A Century of Film
Sound

Sound in film debuted in 1927.  It managed to come into being at the same time that the Oscars did, which helps bring a demarcation point between early film (The Silent Era) and the rest of film history.  Sound would become an important feature to films because it added a whole new dimension of the kind of story you could tell, not just with the dialogue, but with sound effects as well.  Especially with Musicals, sound would really change how a story could be told.

For a long time, the only measure of “Sound” in a film was the Academy Award, which was given to the “Recording Director”, who was usually the head of Sound for the whole studio, such as Douglas Shearer at MGM.  At the same time that the Academy revamped the rules and the award started going to the mixer (usually the best way of figuring out which person on a film would be eligible for this award would be the credit for “Production Sound Mixer”) the BAFTAs finally created their own Sound award and it would actually cover both Academy Awards – Sound and Sound Effects Editing (now called Sound Mixing and Sound Editing).  Though the Motion Picture Sound Editors created their own award back in 1953, the Cinema Audio Society, the guild that is the equivalent for the Oscar, wouldn’t start their own award until 1993.

As I mentioned in the Sound Editing post, the main difference between the two awards is that the Sound Editors add sounds not there when filming while the Sound Mixers take the sound as recorded when filming, including dialogue and music on-screen and actual on-screen sounds and mix them together.

My Top 5 Sound Mixes in Film History:

  1. Amadeus
  2. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  5. Saving Private Ryan

The other 9 Point Films (chronological):

  • Seven Samurai
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • West Side Story
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Bonnie and Clyde
  • The French Connection
  • Jaws
  • Alien
  • Apocalypse Now
  • Raging Bull
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Kagemusha
  • Das Boot
  • The Right Stuff
  • Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
  • Die Hard
  • Glory
  • The Hunt for Red October
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  • Schindler’s List
  • Jurassic Park
  • Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Fight Club
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Black Hawk Down
  • Moulin Rouge
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Minority Report
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Master and Commander: Far Side of the World
  • The Aviator
  • King Kong
  • Batman Begins
  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Casino Royale
  • The Bourne Ultimatum
  • The Dark Knight
  • Wall-E
  • The Hurt Locker

note:  I rate all aspects of film on a 9 point scale.  They also correspond to the 100 point scale for Best Picture.  Films above *** (76-99) all land on the scale.  1 point is for 76-79, just worth mentioning.  2 points is for 80-83, a weak mention, 3 points is for 84-87, near great, 4 points is for 88-89 (which is ****), a solid nominee, 5 points is for 90-91, a very solid nominee, 6 points is for 92-93, a weak winner, a 7 points is for 94-95, a worthwhile winner, 8 points is 96-97, the kind of winner you can’t complain about even if it’s not your #1 choice and 9 points is for 98-99, the very best of all-time.  The above list are my 9 point films for Sound through 2011, listed chronologically.


The Mixers

Douglas Shearer

Douglas and his sister Norma were raised apart after their parents’ divorce and he went out to visit his sister and mother in Hollywood in 1924.  He got a job in the camera department at MGM and was interested in sound when it was first added to films.  He would become the most important person in Hollywood in the advent of sound, working as the recording director for almost every MGM film through 1953 and winning seven competitive Oscars (five in Sound, two in Special Effects) and seven more Technical Oscars.  He would take over the #1 spot in points at the Oscars in 1935 and keep it all the way through 2007.
Key Films:  The Wizard of Oz, The Mutiny on the Bounty, They Were Expendable

Gordon E. Sawyer

Sawyer earned the most Oscar points for any mixer in both the 50’s (120) and the 60’s (160).  He was the Sound Director at Samuel Goldwyn Productions and his work was so impressive that the Gordon E. Sawyer Award for technical achievement at the Academy was named after him in 1981.  He won two Oscars and earned 12 other nominations over the course of 20 years.
Key Films:  West Side Story, Porgy and Bess, The Alamo

Christopher Newman

Newman was a key part of the major films of the early 1970’s, earning nominations for The French Connection and The Godfather and an Oscar for The Exorcist.  But he didn’t stop there, later winning Oscars for Amadeus and The English Patient as well.  He’s also in the Top at the BAFTAs for points and he’s #3 all-time on the Nighthawk list and earned the most points in the 70’s at the Nighthawks (180).
Key Films:  The French Connection, The Exorcist, Amadeus

Kevin O’Connell

The perennial best man and not the groom, O’Connell has received 20 Oscar nominations and never won, making him the all-time #1 for that distinction.  In fact, he’s managed to end up at #1 on the Oscar list in the category without ever winning the award.  He’s also tied for 2nd all-time at the CAS.  The BAFTAs, however don’t think as highly of him and I’m actually more on their side, only awarding him five nominations.  He has done a lot of work for Jerry Bruckheimer.
Key Films:  Spider-Man, The Rock, Top Gun

Andy Nelson

In 2011, Nelson tied Douglas Shearer for #1 in Nighthawk point with 300.  He earned his 16th Oscar nomination (to go along with a win) to move up to 340 Oscar points and a tie for 4th place all-time.  He earned his 12th BAFTA nomination (to go along with 4 wins) and moved up to 320 points, 80 more than anyone else in history.  He received his 15th CAS nomination (to go along with one win) and moved up there as well to 320 points, also 80 more than anyone else in history.  All of those nominations were for War Horse, except the CAS which, oddly nominated Super 8 instead.  He is still working hard and is certain to end up #1 on every list by a long way, most of it for his amazing work with Spielberg.
Key Films:  Moulin Rouge, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List

 

A pair of future Oscar winning siblings, actress Norma and her brother, sound mixer Douglas. Norma would win one while Douglas would win seven, five for Sound.

The Academy Awards

Summary:

Sound in film debuted the same year as the Oscars, so it’s expected that there was no award for it.  But it didn’t take long for the Academy to catch up, adding it in their third year.  After awarding that first award to Douglas Shearer for The Big House, they changed it up for two years, awarding a studio rather than a film.  There is more to be written here, but I have actually written a lot of it already.  If you go to my original Best Sound post and read the history, especially the parts in green that I added for the revised version, I talk a lot about the history of the award and how it has changed over the years (that post also includes a list of all nominees through 2009).

I have to say, now that I have done Oscar scores (which hadn’t been done when I did that original post), Sound really for a long time was the weakest of the Academy categories.  There wasn’t a single score of higher than 60 until 1970.  No decade had a score above 40 until the 70’s.  But it has been greatly improved in the last few decades.  Maybe I just don’t think of highly of the Sound in Musicals as the Academy does.

Directors:

Though several directors have had six films nominated and Michael Curtiz has had seven this is another category where Steven Spielberg rules.  His films have earned 12 nominations in this category and won five Oscars (Jaws, Raiders, ET, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan).  A lot of directors have had two films win Sound Oscars but only Spielberg has more than two.

Franchises:

This is a category where the Academy doesn’t shy away from franchises and sequels.  The Bells of St Mary’s won its only Oscar in Sound (which Going My Way hadn’t won).  Since then, The Empire Strikes Back, Terminator 2, Return of the King and The Bourne Ultimatum have all won Oscars.  Nominations in this category have included four Star Wars films, all three Lord of the Rings films, two Pirates films, two Star Trek films and even three Transformers films.

Genres:

Drama leads, but with only 30% of the total nominees.  It’s followed by Musicals with 18% and Comedies with 11%.  But in the last 35 years (1977-2011) that has changed drastically.  Drama is down to 24%, Musicals are down to 8% and Comedies are way down at 4.5% in those years while the next few genres below Drama are Sci-Fi (16%), Action (14%) and War (10%), all much higher than in years before.  Among the winners, Drama is still at the top (24 winners, 30%) but is followed right behind by Musicals (22 winners, 27.5%) with War in a distant third (10 winners, 12.5%).  Musicals still often win when nominated (5 winners from 1977 to 2011, which is 14% as compared to 8% of the nominees) but not as often as the stretch from 1954 to 1972 when it won 11 times in 19 years.  Every genre has earned at least six nominations though Kids and Suspense have never won the award.

Best Picture:

These awards have gone together often with 23 films winning both Best Picture and Best Sound, though it actually took until 1950 for it to happen the first time.  Another 21 Picture winners have been nominated for Sound.  There have been 31 films that won Sound while being nominated for Picture and a whopping 88 films that were simply nominated in both.  That’s a total of 163 films nominated for both awards.  In 1938, with no limit on Sound nominations and 12 films nominated for Picture, eight films were nominated for both.  It would take until 1958 to have a Best Picture slate with no Sound nominees (odd, since the Picture winner was a Musical).  It wouldn’t happen again until 2005 and then it happened again in 2006.  From 1985 to 1987 only one film overlapped each year and it won both awards all three times.  In the 5 Best Picture Era (1944-2008), there were never more than three Sound nominees among the Picture nominees.  There have been several streaks of Picture winners being nominated for Sound with the longest being 1990 to 1998.

Foreign Films:

It would take until 1982 for a Foreign Film to earn a Sound nomination (Das Boot) and only Amelie and Apocalypto (Hollywood made in a foreign language) have followed suit.

Single Nominations:

There have been 71 films that received a nomination for Sound but no other nominations which is a lot but are only 14.81% of the nominees, which is decent for a Tech category.  Of those, only 4 won the Oscar, which is pretty low.  What’s strange is that after doing it twice early (1939 – When Tomorrow Comes, 1943 – This Land is Mine) there would be a massive gap before it happened twice in close succession again (1988 – Bird, 1992 – Last of the Mohicans).  A lot of films in the 90’s earned only the one nomination (six films) but since 1999 only Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Salt have done it.

Other Categories:

Putting Sound Editing aside because it is a category with a much shorter history and far fewer nominees (see the Sound Editing post for more apt comparisons), the categories with the most overlap with Sound are the big Tech categories: Score (196), Cinematography (182) and Editing (176).  In fact, there are 75 films that have been nominated for all four of those awards (there are 56 that add in Art Direction and cover the main 5 Tech categories).  There have been nine films that won all four awards (seven of which also won Art Direction).  The only other categories even close are Picture (163) and Art Direction (155).  Actress (57) and Supporting Actress (51) have low overlaps and the only film to win both Actress and Sound is Cabaret.  The only other categories with no overlapping winners are Foreign Film and Animated Film but every category has at least some nomination overlap.  Also of note, On the Waterfront is the only film to ever receive 12 or more nominations and not earn a Sound nomination.

The Academy Awards Top 10:

  1. Kevin O’Connell  –  400
  2. Douglas Shearer  –  380
  3. John Livadary  –  360
  4. Nathan Levinson  –  340
  5. Andy Nelson  –  340
  6. Gordon Sawyer  –  320
  7. Donald O. Mitchell  –  300
  8. Greg P. Russell  –  300
  9. Thomas T. Moulton  –  280
  10. Les Fresholtz  /  Michael Minkler  /  Gary Summers  –  280

note:  Wins are worth 40 points and nominations are worth 20.

Top 5 Oscar Winners:

  1. Amadeus
  2. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  4. Saving Private Ryan
  5. West Side Story

Worst 5 Oscar Winners:

  1. Wilson
  2. Naughty Marietta
  3. The Bishop’s Wife
  4. The Great Caruso
  5. The Cowboy and the Lady

Worst 5 Oscar Nominees:

  1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  3. Butterflies are Free
  4. Wilson
  5. The Witches of Eastwick

Top 5 Oscar Years:

  1. 1991  (Terminator 2, The Silence of the Lambs, JFK, Beauty and the Beast, Backdraft)
  2. 2002  (Chicago, Two Towers, Gangs of New York, Spider-Man, Road to Perdition)
  3. 2001  (Black Hawk Down, Fellowship of the Ring, Moulin Rouge, Amelie, Pearl Harbor)
  4. 2003  (Return of the King, Master and Commander, Pirates of the Caribbean, Last Samurai, Seabiscuit)
  5. 1993  (Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, The Fugitive, Geronimo, Cliffhanger)

Top 5 Oscars Years by Oscar Score:

  1. 1991  –  100  (Terminator 2, The Silence of the Lambs, JFK, Beauty and the Beast, Backdraft)
  2. 1986  –  100  (Platoon, Aliens, Top Gun, Star Trek IV, Heartbreak Ridge)
  3. 1996  –  97.0  (English Patient, Evita, The Rock, Twister, Independence Day)
  4. 2001  –  92.5  (Black Hawk Down, Fellowship of the Ring, Moulin Rouge, Amelie, Pearl Harbor)
  5. 2003  –  91.9  (Return of the King, Master and Commander, Pirates of the Caribbean, Last Samurai, Seabiscuit)

note:  The difference between this list and the previous one is that the first one is a flat total based on my 9 point scale.  In this one, it’s comparing my top three films to the ones the Oscars actually nominated.  So, in the first one, it’s how good are the nominees.  In this one it’s how good are the nominees compared to what else was eligible.

Worst 5 Oscar Years:

note:  These are the same as the worst 5 years by Oscar Score so I just included the score.

  1. 1934  –  0  (One Night of Love, The Affairs of Cellini, Cleopatra, Flirtation Walk, The Gay Divorcee, Imitation of Life, Viva Villa, The White Parade)
  2. 1938  –  0  (The Cowboy and the Lady, Army Girl, Four Daughters, If I Were King, Merrily We Live, Suez, Sweethearts, That Certain Age, Vivacious Lady, You Can’t Take It With You)
  3. 1956  –  0  (The King and I, The Brave One, The Eddy Duchin Story, Friendly Persuasion, The 10 Commandments)
  4. 1950  –  3.6  (All About Eve, Cinderella, Louise, Our Very Own, Trio)
  5. 1963  –  7.1  (How the West Was Won, Bye Bye Birdie, Captain Newman MD, Cleopatra, It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World)

Top 5 Films to win the Oscar (based on quality of film not sound):

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  2. Lawrence of Arabia
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  4. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  5. West Side Story

Worst 5 Films to win the Oscar  (based on quality of film not sound):

  1. Earthquake
  2. Speed
  3. The Alamo
  4. San Francisco
  5. The Jolson Story

Worst 5 Films to earn an Oscar nomination (based on quality of film not sound):

  1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
  2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  3. Transformers
  4. Meteor
  5. Wanted

Years in Which the Worst of the Nominees Won the Oscar:

  • 1946:  The Jolson Story over The Best Years of Our Lives, It’s a Wonderful Life
  • 1947:  The Bishop’s Wife over Green Dolphin Street, T-Men
  • 1985:  Out of Africa over Back to the Future, Ladyhawke, Silverado, A Chorus Line
  • 2002:  Chicago over Two Towers, Gangs of New York, Spider-Man, Road to Perdition

The Dubious 10th Nomination

note:  Reaching double digits in Oscar nomination is a big deal.  But this seems to be the one category that really gets thrown in to give a film that 10th nomination.  It’s been happening for a long time and the worst example is Wilson which didn’t deserve the nomination and then somehow won the award.  So these films really shouldn’t have reached 10 nominations.

  • The Life of Emile Zola, 1937
  • Wilson, 1944
  • The Apartment, 1960
  • Anne of the Thousand Days, 1969
  • Airport, 1970
  • On Golden Pond, 1981
  • Tootsie, 1982

Oscar Nominees I Haven’t Seen

note:  This is one of the categories where I haven’t managed to see every nominee.  There are eight nominees that I still haven’t managed to see (all of them earned no other nominations).

  • Case of Sergeant Grischa, 1929-30
  • Song of the Flame, 1929-30
  • 1000 Dollars a Minute, 1935
  • Behind the News, 1940
  • The Devil Pays Off, 1941
  • Friendly Enemies, 1942
  • Music in Manhattan, 1944
  • Three is a Family, 1945

Oscar Scores By Decade:

  • 1930’s:  24.6
  • 1940’s:  32.1
  • 1950’s:  23.9
  • 1960’s:  39.3
  • 1970’s:  63.4
  • 1980’s:  72.2
  • 1990’s:  77.9
  • 2000’s:  80.1
  • 2010’s:  77.3
  • All-Time:  58.3

The BAFTA Awards

Summary:

There are a couple of things that make the BAFTA award considerably different from the Oscars.  The first is that they don’t have a Sound Editing category and never have; instead, they combine what are, for the Oscars (and the two different guilds) separate awards and give them out as one.  So, Les Wiggins, who is a sound editor (and has never received an Oscar nomination) was, from 1976 to 2000, the leader in BAFTA points in this category, having won four awards and received four other nominations.

The second is that, partially because they do include the editors, the BAFTAs nominate a lot more people than the Oscars.  In the 90’s, while only nominating four films a year, the BAFTAs actually handed out nominations (and wins) to more individuals than the Oscars did with five films a year.

Best Sound was a category at the BAFTAs that began when they revamped their awards in 1968.  It was never an award that was given strictly to people in the British film industry as they had with Cinematography, Art Direction and Costume Design.  The award began with five nominees in the first two years and then, with the exception of 1980 when it again had five nominees, it would have four nominees from 1970 to 1999.  It would take until 1972 before they would agree with the Oscars on a winner (Cabaret) and until 1978 before they would do it again (Star Wars).  But, while they only agreed six times in the first 30 years, from 1998 to 2011, they would agree with the Oscars nine times, including the last five and two of the five times they didn’t agree with the Oscars, they agreed with the CAS instead.  Ironically, they only time since 2001 they didn’t agree with either group was in 2006 when they chose Casino Royale which agrees with the Nighthawk.

Franchises:

The first sequel to earn a nomination was The Empire Strikes Back.  Four more sequels would earn nominations before Terminator 2 became the first to win the award.  Since then, two more have won the award (Casino Royale, The Bourne Ultimatum) while franchises have done well with nominations (all three Lord of the Rings films, three Harry Potter films).

Genres:

Every genre has earned at least three nominations with Mystery (3), Kids (4) and Adventure (4) at the bottom.  Drama has the most nominations (49, 25.79%) followed by Musicals (33, 17.37%).  The following genres have never won the award: Comedy, Crime, Horror, Kids.  Musicals have by far the most wins with 15 while no other genre has more than 9 wins.

Best Picture:

Five films have won both Best Picture and Best Sound (Butch Cassidy, Cabaret, Killing Fields, Slumdog Millionaire, Hurt Locker) although there was a big gap in winners between 1984 and 2008.  No British Film winner has ever won the award though four have been nominated (The Madness of King George, Billy Elliot, The King’s Speech, Tinker Tailor).  Seventeen films have won Sound while being nominated for Picture while 21 have won Picture while being nominated for Sound.  In total, 89 of the 190 films nominated for Sound were also nominated for Picture with an additional seven nominated for Sound and British Film.  Since 1996, the only Picture winners not to be nominated for Sound were Brokeback Mountain and The Queen.

Single Nominees:

Amazingly only five films have ever been nominated for Sound with no other nominations and three of them were in 1974 (Earthquake, The Exorcist, Gold).  There have been none since Wild at Heart in 1990.

Foreign Films:

Nine Foreign films have been nominated for Sound starting in the first year of the award with Closely Watched Trains with Death in Venice winning and Carmen winning both Foreign Film and Sound.

Other Categories:

Every category has overlapped with Sound at the BAFTAs and except for Animated Film they have all overlapped with winners as well, even the short-lived Best Song since Pink Floyd: The Wall won both Sound and Song.  The lowest overlap are Song (2) and Animated Film (2) while the largest are Editing (108) and Cinematography (106).  The biggest overlap in winners, by far, is Cinematography with 14 films winning both awards, though 11 of those were in the first 22 years and since 1989, it’s only happened with Braveheart, Slumdog and Hurt Locker.  From 1994 to 2011 every Sound winner won at least one other award except Casino Royale.

The BAFTA Top 10:

  1. Andy Nelson  –  320
  2. Les Wiggins  –  240
  3. Bill Rowe  –  220
  4. Simon Kaye  –  220
  5. Clive Winter  –  200
  6. Christopher Newman  –  200
  7. Doug Hemphill  –  200
  8. Scott Millan  –  200
  9. Eddy Joseph  –  200
  10. Ben Burtt  –  200

Top 5 BAFTA Winners:

  1. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
  2. Amadeus
  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  4. Saving Private Ryan
  5. Moulin Rouge

Worst 5 BAFTA Winners:

  1. Death in Venice
  2. Bugsy Malone
  3. Jesus Christ Superstar
  4. Cry Freedom
  5. The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Worst 5 BAFTA Nominees:

  1. The Madness of King George
  2. Death in Venice
  3. Bugsy Malone
  4. Jesus Christ Superstar
  5. Cry Freedom

Top 3 BAFTA Years  (4 Nominees):

  1. 1972  (Cabaret, A Clockwork Orange, The French Connection, Deliverance)
  2. 1978  (Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Saturday Night Fever)
  3. 1992  (JFK, Last of the Mohicans, Unforgiven, Strictly Ballroom)

Top 3 BAFTA Years  (5 Nominees):

  1. 2004  (Ray, The Aviator, Spider-Man 2, House of Flying Daggers, Collateral)
  2. 2002  (Chicago, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Gangs of New York, The Pianist, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
  3. 2009  (The Hurt Locker, Avatar, Star Trek, District 9, Up)

Years in Which the Worst of the Nominees Won the BAFTA:

  • 1971:  Death in Venice over Fiddler on the Roof, The Go-Between, Sunday Bloody Sunday
  • 1973:  Jesus Christ Superstar over Don’t Look Now, The Day of the Jackal, Discreet Harm of the Bourgeoisie
  • 1976:  Bugsy Malone over All the President’s Men, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Picnic at Hanging Rock
  • 1987:  Cry Freedom over Full Metal Jacket, Hope and Glory, Radio Days
  • 1989:  Mississippi Burning over Batman, Henry V, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • 1994:  Speed over Backbeat, The Lion King, Pulp Fiction
  • 1996:  Shine over The English Patient, Evita, Independence Day
  • 2004:  Ray over The Aviator, Spider-Man 2, House of Flying Daggers, Collateral

The Broadcast Film Critics Awards  (Critics Choice)

Summary:

Like most of the Tech awards at the BFCA, this award only finally came into existence in 2009.  They immediately screwed with the consensus since they gave the award to Avatar in 2009 (when the other three groups awarded Hurt Locker) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 2011 (when the other three awarded Hugo).  In 2010, they did award Inception, but the CAS had awarded True Grit.  They also, in each year, nominated a film that none of the other three groups nominated (Nine, Toy Story 3, Tree of Life).

The Cinema Audio Society Awards

Summary:

The CAS Awards were definitely not early but they weren’t too late.  They were started in 1993, the fourth of the new wave of guild awards that began in 1986 but well before several other guilds instituted their own awards.  They began in 1993 by agreeing with the BAFTAs but not the Oscars and followed it up in 1994 by agreeing with neither.  After that came six straight years of agreeing with the Oscars (and occasionally the BAFTAs) followed by five straight years of not agreeing with the Oscars (though agreeing twice with the BAFTAs).  It was clear they were on similar (all CAS winners earned at least an Oscar nom and vice versa while almost all the BAFTA winners were in the same boat) but not the same ground.  Most years would have either three or four films with both Oscar and CAS nominations but two years only had two (1999, 2011) while two years had complete agreement (2000, 2003) though one of those years had different winners.  Five times the CAS winner didn’t win the Consensus and in all five cases, that film won both the Oscar and BAFTA.

The CAS Top 10:

  1. Andy Nelson  –  320
  2. Bob Beemer  –  240
  3. Scott Millan  –  240
  4. Kevin O’Connell  –  240
  5. Anna Behlmer  –  240
  6. Greg P. Russell  –  200
  7. Christopher Boyes  –  200
  8. Tom Johnson  –  180
  9. Gary Summers  –  160
  10. Paul Massey  –  160

The Nighthawk Awards

note:  Because my awards go, retroactively, all the way back through 1912, there are a lot more nominees and winners than in the other awards.  But I don’t always have a full slate of nominees and some years I don’t have any nominees.

Directors:

Just like at the Oscars, there are several directors with lots of films that get nominated (in this case both Michael Curtiz and David Lean have 10 while several have nine) and then there is Steven Spielberg.  Spielberg’s films earn 16 nominations from me although they only actually win four times (Jaws, Raiders, Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan).  The four wins are actually matched by David Lean (Sound Barrier, Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Zhivago) and Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings, King Kong).

Franchises:

Franchises earn a lot of nominations but it takes until 1991 (Terminator 2) for a sequel to win the Nighthawk.  After that, Phantom Menace, Two Towers, Return of the King, Casino Royale, The Bourne Ultimatum and Dark Knight all win.

Genres:

Drama does lead with 84 nominations but that’s only 20.29% of the total nominees.  That’s followed by the 56 nominations for War (13.52%).  Every genre has at least 8 nominations.  Drama leads with 20 wins followed by 13 for War.  Every genre has at least one win, though Kids only has one (The Wizard of Oz).

Best Picture:

There are 36 films that win both Picture and Sound at the Nighthawks including a stretch of seven straight winners from 1975 to 1981 though no film in the 90’s does it.  There are an additional 23 Picture winners that are nominated for Sound (including seven from the 90’s).  Another 28 films win Sound and are nominated for Picture.  Overall, 188 films are nominated in both categories.  There is no year with 5/5 agreement but in 1949 and 1999 none of the Sound nominees are nominated for Picture.

Foreign Film:

L’Argent, with its brilliant early use of Sound is just the third winner and is followed by five more Foreign winners (Children of Paradise, Seven Samurai, Das Boot, Ran, Crouching Tiger).  Overall, almost 10% of the nominees are Foreign films (38).

Single Nominations:

Only 20 films earn a nomination for Sound with no other nominations.  Of those 20, only the original Jazz Singer wins Sound, mostly by default.  It has become quite rare for a film to earn just that one nomination at the Nighthawks with only two films doing it since 1984 (Cast Away, The Town).

Other Categories:

Over half (253 of 414) of the Sound nominees are also nominated for Sound Editing and 54 films win both awards.  It’s followed by Editing and Cinematography (207 each), Director (197) and Picture (188).  Every category overlaps with Sound at least five times.  The only category without overlapping winners is Animated Film but just above that is Actress with only two films winning both Sound and Actress (For Whom the Bell Tolls, Bonnie and Clyde).  The most overlap among winners is both Director and Cinematography (40 each) with 35 of those being the same.  Three films wins Director, Cinematography and Sound but not Picture (You Only Live Once, The English Patient, Saving Private Ryan).  An astounding 27 films win Picture, Director, Editing, Cinematography and Sound.

My Top 10

  1. Douglas Shearer  –  300
  2. Andy Nelson  –  300
  3. Christopher Newman  –  280
  4. Gary Summers  –  260
  5. Gary Rydstrom  –  240
  6. Michael Semanick  –  240
  7. Christopher Boyes  –  200
  8. John Cox  –  180
  9. Franklin E. Milton  –  180
  10. Fumio Yanoguchi  /  Simon Kaye  /  Ron Judkins  –  180

My Top 10 weighted

  1. Douglas Shearer  –  531
  2. Andy Nelson  –  466
  3. Christopher Newman  –  381
  4. Roger Heman  –  360
  5. Michael Semanick  –  323
  6. Gary Summers  –  314
  7. Gary Rydstrom  –  309
  8. Gordon K. McCallum  –  293
  9. Kevin O’Connell  –  279
  10. Robert Knudson  –  264

note:  This based on a scale from 20-1 based on Top 20 placement at the Nighthawks.  A win is worth 40 points in Sound, a 20th place finish is worth 1 point (if the list goes a full 20).

My Top 10 Absolute Points List:

  1. Andy Nelson  –  620
  2. Kevin O’Connell  –  465
  3. Michael Semanick  –  430
  4. Christopher Newman  –  425
  5. Gary Rydstrom  –  390
  6. Gary Summers  –  380
  7. Douglas Shearer  –  375
  8. Ron Judkins  –  375
  9. Michael Minkler  –  370
  10. Anna Behlmer  –  345

note:  This is a point scale based on their points, not where they finished in the year.  That means, for instance, that Andy Nelson gets the maximum number of points for 1993 when he finishes 2nd at the Nighthawks because his mixing for Schindler’s List is a 9 point Sound job.  Kevin O’Connell appears so high on this list because he has done so much solid work, not because I think his work is particularly great

Top 5 Films to win the Nighthawk (based on quality of film not sound):

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Children of Paradise
  3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Worst 5 Films to win the Nighthawk (based on quality of film not sound):

  1. Grand Prix
  2. The Jazz Singer
  3. The Lost Patrol
  4. They Were Expendable
  5. Lifeboat

Worst 5 Films to earn a Nighthawk nomination  (based on quality of film not sound):

  1. Earthquake
  2. Cimarron
  3. San Francisco
  4. In Old Arizona
  5. Top Gun

Top 5 6th Place Finishers at the Nighthawks:

  1. The Pianist
  2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  3. The Killer
  4. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
  5. The Fabulous Baker Boys

The Nighthawk Winners:

  • 1925-26:  The Gold Rush  (Oscar)
  • 1927-28:  The Jazz Singer
  • 1928-29:  L’Argent
  • 1929-30:  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • 1930-31:  The Public Enemy
  • 1931-32:  Scarface
  • 1932-33:  King Kong
  • 1934:  The Lost Patrol
  • 1935:  Captain Blood  (Oscar)
  • 1936:  Modern Times
  • 1937:  You Only Live Once
  • 1938:  The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • 1939:  The Wizard of Oz
  • 1940:  The Great Dictator
  • 1941:  Citizen Kane  (Oscar)
  • 1942:  Yankee Doodle Dandy  (Oscar)
  • 1943:  For Whom the Bell Tolls
  • 1944:  Lifeboat
  • 1945:  They Were Expendable  (Oscar)
  • 1946:  Children of Paradise
  • 1947:  Brighton Rock
  • 1948:  Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • 1949:  Champion
  • 1950:  The Third Man
  • 1951:  Detective Story
  • 1952:  The Sound Barrier  (Oscar)
  • 1953:  From Here to Eternity  (Oscar)
  • 1954:  On the Waterfront
  • 1955:  Mr. Roberts  (Oscar)
  • 1956:  Seven Samurai
  • 1957:  The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • 1958:  Touch of Evil
  • 1959:  Ben Hur  (Oscar)
  • 1960:  Spartacus
  • 1961:  West Side Story  (Oscar)
  • 1962:  Lawrence of Arabia  (Oscar)
  • 1963:  The Great Escape
  • 1964:  A Hard Day’s Night
  • 1965:  Doctor Zhivago  (Oscar)
  • 1966:  Grand Prix  (Oscar)
  • 1967:  Bonnie and Clyde
  • 1968:  2001: A Space Odyssey  (BAFTA)
  • 1969:  The Wild Bunch
  • 1970:  Patton  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1971:  The French Connection  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1972:  The Godfather  (Oscar)
  • 1973:  The Exorcist  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1974:  The Conversation  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1975:  Jaws  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1976:  All the President’s Men  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1977:  Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1978:  The Deer Hunter  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1979:  Alien  (BAFTA)
  • 1980:  Raging Bull  (Oscar)
  • 1981:  Raiders of the Lost Ark  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1982:  Das Boot  (Oscar)
  • 1983:  The Right Stuff  (Oscar)
  • 1984:  Amadeus  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1985:  Ran
  • 1986:  Platoon  (Oscar)
  • 1987:  Full Metal Jacket  (BAFTA)
  • 1988:  Die Hard  (Oscar)
  • 1989:  Glory  (Oscar)
  • 1990:  The Hunt for Red October  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1991:  Terminator 2: Judgment Day  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1992:  The Last of the Mohicans  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 1993:  Jurassic Park  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 1994:  The Crow
  • 1995:  Heat  (CAS)
  • 1996:  The English Patient  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 1997:  Titanic  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 1998:  Saving Private Ryan  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 1999:  Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2000:  Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon  (BAFTA)
  • 2001:  The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2002:  The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2003:  The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2004:  The Aviator  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2005:  King Kong  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2006:  Casino Royale  (BAFTA)
  • 2007:  The Bourne Ultimatum  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2008:  The Dark Knight  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2009:  The Hurt Locker  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2010:  Inception  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2011:  Hugo  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)

Consensus Awards

Most Awards (not including the Nighthawk):

note:  All of these films won three awards: the Oscar, the BAFTA and the CAS with the exception of Inception, which won the Oscar, BAFTA and BFCA

  • Saving Private Ryan
  • The Matrix
  • Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Hurt Locker
  • Inception
  • Hugo

Films That Win the Oscar and BAFTA (pre-CAS)

  • Cabaret
  • Star Wars
  • Amadeus
  • Out of Africa
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Consensus Chart:

note:  The chart below I imported from Excel and I hope it isn’t too confusing.  It’s about as big as I could make to still have it fit.  It just fits out the nominees for the major groups from 2009 to 2011.
note:  You may note that 2001 is the split year.  It’s the only year where all three groups chose a different winner.  Quite frankly, that makes sense, as all three films earned a perfect 9 at the Nighthawks.

YR FILM AA CAS BAFTA BFCA RT WT N W % Rk
1993 Fugitive 20 40 40 100 104 3 2 29.55% 1
1993 Jurassic Park 40 20 20 80 82 3 1 23.30% 2
1993 Schindler’s List 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 17.61% 3
1993 Cliffhanger 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.93% 4
1993 In the Line of Fire 20 20 22 1 0 6.25% 5
1993 Geronimo 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1993 Piano 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1994 Speed 40 20 40 100 102 3 2 27.42% 1
1994 Forrest Gump 20 40 60 64 2 1 17.20% 2
1994 Clear and Present Danger 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
1994 Lion King 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
1994 True Lies 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 5
1994 Legends of the Fall 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
1994 Shawshank Redemption 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
1994 Backbeat 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
1994 Madness of King George 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
1994 Pulp Fiction 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
1995 Apollo 13 40 40 20 100 104 3 2 31.33% 1
1995 Braveheart 20 20 40 80 82 3 1 24.70% 2
1995 Crimson Tide 20 20 40 42 2 0 12.65% 3
1995 Heat 20 20 22 1 0 6.63% 4
1995 Jumanji 20 20 22 1 0 6.63% 4
1995 Batman Forever 20 20 20 1 0 6.02% x
1995 Waterworld 20 20 20 1 0 6.02% x
1995 Goldeneye 20 20 20 1 0 6.02% x
1996 English Patient 40 40 20 100 104 3 2 27.96% 1
1996 Independence Day 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
1996 Rock 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
1996 Twister 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
1996 Shine 40 40 40 1 1 10.75% 5
1996 Evita 20 20 40 40 2 0 10.75% 5
1996 Birdcage 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% x
1996 Romeo + Juliet 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
1997 Titanic 40 40 20 100 104 3 2 31.33% 1
1997 LA Confidential 20 20 40 80 82 3 1 24.70% 2
1997 Air Force One 20 20 40 42 2 0 12.65% 3
1997 Contact 20 20 40 42 2 0 12.65% 3
1997 Men in Black 20 20 22 1 0 6.63% 5
1997 Con Air 20 20 20 1 0 6.02% x
1997 Full Monty 20 20 20 1 0 6.02% x
1998 Saving Private Ryan 40 40 40 120 124 3 3 35.23% 1
1998 Armageddon 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.93% 2
1998 Mask of Zorro 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.93% 2
1998 Shakespeare in Love 20 20 40 40 2 0 11.36% 4
1998 Horse Whisperer 20 20 22 1 0 6.25% 5
1998 X-Files 20 20 22 1 0 6.25% 5
1998 Thin Red Line 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1998 Hilary and Jackie 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1998 Little Voice 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1999 Matrix 40 40 40 120 124 3 3 35.23% 1
1999 Phantom Menace 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 17.61% 2
1999 American Beauty 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.93% 3
1999 Any Given Sunday 20 20 22 1 0 6.25% 4
1999 Sixth Sense 20 20 22 1 0 6.25% 4
1999 Mummy 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1999 Green Mile 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1999 Insider 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
1999 Buena Vista Social Club 20 20 20 1 0 5.68% x
2000 Gladiator 40 40 20 100 104 2 2 27.96% 1
2000 Perfect Storm 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2000 Cast Away 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2000 Patriot 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2000 U-571 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2000 Almost Famous 40 40 40 1 1 10.75% x
2000 Billy Elliot 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2000 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2001 Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring 20 40 20 80 84 2 1 22.58% 1
2001 Moulin Rouge 20 20 40 80 82 3 1 22.04% 2
2001 Black Hawk Down 40 20 20 80 82 3 1 22.04% 2
2001 Pearl Harbor 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 5
2001 Shrek 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 5
2001 Amelie 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2001 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2002 Chicago 40 20 40 100 102 3 2 27.42% 1
2002 Road to Perdition 20 40 60 64 2 1 17.20% 2
2002 Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 3
2002 Spider-Man 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2002 Gangs of New York 20 20 40 40 2 0 10.75% 5
2002 Catch Me if You Can 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% x
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2002 Pianist 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2003 Master and Commander 20 40 40 100 104 3 2 27.96% 1
2003 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 40 20 20 80 82 3 1 22.04% 2
2003 Pirates of the Caribbean 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 3
2003 Last Samurai 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2003 Seabiscuit 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2003 Cold Mountain 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2003 Kill Bill Vol 1 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2004 Ray 40 20 40 100 102 3 2 27.42% 1
2004 Aviator 20 40 20 80 84 2 1 22.58% 2
2004 Spider-Man 2 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 3
2004 Bourne Supremacy 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 5
2004 Finding Neverland 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 5
2004 Polar Express 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2004 Incredibles 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2004 Collateral 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2004 House of Flying Daggers 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2005 Walk the Line 20 40 40 100 104 3 2 27.96% 1
2005 King Kong 40 20 20 80 82 3 1 22.04% 2
2005 Memoirs of a Geisha 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2005 War of the Worlds 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2005 Crash 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2005 Chronicles of Narnia 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2005 Batman Begins 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2005 Constant Gardener 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2006 Dreamgirls 40 40 80 84 2 2 22.58% 1
2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2006 Blood Diamond 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2006 Flags of our Fathers 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2006 Casino Royale 40 40 40 1 1 10.75% 5
2006 Babel 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% x
2006 Apocalypto 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2006 Babel 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2006 Pan’s Labyrinth 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2006 United 93 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2007 Bourne Ultimatum 40 20 40 100 102 3 2 27.42% 1
2007 No Country for Old Men 20 40 20 80 84 2 1 22.58% 2
2007 Transformers 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2007 300 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 4
2007 Into the Wild 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 4
2007 3:10 to Yuma 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2007 Ratatouille 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2007 Atonement 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2007 La Vie en Rose 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2007 There Will Be Blood 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2008 Slumdog Millionaire 40 40 40 120 124 3 3 33.33% 1
2008 Dark Knight 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2008 Wall-E 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2008 Quantum of Solace 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2008 Iron Man 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 5
2008 Curious Case of Benjamin Button 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2008 Wanted 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2008 Changeling 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2009 Hurt Locker 40 40 40 20 140 142 4 3 29.58% 1
2009 Avatar 20 20 20 40 100 98 4 1 20.42% 2
2009 Star Trek 20 20 20 20 80 80 4 0 16.67% 3
2009 District 9 20 20 20 60 60 3 0 12.50% 4
2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 20 20 40 42 2 0 8.75% 5
2009 Inglourious Basterds 20 20 20 1 0 4.17% x
2009 Up 20 20 20 1 0 4.17% x
2009 Nine 20 20 18 1 0 3.75% x
2010 Inception 40 20 40 40 140 138 4 3 28.75% 1
2010 True Grit 20 40 20 80 84 2 1 17.50% 2
2010 Social Network 20 20 20 60 60 3 0 12.50% 3
2010 Black Swan 20 20 20 60 60 3 0 12.50% 3
2010 King’s Speech 20 20 40 40 2 0 8.33% 5
2010 127 Hours 20 20 40 38 2 0 7.92% x
2010 Shutter Island 20 20 22 1 0 4.58% x
2010 Salt 20 20 20 1 0 4.17% x
2010 Toy Story 3 20 20 18 1 0 3.75% x
2011 Hugo 40 40 40 20 140 142 4 3 29.58% 1
2011 War Horse 20 20 20 60 58 3 0 12.08% 2
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 20 40 60 56 2 1 11.67% 3
2011 Moneyball 20 20 40 42 2 0 8.75% 4
2011 Super 8 20 20 40 40 2 0 8.33% 5
2011 Hanna 20 20 22 1 0 4.58% x
2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 20 20 22 1 0 4.58% x
2011 Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 20 20 20 1 0 4.17% x
2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon 20 20 20 1 0 4.17% x
2011 Artist 20 20 20 1 0 4.17% x
2011 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy 20 20 20 1 0 4.17% x
2011 Tree of Life 20 20 18 1 0 3.75% x

Lists

  • Best Oscar Winner Snubbed by the BAFTAs:  The Right Stuff
  • Best BAFTA Winner Snubbed by the Oscars:  2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Best Oscar Nominee Snubbed by the BAFTAs:  Raging Bull
  • Best BAFTA Nominee Snubbed by the Oscars:  Batman Begins
  • Best Film Snubbed by both the Oscars and BAFTAs:  Fight Club
  • Best Film Snubbed by the Oscars and BAFTAs but Nominated by the CAS:  Heat
  • Worst Oscar Winner:  Wilson
  • Worst BAFTA Winner:  Death in Venice
  • Worst CAS Winner:  Forrest Gump
  • Average Nighthawk Winner  (9 point scale):  7.42
  • Average Oscar Winner  (9 point scale):  5.08
  • Average BAFTA Winner  (9 point scale):  5.81
  • Average CAS Winner  (9 point scale):  7.25
  • Average Nighthawk 2nd Place  (9 point scale):  6.60
  • Average Nighthawk Nominee  (9 point scale):  6.01
  • Average Oscar Nominee  (9 point scale):  3.00
  • Average BAFTA Nominee  (9 point scale):  5.08
  • Average CAS Nominee  (9 point scale):  5.29
  • Average Oscar Score:  52.93
  • Total Oscar Score:  58.30
  • Average Oscar Winner Rank:  5.88
  • Average Oscar Winner Rank Among Nominees:  1.96

See It Only for The Sound

note:  Of the 14,000+ films I have seen, there are 19 that earn points for Sound but nothing else.  Of those 19, 15 of them are ***, so are good films.  Of the other four, one of them only earns a one for Sound (Meteor).  So, these are the three films that I can’t recommend for the quality but whose Sound Mixing is good enough that you might choose to see them just for that.  I should point out that Cimarron won Best Picture at the Oscars and the only thing it wasn’t nominated for was its Sound because that year the award was given for a studio’s work not for a film.

  1. Cimarron  (1931, **)
  2. The Charge of the Light Brigade  (1936, **.5)
  3. Last Days  (2005, **)

Since 2011

Oscar Notes:  In 2012, Andy Nelson tied Kevin O’Connell.  In spite of O’Connell finally winning an Oscar in 2016 for Hacksaw Ridge in his 21st attempt, Nelson is now 20 points ahead of him and in 1st place all-time.  Since 2011, Spielberg’s films have earned two more nominations.  Mad Max: Fury Road added another sequel to the Oscar winning list.  Drama continues to win the award less – Slumdog Millionaire is now the only Drama since 2000 to win the award.  There have been six more films nominated for Sound, Editing, Cinematography and Score and all six of them were also nominated for Art Direction.  13 Hours would become just the third film since 1999 to earn a Sound nomination with no other nominations and would be the second worst film ever nominated in the category.

BAFTA Notes:  After 14 of 16 Picture winners from 1996 to 2011 were nominated for Sound, only two of the six since have been (Revenant, La La Land), though Gravity became the first British Film winner to also win Best Sound.  Since 2011, Andy Nelson has earned an additional 120 points (three wins) and is now in first place by a very long way.  After a gap of 23 years, All is Lost became the first film nominated for Sound with no other nominations while Deepwater Horizon followed it in 2016.  After a 10 year gap where it never happened and a 23 year stretch where it only happened once, both Arrival and Dunkirk won Sound with no other wins.

BFCA Notes:  For some strange reason, the BFCA actually dropped their Best Sound award after 2011.

CAS Notes:  Since 2011, Andy Nelson has earned 140 more points and now has 200 more points than anyone else.  Since 2011, the CAS has agreed with the Oscar and BAFTA for a sweep three times (Les Miserables, Gravity, Dunkirk).  In 2015, they agreed with the BAFTAs (Revenant) and in 2016 with the Oscars (La La Land).  But in 2014, for the first time ever, they didn’t even nominate the Oscar winner (Whiplash) even though it also won the BAFTA.

Nighthawk Notes:  Since 2011, Andy Nelson has earned another 180 points and is now in 1st place by a long, long way.  In fact, that 180 points he’s earned since 2011 would put him the Top 10 All-Time.  Captain Phillips becomes just the third film since 1984 to earn a Sound nomination but no other nominations at the Nighthawks.  Spielberg’s films have earned two more nominations.  Andy Nelson would tie Douglas Shearer for Weighted Points in 2012, go flying past him in 2015 and soar even higher in 2016 and is now at 661 points.  Nelson is also now up to astounding 850 Absolute Points, way more than anyone else while Christopher Boyes has soared up the Top 10 list with 470 points now.  Bear in mind that Nelson’s total doesn’t even include Ready Player One or his work that hasn’t been released yet such as the next Fantastic Beasts film or the next Star Wars film; reaching 1000 points is entirely feasible before the end of the decade even.

9 point Mixes Since 2011:

  • Gravity
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • The Revenant
  • La La Land
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Dunkirk
  • Arrival
  • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

The Nighthawk Winners:

  • 2012:  Les MIserables  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2013:  Gravity  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2014:  Whiplash  (Oscar, BAFTA)
  • 2015:  Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2016:  La La Land  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)
  • 2017:  Dunkirk  (Oscar, BAFTA, CAS)

Chart / Consensus Notes:  Because Whiplash didn’t even earn a CAS nomination, Birdman becomes the first Consensus winner since 2001 to not win either the Oscar or the BAFTA and Whiplash becomes the first film to win both the Oscar and BAFTA and fail to win the Consensus.

YR FILM AA CAS BAFTA BFCA RT WT N W % Rk
2012 Les Miserables 40 40 40 120 124 3 3 33.33% 1
2012 Skyfall 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2012 Lincoln 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2012 Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2012 Zero Dark Thirty 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 3
2012 Life of Pi 20 20 40 40 2 0 10.75% x
2012 Argo 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2013 Gravity 40 40 40 120 124 3 3 33.33% 1
2013 Captain Phillips 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2013 Inside Llewyn Davis 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2013 Lone Survivor 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2013 Iron Man 3 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 5
2013 Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2013 All is Lost 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2013 Rush 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2014 Birdman 20 40 20 80 84 3 1 22.58% 1
2014 Whiplash 40 40 80 80 2 2 21.51% 2
2014 American Sniper 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 3
2014 Interstellar 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2014 Unbroken 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2014 Guardians of the Galaxy 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% x
2014 Grand Budapest Hotel 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2014 Imitation Game 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2015 Revenant 20 40 40 100 104 3 2 27.96% 1
2015 Mad Max: Fury Road 40 20 20 80 82 3 1 22.04% 2
2015 Bridge of Spies 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 3
2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 3
2015 Martian 20 20 40 40 2 0 10.75% 5
2015 Hateful Eight 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% x
2016 La La Land 20 40 20 80 84 3 1 22.58% 1
2016 Hacksaw Ridge 40 20 20 80 82 3 1 22.04% 2
2016 Arrival 20 40 60 60 2 1 16.13% 3
2016 Rogue One 20 20 40 42 2 0 11.29% 4
2016 Doctor Strange 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 5
2016 Sully 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% 5
2016 13 Hours 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2016 Deepwater Horizon 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2016 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 20 20 20 1 0 5.38% x
2017 Dunkirk 40 40 40 120 124 3 3 33.33% 1
2017 Baby Driver 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2017 Shape of Water 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2017 Star Wars: The Last Jedi 20 20 20 60 62 3 0 16.67% 2
2017 Blade Runner 2049 20 20 40 40 2 0 10.75% 5
2017 Wonder Woman 20 20 22 1 0 5.91% x