Karin: Hush, hush! The actor is tuning up his lute. The Grave Gentleman bids us dance. He wants us to take each other’s hands and form a chain. He himself will lead us, and the actor will bring up the rear. Away from the dawn we shall go with measured tread, away to the dark lands while the rain caresses our faces. (tr. Randolph Goodman and Leif Sjoberg)

My Top 10:

  1. The Seventh Seal
  2. Some Like It Hot
  3. The Diary of Anne Frank
  4. Anatomy of a Murder
  5. Ordet
  6. Compulsion
  7. Pather Panchali
  8. Sleeping Beauty
  9. Tiger Bay
  10. Aparajito

Note:  There are 16 films on my list.  Two of them are listed below, as they were Consensus nominees (Ben Hur – #11, Room at the Top – #14).  The other four are all the way down at the bottom. (more…)

As always, my favorite backstage Oscar photo - Hepburn had won the year before but here Kelly would win.  Both deserved it.

As always, my favorite backstage Oscar photo – Hepburn had won the year before but here Kelly would win. Both deserved it.


This is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is the The History of the Academy Awards, in which I covered each category in individual posts.  This was originally done in 2009 and additions were included in 2010.  You can find links to all of these pieces in each individual category.  I have grouped all of the categories together for the same reason that I did so originally – because most pieces on the Oscars don’t approach the awards through the categories, but through the years.  This specific piece is designed to take a closer look at the decade and how I think the Academy did in those years.

The second series is my Year in Film series.  That is mentioned here because in those pieces I included paragraphs about the Oscars as a whole for each year and included a considerable amount of trivia.  Since I had based my Year in Film series and eligibility as such on the Academy calendar, it all seemed very relevant.  Also, I include various prizes (Worst Oscar, Worst Nomination, Worst Omission, etc) and I didn’t want to repeat myself, so following the links will bring you there.  Those links are at the end of this piece, where I do a brief summation of each year and how the Academy did.  Word note on the Year in Film posts – I did those before Oscars.org started putting up official information about release dates.  Several films have been moved from the years where they appeared in those posts – see the Nighthawk Awards posts for more accurate placement – I have included links in the years.

The third series is my History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture series, where I reviewed every film ever nominated for Best Picture (except The Patriot, which is lost).  Those links are also down below, grouped by year. (more…)

That rare moment in The Seventh Seal when life wins out.

That rare moment in The Seventh Seal when life wins out.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Seventh Seal
  2. Wild Strawberries
  3. Some Like It Hot  *
  4. The 400 Blows
  5. North by Northwest
  6. Anatomy of a Murder  *
  7. The Diary of Anne Frank
  8. Sleeping Beauty
  9. Ben Hur  **
  10. Pather Panchali

Analysis:  That is a hell of a Top 5 – the second best to date, behind only 1946.  The first nine are all **** films.  This is the only year in film history in which both my top two are foreign films and the only one in which three of the top four are foreign. (more…)

Sleeping Beauty: the best animated film of the 1950's

So why do this now?  Well, because I already covered the years in film, with 1950 – 1955 coming back before I started the History of Best Picture, and I have finally caught up with where I began my History.  So, since the next film year will be 1961, in which I will do both Year in Film and Best Picture, now is the time to wrap up the 1950’s.

1950  –  1959

Total Films I’ve Seen:  692

Films That Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  40

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in Any Category:  The Searchers

Film of the Decade:  Sunset Blvd. (more…)

"Your eyes are full of hate, 41. That's good. Hate keeps a man alive." (Ben-Hur)

The 31st Academy Awards, for the film year 1959.  The nominations were announced on February 22, 1960 and the awards were held on April 4, 1960.

Best Picture:  Ben-Hur

  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Room at the Top
  • The Nun’s Story

Most Surprising Omission:  Some Like It Hot

Best Film Not Nominated:  Wild Strawberries

Best U.S. Film Not Nominated:  Some Like It Hot

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #59


The luminous Bibi Andersson is remembered by the aging Victor Sjostrom in Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1957, U.S. release 1959)

My Top 10:

  1. Wild Strawberries
  2. Some Like It Hot
  3. North by Northwest
  4. The 400 Blows
  5. Anatomy of a Murder
  6. The Diary of Anne Frank
  7. Sleeping Beauty
  8. Ben-Hur
  9. The Magician
  10. Ivan the Terrible Part II (more…)