A Century of Film
Original Song

Like with score, the first awards for such film music came in 1934 when the two categories were added at the Academy Awards.  Unlike with Score, where they seemed to be confusion for quite a while over what qualified, the Oscars from the start tried to limit this category to songs that were written for the film in which they appeared.  This would be more stringent than what the Golden Globes would eventually do, after finally getting started in this category in 1961 and much more so than the BAFTAs which only tried a false-start with such a category and then gave up after just a few years.

Various rules and machinations over the years made the category confusing.  For years, the Oscars allowed every studio to submit a song (and automatically receive a nomination) but that also meant that studios were limited to the one nomination (and thus films were as well).  The Oscars would later have different rules about how many songs from a film could be eligible and when they had to play in the film while the Globes would have no such rules.  Also, because of the rule on original songs, people would often be confused, with some people thinking that a film like Casablanca or Singin’ in the Rain should have earned an Oscar for a song that had existed for years.

For my own rules, I have tried, with some variations, to stick to the Oscar concept.  That means I try to find films in which a song is written for the film that contains both original music (ruling out any song that is new but uses an old tune) and lyrics (ruling out a song like “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” in which the lyrics were from the novel even if the music was new).  For the most part, I have tried to rely on the old oscars.org database which listed songs in various years but that database sometimes listed ineligible songs and sometimes didn’t list songs that actually earned nominations.  In some cases, I have gone with what I know or at least suspect to be the case.

My own list limits itself to five songs in a film only because my Top 5 only has room for five.  But I don’t care which songs were Oscar submitted in determining my own five.

I will also go ahead and point out my posts on the Top 250 songs of both the 80’s and the 90’s, each of which include several songs that earn Nighthawk wins or nominations.  Those posts will go into depth on each song listed.

My Top 5 Original Songs in Film History:

  1. “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
  2. “The Rainbow Connection, The Muppet Movie, 1979
  3. “Help”, Help!, 1965
  4. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  5. “A Hard Day’s Night”, A Hard Day’s Night, 1964

The other 9 Point Songs (chronological):

  • “Everyone Says I Love You”, Horse Feathers, 1932/1933
  • “Cheek to Cheek”, Top Hat, 1935
  • “Heigh Ho”, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937
  • “We’re Off to See the Wizard”, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
  • “If I Only Had a Brain”, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
  • “When You Wish Upon a Star”, Pinocchio, 1940
  • “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944
  • “Zip a Dee Doo Dah”, Song of the South, 1946/1947
  • “Bibbidy-Bobbidi-Boo”, Cinderella, 1950
  • “That’s Entertainment”, The Band Wagon, 1953
  • “Moon River”, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961
  • “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, Blue Hawaii, 1961
  • “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  • “A Spoonful of Sugar”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  • “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”, Help!, 1965
  • “Ticket to Ride”, Help!, 1965
  • “The Bare Necessities”, The Jungle Book, 1967
  • “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969
  • “Suicide is Painless”, M*A*S*H, 1970
  • “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, 1973
  • “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, Life of Brian, 1979
  • “The Rose”, The Rose, 1979
  • “Late in the Evening”, One Trick Pony, 1980
  • “When the Tigers Broke Free”, Pink Floyd: The Wall, 1982
  • “Somebody’s Baby”, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, 1982
  • “Every Sperm is Sacred”, The Meaning of Life, 1983
  • “On the Dark Side”, Eddie and the Cruisers, 1983
  • “Against All Odds”, Against All Odds, 1984
  • “Don’t You Forget About Me”, The Breakfast Club, 1985
  • “The Power of Love”, Back to the Future, 1985
  • “Crazy for You”, Vision Quest, 1985
  • “If You Leave”, Pretty in Pink, 1986
  • “Wild Wild Life”, True Stories, 1986
  • “In Too Deep”, Mona Lisa, 1986
  • “Take My Breath Away”, Top Gun, 1986
  • “Storybook Love”, The Princess Bride, 1987
  • “Part of Your World”, The Little Mermaid, 1989
  • “Under the Sea”, The Little Mermaid, 1989
  • “All for Love”, Say Anything, 1989
  • “Something There”, Beauty and the Beast, 1991
  • “Beauty and the Beast”, Beauty and the Beast, 1991
  • “Be Our Guest”, Beauty and the Beast, 1991
  • “Until the End of the World”, Until the End of the World, 1991
  • “Sax and Violins”, Until the End of the World, 1991
  • “Breath”, Singles, 1992
  • “Thief of Your Heart”, In the Name of the Father, 1993
  • “Stay (Faraway, So Close)”, Faraway So Close, 1993
  • “Streets of Philadelphia”, Philadelphia, 1993
  • “What’s This”, Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993
  • “Circle of Life”, The Lion King, 1994
  • “Can’t Even Tell”, Clerks, 1994
  • “Cancion del Mariachi”, Desperado, 1995
  • “Walls”, She’s the One, 1996
  • “The Flame Still Burns”, Still Crazy, 1998
  • “He Got Game”, He Got Game, 1998
  • “Uninvited”, City of Angels, 1998
  • “The Great Beyond”, Man on the Moon, 1999
  • “Blame Canada”, South Park, 1999
  • “A Mighty Wind”, A Mighty Wind, 2003
  • “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow”, A Mighty Wind, 2003
  • “Falling Slowly”, Once, 2007
  • “Le Festin”, Ratatouille, 2007
  • “Jai Ho”, Slumdog Millionaire, 2008
  • “Life’s a Happy Song”, The Muppets, 2011

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 songs through 2011, listed chronologically.

The Composers

Jimmy Van Heusen

An accomplished composer who worked often with Sammy Cahn (winning three Oscars with him), Van Heusen began with Paramount films, doing songs for several Hope / Crosby Road films as well as the two Crosby songs for Going My Way and Bells of St Mary’s.  He won four Oscars among 14 nominations (he’s at 180 points, tied for fourth all-time) and earns 8 Nighthawk nominations.
Key Songs:  “Swinging on a Star”, “Moonlight Becomes You”, “High Hopes”, “(Love is) The Tender Trap”

The Sherman Brothers

The magnificent duo would be considered great even had they never done anything other than Mary Poppins but they were the Disney court composers for a decade.  They only won one Oscar and earned four other nominations but they win three Nighthawks out of 10 nominations, are second in Nighthawk points and fourth in Absolute Points.
Key Songs:  “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Ugly Bug Ball”, “Portabello Road”

Randy Newman

Randy Newman already had three Best Song nominations (aside from his Original Score work) at the Oscars before Pixar even released their first film but since then, he has been the Pixar composer supreme, finally winning an Oscar and then adding a second almost a decade later.  He doesn’t do quite as well as the Nighthawks, though he has amassed five Nighthawk nominations and I have to mention him because my father went to school with him from kindergarten through to 12th Grade.
Key Songs:  “You’ve Got a Friend in Me”, “We Belong Together”, “When She Loved Me”, “If I Didn’t Have You”

Alan Menken

When you’ve written this many great film musicals (even if I list them as Kids films), you get the film list instead of the song list.  The single easiest song composer to make an entire cd of his film work.  Tied for 4th at the Oscars but he’s #1 at the Nighthawks and in Absolute Points he absolutely crushes anyone else, composer or lyricist.
Key Films:  The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Tangled

Bono

The reason that Bono gets listed without his bandmates is not because he writes the lyrics (though he does) but because several times Bono has worked with his old friends Maurice Seezer and Gavin Friday to write songs for films without the rest of U2.  The Oscars haven’t cared (one nomination through 2011) but the Globes have (tied for 7th in points through 2011) and since U2 is my favorite band, I certainly have (he’s 7th in Absolute Points through 2011).
Key Songs:  “Thief of Your Heart”, “Stay (Faraway, So Close)”, “The Hands That Built America”, “In the Name of the Father”

The Lyricists

Ned Washington

Ned Washington earned 11 Oscar nominations and won with two fantastic songs: “When You Wish Upon a Star” and “High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me O My Darlin)” placing him in the Top 10 all-time at the Oscars.  At the Nighthawks he does even better, finishing behind only Menken and the Shermans and winning two Nighthawks while earning nine nominations.
Key Songs:  “When You Wish Upon a Star”, “High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me O My Darlin)”, “Baby Mine”, “Watercolor of Brazil”

Sammy Cahn

Oscars voters absolutely loved Sammy Cahn.  He earned his first nomination in 1942, didn’t earn his final one until 1975 (for a song from Whiffs, a movie seen by almost no one and nominated almost certainly because Cahn wrote the lyrics), took over the top points spot in 1956 and no one has even come close since.  He has 80 more points than the next closest finisher.  I’m not nearly as fond of him as the Oscars were but he does earn 90 points and wins the Nighthawk for “I Fall in Love Too Easily”.
Key Songs:  “High Hopes”, “I Fall in Love Too Easily”, “(Love is) The Tender Trap”, “Written on the Wind”

Johnny Mercer

If he had written the lyrics for nothing else, his lyrics for “Moon River” would grant him immortality.  Where else would we have the phrase “my huckleberry friend”?  But he won four Oscars and is second all-time in Oscar points with 220, 30 more than anyone not named Sammy Cahn.  His career was also quite long, with his nominations ranging from 1938 (“Jeepers Creepers”) to 1971 (“Life is What You Make It”).
Key Songs:  “Moon River”, “Jeepers Creepers”, “Accentuate the Positive”, “In the Cool Cool Cool of the Evening”

Alan and Marilyn Bergman

I’m not personally a big fan of the Bergmans and they only 50 points at the Nighthawks without a single in.  But there’s no denying their massive impact.  They have 170 Oscar points, which is good for 6th all-time and they had the most in both the 70’s (70 points) and 80s’s (60 points).  But where they really shine is at the Globes.  They are #1 all-time on the Globes list with 160 points, earning a massive 100 points in just six years from 1968 to 1973, earning at least one nomination every year.  They were the lyricists for not only the first song to ever win both the Oscar and the Globe (“The Windmills of Your Mind”) but also the second to do so (“The Way We Were”).  They could move across genres (they earned Oscar nominations in five different genres) and with different composers (winning Oscars with Marvin Hamlisch and Michel Legrand and earning nominations with Henry Mancini, Maurice Jarre, David Shire, Dave Grusin and John Williams, not to mention earning a Nighthawk while working with Quincy Jones.
Key Songs:  “The Windmills of Your Mind”, “The Way We Were”, “It Might Be You”, “Nobody Does It Better”

Howard Ashman

“Flippin’ your fins you don’t get too far  /  Legs are required for jumping, dancing”  “And when we touched she didn’t shudder at my paw”  “Now, try your best to stay calm  /  Brush up your Sunday salaam”  Ashman had a wonderful ability to write lyrics that weren’t universal at all and somehow conveyed universal concepts.  He also had a biting sense of humor as should have been obvious before he began in films from the lyrics to “Dentist” from Little Shop of Horrors but they also found their way into such songs as “Les Poissons” and “Be Our Guest”.  Ashman, of course, won two Oscars working with partner Alan Menken and the pair earned five other nominations.  He also wins two Nighthawks for the same films but for different songs (see the Nighthawk winners below).  He died, of course, before Beauty and the Beast was released and while Aladdin was still being worked on, though he still gave us three wonderful songs for that film as well and a line that seems to sum up life itself: “It’s barbaric, but hey, it’s home.”
Key Films:  The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin

Song composing duo Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn celebrating their 1959 Oscar for “High Hopes”.

The Academy Awards

Summary:

As with all Oscar categories, there is a more detailed look at it here.  That includes a list of all the semi-finalists during the stretch from 1950 to 1979 when the Academy did that in this category.

The category began in 1934, the same year that the Best Score category began.  The category was designed to encompass songs that were written for a motion picture (songs being defined as having music and words).  Starting in 1938, the Oscars expanded the category, allowing each studio to submit (and essentially nominate) one song.  That guaranteed each studio a nomination but it meant that studios couldn’t get multiple nominations.  This went on until 1945, after which the nominees were reduced down to five.

The Academy would be slow to embrace rock and roll once it came along in the 50’s.  There were plenty of Elvis songs that were eligible that weren’t nominated and the Beatles would be completely blanked.  It wouldn’t be until 1971 with the Oscar awarded to “Theme from Shaft” that things would start to change and they would still be slow for quite a while.

By 1988, Disney had earned 13 nominations for Best Song and won three awards.  The studio then put away the past, winning the next four awards and seven of the next eight and has earned 34 nominations and won 11 Oscars since 1988.

Directors:

Blake Edwards has been the most successful, with eight nominations from his films and two wins (back-to-back in 1960 and 1961 – the only director with back-to-back wins) followed by Mark Sandrich (6 noms, 2 wins) and David Butler (6 noms, 1 win).  It’s not a category where the biggest directors show up a lot with only two Spielberg noms and two Wyler noms.  The Disney team of Ron Clements and John Musker have had four films nominated but those four films have two Oscars and seven nominations.

Franchises:

As long as the song is new, franchises can be fine.  That’s why early Oscar nominees in this category include such series films as Gold Diggers of 1935, Vogues of 1938, Big Broadcast of 1938 (which won), Hit Parade of 1941 and Hit Parade of 1943Bells of St. Mary’s, a flat-out sequel, would earn a nomination in 1945.  Live and Let Die would become the first Bond film to earn a nomination.

Genres:

The numbers here are a little deceptive.  Musicals leads with total films (137, 34.60%) and wins (23, 30.77%) followed in films by Drama (20.71%), Comedy (18.43%) and Kids (12.37%) with every genre getting at least one nomination, including short films though nothing other than those big four have more than 17 noms and most have 5 or fewer.  Among wins, Drama and Kids are tied with 15 each (19.23%) followed by Comedy (12.82%) while Adventure, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, War and shorts have no wins.  Musicals, however, dominated in the early years.  Through 1947, Musicals accounted for 71.42% of the nominated films and 10 of the 14 wins and in the first four years of the category only one nominee wasn’t from a Musical.  Lately, Musicals have had a comeback, accounting for 31% of the films since 2000 though only 3 of the wins.  Meanwhile, Comedy has died out (no nominations since 2001) and Kids has begun to dominate.  Since the release of The Little Mermaid, Kids has accounted for 29.34% of the nominated films and 43.48% of the winners.  What’s more, since Kids films have often earned multiple nominations, they have accounted for 33.64% of the nominated songs in that era.

Best Picture:

Of the long-standing categories (categories other than Makeup, Animated Film and Foreign Film) this has the worst crossover with Best Picture.  Only five films have won both Song and Picture and until 1996 only two had done so (Going My Way, Gigi).  Three Best Picture winners have earned nominations but only one of those is from before 1996 (Rocky).  There have been 13 films that won Song and earned a Picture nomination and at least one Song winner every decade earned a nomination or won Picture.  There have been another 20 films nominated for both Song and Picture.

Foreign Films:

The first Foreign film to earn a nomination would also win the award: Never on Sunday in 1960.  There was another Foreign nominee in 1965 (Umbrellas of Cherbourg) then a gap of 35 years before four more nominees including a winner (The Motorcycle Diaries).  But no film has won both Foreign Film and Song with only two films even earning noms in both categories (Crouching Tiger, The Chorus).

Single Nominations:

Of the 396 films nominated for Song, 172 of them received no other nominations, including three films that earned multiple Song nominations but no other nominations (Enchanted, White Nights, The Bodyguard).  Every decade has had at least one Song winner with no other nominations.

Multiple Nominations:

It would take until 1980 for Fame to become the first film to earn multiple nominations for Best Song.  There had been no role preventing such films as Mary Poppins from earning multiple nominations but it simply didn’t happen until 1980.  In 1991, Beauty and the Beast would become the first film to earn three Oscar nominations for Song.  In total, seven films have won the Oscar and earning another nomination while, aside from Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King also earned two other nominations aside from its win.  The first film to earn multiple nominations and not win the Oscar was Yentl in 1983 followed the next year by Footloose.  It wouldn’t happen again until 2003 (Cold Mountain) but, after 2006 and 2007, when Dreamgirls and Enchanted became the first films to earn three nominations and not win the award, the rule was changed to prevent any more than two nominations for a film.  Since then, only Slumdog Millionaire has earned two noms.  At that point, many films started submitting just one song to focus on that song with Tangled likely the first film that could have received multiple nominations had multiple songs been submitted (especially since there were only four nominees that year).

Other Categories:

Score has far and away the biggest overlap.  Twenty films have won both Song and Score and 129 films have been nominated for both.  No other category has more than 60 overlapping films and only Cinematography, Sound and Art Direction overlap more than 50 times.

The Academy Awards Top 10:

  1. Sammy Cahn  –  300
  2. Johnny Mercer  –  220
  3. Paul Francis Webster  –  190
  4. Alan Menken  –  180
  5. Jimmy Van Heusen  –  180
  6. Alan Bergman  –  170
  7. Marilyn Bergman  –  170
  8. Randy Newman  –  140
  9. Harry Warren  –  140
  10. Ned Washington  /  Henry Mancini  –  130

note:  Wins are worth 20 points and nominations are worth 10.

Top 5 Oscar Winners:

  1. “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz
  2. “When You Wish Upon a Star”, Pinocchio
  3. “Falling Slowly”, Once
  4. “Jai Ho”, Slumdog Millionaire
  5. “Moon River”, Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Worst 5 Oscar Winners:

  1. “Last Dance”, Thank God It’s Friday
  2. “The Shadow of Your Smile”, The Sandpiper
  3. “Gigi”, Gigi
  4. “Secret Love”, Calamity Jane
  5. “Sweet Leilani”, Waikiki Wedding

Worst 5 Oscar Nominees:

  1. “Last Dance”, Thank God It’s Friday
  2. “The Day I Fall in Love”, Beethoven’s 2nd
  3. “Endless Love”, Endless Love
  4. “I Feel Love”, Benji
  5. “The Shadow of Your Smile”, The Sandpiper

Top 5 Songs Completely Snubbed by the Oscars:

  1. “Help”, Help!
  2. “A Hard Day’s Night”, A Hard Day’s Night
  3. “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, Life of Brian
  4. “A Mighty Wind”, A Mighty Wind
  5. “Life’s a Happy Song”, The Muppets

Top 5 Songs That were Semi-Finalists but Not Nominees at the Oscars (1950-1979):

  1. “Suicide is Painless”, M*A*S*H
  2. “Movin’ Right Along”, The Muppet Movie
  3. “I Got a Name”, The Last American Hero
  4. “New York, New York”, New York New York
  5. “Bright Eyes”, Watership Down

Top 5 Oscar Years:

  1. 1991  (“Beauty and the Beast”, “Be Our Guest”, “Belle”, “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”, “When You’re Alone”)
  2. 1985  (“Say You Say Me”, “The Power of Love”, “Separate Lives”, “Miss Celie’s Blues”, “Surprise Surprise”)
  3. 2003  (“Into the West”, “A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow”, “Belleville Rendez-vous”, “You Will Be My Ain’ True Love”, “Scarlet Tide”)
  4. 1989  (“Under the Sea”, “Kiss the Girl”, “After All”, “I Love to See You Smile”, “The Girl Who Used to Be Me”)
  5. 1984  (“I Just Called to Say I Love You”, “Against All Odds”, “Ghostbusters”, “Footloose”, “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”)

note:  It’s a bit of irony that 1984 and 1985 are great years for nominations but they completely botched both winners.

Top 5 Oscars Years by Oscar Score:

  1. 1941  –  100  (“The Last Time I Saw Paris”, “Out of the Silence”, “Blues in the Night”, “Baby Mine”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “Dolores”, “Be Honest With Me”, “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “Since I Kiss My Baby Goodbye”)
  2. 1940  –  100  (“When You Wish Upon a Star”, “Down Argentine Way”, “Who Am I”, “It’s a Blue World”, “Only Forever”, “Love of My Life”, “Waltzing in the Clouds”, “Our Love Affair”, “I’d Know You Anywhere”)
  3. 1935  –  100  (“Lullaby of Broadway”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Lovely to Look At”)
  4. 1938  –  100  (“Thanks for the Memory”, “Now It Can Be Told”, “Change Partners”, “The Cowboy and the Lady”, “Jeepers Creepers”, “A Mist Over the Moon”, “Always and Always”, “Merrily We Live”, “My Own”, “Dust”)
  5. 1934  –  100  (“The Continental”, “Carioca”, “Love in Bloom”)

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.
note:  This list is stacked in early years namely because I don’t have a list of songs that were eligible that I can compare it to.  So there aren’t lists of songs that I feel should have been nominated whereas later years have full lists.

Worst 5 Oscar Years:

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

  1. 1937  –  2.7  (“Sweet Leilani”, “Whispers in the Dark”, “Remember Me”, “They Can’t Take That Away from Me”, “That Old Feeling”)
  2. 1958  –  11.8  (“Gigi”, “A Certain Smile”, “Almost in Your Arms”, “A Very Precious Love”, “To Love and Be Loved”)
  3. 1972  –  12.5  (“The Morning After”, “Ben”, “Marmalade Molasses & Honey”, “Strange are the Ways of Love”, “Come Follow Follow Me”)
  4. 1957  –  16.7  (“All the Way”, “An Affair to Remember”, “April Love”, “Tammy”, “Wild is the Wind”)
  5. 1998  –  17.6  (“When You Believe”, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, “That’ll Do”, “A Soft Place to Fall”, “The Prayer”)

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

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Mary Poppins

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

  1. Doctor Dolittle
  2. Thank God It’s Friday
  3. Flashdance
  4. The Towering Inferno
  5. Love is a Many-Splendored Thing

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

  1. Ben
  2. Endless Love
  3. Mannequin
  4. Pearl Harbor
  5. Doctor Dolittle

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

  • 1953:  “Secret Love” over “That’s Amore”, “Blue Pacific Blues”, “The Moon is Blue”, “My Flaming Heart”
  • 1958:  “Gigi” over “A Certain Smile”, “Almost in Your Arms”, “A Very Precious Love”, “To Love and Be Loved”
  • 1965:  “The Shadow of Your Smile” over “The Ballad of Cat Ballou”, “The Sweetheart Tree”, “I Will Wait for You”, “What’s New Pussycat”
  • 1978:  “Last Dance” over “Ready to Take a Chance Again”, “Hopelessly Devoted to You”, “When You’re Loved”, “The Last Time I Felt Like This”

Oscar Nominees I Haven’t Seen

note:  This is one of the categories where I haven’t managed to see every nominee.  There are six nominees that I still haven’t managed to see (two of them were also nominated for Score).  The last three are particularly painful as they are the most recent three nominees in any category I haven’t seen (1972, 1975, 1976) and the only non-Foreign Film nominees since 1949 that I haven’t seen.

  • Youth on Parade  (“I’ve Heard That Song Before”)
  • Something to Shout About  (“You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To”)
  • Why Girls Leave Home  (“The Cat and the Canary”)
  • Little Ark  (“Come Follow, Come Follow Me”)
  • Whiffs  (“Now That We’re in Love”)
  • Half a House  (“A World That Never Was”)

Oscar Scores By Decade:

  • 1930’s:  63.2
  • 1940’s:  80.2
  • 1950’s:  40.8
  • 1960’s:  40.1
  • 1970’s:  41.9
  • 1980’s:  62.3
  • 1990’s:  58.0
  • 2000’s:  66.8
  • 2010’s:  70.2
  • All-Time:  55.7

The BAFTA Awards

Summary:

This is an odd little category at the BAFTAs.  They began it in 1982, nominating Oscar / Globe nominee “Eye of the Tiger” (Rocky III) and 1981 Oscar / Globe nominee “One More Hour” (Ragtime) as well as a song written for a Broadway show “Tomorrow” (Annie) and giving the award to a song written for an album released in 1979 “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” (Pink Floyd: The Wall).  The next year they were more in line with other groups, giving the award to 1982 Oscar / Globe winner “Up Where We Belong” (An Officer and a Gentleman) while also nominating 1983 Oscar / Globe winner “Flashdance… What a Feeling”, 1982 Oscar nominee “It Might Be You” (Tootsie) and showing a sense of humor with “Every Sperm is Sacred” (Meaning of Life).  In 1984, the award went to Oscar / Globe nominee “Ghostbusters” which it would turn out, according to the courts, wasn’t so original after all.  The other nominees were Oscar / Globe winner “I Just Called to Say I Love You” (The Woman in Red) (kudos to the BAFTAs for not giving it the award while the Oscars and Globes sadly did), Globe nominee “No More Lonely Nights” (Give My Regards to Broad Street) and song no one else cared about : “Together in Electric Dreams” (Electric Dreams).  After that, the BAFTAs would abandon the category altogether.

The Golden Globes

Summary:

The Globes would start awarding Best Song in 1961, just giving out an award with no nominees.  The award would then disappear for a couple of years before returning in 1964, one of the great all-time years for original songs and not only would the Globes ignore the Beatles (like the Oscars) but would also ignore Mary Poppins (idiots).  But, as time would go on, the Globes would embrace rock and roll much more thoroughly than the Oscars would as can be seen by their Top 10 list which includes both Bono and Madonna, who only have a combined 10 points at the Oscars.  They would still go for big songwriters that the Oscars loved, though, like the Bergmans (who, at one point, would earn nominations in six straight years) and Alan Menken (who would win three awards and earn seven nominations in a stretch of four years).
The Globes didn’t necessarily agree with the Oscars.  It would take until 1968 for them to agree at all and by 1974 they had only agreed twice (with the Bergmans winning both times).  But, starting in 1975, they would agree much more often, starting with a four year stretch followed after a one year gap by another nine year stretch.  They would agree eight times in the 90’s.  But starting in 2001, they have only agreed twice more and since agreeing in 2003, no Globe winner has just earned an Oscar nom – they have either won the Oscar or not even been nominated, a very strange situation.

The Globes Top 10:

  1. Alan Bergman  –  160
  2. Marilyn Bergman  –  160
  3. Alan Menken  –  150
  4. Carole Bayer Sager  –  120
  5. Marvin Hamlisch  –  110
  6. Howard Ashman  –  80
  7. Michel Legrand  –  70
  8. Burt Bacharach  –  70
  9. Tim Rice  –  70
  10. Bono  /  Madonna  –  70

Top 5 Globe Winners:

  1. “Under the Sea”, The Little Mermaid
  2. “Streets of Philadelphia”, Philadelphia
  3. “Beauty and the Beast”, Beauty and the Beast
  4. “The Rose”, The Rose
  5. “Take My Breath Away”, Top Gun

Worst 5 Globe Winners:

  1. “Last Dance”, Thank God It’s Friday
  2. “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me”, Burlesque
  3. “Life is What You Make It”, Kotch
  4. “I Feel Love”, Benji
  5. “Circus World”, Circus World

The Broadcast Film Critics Awards  (Critics Choice)

Summary:

The BFCA began giving out a Best Song award in 1998 with only a winner the first three years.  The first year they agreed with the Oscars but the next two years they wouldn’t agree with the Oscars or the Globes (Music of the Heart, Emperor’s New Groove).  In 2001, they would start having nominees and they had two winners, neither of whom won the Oscar or Globe (Fellowship, Vanilla Sky).  Since then, they have very much been their own group.  Of their 51 nominees, 13 of them received neither an Oscar or Globe nom.  Of their winners, only three times have they agreed with the Globes and twice that winner wasn’t even nominated at the Oscars (Alfie, The Wrestler).  Almost half their winners haven’t received Globe noms and the only real agreement they have had is on Crazy Heart.

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:

Aside from the Disney animated directors, the most successful director in this category has been Mark Sandrich, with three films winning the Nighthawk (The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, Shall We Dance) and four others earning nominations.  Robert Stevenson, working at Disney, managed seven nominations and two wins with just three films (Darby O’Gill and the Little People, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks).

Franchises:

Aside from the animated Disney, the biggest things here have been Elvis films (15 nominations, two wins) and Muppets films (6 noms, two wins).  Lord of the Rings manages four nominations and a win.

Genres:

Like the Oscars, Musicals dominate early on.  In the first 10 years of the category, Musicals account for 84% of the nominated films and 7 winners.  Musicals have continued to lead with 33.55% of the nominated films, 31.99% of the total nominees and 33.73% of the winners.  Kids is next and while it is tied with Drama with 16.61% of the films and just ahead of Comedy (16.29%), it is second in wins (24.10%) compared to Comedy (20.48%) and Drama (10.84%) while it is ahead in total nominations because of so many films with multiple nominations (20.65%) as compared to Comedy (18.89%) and Drama (14.61%).  Adventure and War have never received nominations and Horror, Sci-Fi and Suspense all have only 2 noms each and have never won the award while Action (Crouching Tiger), Crime (Desperado) and Mystery (The Seven-Per-Cent Solution) have all won just once each.

Best Picture:

Only six films have managed to win the Nighthawk for both Picture and Song (Wizard of Oz, M*A*S*H, Princess Bride, Crouching Tiger, Fellowship, Slumdog).  Four other films have won Picture with a Song nom, 16 films have won Song with a Picture nom and 17 have earned nominations in both.

Foreign Film:

Three Foreign films have won Best Song (Black Orpheus, Crouching Tiger, As It Is In Heaven) while six others have earned nominations.

Single Nominations:

Of the 314 different films that have earned nominations for Song, a whopping 171 of them earn nominations in no other categories.  That doesn’t mean they earn no other nominations – 22 of those films earn multiple Song nominations, four of them earn three nominations (King Creole, Black Orpheus, Grease, The Muppet Movie) and Help! earns all five Song nominations.  There have been 31 Nighthawk winners for Song that earn no other nominations, over a third of all the winners.  There’s only been one gap of longer than a decade where all the Song winners earned at least another nomination (1966-1976) though there have only been two three year streaks of winners with no other nominations (1955-57, 1984-86).  Of those 171 films, 76 of them are Musicals, well more than twice any other category.

Other Categories:

Picture (43) has the most overlap with Song which is really low, with Score and Sound both at 40 each.  The biggest overlap in wins, perhaps not surprisingly, is Animated Film, with 10 films winning both awards, all of them Disney except Watership Down.

My Top 10

  1. Alan Menken  –  170
  2. Richard Sherman  –  140
  3. Robert Sherman  –  140
  4. Harry Warren  –  130
  5. Ned Washington  –  130
  6. Irving Berlin  –  110
  7. Johnny Mercer  –  110
  8. Howard Ashman  –  110
  9. Bert Kalmar  –  90
  10. Harry Ruby  /  Sammy Cahn  /  Mack David  /  Mel Brooks  –  90

My Top 10 weighted

  1. Alan Menken  –  278
  2. RIchard Sherman  –  197
  3. Robert Sherman  –  197
  4. Johnny Mercer  –  193
  5. Ned Washington  –  181
  6. Sammy Cahn  –  170
  7. Harry Warren  –  164
  8. Howard Ashman  –  161
  9. Irving Berlin  –  157
  10. Harold Arlen  –  153

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

My Top 20 Absolute Points List:

  1. Alan Menken  –  415
  2. Howard Ashman  –  241
  3. Paul McCartney  –  226
  4. RIchard Sherman  –  212
  5. Robert Sherman  –  212
  6. John Lennon  –  199
  7. Bono  –  182
  8. Harold Arlen  –  177
  9. Randy Newman  –  155
  10. Johnny Mercer  –  154
  11. Ned Washington  –  153
  12. Tim Rice  –  144
  13. E.Y. Harburg  –  136
  14. Sammy Cahn  –  130
  15. Jimmy Van Heusen  –  121
  16. Mack David  –  121
  17. Eric Idle  –  120
  18. Elton John  –  119
  19. Mel Brooks  –  115
  20. Harry Warren  /  Sammy Fain  –  113

note:  This is a point scale based on their points, not where they finished in the year.  That means, for instance, that all the brilliant 1964 songs that score a 9 get the maximum weighted points no matter their finish.
note:  I feel that I should point out that I don’t count Documentaries.  That’s relevant because the songs from Let it Be would have been eligible.  Even if you only count “Let it Be” itself, which was the only song listed at the old oscars.org database (and it was Oscar long-listed), that would move both Lennon and McCartney up another 23 points (it’s a nine point song), moving Lennon above the Shermans and Paul above Ashman.  It wouldn’t move them up that much though, first because I only classify two films from the album as 9 point songs (“Across the Universe” is the other) and second, because one of the five best songs is a Harrison song (“I Me Mine”) which means they would only have four available songs.

The Top 5 Absolute Points by Decade

1930-1939

  1. Harold Arlen  –  121
  2. E.Y. Harburg  –  121
  3. Bert Kalmar  –  79
  4. Harry Ruby  –  79
  5. Ira & George Gershwin  –  67

1940 – 1949

  1. Ned Washington  –  113
  2. Johnny Mercer  –  72
  3. Johnny Burke  –  64
  4. Leigh Harline  –  57
  5. Jimmy Van Heusen  –  57

1950 – 1959

  1. Sammy Fain  –  96
  2. Sammy Cahn  –  83
  3. Mack David  –  77
  4. Al Hoffman  –  64
  5. Jerry Livingston  –  57

1960  –  1969

  1. John Lennon  –  199
  2. Paul McCartney  –  199
  3. Richard & Robert Sherman  –  164
  4. Henry Mancini  –  53
  5. Terry Gilkyson  /  Johnny Mercer  –  52

1970  –  1979

  1. Paul Williams  –  101
  2. Kenny Ascher  –  87
  3. Marvin Hamlisch  –  62
  4. Mel Brooks  –  51
  5. Richard & Robert Sherman  –  48

1980  –  1989

  1. Howard Ashman  –  110
  2. Alan Menken  –  100
  3. David Byrne  –  87
  4. Eric Idle  –  75
  5. Giorgio Moroder  –  70

1990  –  1999

  1. Alan Menken  –  217
  2. Tim Rice  –  144
  3. Howard Ashman  –  131
  4. Bono  –  128
  5. Elton John  –  89

2000  –  2011

  1. Alan Menken  –  98
  2. Jack Black  –  72
  3. Kyle Gass  –  72
  4. Eddie Vedder  –  67
  5. Mike Viola  –  65

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

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
  4. The Princess Bride
  5. Singin’ in the Rain

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

  1. Against All Odds
  2. Summer Magic
  3. Neptune’s Daughter
  4. Fun in Acapulco
  5. Gigi

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

  1. The Jazz Singer
  2. Tank Girl
  3. Who’s That Girl
  4. W.E.
  5. The Savage Seven

Top 5 Years for Best Song at the Nighthawks:

  1. 1991  (“Something There”, “Beauty and the Beast”, “Until the End of the World”, “Sax and Violins”, “Be Our Guest”)
  2. 1964  (“Supercalifragisliticexpialidocious”, “A Hard Day’s Night”, “Chim Chim Cher-ee”, “A Spoonful of Sugar”, “Let’s Go Fly A Kite”)
  3. 1993  (“Thief of Your Heart”, “Stay (Faraway, So Close”, “Streets of Philadelphia”, “What’s This”, “In the Name of the Father”)
  4. 1986  (“If You Leave”, “Wild Wild Life”, “In Too Deep”, “It’s in the Way That You Use It”, “Live to Tell”)
  5. 1985 (tie)  (“Don’t You Forget About Me”, “Power of Love”, “Crazy for You”, “Separate Lives”, “Miss Celie’s Blues”)
  6. 1989 (tie)  (“Part of Your World”, “Under the Sea”, “All for Love”, “Les Poissons”, “Kiss the Girl”)

Top 5 6th Place Finishers at the Nighthawks:

  1. “Live to Tell”, At Close Range
  2. “If I Fell”, A Hard Day’s Night
  3. “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  4. “This is Halloween”, Nightmare Before Christmas
  5. “Save Me”, Magnolia

Best Song by Place Finish at the Nighthawks:

  • 1st  –  “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
  • 2nd  –  “A Hard Day’s Night”, A Hard Day’s Night, 1964
  • 3rd  –  “Ticket to Ride”, Help!, 1965
  • 4th  –  “A Spoonful of Sugar”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  • 5th  –  “Be Our Guest”, Beauty and the Beast, 1991
  • 6th  –  “Live to Tell”, At Close Range, 1986
  • 7th  –  “City of Dreams”, True Stories, 1986
  • 8th  –  “Feed the Birds”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  • 9th  –  “Viva Las Vegas”, Viva Las Vegas, 1964
  • 10th  –  “Into the Groove”, Desperately Seeking Susan, 1985
  • 11th  –  “Danger Zone”, Top Gun, 1986
  • 12th  –  “Dream Operator”, True Stories, 1986
  • 13th  –  “The Power of One”, The Power of One, 1992
  • 14th  –  “This Used to Be My Playground”, A League of Their Own, 1992
  • 15th  –  “Drugs Stink”, Bob Roberts, 1992
  • 16th  –  “Beautiful Maria of My Soul”, The Mambo Kings, 1992
  • 17th  –  “Happy Worker”, Toys, 1992
  • 18th  –  “Saying Goodbye”, The Muppets Take Manhattan, 1984
  • 19th  –  “Mine Mine Mine”, Pocahontas, 1995
  • 20th  –  “The Book I Write”, Stranger Than Fiction, 2005

Best Song by Genre

  • Action:  “A Love Before Time”, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
  • Adventure:  “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You”, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • Comedy:  “Moon River”, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Crime:  “Cancion del Mariachi”, Desperado
  • Drama:  “Jai Ho”, Slumdog Millionaire
  • Fantasy:  “Storybook Love”, The Princess Bride
  • Horror:  “Forever May Not Be Long Enough”, The Mummy Returns
  • Kids:  “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz
  • Musical:  “Help”, Help!
  • Mystery:  “Dicholo”, The Constant Gardener
  • Sci-Fi:  “Ghostbusters”, Ghostbusters
  • Suspense:  “Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera)”, The Man Who Knew Too Much
  • War:  “Cross the Green Mountain”, Gods and Generals
  • Western:  “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

Best Song by Star Rating of Film

note:  There have been so many good songs from bad films that I actually have an entire Nighthawk Notable category devoted to it.

  • ****:  “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz
  • ***.5:  “The Bare Necessities”, The Jungle Book
  • ***:  “Help”, Help!
  • **.5:  “Against All Odds”, Against All Odds
  • **:  “On the Dark Side”, Eddie and the Cruisers
  • *.5:  “Who’s That Girl”, Who’s That Girl
  • *:  “America”, The Jazz Singer
  • .5:  “Cradle of Love”, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane

Top 20 Films for Total Songs:

note:  This totals up all the songs I list for the film.  I max out with five songs for a film (because that’s how many songs I nominate).  All of these films have a total of at least 24.  The songs are listed (without quotes for ease of typing) in rank order.

  1. Mary Poppins  (Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Chim Chim Cher-ee, A Spoonful of Sugar, Let’s Go Fly a Kite, Feed the Birds)
  2. Help! (Help, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Ticket to Ride, The Night Before, You’re Gonna Lose That Girl)
  3. The Wizard of Oz  (Over the Rainbow, We’re Off to See the Wizard, If I Only Had a Brain, The Merry Old Land of Oz, Munchkin Sequence)
  4. Until the End of the World  (Until the End of the World, Sax & Violins, Blood of Eden, Fretless, Death’s Door)
  5. Beauty and the Beast  (Something There, Beauty and the Beast, Be our Guest, Belle, Gaston)
  6. A Hard Day’s Night  (A Hard Day’s Night, If I Fell, I Should Have Known Better, Tell Me Why, And I Love Her)
  7. The Little Mermaid  (Part of Your World, Under the Sea, Les Poissons, Kiss the Girl, Poor Unfortunate Souls)
  8. The Muppet Movie  (Rainbow Connection, Movin’ Right Along, Can You Picture That, I Hope That Something Better Comes Along, I’m Going to Go Back There Someday)
  9. Aladdin  (A Whole New World, Friend Like Me, Prince Ali, One Jump Ahead, Arabian Nights)
  10. True Stories  (Wild Wild Life, City of Dreams, People Like Us, Dream Operator, Love for Sale)
  11. Singles  (Breath, Waiting for Somebody, State of Love and Trust, Dyslexic Heart)
  12. The Meaning of Life  (Every Sperm is Sacred, Galaxy Song, Penis Song, The Meaning of Life)
  13. The Lion King  (Circle of Life, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Hakuna Matata, Be Prepared, I Just Can’t Wait to Be King)
  14. The Pick of Destiny  (Kickapoo, History, POD, Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown), Master Exploder)
  15. One-Trick Pony  (Late in the Evening, One-Trick Pony, How the Heart Approaches What it Yearns, That’s Why God Made the Movies, Jonah)
  16. Tangled  (I See the Light, I’ve Got a Dream, When Will My Life Begin, Mother Knows Best)
  17. Walk Hard  (Walk Hard, Let’s Duet, Guilty as Charged, Beautiful Ride)
  18. Nightmare Before Christmas  (What’s This, This is Halloween, Jack, Kidnap the Santa Claus)
  19. This is Spinal Tap  (Big Bottom, Stonehenge, Flower People, Tonight I’m Going to Rock You Tonight)
  20. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  (Heigh Ho, Someday My Prince Will Come, Whistle While You Work)

The Nighthawk Winners:

  • 1925-26:  none
  • 1927-28:  none
  • 1928-29:  “Lon Chaney’s Gonna Get Ya”, The Hollywood Revue of 1929
  • 1929-30:  “Waiting at the End of the Road”, Hallelujah
  • 1930-31:  “Hello I Must Be Going”, Animal Crackers
  • 1931-32:  “Everyone Says I Love You”, Horse Feathers
  • 1932-33:  “The Gold Digger’s Song (We’re in the Money)”, Gold Diggers of 1933
  • 1934:  “The Continental”, The Gay Divorcee  (Oscar)
  • 1935:  “Cheek to Cheek”, Top Hat  (Oscar)
  • 1936:  “Pennies from Heaven”, Pennies from Heaven  (Oscar)
  • 1937:  “Heigh Ho”, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  • 1938:  “Jeepers Creepers”, Going Places  (Oscar)
  • 1939:  “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz  (Oscar)
  • 1940:  “When You Wish Upon a Star”, Pinocchio  (Oscar)
  • 1941:  “Chattanooga Choo Choo, Sun Valley Serenade  (Oscar)
  • 1942:  “How About You”, Babes on Broadway  (Oscar)
  • 1943:  “Watercolor of Brazil”, Saludos Amigos
  • 1944:  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, Meet Me in St. Louis
  • 1945:  “I Fall in Love Too Easily”, Anchors Aweigh  (Oscar)
  • 1946:  “On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe”, The Harvey Girls  (Oscar)
  • 1947:  “Zip a Dee Doo Dah”, Song of the South  (Oscar)
  • 1948:  “A Couple of Swells”, Easter Parade
  • 1949:  “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, Neptune’s Daughter  (Oscar)
  • 1950:  “Bibbidy-Bobbidi-Boo”, Cinderella  (Oscar)
  • 1951:  “Unbirthday Song”, Alice in Wonderland
  • 1952:  “Make Em Laugh”, Singin’ in the Rain
  • 1953:  “That’s Entertainment”, The Band Wagon
  • 1954:  “A Whale of a Tale”, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • 1955:  “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”, Davy Crockett: King of the Wild Frontier
  • 1956:  “Love Me Tender”, Love Me Tender
  • 1957:  “Jailhouse Rock”, Jailhouse Rock
  • 1958:  “I Remember It Well”, Gigi
  • 1959:  “Once Upon a Dream”, Sleeping Beauty
  • 1960:  “Adieu Tristesse”, Black Orpheus
  • 1961:  “Moon River”, Breakfast at Tiffany’s  (Oscar)
  • 1962:  “Being in Love”, The Music Man
  • 1963:  “The Ugly Bug Ball”, Summer Magic
  • 1964:  “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, Mary Poppins
  • 1965:  “Help”, Help!
  • 1966:  “Georgy Girl”, Georgy Girl (Oscar, Globe)
  • 1967:  “The Bare Necessities”, The Jungle Book  (Oscar)
  • 1968:  “Springtime for Hitler”, The Producers
  • 1969:  “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid  (Oscar, Globe)
  • 1970:  “Suicide is Painless”, M*A*S*H
  • 1971:  “Portabello Road”, Bedknobs and Broomsticks
  • 1972:  “Mein Herr”, Cabaret (Globe)
  • 1973:  “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid
  • 1974:  “Blazing Saddles”, Blazing Saddles (Oscar)
  • 1975:  “I’m Easy”, Nashville  (Oscar, Globe)
  • 1976:  “The Madame’s Song”, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
  • 1977:  “New York, New York”, New York New York (Globe)
  • 1978:  “Bright Eyes”, Watership Down
  • 1979:  “The Rainbow Connection”, The Muppet Movie (Oscar, Globe)
  • 1980:  “Late in the Evening”, One Trick Pony
  • 1981:  “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That I Could Do)”, Arthur  (Oscar, Globe)
  • 1982:  “When the Tigers Broke Free”, Pink Floyd: The Wall
  • 1983:  “Every Sperm is Sacred:, The Meaning of Life (BAFTA)
  • 1984:  “Against All Odds”, Against All Odds (Oscar, Globe)
  • 1985:  “Don’t You Forget About Me”, The Breakfast Club
  • 1986:  “If You Leave”, Pretty in Pink
  • 1987:  “Storybook Love”, The Princess Bride  (Oscar)
  • 1988:  “Let the River Run”, Working Girl (Oscar, Globe)
  • 1989:  “Part of Your World”, The Little Mermaid
  • 1990:  “The Post-Mortem Bar”, Longtime Companion
  • 1991:  “Something There”, Beauty and the Beast
  • 1992:  “Breath”, Singles
  • 1993:  “Thief of Your Heart”, In the Name of the Father  (Globe)
  • 1994:  “Can’t Even Tell”, Clerks
  • 1995:  “Cancion del Mariachi”, Desperado
  • 1996:  “Walls”, She’s the One
  • 1997:  “The Sweet Hereafter”, The Sweet Hereafter
  • 1998:  “The Flame Still Burns”, Still Crazy (Globe)
  • 1999:  “The Great Beyond”, Man on the Moon
  • 2000:  “A Love Before Time”, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Oscar)
  • 2001:  “May It Be”, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring  (Oscar, Globe, BFCA)
  • 2002:  “The Hands That Built America”, Gangs of New York  (Oscar, Globe)
  • 2003:  “A Mighty Wind”, A Mighty Wind  (BFCA)
  • 2004:  “Gabriela’s Song”, As It Is in Heaven
  • 2005:  “The Remains of the Day”, Corpse Bride
  • 2006:  “Upside Down”, Curious George
  • 2007:  “Falling Slowly”, Once  (Oscar, BFCA)
  • 2008:  “Jai Ho”, Slumdog Millionaire  (Oscar, BFCA)
  • 2009:  “The Weary Kind”, Crazy Heart  (Oscar, Globe, BFCA)
  • 2010:  “I See the Light”, Tangled  (Oscar, Globe, BFCA)
  • 2011:  “Life’s a Happy Song”, The Muppets (BFCA)

note:  It’s worth noting that three of my winners in the 70’s, “Suicide is Painless”, “New York New York” and “Bright Eyes” were Oscar semi-finalists but not nominees.

Consensus Awards

Oscar / Globe / BFCA winner:

  • “The Weary Kind”, Crazy Heart

Nighthawk  /  Oscar  /  Globe winner:

note:  Not really a Consensus bit because, except for Director (because it plays into my Top 100), I don’t generally include the Nighthawk in the Consensus.  But it’s worth noting that only three songs have won the Nighthawk, Oscar and Globe (though two other films had a song win the Nighthawk while a different song from the same film won the Oscar and Globe – The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast).

  • “I’m Easy”, Nashville
  • “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That I Could Do)”, Arthur
  • “The Weary Kind”, Crazy Heart

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.
note:  The chart only includes from 2001 on, when the BFCA began their award with full nominations, to the present.
note:  I have not listed them by song so sometimes films are listed more than once, depending on the song.

YEAR FILM AA GG BF RT WT N W % Rk
2001 Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring 10 10 20 40 33 3 1 22.00% 1
2001 Vanilla Sky 10 10 20 40 33 3 1 22.00% 1
2001 Kate and Leopold 10 20 10 40 32 3 1 21.33% 3
2001 Pearl Harbor 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 16.67% 4
2001 Monsters Inc 20 20 20 1 1 13.33% 5
2001 Moulin Rouge 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2002 8 Mile 20 10 20 50 43 3 1 32.09% 1
2002 Wild Thornberrys Movie 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 18.66% 2
2002 Gangs of New York 10 20 30 24 2 1 17.91% 3
2002 Chicago 10 10 10 1 0 7.46% 4
2002 Frida 10 10 10 1 0 7.46% 4
2002 Spider-Man 10 10 8 1 0 5.97% x
2002 Die Another Day 10 10 7 1 0 5.22% x
2002 Spirit 10 10 7 1 0 5.22% x
2003 Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 20 20 40 34 2 2 22.67% 1
2003 Mighty Wind 10 20 30 26 2 1 17.33% 2
2003 Cold Mountain 10 10 20 17 2 0 11.33% 3
2003 Big Fish 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.00% 4
2003 In America 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.00% 4
2003 Mona Lisa Smile 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.00% 4
2003 Cold Mountain 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% x
2003 Triplets of Belleville 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% x
2003 School of Rock 10 10 8 1 0 5.33% x
2004 Alfie 20 20 40 30 2 2 22.39% 1
2004 Polar Express 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 18.66% 2
2004 Shrek 2 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 18.66% 2
2004 Motorcycle Diaries 20 20 20 1 1 14.93% 4
2004 Phantom of the Opera 10 10 20 17 2 0 12.69% 5
2004 Chorus 10 10 10 1 0 7.46% x
2004 Hotel Rwanda 10 10 7 1 0 5.22% x
2005 Hustle and Flow 20 20 40 36 2 2 27.69% 1
2005 Transamerica 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 19.23% 2
2005 Brokeback Mountain 20 10 30 22 2 1 16.92% 3
2005 Crash 10 10 10 1 0 7.69% 4
2005 Elizabethtown 10 10 8 1 0 6.15% 5
2005 Rent 10 10 8 1 0 6.15% 5
2005 Christmas in Love 10 10 7 1 0 5.38% x
2005 Chronicles of Narnia 10 10 7 1 0 5.38% x
2005 Producers 10 10 7 1 0 5.38% x
2006 Dreamgirls 10 10 20 40 33 3 1 20.89% 1
2006 Inconvenient Truth 20 10 30 28 2 1 17.72% 2
2006 Bobby 10 10 20 15 2 0 9.49% 3
2006 Happy Feet 20 20 14 1 1 8.86% 4
2006 Cars 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% 5
2006 Dreamgirls 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% 5
2006 Dreamgirls 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% 5
2006 Flicka 10 10 8 1 0 5.06% x
2006 Shut Up and Sing 10 10 8 1 0 5.06% x
2006 Charlotte’s Web 10 10 8 1 0 5.06% x
2006 Home of the Brave 10 10 7 1 0 4.43% x
2006 Pursuit of Happyness 10 10 7 1 0 4.43% x
2007 Once 20 20 40 36 2 2 25.17% 1
2007 Enchanted 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 17.48% 2
2007 Into the Wild 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.49% 3
2007 Enchanted 10 10 10 1 0 6.99% 4
2007 Enchanted 10 10 10 1 0 6.99% 4
2007 August Rush 10 10 10 1 0 6.99% 4
2007 American Gangster 10 10 8 1 0 5.59% x
2007 Hairspray 10 10 8 1 0 5.59% x
2007 Grace is Gone 10 10 7 1 0 4.90% x
2007 Love in the Time of Cholera 10 10 7 1 0 4.90% x
2007 Walk Hard 10 10 7 1 0 4.90% x
2008 Wrestler 20 20 40 30 2 2 23.08% 1
2008 Slumdog Millionaire 20 10 30 28 2 1 21.54% 2
2008 Wall-E 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 19.23% 3
2008 Bolt 10 10 20 15 2 0 11.54% 4
2008 Slumdog Millionaire 10 10 10 1 0 7.69% 5
2008 Quantum of Solace 10 10 8 1 0 6.15% x
2008 Gran Torino 10 10 7 1 0 5.38% x
2008 Cadillac Records 10 10 7 1 0 5.38% x
2009 Crazy Heart 20 20 20 60 50 3 3 33.33% 1
2009 Nine 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 16.67% 2
2009 Princess and the Frog 10 10 20 18 2 0 12.00% 3
2009 Everybody’s Fine 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.00% 4
2009 Princess and the Frog 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% 5
2009 Paris 36 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% 5
2009 Where the Wild Things Are 10 10 8 1 0 5.33% x
2009 Avatar 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2009 Brothers 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2010 Toy Story 3 20 10 30 28 2 1 20.00% 1
2010 127 Hours 10 20 30 26 2 1 18.57% 2
2010 Tangled 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 17.86% 3
2010 Burlesque 20 10 30 22 2 1 15.71% 4
2010 Country Strong 10 10 20 17 2 0 12.14% 5
2010 Waiting for Superman 10 10 8 1 0 5.71% x
2010 Voyage of the Dawn Treader 10 10 7 1 0 5.00% x
2010 Burlesque 10 10 7 1 0 5.00% x
2011 Muppets 20 10 30 28 2 1 23.33% 1
2011 Muppets 20 20 16 1 1 13.33% 2
2011 Help 10 10 20 15 2 0 12.50% 3
2011 Gnomeo and Juliet 10 10 20 15 2 0 12.50% 3
2011 W.E. 20 20 14 1 1 11.67% 5
2011 Rio 10 10 10 1 0 8.33% x
2011 Muppets 10 10 8 1 0 6.67% x
2011 Machine Gun Preacher 10 10 7 1 0 5.83% x
2011 Albert Nobbs 10 10 7 1 0 5.83% x

Lists

  • Best Globe Winner Snubbed by the Oscars:  “The Rose”, The Rose
  • Best Globe Nominee Snubbed by the Oscars:  “Thief of Your Heart”, In the Name of the Father
  • Best Oscar Winner Snubbed by the Globes:  “Jai Ho”, Slumdog Millionaire
  • Best Oscar Nominee Snubbed by the Globes:  “The Bare Necessities”, The Jungle Book
  • Average Nighthawk Winner  (9 point scale):  7.59
  • Average Oscar Winner  (9 point scale):  4.95
  • Average Globe Winner  (9 point scale):  4.45
  • Average Nighthawk 2nd Place  (9 point scale):  6.36
  • Average Nighthawk Nominee  (9 point scale):  5.89
  • Average Oscar Nominee  (9 point scale):  3.19
  • Average Globe Nominee  (9 point scale):  3.01
  • Average Oscar Score:  58.25
  • Total Oscar Score:  55.70
  • Average Oscar Winner Rank:  4.95
  • Average Oscar Winner Rank Among Nominees:  1.99

See It Only for The Song

note:  Of the 17,000+ films I have seen, there are 198 that earn points for a Song but nothing else.  Of those 198, 113 of them are ***, so are good films.  Of the other 85, 47 are **.5.  But with songs, it’s really easy to have a good song from a really bad film.  There are just four films that both rate as really bad films (*.5 or worse) and yet have a song that I give a six or higher.  I present them here by rank order of the quality of the song.  However, since they’re songs, I recommend really just listening to the song and avoiding the film altogether.  The first three on the list all earned at least Globe noms for the songs, so my awards mania made me see it anyway.  But the last one is the only one on the list I saw simply so I could include the song on my lists for the year.

  1. “Who’s That Girl”, Who’s That Girl  (1987, *.5)
  2. “Footloose”, Footloose  (1984, *.5)
  3. “America”, The Jazz Singer  (1980, *)
  4. “Mockingbird Girl”, Tank Girl  (1995, *)

Since 2011

Oscar Notes:  Ron Clements and John Musker have earned another nomination.  Sam Mendes had two films win the Oscar.  No Foreign film has earned a nomination but an astounding six Documentaries have, a new trend that has stayed strong; through 2011, Documentaries accounted for .51% of the films nominated while since 2011, they have accounted for 17.64%.  More than half the films nominated since 2011 have received no other nominations.  La La Land is the latest film to earn multiple nominations and win the award.  The Top 10 has remained unchanged though Diane Warren is up to 100 points and if she ever wins an Oscar will get close to the Top 10.  In 2012, Ted became the first Comedy nominated since 2001.  I think the Oscars have generally done well with their winners since 2011 with every winner either winning the Nighthawk or coming in 2nd (except one) and in all the years the Oscar winner comes in second at the Nighthawks, the Oscars didn’t nominate the Nighthawk winner (and in two of those years the Nighthawk winner wasn’t submitted to the Oscars).  That one, of course, is so appallingly bad it doesn’t even make my list and will not be spoken of.  It lands at #2 on the worst winners of all-time.

BFCA Notes:  Since 2011, only once has the BFCA disagreed with the Oscars (in 2015).

Golden Globe Notes:  The only things that have changed is that Bono has moved up the all-time list (he’s up to 90) and his bandmates have all joined the list with 70 points.

Nighthawk Notes:  Musicals have done especially well lately, winning the last four awards.  There has also been a run of great Musicals (some of which are Kids).  Frozen earned three noms, La La Land and Sing Street each earned two (holding Moana to only one) and in the last two years only four films have earned nominations with three each for The Greatest Showman and Mary Poppins Returns and two each for Coco and A Star is Born.  None of the years has reached the Top 5 years for Top 5 Songs (2016, 2017 and 2018 are all tied for 10th place with four other years) but they are strong all the way through.  Of the best years for the Top 10 songs, the order goes 1964, 1991, 2016, 1986, 1985, 2018 and 2017.  “A Lovely Night” (La La Land) and “Rewrite the Stars” (The Greatest Showman) bounce “This is Halloween” and “Save Me” from the Top 5 for 6th place songs and 2016 has forced me to completely redo the list below of the top songs by place finish.  Also, “Heathens” is now the best song from a * film.  I even made a Year in Film CD for 2016 that has 27 tracks (7 each from La La Land and Moana, 6 from Sing Street, 3 from Sing and 1 each from Trolls, Suicide Squad, Your Name and Zootopia).  They’ve been a sharp contrast to 2015 – my #1 song from 2015 (“Pray 4 My City”) wouldn’t make the Top 5 in any of the next three years and my #2 Song (“Flashlight”) would have been 22nd in 2016, 15th in 2017 and 19th in 2018.

9 point Songs Since 2011:

  • “Song of the Lonely Mountain”, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, 2012
  • “Let it Go”, Frozen, 2013
  • “Another Day of Sun”, La La Land, 2016
  • “From Now On”, The Greatest Showman, 2017
  • “Shallow”, A Star is Born, 2018

Top 5 Absolute Points: 2012-2018

  1. Benj Pasek  –  195
  2. Justin Paul  –  195
  3. Kristen Anderson-Lopez  –  100
  4. Robert Lopez  –  100
  5. Justin Hurwitz  –  95

note:  It’s worth noting again that I don’t count Documentaries.  But even if I did, Lady Gaga would still only get to 90 points (she’s at 75).
note:  Also worth noting that obviously Broadway shows don’t count but if I included my Top 5 songs from Dear Evan Hansen, also written in this stretch, Pasek and Paul would earn another 95 points.

Top 20 Absolute Points through 2018

  1. Alan Menken  –  451
  2. Howard Ashman  –  241
  3. Paul McCartney  –  226
  4. Richard Sherman  –  212
  5. Robert Sherman  –  212
  6. Bono  –  202
  7. John Lennon  –  199
  8. Benj Pasek  –  195
  9. Justin Paul  –  195
  10. Harold Arlen  –  177
  11. Tim Rice  –  166
  12. Marc Shaiman  –  160
  13. Randy Newman  –  155
  14. Johnny Mercer  –  154
  15. Ned Washington  –  153
  16. E.Y. Harburg  –  136
  17. The Edge  –  132
  18. Sammy Cahn  –  120
  19. Eric Idle  –  127
  20. Adam Clayton  /  Larry Mullen Jr  –  125

The Nighthawk Winners:

  • 2012:  “Song of the Lonely Mountain”, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • 2013:  “Let it Go”, Frozen  (Oscar, BFCA, Globe)
  • 2014:  “Glory”, Selma  (Oscar, Globe, BFCA)
  • 2015:  “Pray 4 My City”, Chi-raq
  • 2016:  “Another Day of Sun”, La La Land
  • 2017:  “From Now On”, The Greatest Showman
  • 2018:  “Shallow”, A Star is Born  (Oscar, Globe, BFCA)

note:  I feel I should point out that neither “Another Day of Sun” nor “From Now On” were submitted to the Oscars and the BFCA and Globes seemed to simply follow that lead and focus on the submitted songs (it is unclear if songs are submitted to those groups).

Best Song by Place Finish at the Nighthawks (through 2018):

  • 1st  –  “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
  • 2nd  –  “A Hard Day’s Night”, A Hard Day’s Night, 1964
  • 3rd  –  “Ticket to Ride”, Help!, 1965
  • 4th  –  “A Spoonful of Sugar”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  • 5th  –  “Be Our Guest”, Beauty and the Beast, 1991
  • 6th  –  “Live to Tell”, At Close Range, 1986
  • 7th  –  “How Far I’ll Go”, Moana, 2016
  • 8th  –  “Feed the Birds”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  • 9th  –  “We Know the Way”, Moana, 2016
  • 10th  –  “Heathens”, Suicide Squad, 2016
  • 11th  –  “Set It All Free”, Sing, 2016
  • 12th  –  “Sparkle”, Your Name, 2016
  • 13th  –  “Audition (Fools Who Dream)”, La La Land, 2016
  • 14th  –  “Can’t Stop the Feeling”, Trolls, 2016
  • 15th  –  “Someone in the Crowd”, La La Land, 2016
  • 16th  –  “Where You Are”, Moana, 2016
  • 17th  –  “Home”, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, 2018
  • 18th  –  “Alibi”, A Star is Born, 2016
  • 19th  –  “Dream Lantern”, Your Name, 2016
  • 20th  –  “Try Everything”, Zootopia, 2016

Films that land in My Top 20 All-Time for Total Songs:

note:  The rank number refers to the original last.  It is not cumulative.

  • The Greatest Showman (#3)  (From Now On, This is Me, The Greatest Show, Rewrite the Stars, Never Enough)
  • La La Land  (#8)  (Another Day of Sun, City of Stars, A Lovely Night, Audition (Fools Who Dream), Someone in the Crowd)
  • Coco  (#9)  (Remember Me, Proud Corazon, El Poco Loco, Everyone Knows Juanita, The World es Mi Familia)
  • Mary Poppins Returns  (#9)  (Trip a Little Light Fantastic, A Cover is Not the Book, The Place Where Lost Things Go, Nowhere to Go But Up, (Underneath the) Lovely London Sky)
  • Moana  (#10)  (You’re Welcome, How Far I’ll Go, We Know the Way, Where You Are, I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors))
  • Sing Street  (#10)  (Drive It Like You Stole It, Brown Shoes, Go Now, Girls, Up)
  • A Star is Born  (#13)  (Shallow, I’ll Never Love Again, Always Remember Us This Way, Is That Alright, Alibi)
  • Frozen  (#14)  (Let it Go, Do You Want to Build a Snowman, For the First Time in Forever, Love is an Open Door, Reindeers are Better than People)

Chart / Consensus Notes:

After agreeing only once through 2011, the Oscars, Globes and BFCA have agreed during every even year since.

YEAR FILM AA GG BF RT WT N W % Rk
2012 Skyfall 20 20 20 60 50 3 3 33.33% 1
2012 Les Miserables 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 16.67% 2
2012 Act of Valor 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.00% 3
2012 Life of Pi 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% 4
2012 Chasing Ice 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% 4
2012 Ted 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% 4
2012 Brave 10 10 8 1 0 5.33% x
2012 Paul Williams Still Alive 10 10 8 1 0 5.33% x
2012 Stand Up Guys 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2012 Hunger Games 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2013 Frozen 20 10 20 50 43 3 2 27.22% 1
2013 Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom 10 20 10 40 32 3 1 20.25% 2
2013 Despicable Me 2 10 10 20 18 2 0 11.39% 3
2013 Inside Llewyn Davis 10 10 20 15 2 0 9.49% 4
2013 Hunger Games: Catching Fire 10 10 20 15 2 0 9.49% 4
2013 Alone Yet Not Alone 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% x
2013 Her 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% x
2013 Great Gatsby 10 10 8 1 0 5.06% x
2013 One Chance 10 10 7 1 0 4.43% x
2014 Selma 20 20 20 60 50 3 3 33.33% 1
2014 Begin Again 10 10 20 18 2 0 12.00% 2
2014 LEGO Movie 10 10 20 18 2 0 12.00% 2
2014 Big Eyes 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.00% 4
2014 Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 10 10 20 15 2 0 10.00% 4
2014 Beyond the Lights 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% x
2014 Glen Campbell 10 10 10 1 0 6.67% x
2014 Noah 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2014 Annie 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2015 Spectre 20 20 10 50 42 3 2 26.58% 1
2015 Fifty Shades of Grey 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 15.82% 2
2015 Youth 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 15.82% 2
2015 Furious 7 10 20 30 23 2 1 14.56% 4
2015 Hunting Ground 10 10 20 18 2 0 11.39% 5
2015 Love and Mercy 10 10 20 15 2 0 9.49% x
2015 Racing Extinction 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% x
2016 La La Land 20 20 20 60 50 3 3 31.65% 1
2016 Trolls 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 15.82% 2
2016 Moana 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 15.82% 2
2016 La La Land 10 10 20 18 2 0 11.39% 4
2016 Jim: The James Foley Story 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% 5
2016 Sing Street 10 10 8 1 0 5.06% x
2016 Rules Don’t Apply 10 10 8 1 0 5.06% x
2016 Sing 10 10 7 1 0 4.43% x
2016 Gold 10 10 7 1 0 4.43% x
2017 Coco 20 10 20 50 43 3 2 28.67% 1
2017 Greatest Showman 10 20 10 40 32 3 1 21.33% 2
2017 Marshall 10 10 20 18 2 0 12.00% 3
2017 Call Me By Your Name 10 10 20 18 2 0 12.00% 3
2017 Mudbound 10 10 20 17 2 0 11.33% 5
2017 Beauty and the Beast 10 10 8 1 0 5.33% x
2017 Star, The 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2017 Ferdinand 10 10 7 1 0 4.67% x
2018 Star is Born, A 20 20 20 60 50 3 3 31.65% 1
2018 Black Panther 10 10 10 30 25 3 0 15.82% 2
2018 Mary Poppins Returns 10 10 20 18 2 0 11.39% 3
2018 RBG 10 10 20 18 2 0 11.39% 3
2018 Dumplin’ 10 10 20 15 2 0 9.49% 5
2018 Ballad of Buster Scruggs, The 10 10 10 1 0 6.33% x
2018 Mary Poppins Returns 10 10 8 1 0 5.06% x
2018 Boy Erased 10 10 7 1 0 4.43% x
2018 Private War, A 10 10 7 1 0 4.43% x

15 Responses to “A Century of Film: Original Song”

  1. F.T. Says:

    It’s amusing and ironic to me that you reference that particular Aladdin lyric, given that the original preceding line – “Where they cut off your ear if they don’t like your face” – had to be changed.

    Find me one other person in the world who feels as you do about Secret Love and get them to shoot me an email.

    How completely and utterly wrong you are about (Together In) Electric Dreams. I saw a live theatre piece last week in which it soundtracked the climactic dance.

    If the Kotch song is a worse Globe winner than the Benji song, then isn’t it also a worse Oscar nominee than the Benji song? (Or do you mean ‘worst winner’ in comparison with its Globe competition that year?)

    It’s funny to me that even when you choose not to name something, the writing is still on the wall.

  2. Anand Says:

    Best moment: “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” being a 9. As a related note, I’m pleasantly surprised to see Bacharach in the top 10 for Globe points.

    Worst moment: “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me” being the 2nd worst Globe winner.

  3. cjodell12 Says:

    I’m really curious as to where “8 Mile” ranks.

  4. mikegspnj Says:

    This is such as subjective undertaking – not that rating films isn’t either – but off the top of my head I’m surprised to see songs like “Grease” (a #1 hit), “Footloose” (also a #1 hit), “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (another #1 hit), “Fame” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” not on your A-List. I also happen to really love Loggins’ “I’m Free (Heaven Helps the Man)”.

    I’m sure there are tons of others we could debate about.

  5. mountanto Says:

    I knew “Over the Rainbow” would be #1. I’d have been shocked were it anything else. I’m not sure I’d put “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” in the all-time top 5 (I’m not sure I’d even say it’s the best song in that film), but otherwise the top 5 is sound.

    I don’t think “Last Dance” is anywhere near the worst song ever nominated. I listened to it after reading this post, and while it’s not amazing, I’d take it over any number of generic ballads that got nominated over the years. For that matter, I don’t think the 2015 Oscar winner is a bad song (I don’t love the vocals, but a good cover would be just dandy, in my view), although I fully agree that 2015 was a weak year for songs.

    I’m curious if, for 2016, you’ve seen Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead. It’s not a great film, but the song written for it, “Gone 2015”, is one of my favorite film songs of recent years, and in a lot of years it would’ve been my #1. But 2016 is a hell of a year, and that’s even when you factor in my not being a particular fan of La La Land. Moana and Sing Street alone would make it a great year, but add in Miles Ahead and Popstar and you’ve got one of the best years for film songs ever, in my opinion.

    (I have to say I’m a bit surprised “Audition” is all the way down at #13 on your 2016 list, just because of your regard for that film. But it’s a packed year, so I get it.)

    My own winners 2011-present:

    2011: “So Long”, Winnie the Pooh (maybe should re-evaluate this year)
    2012: “Mecca”, Cosmopolis (might not be eligible because the lyrics were partially written for the novel, in which case I’d go with “Skyfall”)
    2013: “The Moon Song”, Her (nothing against “Let It Go”, though)
    2014: “I Love You All”, Frank
    2015: “The Final Derriere”, The Forbidden Room (it’s a weak year and it’s a song by Sparks, who might be my favorite band)
    2016: “How Far I’ll Go”, Moana
    2017: “Remember Me”, Coco
    2018: “Suspirium”, Suspiria (“Shallow” is a fine winner, but I like “Suspirium” more)

  6. Joe Morani Says:

    “Watercolor of Brazil” is a song previously written in 1939 by Brazilian songwriter Ary Barroso. It wasn’t written for the Disney filme Saludos Amigos, so this song couldn’t be eligible for Best Song.

  7. cjodell12 Says:

    How many points does “Lose Yourself” get? 8?

  8. nighthawk4486 Says:

    @ cjodell12 –

    It gets a 5. I really don’t think it’s that good of a song.

  9. cjodell12 Says:

    Oh. Not a fan of rap or hip-hop? Usually, I’m not a fan of rap/hip-hop/R&B at all. But for me, Lose Yourself is one of the few exceptions.

  10. F.T. Says:

    I predict that HALF A HOUSE will easily become your second-worst nominated film in this category; I just have a hunch it won’t sink below BEN.

  11. nighthawk4486 Says:

    @ F.T. –

    Yeah, I only gave Half a House low **. Not nearly on the level of some other bad films in this category.

  12. F.T. Says:

    That leaves me speechless. I thought it was one of the worst-written, worst-acted, and worst-directed feature films I’ve ever set eyes on; pretty much in my bottom 1%. (Serious question: does one have to be married to appreciate the possibility that Half A House may not be totally wretched?)
    You can bet I’ll always keep in mind that you think Body Snatchers is worse.

  13. F.T. Says:

    (In fairness, I should emphasise that I rank HAH in the bottom 1% of feature films that I’ve actually watched from beginning to end. It’s entirely possible, for instance, that Van Damme’s CYBORG, based on the first ten minutes, could have received an even lower grade. I’ll never know, but I feel I can live with that.)

  14. Anand Says:

    It’s kind of shocking to me that Giorgio Moroder is 5th in Nighthawk points for the 80s considering he also produced (but didn’t write) “Last Dance” (and everything else Donna did in the late 70s).

    I’m guessing the Scarface and Top Gun original songs make up most of that total?

  15. nighthawk4486 Says:

    @ Anand –

    It is true I hate the song “Last Dance”. But here’s Giorgio in the 80’s:

    1980 – 6th place finish for “Call Me” (American Gigolo) in a tough year
    1982 – 6th place finish for “Cat People” in weak year
    1983 – 4th place finish for “Flashdance”
    1986 – 4th place finish for “Take My Breath Away” in incredibly tough year
    1986 – 11th place finish for “Danger Zone”

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