Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Best Picture Winners 1960 - 1964

The score now is 15 out of 31 Best Picture choices were decent, though not necessarily the best.

1960 - The winner was The Apartment and the nominees were The Alamo, Elmer Gantry, Sons and Lovers and The Sundowners. Sorry Duke, The Alamo doesn't even compare. Billy Wilder already made a Best Picture winner and should have had more, but The Apartment was the best choice. A very funny, very sad, very right masterpiece. (But still, this is not a year with a completely undisputed winner. Because what was perhaps the best film made this year wasn't nominated, Hitchcock's Psycho.)

1961 - West Side Story was the winner and the other nominees were Fanny, The Guns of Navarone, The Hustler and Judgement at Nuremberg. I earlier said that the musicals that won Best Picture were often undeserving. This is an exception to the rule and another is coming in the next post. It's easy today to laugh at dancing street gangs, but this transfer from stage to screen was a remarkable achievement. (My favorite film that came out that year, Yojimbo, didn't have a chance as no film made in Japan really has a chance for the big prize.)

1962 - The winner was Lawrence of Arabia. One of the greatest films ever made so The Longest Day, The Music Man, Mutiny on the Bounty and To Kill a Mockingbird, fine films all, rightly didn't have a chance.

1963 - Tom Jones won and the other nominees were America, America, Cleopatra, How the West Was Won, and Lilies of the Field. Not a big fan of any of these, Tom Jones was probably the best of the lot. But The Birds should have been nominated. Hud should have been nominated. The Haunting should have been nominated. And The Great Escape should have won.

1964 - My Fair Lady won and it is a very good musical. It's better than the nominees Becket and Zorba the Greek. Maybe even better than Mary Poppins, but I'm not convinced about that. But it certainly is not as great as the remaining nominee, Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. It's kind of amazing a dark comedy about nuclear war was even nominated, but it should have won.

So three okay choices makes the total 18 out of 36.

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