Death arrives out of the seemingly endless desert.

Death arrives out of the seemingly endless desert.

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. Lawrence of Arabia  **
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird  *
  3. Throne of Blood
  4. The Music Man  *
  5. Jules and Jim
  6. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  7. Through a Glass Darkly
  8. Ride the High Country
  9. The Manchurian Candidate
  10. Last Year at Marienbad

Analysis:  There’s a big drop here after #9 – it drops from a mid-range **** to a high-level ***.5.  This year ties 1960 as having the best Top 9 to date.  Ride the High Country and The Manchurian Candidate really match up with Tunes of Glory and The Hidden Fortress as the best #8 and #9 films to date.  I re-watched Jules and Jim before doing these awards and ended up bumping it up in a few categories, most notably Picture and Director, which ended up costing The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance its only two Nighthawk nominations.  But in years like this, it’s hard to just pick five films at the top.
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The impact hits home to Alec Guinness in his very deserving Oscar win.

The impact hits home to Alec Guinness in his very deserving Oscar win.

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.

For the first time in a while, I’m only listing 5 in each category (with one notable exception).  That’s because in this year there is such a large gap between the top 5 films and the other films and it carries over in a lot of categories.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Bridge on the River Kwai  **
  2. Paths of Glory
  3. 12 Angry Men  *
  4. Sweet Smell of Success
  5. Witness for the Prosecution  *

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1950 has Sunset Blvd, the greatest film ever made.  1951 has A Streetcar Named Desire, with the greatest acting ever put on screen.

1950 has Sunset Blvd, the greatest film ever made. 1951 has A Streetcar Named Desire, with the greatest acting ever put on screen.

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 going with a top 8 this time, even though only the top 5 in each category earn nominations (except Actor, but that will be explained).  I went with 8 because there are 8 great films in this year.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. A Streetcar Named Desire  **
  2. Strangers on a Train
  3. Detective Story  *
  4. The African Queen
  5. A Place in the Sun  *
  6. Oliver Twist
  7. Ace in the Hole
  8. La Ronde  *

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Romance and fantasy come to life in Cocteau's fairy tale.

Romance and fantasy come to life in Cocteau’s fairy tale.

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.  Films in blue were nominated.

This is the second year of the reduced number of nominees in the tech categories at the Oscars – Sound and Art Direction (the name finally changed from Interior Decoration) would have three nominees each with Cinematography and Special Effects only having two each.  It’s the fifth year for the Golden Globes, but there are still no nominees and no distinction between Drama and Comedy – the films marked in red in my Globes section won the Globe.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. La Belle et la bête
  2. Great Expectations
  3. Stairway to Heaven  (A Matter of Life and Death)
  4. Ivan the Terrible Part I
  5. Crossfire

Analysis: A big drop-off from 1946, of course.  But an even bigger one if you want to factor in that the top four films aren’t actually from this year.  This was the year that the films from foreign markets finally started flooding in.  Eleven of my Top 20 films weren’t originally released in this year; nor is that fully reflected in the number of foreign language films, as five of my top 14 are British films released in Britain in earlier years.  And, again, there aren’t a great crop of Comedies (my Best Picture – Comedy winner is my #19 film of the year), so here are the films that follow, in order: Out of the Past, Gentleman’s Agreement, Miracle on 34th Street, L’Atalante, I See a Dark Stranger, Brute Force, I Know Where I’m Going, Brighton Rock, This Happy Breed, Boomerang, Torment, Shoeshine and The Devil’s Envoys. (more…)

The brilliant opening of Children of Paradise.

The brilliant opening of Children of Paradise.

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.  Films in blue were nominated.

This is the first year of the reduced number of nominees in the tech categories at the Oscars – Sound and Interior Decoration would have three nominees each with Cinematography and Special Effects only having two each.  It’s the fourth year for the Golden Globes, but there are still no nominees and no distinction between Drama and Comedy – the films marked in red in my Globes section won the Globe.

Note:  You will see seven films in most categories listed below.  Only the top 5 are my nominees for the year.  But the seven top films of this year are so incredibly good, I decided to list more than my top 5 – in fact, this year sets a new best for Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Editing and Cinematography.  In later years, I will probably list my Top 10 in just about all categories, but still only my top 5 will earn nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Children of Paradise
  2. The Best Years of Our Lives
  3. It’s a Wonderful Life
  4. The Big Sleep
  5. Brief Encounter
  6. Henry V
  7. Notorious

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My mom always mentions that Paul Henreid is in Now Voyager.  I then always point out that he's also in Casablanca.  Oh yeah, so are Bogie, Bergman and Rains.  A hell of a cast.

My mom always mentions that Paul Henreid is in Now Voyager. I then always point out that he’s also in Casablanca. Oh yeah, so are Bogie, Bergman and Rains.  And Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. A hell of a cast.

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.  Films in blue were nominated. For the first time in a long time there are no changes to Academy categories.  But, this is the first year of the Golden Globes – there were no nominees and no distinction between Drama and Comedy, but those films in red in the Globe section won the Globes.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Casablanca
  2. The Ox-Bow Incident
  3. In Which We Serve
  4. Shadow of a Doubt
  5. For Whom the Bell Tolls

Analysis:  Unlike the last two years, there are actually 6 **** films, which is unfortunate.  I rank The More the Merrier at the same level as Bell, but one of them had to come in 6th.  Then there’s a five point drop to #7 (Watch on the Rhine) and 4 points each for the next two (This Land is Mine, Five Graves to Cairo).  That’s a pretty hefty drop-off in three spots.  Six of those nine films deal with the war; the other three are Ox-Bow, Shadow of a Doubt and Bell (which deals with the Spanish Civil War). (more…)

I though it would be nicer to just include the three Top 25 directors rather than explain that Lucas didn't get that high.  If you need these people identified you are at the wrong website.

I though it would be nicer to just include the version of the picture with three Top 25 directors rather than explain that Lucas didn’t get that high. If you need these people identified you are at the wrong website.

This is the final ranked list of those directors who have been nominated for Best Director by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  This is part 9 of the series.  As always, you can find the previous eight posts in this series by going here.  There is also an introduction here, which explains the scope of the project as well as my scoring system.  I have made certain to finish this now for two reasons.  The first is that I wanted to get it done before another Oscar season begins and I had to add somebody (Alfonso Cuarón, perhaps?).  The second is because I intend to do a Top 100 Directors 3.0 list before too long and I wanted this out of the way; that list, originally intended for this month, will probably be pushed back into at least winter, if not early spring in order to get this year’s batch of late films from Top 100 directors watched (e.g. Inside Llewyn Davis, Wolf of Wall Street, The Hobbit, Captain Phillips, Gravity).

One thing to bear in mind about the top of the list.  On my point scale, there is only a 75 point difference between the #1 and #8 spots.  There is then a 58 point difference between #8 and #9, and an 83 point difference between #8 and #11.  So, if the director you really want to champion is among that top 7, that’s the elite of the elite. (more…)