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.

Robert Altman on the set of Prairie Home Companion with his "standby director", Paul Thomas Anderson, who agreed to that role for insurance reasons.  In between is some actress.

Robert Altman (#33) on the set of Prairie Home Companion with his “standby director”, Paul Thomas Anderson (#28), who agreed to that role for insurance reasons. In between is some actress.

This is the penultimate ranked list of those directors who have been nominated for Best Director by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.  This is part 8 of the series, with one part still left to go.  As always, you can find the previous seven 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 been focusing on finishing this series this year, both so that I go do the bi-annual update of the Top 100 Directors of All-Time and because I want to do it before another Oscar season and some more directors potentially end up needing to be ranked.

In a reversal of the last group, these are the more experienced directors.  With the exception of four Studio Era workhorses, the 25 directors in the last post had only averaged 7.76 films.  This time, we have seven directors (Lucas, Olivier, Coppola, Fosse, Malick, Mendes, Anderson) who have only directed a combined 39 films – an average of 5.57 (I’ve seen all but two of those – the two now out or about to be in theaters).  The other 18 directors have averaged 19.83 films – or if you cut out Lynch, Branagh and Leigh, you have 15 directors who have made 325 films (21.67 each), of which I have seen 308.  I have also seen 95.2% of these films – only missing more than one film by Renoir (4) and Capra (9).  And the only film I’m missing from both Truffaut and Malle are on TCM in the next month.  And this just about caps it for the less experienced directors.  The only director in the last post with fewer than 10 films to his credit is Tarantino.

The other demarcation point between this group and the final group is the number of great (****) films they have directed.  Of the final 25, only one has directed fewer than 5 great films – Francis Ford Coppola, at #25, and he’s got four.  Only four others have directed just five – Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles (both of whom have smaller amounts of total films), Clint Eastwood and Elia Kazan.  But how many directors have directed more than five great films and aren’t in the top 25?  Just five – all of whom are here: Stephen Frears (which is how he ranks this high), Steven Soderbergh, Pedro Almodóvar, Frank Capra and Francois Truffaut.  They all have six great films.  All sixteen directors who directed more than six great films are in the final group. (more…)

Martin Scorsese directing Robert De Niro on the set of Raging Bull (1980)

My Top 20:

  1. Raging Bull
  2. Breaker Morant
  3. The Elephant Man
  4. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  5. Ordinary People
  6. The Shining
  7. Kagemusha
  8. Tess
  9. Stardust Memories
  10. Airplane!
  11. The Stunt Man
  12. My Brilliant Career
  13. Melvin and Howard
  14. The Last Metro
  15. No Regrets for Our Youth
  16. Return of the Secaucus Seven
  17. Mon Oncle D’Amerique
  18. Vengeance is Mine
  19. The Master and Margaret
  20. Christ Stopped at Eboli (more…)

"I know it was you." The tragic revelatory scene in The Godfather Part II.

The 47th annual Academy Awards for the film year 1974.  The nominations were announced on February 24, 1975 and the awards were held on April 8, 1975.

Best Picture:  The Godfather Part II

  • Chinatown
  • The Conversation
  • Lenny
  • The Towering Inferno

Most Surprising Omission:  Day for Night

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Day for Night

Best Eligible English-Language Film Not Nominated:  Badlands

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #16

Rank Note:  If they had nominated Day for Night instead of The Towering Inferno, it would rank #1 (more…)

Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in Chinatown - the best film of 1974, or almost any year

My Top 20:

  1. Chinatown
  2. The Godfather Part II
  3. Day for Night
  4. The Conversation
  5. Scenes from a Marriage
  6. Badlands
  7. Young Frankenstein
  8. Blazing Saddles
  9. Don’t Look Now
  10. The Parallax View
  11. Lenny
  12. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia
  13. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
  14. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul
  15. Murder on the Orient Express
  16. The Phantom of Liberty
  17. Sanshiro Sugata
  18. Thieves Like Us
  19. The Front Page
  20. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (more…)

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…)

Francois Truffaut

Francois Truffaut in his Oscar winning (Best Foreign Film) 1973 film Day for Night (La Nuit Americane)

Francois Truffaut in his Oscar winning (Best Foreign Film) 1973 film Day for Night (La Nuit Americaine)

  • Born: 1932
  • Died: 1984
  • Rank: 31
  • Score: 632.45
  • Awards: Oscar (Foreign Film) / BAFTA / NYFC / 2 NSFC / NBR
  • Nominations: Oscar / BAFTA
  • Feature Films: 22
  • Best: Day for Night
  • Worst: The Man Who Loved Women

Top 5 Feature Films:

  1. Day for Night – 1973
  2. The 400 Blows – 1959
  3. Jules and Jim – 1962
  4. Shoot the Piano Player – 1960
  5. Stolen Kisses – 1968

Top 10 Best Director Finishes (Nighthawk Awards):

  • 1959 – 5th – The 400 Blows
  • 1960 – 9th – Shoot the Piano Player
  • 1962 – 8th – Jules and Jim
  • 1969 – 7th – Stolen Kisses
  • 1970 – 5th – Mississippi Mermaid
  • 1974 – 5th – Day for Night
  • 1979 – 9th – Love on the Run



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