Monday, June 15, 2015

The 1962 Fist Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged by Clicking on Them]

1962.  You already know how I feel about this year.  What more can I say; it's just incredible.  As you saw from that Top Twenty, Oscar's Best Picture winner did not appear there.  I am in the minority when I say this, but Lawrence of Arabia is one of those Best Picture winners I just don't get.  I find it vapid and empty and void of any real impact, outside of the exquisite visuals.  In fact, as you'll notice below, it snags a mere four noms (and hate to break it to you, but it loses all four).

But enough about Oscar, let's talk Fistis!

There is a sweeper here, a film that is just so good it snags seven wins, and in all honesty it's my #2 favorite film of all time...but I'm not joking when I say that nearly every film in my Top Twelve could compete for a spot in my Top 100 of All Time.  Narrowing down these ballots was so hard to do, to the point where I made a decision.  Rules are made to be broken, and so for 1962 I'm breaking my '5 nominees per ballot' rule and extending it to 6, for the acting categories only.  Yes, there were just so many incredible performances this year that keeping it at 5 was just too hard, and there are still a bounty of snubs.  In fact, I could have nominated any combination of my Top Twelve in pretty much every category and been happy with the result, this year is THAT rich.  But there is another reason why I decided to extend my acting ballots to 6 this year.  This is the only year that in Fisti history (so far) where there was an acting pair (two actors from the same film) competing for a spot on my ballot in every category.  Yes, two Supporting Actors from the same film, Supporting Actresses from the same film, Lead Actors from the same film and Lead Actresses from the same film, and so I decided to extend my ballots in order to nominate both in every category.  This is Fisti history here, as I highly doubt this will ever happen again.

With that said, I present to you the Fisti Awards for 1962!

Award's Tally

[7 Wins]

Jules and Jim

[2 Wins]

Last Year at Marienbad
Mutiny on the Bounty

[1 Win]

Carnival of Souls
Il Sorpasso
The Manchurian Candidate
The Music Man
Winter Light


  1. I love Requiem for a Heavyweight. One of the best boxing movies ever made. Jules and Jim is a huge blind spot for me. Actually, most of this year is one. Unfortunately, I have seen Lawrence of Arabia. I'm with you all the way on that one. It's

    1. So glad you loved Requiem! It's a great film, and one of the best boxing movies for sure! I hope you check out Jules and Jim sometime soon. It's my #2 favorite film of all time. I love that film so much...such a soft spot in my heart for that one.

      And I'm so glad to have another person on my side with regards to Lawrence!

  2. Replies
    1. You MUST elaborate! What are you swooning over? Is it Jules and Jim domination? Are you a fan? I need to know!!!


  3. All my guesses the other day were right! Yeah me. They were based on my foreknowledge of your long stated love of Jules & Jim though and NOBODY was better than Angela Lansbury in support this year. I’m going to confess right now, and you’ll think this is sacrilege, that while I liked Jules & Jim and everyone in it, the film didn’t captivate me. Perhaps it’s something that will grow on me in time, I only saw it for the first time about a month ago.

    Like you I just had so many titles and performers that I wanted to place that I ended up with extras in each category. I stuck to the five slots but listed my alternates beneath.

    How the West Was Won
    Lonely Are the Brave
    Long Day's Journey into Night
    The Manchurian Candidate
    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance-Winner
    Runner-ups- The Counterfeit Traitor, Knife in the Water, The Music Man, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

    Oh my we share no titles, proving as you said what a strong year it was with so many viable choices. I haven’t seen Marienbad or Sundays yet but the other three are fine films. La Jette in particular is so distinctive.
    Even though it is necessarily episodic I love the breath and visual beauty of HTWWW-glad to see it snag those tech nods. Lonely is a dark examination of the old West ending and Journey a pitch black exploration of the damage a family can inflict. Speaking of family damage Candidate is perhaps the ultimate example on the malevolence foisted on one's own wrapped in a great thriller. I know you’re not fond of it but I go back and forth between it and my winner Ford's Liberty Valance with its elegiac quality in its stark black and white and mythos busting as to which is my favorite.

    John Ford-The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    John Frankenheimer-The Manchurian Candidate-Winner
    Sidney Lumet-Long Day's Journey into Night
    Sam Peckinpah-Ride the High Country
    Roman Polanski-Knife in the Water
    Nomination worthy-Stanley Kubrick-Lolita

    Dissimilarity again but I haven’t seen three of your noms and Kubrick finished in sixth place for me. Polanski’s direction of his first film is bursting with promise but is still a bit rough around the edges. I loved Ford's fully seasoned work in his penultimate, and one of his best, westerns but Frankenheimer's execution of the tension filled Candidate is superb.

    Kirk Douglas-Lonely Are the Brave-Winner
    Jack Lemmon-The Days of Wine and Roses
    James Mason-Lolita
    Robert Mitchum-Cape Fear
    Ralph Richardson-Long Day's Journey into Night
    Nomination worthy-Alan Bates-A Kind of Loving, Burt Lancaster-The Birdman of Alcatraz, Joel McCrea-Ride the High Country, Paul Newman-Sweet Bird of Youth and Gregory Peck-To Kill a Mockingbird

    I’m starting to sound like a broken record but again we share no common picks, and I haven’t seen your winning performance in Winter Light yet, though it’s high on my list.

    I was very close to choosing Lemmon, the whole performance is amazing and the DT scene shattering only someone as likable as Jack Lemmon could make you invest in his character despite often despicable behavior and still care about his redemption. Mitchum, Mason and Richardson are all superlative in very different ways but Kirk’s cowboy who finds himself and his way of life slipping towards irrelevance is some of his best work, Douglas has stated this is his favorite of his films and his performances.

    1. I really wish I had your email...or some way of contacting you and getting like a full list of films from any given year that you think I need to see, because there are so many films you have listed here (and in the next comment) that I never saw. I require 50 films for years dating pre-1990 in order to complete and post my ballots (100 films for any year post-1990) and so I scour the internet and read up on the films that garnered awards attention and try and find the films starring the actors I like or directed by the directors I like and ingest them all...but clearly I still miss so much!

      I have not seen Only the Brave or The Counterfeiter Traitor..,I have not seen Ride the High Country and I have not seen A Kind of Loving.

      Love that you nominate Polanski. Such a sharply directed debut. I wish that I liked The Days of Wine and Roses...but I hate that movie. I like Lemmon in it, mostly, but Remmick, in my eyes, is atrocious.

    2. "I was very close to choosing Lemmon, the whole performance is amazing and the DT scene shattering only someone as likable as Jack Lemmon could make you invest in his character despite often despicable behavior and still care about his redemption." THIS. A million times this. Although now I'm curious to know if you've seen the original TV film with Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie that John Frankenheimer directed.

    3. I had heard that it was based on a television film, but I've personally never seen it...perhaps Joel has. That wouldn't surprise me.

    4. Yeah, so was Requiem for a Heavyweight, which I've seen and it's incredible (Jack Palance is the lead with Kim Hunter as Grace, Keenan Wynn as Maish, and Ed Wynn as Army). Haven't seen the big screen version, though. I really want to.

    5. Oh my! I didn't know that either! I'd definitely like to check that out. I loved the film version (obviously).

    6. I appreciated the message that Days of Wine and Roses was attempting to impart but I lean more towards hating it as well although the acting is great. It’s definitely nothing that I would watch again. I do love the theme song though. Lee Remick atrocious? we'll just have to agree to disagree there, although this isn't my favorite performance of hers.

      Oh I’d love to offer up suggestions that you might not have seen and might be interested in watching. Just add to my signature, let me know the years you’re interested in and I’ll do my best to offer up what I’m familiar with that is both well-known and obscure.

      Daniel I have seen the TV version with Cliff Robertson and Piper Laurie, both are very good but I've always felt that Lemmon was the superior actor all around to Robertson. Both Laurie and Remick are gifted actresses, their performances of this role are quite different though. Charles Bickford, love him, plays the father in both versions. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the Palance version of Requiem of a Heavyweight.

    7. You've opened a Pandora's Box, my friend...I just sent you an email :-D

  4. Actress:
    Anne Bancroft-The Miracle Worker
    Claire Bloom-The Chapman Report
    Bette Davis-Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
    Katharine Hepburn-Long Day's Journey into Night-Winner
    Lee Remick-The Days of Wine and Roses
    Nomination worthy-Leslie Caron-The L-Shaped Room, Geraldine Page-Sweet Bird of Youth and Eva Marie Saint-All Fall Down

    At last we share a few choices! Moreau gave her customarily fine performance but I didn’t love it and I haven’t seen Mamma Roma. A strong field with searing work from all the competing women. Claire Bloom is profoundly sad as a very lost woman in Chapman and Remick a revelation as the spiraling drunkard in Roses. Bancroft is phenomenal but hers is a dance with Patty Duke and one without the other would not be as impactful. Davis completely abandons all vanity to create the broken, ghoulish Jane, she's my runner-up. But Hepburn's performance as the hapless drug addicted Mary Tyrone is completely unlike any of her other work, had she only won for one performance it should have been this one, so of course she lost.

    Supporting Actor:
    Brandon de Wilde-All Fall Down-Winner
    Lee Marvin-The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
    Jason Robards Jr.-Long Day's Journey into Night
    Peter Sellers-Lolita
    Dean Stockwell-Long Day's Journey into Night
    Nomination worthy-Charles Laughton-Advise and Consent and Karl Malden-Gypsy

    This is a weird year for supporting actor since the three men from Long Day's Journey were jointly awarded best actor at Cannes, a fact that I think muddied the water enough that come Oscar time category confusion cost all of them nominations. Sir Ralph is clearly the lead though so I split the other two into support. Marvin is wonderfully odious as Liberty Valance and Sellers fantastically bizarre in Lolita but my choice is de Wilde’s beautiful work as the idealist youth who watches his idol fall and with it leaves his innocence and adolescence behind.

    Supporting Actress:
    Patty Duke-The Miracle Worker
    Julie Harris-Requiem for a Heavyweight
    Shirley Knight-Sweet Bird of Youth
    Angela Lansbury-The Manchurian Candidate-Winner
    Lili Palmer- The Counterfeit Traitor
    Runner-ups-Angela Lansbury-All Fall Down and Shelley Winters-Lolita

    Patty is astonishing in The Miracle Worker but as with Anne it's a special dance that the two did together. I cheated a little with her, she’s really more of a co-lead but I wanted her to be a nominee somewhere and I couldn’t bring myself to exclude any of the women in lead, the academy put her here and since she doesn’t win in either I’m following suit. The other three ladies all offer brilliant work in their respective films but Angela’s poisonous Mrs. Iselin is one of the finest displays of the insidiousness of evil behind a pleasing facade ever and I knew she'd be my winner before I started.

    1. Again, never seen The Chapman Report or The L-Shaped Room (wasn't that a 63 release?), All Fall Down and Advise and Consent.


      Love that you nominate the duo from Long Day's Journey Into Night. Stockwell, in particular, was outstanding. The Duke cheating I get, since Oscar did it too, but she's such a presence and shares nearly every scene with Bancroft that I can't NOT put her in Lead. Harris is a wonderful nom! She was seventh for me, just missing my extended ballots this year.

      But of course, there is no one but Lansbury! Even in a film I rather hated, she's remarkable!

    2. Angela Lansbury was on fire in the early sixties with a raft of deeply felt work in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, All Fall Down, The World of Henry Orient and Dear Heart as well as the topper to it all in Manchurian Candidate. And then capping that all off by becoming the toast of Broadway as the original musical Mame mid-decade.

      I’m sure if it hadn’t been for Patty Duke’s category fraud she would have won and quite frankly despite the awesomeness of Patty’s work she still should have taken the prize.

      The L-Shaped Room might have hit America in ’63 but it was British made and released there in ’62 so I counted it in this year although Leslie Caron was nominated in ’63. Stupid academy rules make these things so confusing sometimes!

    3. Yeah, Academy rules with regards to foreign films is ridiculous, so I try (emphasis on 'try') to include any films in years where they actually had Oscar attention...but if they didn't receive a nomination then I place them, usually, in the original year they were released.

      And, yeah, Lansbury was still better than Duke, no matter where you place her.

  5. I'm in LOVE with you for putting Jules and Jim practically everywhere (no nom for cinematography, though?!?). That film is alive in ways that nearly all other films are not, and would be the best picture of practically ANY year. Curious as to why Werner but not Serre gets a nom - they're inseparable to me.

    Looking at all your nominees it's even more clear what a miraculous year this was, as it's difficult to imagine any category without your nominees but some of my favorites are missing even from your shortlists! This is helped in the acting categories by plenty of films with multiple co-leads and big casts with lots of meaty parts to go around. For example, your lineup for Leading Actress is unimpeachable, but I can't have that category without Bette Davis's go-for-broke, vanity-free, perfectly calibrated performance in ...Baby Jane. And even with my love for Moreau in Jules et Jim, I'd still probably give the win to Patty Duke, who is simply astonishing in The Miracle Worker.

    My favorite of your noms is easily Monique Hennessy in Le Doulos. LOVE that you went there!

    1. YAY!!! Jules and Jim is just an astonishing film!!!! Cinematography was so tight for me, and I was bummed to leave off some beautiful films. It really came down to Jules and Jim, Sundays and Cybele and La Jetee for that final spot, and since so much of La Jetee's power comes from the use of images, I had to give it the edge there.

      Serre is the weak link for me in a film I consider absolutely perfect. I like him, but I don't love him. Werner's development of Jules's internalized jealousies and infatuation is so heartbreaking. He's probably my runner up (although Kruger was also very close to being second).

      Yeah, this year was just THE SHIT! Like, when I put together that Top Twenty list last week, I was still snubbing films that I adored.

      Davis was actually 5th for me, and had I decided not to extent my ballots to incorporate double nominees from a film for each category, both Duke and Bancroft would have missed in favor of Davis, who was just fearless. Alas, Davis gets her Fisti due, as I love her and nominate her (and award her) in many other years.

      LOVED Hennessy so much!

  6. I didn't mind Jules and Jim but I would not be so lovey with it as you are. I think because i wanted to kill the heroine:) There are some great films I have not seen and I love Ingmar Bergman. i have to see more of his films one day along with Truffaut. I will never get the point of Marienbad. I did not like that film at all. I love To Kill a Mockingbird and I enjoy Lawrence of Arabia. I do place Mockingbird and Liberty Valance ahead of Arabia. I would give my vote to Gregory Peck and best score to Arabia. I LOVE that you recognize "Carnival of Souls". This is a brilliant film made on a very tiny budget. I wonder if that place on the beach still exists.

    1. Catherine was...kind of a bitch, but I completely understand the draw and Moreau plays her to utter perfection...just perfect juxtaposition of charm and manipulation.

  7. Great job as always man!

    I felt pretty much the same way about Lawrence of Arabia for years, until I saw it on the big screen and finally connected with it. I revisited it again on DVD, and it held up very well.

    Love what you did with the acting categories, and that stat is too cool! I wish I loved the performances in Long Day's Journey Into Night that much, but Hepburn made the only impact on me. Your acting wins are SO good; and Mastroianni, Page, and Bancroft were very close to making my ballot. (I have Duke in Supporting.)

    It's great to see Lolita get so much recognition, by the way. (But poor James Mason. :( ) I initially gave the film an A-, but I really need to give it another look.

    I think I'll throw a little more love towards Mutiny on the Bounty, and it's probably time to revisit Jules and Jim, which I LOVED on the first couple of viewings. Not seen it in years, though.

    1. I keep reading that you need to see Lawrence on the big screen to appreciate it, and for me that always feels more like a knock against, the big screen isn't going to change the character development at all...and I already appreciate how pretty it is.

      I was so taken by Long Day's Journey Into Night as a whole...LOVED, it is probably my #6 or #7, fighting for that spot with Ivan's Childhood.

      I don't think I'm a James Mason fan, to be honest. I've never really connected with him as an actor.

      Mutiny was so good...bloated, like you said, but in all the best ways. I never felt it's length. It captivated me from start to finish. That's a true epic.

  8. Advise and Consent is a movie (and book) with a special place in my heart because my family (especially my mother) is super political. It gives a very powerful and realistic depiction of how Washington D.C. works behind closed doors and manages to convey that the men behind the lofty positions are just ordinary people like us with their share of easy and hard cards in life as well as strengths and weaknesses. Allen Drury, (the author) was a World War II veteran and news reporter who covered a lot of material in the Congress and Senate and you can tell he really writes from the heart.

    Charles Laughton is superb as the 'Confederate' senator who's been in the establishment for decades and never runs out of wisecracks and one liners and Don Murray's downward psychological spiral moves me greatly--the confrontation with his wife is a real tearjerker.

    I highly recommend you check out the film (and the book for that matter) sometime. I can't understand how it didn't snag a single nomination in 1962.

    1. I've never heard of it, but I'll certainly add it to my list of films to check out!