"A-15.  UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW).  Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down.  She is in her early thirties.  She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees.  She wears no stockings, no nothing.  On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms.  On her left ankle a gold anklet."

“A-15. UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW). Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down. She is in her early thirties. She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees. She wears no stockings, no nothing. On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms. On her left ankle a gold anklet.”

My Top 5:

  1. Double Indemnity
  2. Gaslight
  3. Arsenic and Old Lace
  4. Laura
  5. Ministry of Fear

Note:  That’s it.  My whole list for the year.  But it’s also a year where only 8 films rank above *** and the other three are original.  Not a good year for film. (more…)

Come for a night of fun and games with George and Martha.

Come for a night of fun and games with George and Martha.

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 7 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  In most year I list the Top 10, but this is too weak of a year to bother with that.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf  *
  2. A Man for All Seasons  **
  3. The Professionals
  4. Morgan
  5. Red Beard
  6. The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming  *
  7. Alfie

(more…)

thorThor by Walter Simonson (5 volumes)

  • Author:  Walter Simonson
  • Published:  Nov. 1983 – Aug. 1987 (original cover dates) / 2013 (current 5 volume set – links below for each volume)
  • Publisher:  Marvel Comics
  • Pages:  1156
  • First Line:  “Far beyond the fields we know, the core of an ancient galaxy explodes!”
  • Last Lines:  “May his hammer ever strike in the cause of justice.  So say we all.”
  • Film Version:  none, although elements creep into the two Thor films and presumably some will show up in the third Thor film
  • First Read:  Summer 1994

(more…)

Ironically, the big star of 1965 (Julie Christie) would not be that great in the best film of 1965.

Ironically, the big star of 1965 (Julie Christie) would not be that great in the best film of 1965.

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. Doctor Zhivago  *
  2. Repulsion
  3. The Pawnbroker
  4. Drunken Angel
  5. The Collector
  6. Darling  **
  7. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
  8. King Rat
  9. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  10. Thunderball

(more…)

I might still like Willow more than anyone else.

I might still like Willow more than anyone else.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XI:

Willow

  • Director:  Ron Howard
  • Writer:  George Lucas  /  Bob Dolman
  • Producer:  George Lucas
  • Stars:  Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley
  • Studio:  MGM
  • Award Nominations:
  • Length:  126 min
  • Genre:  Fantasy (Sword and Sorcery)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  20 May 1988
  • Box Office Gross:  $57.26 mil  (#14 – 1988)
  • Ebert Rating:  **.5
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #46  (1988)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  Visual Effects, Sound Editing, Makeup
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Guilty Pleasure  (see note below)
  • First Watched:  The day it came out on video
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  2 or 3

(more…)

“If you do not wish to sell perhaps you would consider parting with an entertainer.”  “That’s up to the entertainer.”  Those are the lines in the play.  The lines in the film are much better.

My Top 7:

  1. Casablanca
  2. The Ox-Bow Incident
  3. Watch on the Rhine
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  5. Heaven Can Wait
  6. Five Graves to Cairo
  7. Phantom of the Opera

note:  Yes, there is only a top 7, and not a fantastic Top 7 at that.  1943 just isn’t that great a year for film, especially when you realize that Casablanca is a 1942 film that just didn’t get an Oscar qualifying run until early 1943. (more…)

The darkness of the winter light perhaps lit by the illumination of God, depending on how you look at it.

The darkness of the winter light perhaps lit by the illumination of God, depending on how you look at it.

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. Winter Light
  2. The Great Escape
  3. Stray Dog
  4. Tom Jones  **
  5. Ivan’s Childhood
  6. The Bad Sleep Well
  7. Shoot the Piano Player
  8. Knife in the Water
  9. 8 1/2
  10. Hud  *

Analysis:  In one sense a very strong year, as there are three more **** films: White Nights, The Leopard and The Birds.  On the other hand, notice anything about those films?  Of those 13 films, 9 of them are Foreign films.  There are only 4 English Language films (my #14 is an English Language film: Love with the Proper Stranger).  This doesn’t get a lot better in my ***.5 films that round out my Best Picture list: Love with the Proper Stranger, Sundays and Cybele, The Four Days of Naples, This Sporting Life, The Sword in the Stone and Death in the Garden.  That’s 19 films, 12 of which are Foreign films, and another two (Tom Jones, This Sporting Life) which are British, so it’s really a damn weak year for Hollywood.  And 7 of these films aren’t originally from 1963 (the full list is way down below).
Tom Jones doesn’t just win the Consensus Best Picture – it sweeps the awards, the last film to win all the available awards until Schindler’s List. (more…)

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