5, but re-rating it, I pushed it down to .5).  I don’t blame them for passing over slasher films like Maniac (below) or Happy Birthday to Me (astoundingly, also directed by a former Oscar nominee, J. Lee Thompson) because those are supposed to be bad.  The films they nominated weren’t expected to be so awful, yet were.


Just another terrible slasher film.

Maniac  (dir. William Lustig)

I don’t give 0 stars lightly.  A lack of production values alone won’t get you there.  Terrible acting won’t get you there.  A pathetic script and inept direction won’t get you there.  If you manage to hit a trifecta of all of those things, you might just manage to get there (Ed Wood did, three times).  But generally I require something more to push you down to that level of utter dreck.  There’s a reason why, out of over 13,000 films that I’ve seen, only 36 of them have managed to score 0 stars.  I always tried to avoid terrible films.  I don’t seek them out because I don’t enjoy watching them, even for camp value (I don’t like camp).  Even having watched my way through the Razzie nominees of the past 35 years, I have added almost none of those to the dreaded 0 star list.  It generally requires something extra.  A bit of moral repulsiveness to bring it below the level of .5.

Maniac has that.  It’s not just that it looks like it was filmed by a couple of guys who somehow managed to get their hands on a camera (which is true – it was shot almost as a guerilla film).  It’s not even the subject matter.  There have been films about morally reprehensible killers before but that doesn’t necessarily earn them 0 stars.  But this film, about a schlubby guy who kills women and then scalps them, is just not worth watching.  The filmmakers seem to have a motive for him (beautiful women must die!) but that’s just an excuse for the excess of blood and gore that throws itself up on the screen.  It’s like they took Psychology 101 and decided that with that, and a lot of fake blood, and enough gore to actually make Gene Siskel walk out of the theater, they could make a feature film.  And so they did.  But they not only did it without any taste, they did it without any style and they did it without any intelligence.  Films like this can be interesting.  Hell, if you really want a good look at a deranged psychopath watch Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.  That took a long time to film, years to get released, was filmed with very little budget and is pretty hard to watch.  But it has intelligence behind it and it has style behind it.  You can understand precisely why the filmmakers were making it.


  • Most Nighthawk Nominations:   Raiders of the Lost Ark  (14)
  • Most Nighthawk Awards:   Raiders of the Lost Ark  (11)
  • Most Nighthawk Points:  Raiders of the Lost Ark  (685)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Award:  An American Werewolf in London
  • 2nd Place Award:  Excalibur  (Cinematography, Sound, Sound Editing, Costume Design, Makeup)
  • 6th Place Award:  Ragtime  (Picture, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Sound)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Nominations:   Reds  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Awards:   Gallipoli / Reds / Ragtime  (2)
  • Most Nighthawk Drama Points:  Reds  (335)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Drama Award:  On Golden Pond
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Nominations:  Raiders of the Lost Ark  (7)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Awards:  Raiders of the Lost Ark  (5)
  • Most Nighthawk Comedy Points:  Raiders of the Lost Ark  (470)
  • Worst Film Nominated for a Nighthawk Comedy Award:  Arthur

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


  • Gallipoli actually had the most points from its second place finishes (Picture, Director, Editing), but had two fewer than Excalibur.
  • Ragtime is only the seventh film to earn 4 6th place finishes, which is especially impressive since it earned 8 nominations.
  • It’s especially strange for three films to tie with 2 Drama awards each and for none of those films to have won either of the writing awards.
  • Arthur is actually pretty high for the year (#28, my #10 Comedy), but there weren’t many films nominated for my Comedy awards.

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:  Sven Nykvist  (275)
  • 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:  51 (27)  –  Reds  (64.5)
  • Foreign:  50  –  The Last Metro  (64.5)
  • Comedy:  28 (7)  –  Buddy, Buddy  (50.4)
  • Horror:  12 (1)  –  The Hand  (33.9)
  • Action:  9 (1)  –  Superman II  (57.4)
  • Musical:  8 (2)  –  Zoot Suit  (56.5)
  • Crime:  7 (4)  –  Atlantic City  (64.9)
  • Fantasy:  7 (1)  –  Raiders of the Lost Ark  (62.7)
  • War:  6 (4)  –  Gallipoli  (71.5)
  • Kids:  5 (2)  –  The Fox and the Hound  (69.8)
  • Mystery:  3  –  Eyewitness  (50.3)
  • Suspense:  3  –  Body Heat  (71.3)
  • Adventure:  2 (1)  –  Outlaw: The Saga of Gisli  (37)
  • Western:  2  –  Heaven’s Gate  (13.5)
  • Sci-Fi:  1  –  Outland  (66)

Analysis:  Dramas account for only 35.4% of all films, the lowest in five years and it won’t be lower again for over a decade.  The 7 Crime films are the most between 1975 and 1990; this makes 300 total Crime films and it catches Westerns and moves into the Top 5.  The 7 Fantasy films are by far the most to-date; Raiders joins La Belle et la bete as only the second Fantasy film to win the Nighthawk..  But it’s countered by the 1 Sci-Fi film, the fewest in seven years (and there won’t ever be this few again).  The 6 War films are the most in a decade.
For the first time, there are 2 Top 10 Fantasy films and it’s the first time since 1947 that there are even 2 Top 20 Fantasy films.  Superman II is the last Action film to make the Top 10 until 2003.  For only the second time since 1965 there are no Comedies in the Top 10.  There are two Musicals in the Top 20 for the first time since 1964 but that says more about the weaker films in the Top 20 than the quality of the Musicals.  In spite of having 50 Foreign films, there are only 3 in the Top 20, the lowest since 1953.  There are only two Westerns, and they are both truly awful (Heaven’s Gate, The Legend of the Lone Ranger).

Studio Note:  United Artists (10 films), combined with United Artists classics (5) leads the way.  It’s followed by Universal with 14.  But, it’s Paramount, with 12 films that is truly remarkable.  Paramount has the top 4 spots on my list and #6.  It is the first (and possibly only) time a studio has had five films in the Top 10, let alone five in the top six.  It’s not just me – three of those films were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.  Raiders becomes the 7th Paramount film to win the Nighthawk, only the second studio to reach that many.  With Paramount leading the way, for the second year in a row, 9 of the top 10 are from the major studios, as are 16 of the Top 20.  The lone holdout is Excalibur, the best of 7 films from Orion, which is quickly growing in quantity and quality.

7 Films Eligible for Best Animated Film  (ranked, with ***, director and studio in parenthesis)

  1. The Fox and the Hound  (***.5, Berman / Rich, Disney)
  2. The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie  (***, Freleng, Warner)
  3. Flaklypa Grand Prix  (***, Caprino, GG Communications)
  4. Heavy Metal  (***, Potterton, Columbia)
  5. Chie the Brat  (***, Takahata, Toho)
  6. Son of the White Mare  (**.5, Jankovics, PannoniaFilm)
  7. American Pop  (**, Bakshi, Columbia)

Note:  This is the only Nighthawk Award for Berman (who worked at Disney for over 40 years, but only finally earned directing credits for The Fox and the Hound and The Black Cauldron) and Richard Rich (who was much younger and would also direct The Black Cauldron, then would leave Disney and make the Swan Princess films).  It’s the 19th time I have given out this award and the 17th time it has gone to Disney.  But Takahata is about to found Ghibli with Hayao Miyazaki and they will start winning the award soon.  There will soon be more and more animated films (thus this separate list).  As recently as 1964, Disney accounted for more than half the animated feature films.  In 1980, they had 25 of the 91 films (27.4%) and now they have 26 out of 98 (26.5%).  By the end of the decade, they will be at exactly 20%.  There is also a film here by Ralph Bakshi, who continues to put out his film which are cult favorites but which I think are terrible.

47 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):

  • Le Beau mariage  (Rohmer, France)
  • Beau Pere  (Blier, France)
  • The Black Cat  (Fulci, Italy)
  • The Boat is Full  (Imhoof, Switzerland)  **
  • Bolero  (Lelouch, France)
  • Chie the Brat  (Takahata, Japan)
  • Children’s Island  (Pollak, Sweden)  *
  • Christiane F.  (Edel, West Germany)
  • Das Boot  (Petersen, West Germany)
  • Der Bockerer  (Antel, Austria)  *
  • Diva  (Beineix, France)  *
  • Do You Remember Me Dolly Bell  (Kusturica, Yugoslavia)  *
  • Docteur Jekyll et les femmes  (Borowczyk, France)
  • Edo Porn  (Shindo, Japan)
  • Eijanaika  (Imamura, Japan)
  • Fast, Fast  (Saura, France)
  • Heat-Haze Theatre  (Suzuki, Japan)
  • Hotel America  (Techine, France)
  • House by the Cemetery  (Fulci, Italy)
  • If I Were for Real  (Toon, Taiwan)  *
  • Julia Julia  (Vennerod / Wam, Norway)  *
  • Lili Marleen  (Fassbinder, West Germany)  *
  • Lola  (Fassbinder, West Germany)
  • Man of Iron  (Wajda, Poland)  **
  • The Man with the Carnation  (Tzimas, Greece)  *
  • Marianne and Juliane  (von Trotta, West Germany)
  • The Martian Club  (Liu, Hong Kong)
  • Mephisto  (Szabo, Hungary)  ***
  • Mojado Power  (Arau, Mexico)  *
  • Muddy River  (Oguri, Japan)  **
  • The Mystery of Oberwald  (Antonioni, Italy)
  • No Mercy, No Future  (Sanders-Brahms, West Germany)
  • Outlaw: The Saga of Giali  (Gudmundsson, Iceland)  *
  • Passione d’Amore  (Scola, Italy)
  • People on the Top  (Badrakhan, Egypt)  *
  • Pixote  (Babenco, Brazil)
  • Les Plouffe  (Carle, Canada)  *
  • The Prodigal Son  (Hung, Hong Kong)
  • The Professional  (Lautner, France)
  • Silsila  (Chopra, India)
  • Son of the White Mare  (Jankovics, Hungary)
  • Spetters  (Verhoeven, Netherlands)
  • Taxi to the Toilet  (Ripploh, West Germany)
  • Three Brothers  (Rosi, Italy)  **
  • Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man  (Bertolucci, Italy)
  • Umrao Jean  (Ali, India)
  • The Woman Next Door  (Truffaut, France)

Note:  The 47 total films are my highest total in five years.  France is #1 again, with 8 films, followed by West Germany with 7.  There are also 6 from Italy and 5 from Japan, making this the first time since 1965 where I have seen at least 5 films from four different countries.  Surprisingly, it won’t happen again for well over a decade.  I have my first film from Iceland.  The 7 films from West Germany are the most from any country other than France, Italy or Japan between 1951 and 1992.  For the first time since 1961, I have seen no Soviet films – but that is because the Soviet submission to the Oscars was a documentary and I don’t count those on my regular lists.

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

  • Argentina:  The Underground Man  (dir. Sarquis)
  • Belgium:  Le Grand Paysage d’Alexis Droeven  (dir. Andrien)
  • Czechoslovakia:  The Divine Emma  (dir. Krejcik)
  • Finland:  Sign of the Beast  (dir. Pakkasvirta)
  • Israel:  A Thousand Little Kisses  (dir. Recanati)
  • Netherlands:  Come-Back!  (dir. Severijn)
  • Spain:  National Heritage  (dir. Garcia Berlanga)

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 18 for 25 (72%), with four of the countries the same from 1980 (Czechoslovakia, Finland, Israel, Netherlands).
There is only one fewer submission than the year before, but as is usual, the countries are different.  Gone this year are Brazil, India (the start of three straight years without a submission for both), Portugal, Colombia, East Germany and Cameroon.  Back this year after a one-year gap are Egypt, Belgium and Argentina while Greece and Mexico are back after slightly longer gaps.  There are no brand new countries.
Argentina is a rare miss – only the third time and the last until at least the 2010’s.  Belgium is a problem – this is the 9th time they’ve submitted and the 7th time I haven’t been able to see it.  The Czechs continue to be a problem as well – this is the fifth time in the last seven submissions I am missing.  This is only the second Finnish submission but also the second I am missing – I won’t see one from Finland until 1990.  It’s the third of a five year stretch where I am missing the Israeli submission.  It’s the fourth of a five year stretch where I am missing the submission from the Netherlands.  It’s the only time from 1979 to 1984 that I am missing the Spanish submission but it’s also the only time in that stretch that their submission wasn’t nominated.

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

  • The Lady from Musashino  (1951)
  • Signs of Life  (1968)
  • Flaklypa Grand Prix  (1975)
  • Coup de Grace  (1976)
  • Man of Marble  (1976)
  • Si c’etait a refaire  (1976)
  • Camoflauge  (1977)
  • Lucio Flavio o Passagerios de Agonia  (1977)
  • An Enemy of the People  (1978)
  • The Glass Cell  (1978)
  • The Inglorious Bastards  (1978)
  • The Shooting Party  (1978)
  • Messidor  (1979)
  • Oblomov  (1979)
  • Tales from the Vienna Woods  (1979)
  • Atlantic City  (1980)
  • Bye Bye Brazil  (1980)
  • La Cage Aux Folles II  (1980)
  • City of Women  (1980)
  • Confidence  (1980)
  • Every Man for Himself  (1980)
  • Gaijan, A Brazilian Odyssey  (1980)
  • Good Riddance  (1980)
  • Heaven’s Gate  (1980)
  • Jane Austen in Manhattan  (1980)
  • The Last Metro  (1980)
  • Loulou  (1980)
  • Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears  (1980)
  • Richard’s Things  (1980)
  • Superman II  (1980)

Note:  These 30 films average a 63.8.  They earn 13 Nighthawk nominations, only 2 of which are for Best Foreign Film.  It is balanced by having one of the best films of the year (Atlantic City) and one of the worst (Heaven’s Gate).

Films Not Listed at

  • Camoflauge
  • Chie the Brat
  • Children’s Island
  • Der Bockerer
  • Docteur Jekyll et les femmes
  • Eijanaika
  • Fast, Fast
  • Flaklypa Grand Prix
  • The Glass Cell
  • Hawk the Slayer
  • Hotel America
  • If I Were for Real
  • The Inglorious Bastards
  • Jane Austen in Manhattan
  • Julia Julia
  • The Lady from Musashino
  • Looks and Smiles
  • Lucio Flavio o Passagerios de Agonia
  • The Man with the Carnation
  • Messidor
  • Mojado Power
  • The Mystery of Oberwald
  • No Mercy, No Future
  • Outlaw: The Saga of Giali
  • People on the Top
  • The Prodigal Son
  • The Professional
  • Si c’etait a refaire
  • Signs of Life
  • Silsila
  • Son of the White Mare
  • Spetters
  • Tales from the Vienna Woods
  • Umrao Jean

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 films marked in orange were those that were submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars.

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

  • 36 Chowringhee Lane  (1982)
  • The Beastmaster  (1982)
  • Le Beau mariage  (1982)
  • Blood Wedding  (1982)
  • The Boat is Full  (1982)
  • Bolero  (1982)
  • Butterfly  (1982)
  • Christiane F.  (1982)
  • Das Boot  (1982)
  • Diva  (1982)
  • Edo Porn  (1982)
  • Gregory’s Girl  (1982)
  • Inchon  (1982)
  • Lola  (1982)
  • Man of Iron  (1982)
  • The Martial Club  (1982)
  • Mephisto  (1982)
  • Passione d’Amore  (1982)
  • Quartet  (1982)
  • The Road Warrior  (1982)
  • Three Brothers  (1982)
  • Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man  (1982)
  • The Evil Dead  (1983)
  • Hey Good Lookin’  (1983)
  • Marianne and Juliane  (1983)
  • Muddy River  (1983)
  • Piranha II: The Spawning  (1983)
  • Puberty Blues  (1983)
  • The Black Cat  (1984)
  • The Grass is Singing  (1984)
  • House by the Cemetery  (1984)
  • Do You Remember Dolly Bell  (1985)
  • Les Plouffe  (1985)
  • Heat-Haze Theatre  (1993)

Note:  These 34 films average a 60. They are a mix of some truly awful films (Piranha II, Butterfly, Inchon), one truly great film (Das Boot) and a number of very good films (Mephisto, The Evil Dead, The Boat is Full, Three Brothers, Man of Iron).  Das Boot reaps the benefits – in this year, it would have received some nominations but would have been stuck behind Raiders, but moved to 1982, it manages to win three awards including Best Director.