The wonderful opening narration of Sabrina has no corresponding scene in the original play.

The wonderful opening narration of Sabrina has no corresponding scene in the original play.

My Top 10:

  1. Sabrina
  2. Forbidden Games
  3. Hobson’s Choice
  4. The Country Girl
  5. A Star is Born
  6. Rear Window
  7. The Caine Mutiny
  8. Gate of Hell
  9. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  10. Beat the Devil

Note:  After the list topped out at seven last year, it’s back to a full 10 this year (with a few left over down at the bottom).
Note:  On the Waterfront would possibly today be considered adapted.  But I already decided to keep it in Original, if for no other reason then I’m not going to be able to track down the newspaper articles that inspired the film, making its inclusion here rather pointless, since I’ve already reviewed it.
Note:  This is the first year where full records exist at oscars.org.  That means from this year on, there might be a list at the very bottom of adaptations I haven’t seen.  These will be things I choose based on the original source, not by the quality of the film.  I have tried to find any film with a major literary work as a source (or by a major author). (more…)

Astute readers will realize I have used this picture before. Being astute, they will also realize it's the perfect image to encompass the only film to sweep the big 5 at the Oscars that deserved all five.

Astute readers will realize I have used this picture before. Being astute, they will also realize it’s the perfect image to encompass the only film to sweep the big 5 at the Oscars and the Nighthawks.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 12 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.  I’m going with 12 because most categories have at least that many, if not more on my list and they stay strong 12 deep.  In future years, it will probably even expand beyond 12.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Silence of the Lambs  **
  2. JFK  *
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. The Fisher King
  5. Boyz N the Hood
  6. Europa Europa
  7. The Commitments  *
  8. Grand Canyon
  9. Thelma & Louise
  10. Dead Again
  11. Homicide
  12. Barton Fink

Analysis:  All 12 of these films are **** as well as three others: The Killer, Truly Madly Deeply and City of Hope.  The Top 10 for this year are the third best to-date and the Top 20 are the best to-date (the rest of the Top 20 are Life is Sweet, Ju Dou, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Bugsy and La Femme Nikita).  The #6-10 films are the third best to-date and the #11-20 are the best in a single year so far (beaten out by the combined year of 1912-26).  Dead Again is the best #10 film since the combined year of 1912-26.
The Silence of the Lambs is the first Oscar winner I agree with since 1984.  It is also the first film to win four critics awards and go on to win the Oscar.  Even today, it is one of only four films to do that (Schindler’s List, No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker).  It is still in the Top 10 today of all critics winners with 1187 points and is one of only four films in history to earn at least 250 points from four different critics groups (GoodFellas, LA Confidential, The Social Network).
Since 2011, when I wrote my most recent review of JFK, I have had my view on what happened on November 22, 1963 changed considerably by reading all 1600+ pages of Vincent Bugliosi’s masterful Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, including going through a lot of the footnotes on the accompanying CD-ROM.  That Bugliosi’s book changed my mind about what happened on that day has not changed my mind about Stone’s film.  I think now what I thought then: “Stone isn’t really showing us an analysis of anything, no matter how many research notes he gives us.  He is using one particular case to explore history.”
This category earned a 71.8 Oscar Score, the highest in nine years. (more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XIX:

Silver Streak

  • The film is a lot better than the poster would make you think.

    The film is a lot better than the poster would make you think.

    Director:  Arthur Hiller

  • Writer:  Colin Higgins
  • Producer:  Edward K. Milkis  /  Thomas L. Miller
  • Stars:  Gene Wilder, Jill Clayburgh, Richard Pryor, Patrick McGoohan, Ned Beatty
  • Studio:  20th Century-Fox
  • Award Nominations:  Oscars – Sound; Globes – Actor – Comedy; WGA – Original Comedy
  • Length:  114 min
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  8 December 1976
  • Box Office Gross:  $51.07 mil
  • My Rating:  ***.5
  • My Rank:  #18 (year)
  • Nighthawk Globe Nominations:  Picture – Comedy, Original Screenplay – Comedy, Supporting Actor – Comedy
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Film to Watch Over and Over, Best Scene (stopping the train)
  • First Watched:  sometime on television
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  more than 5

As a Kid:  There was a goofy television show in the early 80’s called The Fall Guy.  I don’t remember much of it, but I do remember the opening credits.  The song was called “The Unknown Stuntman” and it was actually sung by star Lee Majors (I think that’s how my family ended up watching it – we had been big fans of The Six Million Dollar Man).  It featured several stunts from movies, with the notion that this unknown stuntman that the show was about (played by Majors) had really been the person performing those stunts.  One of them involved a person on top of a train hitting a light switch and being dragged off the train (it’s just 20 seconds in). (more…)

The second Marty film to win the Nighthawk. It won't be the last.

The second Marty film to win the Nighthawk. It won’t be the last.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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. GoodFellas  **
  2. Dances with Wolves  *
  3. Miller’s Crossing
  4. The Grifters
  5. Presumed Innocent
  6. The Hunt for Red October
  7. Cinema Paradiso
  8. Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams
  9. May Fools
  10. Reversal of Fortune

Analysis:  GoodFellas sets new Consensus records for points, wins (6) and nominations (8).  It has the highest percentage of points since 1946.  All of these will be thumped in 1993.  But it begins the trend of a film dominating the critics awards (and sometimes the BAFTA) but losing the Globe, PGA, DGA and Oscar.  That trend will repeat in 1994 and 1997 and, with some variations, in 2010, 2012 and 2014.  It remains in the Top 10 all-time for Consensus points in spite of the BFCA not existing yet at this point. (more…)

Introduction

1983_iconic_picture_director_writing_bridges_actress_maclaine_supporting_nicholsonThis is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is 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.  One 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…)

The poignant, tragic ending of Glory - my #1 film of 1989 since the day I saw it in the theater.

The poignant, tragic ending of Glory – my #1 film of 1989 since the day I saw it in the theater.

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 (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  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 12 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Henry V
  4. Born on the Fourth of July
  5. When Harry Met Sally
  6. Say Anything
  7. Crimes and Misdemeanors  *
  8. The Little Mermaid
  9. Do the Right Thing  *
  10. My Left Foot  *
  11. Dead Poets Society  *
  12. Heathers

Analysis:  This is my favorite year in film history, partially because it was the year when I first became seriously interested in film, but also because it’s such a damn good year.  It’s not a coincidence that I own eight of these top 12 films (plus several more farther down the list – Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen).  The Top 5 is tied with several other years for third best to-date.  But things stay strong outside the Top 5.  This year is tied for the third best to-date for the Top 6, is the second best for the Top 7, and then is the best to-date for the Top 8 on down.  The average of the Top 10 is 94.8, which is higher than the Top 5 average for the year before.  The Little Mermaid is the best #8 film to-date while Crimes is the best #7 film since 1946.  Though, that didn’t translate at the Oscars where they nominated and even gave the Oscar to Driving Miss Daisy (though they made very strong choices with the other four).
Yes, that’s right, Born on the Fourth of July didn’t even earn a Consensus nom for Best Picture.  It came in sixth, mainly because the critics were so divided (six awards split among five films, with only Do the Right Thing winning multiple awards) and the BAFTA going to Dead Poets Society.  That makes this the only year after 1933 in which none of my top 5 are Consensus nominees.  With Driving Miss Daisy easily winning the Consensus (Oscar, NBR, Globe – Comedy, PGA wins, BAFTA nom), it is the last winner until 2000 to fail to make my Top 10. (more…)

"The crowd milled indignantly in the small Dayroom, everybody talking excitedly. Stark posted himself huskily in the doorway with Pete and the Chief flanking him. Warden gulped off the rest of the coffee and set the cop on the magazine rack and pushed his way down to the other end and climbed up on the pingpong table." (p 731)

“The crowd milled indignantly in the small Dayroom, everybody talking excitedly. Stark posted himself huskily in the doorway with Pete and the Chief flanking him. Warden gulped off the rest of the coffee and set the cop on the magazine rack and pushed his way down to the other end and climbed up on the pingpong table.” (p 731)

My Top 7:

  1. From Here to Eternity
  2. Stalag 17
  3. The Big Heat
  4. The Moon is Blue
  5. The Actress
  6. Peter Pan
  7. Hondo

Note:  After a few years with more than 10 screenplays on my list, I can’t do more than seven in this year.
Note:  This is the earliest year where significant records exist at oscars.org (there are a few for 1952 and even this year is incomplete in strange waves).  One of the great things about oscars.org is that it lists original sources (you can actually look up everything in a particular year with a source author) and it makes it much easier to distinguish between original and adapted scripts. (more…)