Thursday, January 21, 2016

The 1972 Fisti Awards

1972.  Legend.  The Godfather, one of the most beloved 'classics' of all time was born and remains a benchmark in filmmaking to this very day.  One may hear this film title and recall it's legacy and think, "This must have slayed at the Oscars" and then you'll think of it's eleven Oscar nominations and think, "It must have taken them all, right?" and you'd be very, very wrong.  No, Oscar may have lavished The Godfather with eleven nominations (ten if you count the retracted Score nomination) but at the end of the day there was a force brewing that stood in The Godfather's way.

Cabaret, Bob Fosse's beloved musical, DOMINATED The Oscars, snagging 8 statuettes out of the ten awards it was nominated for.  The Godfather may have taken the biggest award of the night (Best Picture), but Cabaret pretty much cockblocked it everywhere else, including Best Director.

Here's the deal; both of these films are epic masterpieces and so I'm torn all the way down these awards because I want them both to win everything.  But life is never that easy, is it, and so tough decisions were made and, with that said, I present to you The Fisti Awards for 1972!

 [NOTE: This is where my rule about films being Fisti contenders the same year they receive Oscar nominations makes a weird presence because Limelight was originally released in 1952 and yet not stateside until 1972, resulting in Chaplin being nominated (and winning) for her score.  Now, I would have placed this in 1952 had it not been for that Oscar nomination and so, it appears here]

Award's Tally

[7 Wins]


[5 Wins]

The Godfather

[1 Win]

The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
The Poseidon Adventure
Travels with My Aunt


  1. i was scared to click over but since you did (mostly) right by Cabaret, I'm good.

    1. This is that year where I love two films SO MUCH that I almost want to make them tie in BP and Director...but I can't bring myself to do that.

      That being said, they both make my Top 100 Favorite Films list...and like literally a few films apart. That's how close this was.

  2. Replies
    1. I didn't really care for it much, to be honest. It's in my top twelve in a few spots, but it wasn't anywhere close to a nomination anywhere.

  3. Here's the thing: This is not a particularly strong year for my film viewing, BUT. Cabaret is a fucking masterpiece work of genius and is quite literally the only film worth seeing from this year.

    Just kidding. Partly.

    I still haven't seen any Godfather films (Blind Spot, I know) and I'm sure they're great. And I know Lady Sings the Blues has its fans but I'm not one of them. But that's probably because of my thing against Diana Ross (she knows what she did).

    Literally the only thing I've seen from this year that would come anywhere close to taking an award from Cabaret is The Emigrants, which is immaculate but especially in Liv Ullman and Max von Sydow's performances.

    But ummmm.... You're the Top was written in 1934 for the musical Anything Goes, so what's it doing in your Original Song category?

    1. I like Lady Sings the Blues but not sure what she did. What did Ms. Ross do? I am not a fan of the woman but wondering what she did.

    2. Gurl, stop! 1972 may not be a bounty of endless perfection, but there is so much to love this year. Have you seen The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant? Fat City? The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds? Solaris? Aguirre, the Wrath of God? I know you haven't seen The Godfather!!! There is so much to love about this year.

      The Emigrants isn't one of them...ewww...

      And motherf*ck Original Song. UGH!!! I always ef that category up! Well, that's something I'll need to correct ASAP.

    3. Oh, and I'm curious about this Diana Ross thing, too.

    4. Hehehe I exaggerate for effect. I know I need to see Bitter Tears, Solaris, and Aguirre as well as Godfather just to start. I saw Effect of Gamma Rays... years ago and don't recall liking it much... it didn't do much to relieve the "staginess" of the piece. But it's been long enough that I should probably rewatch and reassess, especially since you're so over the moon about it.

    5. I really loved Gamma Rays. It is a tad stagey, but I felt like Newman handled the material so well, so deftly, and Woodward is just brilliant.

  4. I am all for Cabaret and feel good that this film won to be honest. I know The Godfather is considered a masterpiece but I just couldn't get into it. I have seen the film and parts of the 2nd but I just can't get into it. I know...I am one of the few. Glad to see some love towards What's Up Doc and I would have given the award to Madeline Kahn-she is just priceless in this movie. Any Cabaret song is better than The Morning After. It's not that I dislike that song but the songs you picked from Cabaret are better. I just can't get my mind around Limelight being here. How sad that the film was not distributed until this year because the States had their heads up the their ass about Chaplin

    1. UGH, poor Charlie Chaplin. Such a massive talent that, unfortunately, was ostracized so much during his time. At least he's considered a treasure now!

      LOVED Kahn. Supporting Actress was SO HARD to narrow down, if I'm honest (even concerning the winner, which could have gone to any of them on any given day).

      You need to watch The Godfather again. It's a masterpiece upon all masterpieces.

  5. I still have not seen Cabaret. The sad part is I don't even know why. That said, I'm a huge fan of The Godfather so I'm okay with those wins, except one for sure, and another that puzzles me. The one I just flat out don't agree with will sound like blasphemy, but it's Brando winning Actor. First, I'm just flat opposed to nominating two people from the same film for Lead Actor, but that's a "me" thing. Second, Pacino was just better. While I think Brando was great, I always felt this particular performance is overrated. He was great for the time he was in the movie, but that really wasn't all that much while Pacino gave us a character of great depth and growth. For that matter, and for the same reasons, I think De Niro's portrayal of the same character in Part II runs laps around Brando's.

    The Godfather win that puzzles me is Makeup & Hairstyling. Again, I haven't seen Cabaret, but that's seems to be a film more reliant (and celebrated) for precisely that.

    I also need to see Duck, You Sucker.

    Gutsy call going with The Poseidon Adventure over Solaris in Visual Effects. I can see it both ways.

    I've never even heard of that movie you nominated Newman for directing.

    I'd replace every nominee in your Original Song category with something from Superfly with "Pusherman" being the winner. It's easily one of the bestest soundtracks ever recorded. #FistisSoWhite

    Hooray the noms for Paul Winfield, Diana Ross, and the win for Cicely Tyson. Haven't seen Sounder. I have watched Lady Sings the Blues a number of times and Ross really is phenomenal. #FistisNotSoWhite ;)

    1. Boom! Love comments like this :-D

      So, I hear your complaint on the Brando win. Personally, I find the performance SO iconic and just legendary and so, after much deliberation with the voices in my head (because, I honestly could have awarded any of the nominees since I think that ballot is stacked with perfection) I decided that Brando was the right choice.

      Your rule about no two actors/actresses in the Lead category is odd, I must say. What are your thoughts on the category fraud complaints every year? I mean, what about films like Thelma and Louise? Brokeback Mountain? I'm curious on your complete thoughts on all this.

      The Makeup & Hairstyling win, to me, is deserved. Cabaret utilizes it in a more glitzy manor, but it's not to such an extravagant point that it's undeniable. The Godfather uses it in very key ways, not only for Brando's transformation. The realism achieved is well worth rewarding.

      YES, you need to see Duck, You Sucker!

      The full scope of The Poseidon Adventure's special effects (because I award BOTH Special and Visual) deserved the win in the end, at least to me.


      LOL, I only reward films that I've actually seen...and I've never seen Superfly.

      But, yay at #FistisNotSoWhite! I do pride myself in acknowledging quality, regardless of race or bias. Sounder isn't a 'great' movie, but Tyson and Winfield (who were nominated in Lead, but they are Supporting, I promise you) are so, SO GOOD!

    2. I think of "Lead" as a singular character. Sure, there are exceptions, but even in most movies such as "Brokeback" one of the two is more clearly the lead (Ledger's character) with the other in a supporting role. That said, my thoughts on the matter are still evolving. Not all that long ago, I felt each movie did indeed have two lead characters, a male and a female. However, that was faulty for all sorts of reasons. To bring it back to The Godfather, I think Pacino's Michael is clearly the lead. Vito's presence hangs over the film and influences every aspect of it, but the actual person is a supporting character.

      Even if you never see Superfly, listen to the soundtrack. It is a classic of American music. For whatever it's worth, in 2003 Rolling Stone Magazine ranked it #69 on their list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time.

    3. I'll definitely check out that album, and maybe even the movie for a later edit of these awards :-D

      And, while I see Pacino as the story's true Lead, I consider Brando the dominant presence. Like you said, he looms over the whole film. You feel him there, even when he isn't. Sort of like Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs (who has about 20 minutes of screen time). He dominates your attention.

      But I completely buy the Supporting argument and considered placing him there as well.

  6. Man. I just looked at 1972, and I am severely lacking that year. It's as if I saw The Godfather and just quit. It is the movie to end all movies after all. Lol. In all seriousness, I have very little debate to contribute here. I can start by saying that, when I saw The Godfather at age 14, my life was changed forever. It is one of those first few "great movies" I saw around that time that really made me obsessed with movies. Obvious Best Picture, but I haven't seen Cabaret.

    Now, I have seen Aguirre, the Wrath of God, and I must question you: how do you nominate that film, of all films, in a screenplay category but not give Herzog his due where he really deserves it (Best Director). That movie is not about script. That movie is about taking some maniacs to the Amazon and rolling some fucking film.

    That's all I got. Great post, as usual!

    1. The movie to end all movies. Sounds about right.

      And...concerning Herzog...that last director spot was so hard to narrow down. Newman (who won out), Herzog & Tarkovsky were all vying for it, but I could only pick one (and I even debated nominating 6 instead of 5, but even then there would be snubs). Newman's direction is just so acute and delicate concerning the themes presented. It's a very mature work...but Herzog was very close.

      At least I nominate him in 1982 ;-)

      The screenplay nom was more of a way to nominate a film I really like in a category that didn't have a bounty of options.

  7. I would give it to The Godfather as well. While I dont consider it to be the greatest film ever made, I do think it's a masterpiece and a truly amazing film. Not a fan of musicals so dont think I'll be seeing Cabaret. EVER.

    Duck You, Sucker is one of Leone's most underrated films which deserves more recognition. Nice to see it nominated in a handful of categories here.

    I have been meaning to see Fat City for some time, but it somehow manages to slip through the cracks. I'll get down to seeing it as soon as I can

    Solaris is one of Tarkovsky's most beautiful looking films but as a whole I've never connected with the film itself, so cant say I would nominate it for much other than direction and cinematography.

    No love for Jon Voight in Deliverance? :P

    1. No, it's not the greatest film ever made, but it holds up better than many, many classics.

      I'm so saddened by your lack of musical love, but even more so by your dismissive nature towards Cabaret. Cabaret isn't a musical. It is a dynamic politically charged romantic drama that contains musical numbers. It deals with sharp and poignant themes like sexuality, feminism, loneliness, loyalty, passion and socialism all set in the political unrest of Berlin.

      It's cinemagic!

      And, while I really liked Deliverance, like a lot (I'm actually shocked I only found one place to nominate it), I prefer Reynolds of the principle cast.

  8. So glad these are back, I’ve missed them but I suspect that we’re going to have several differences of opinion in this year. I’ll take the cue from you and include Limelight in my noms.

    And we begin right at the top. I realize Cabaret is beloved but not by me, the performances are fantastic and I admire the atmosphere that Fosse is able to create but I’ve never cared much for the film as a whole. I liked Fat City well enough but it was never a galvanizing viewing experience for me. Bitter Tears is one I haven’t seen though it is on my long list. At least we match with two.

    My five:
    The Godfather
    What's Up, Doc?
    Limelight is a gentle, gossamer fairy tale that Chaplin spins with delicate grace and Doc an almost perfect homage to the screwball comedies of yore while Sleuth is a duel of words between two expert players but this was between Deliverance and The Godfather for me. I know Godfather is venerated and was revolutionary upon its release, it is an outstanding achievement but the tension filled survivalism of Deliverance has always had a greater impact on me.

    We’re even further apart here. Gamma Rays was unusual but what I remember mostly is Joanne Woodward and as I said I appreciate the sense of time and place that Fosse created in Cabaret but the film just didn’t engage me enough for him to make my final list. Huston’s direction didn’t impress me as it often does in Fat City but Coppola’s handling of Godfather is brilliant, he’s my runner up. I haven’t seen Duck, You Sucker but all the attention you’re showering it with makes me want to now.

    My five:
    Peter Bogdanovich-What's Up, Doc?
    John Boorman-Deliverance-Winner
    Charlie Chaplin-Limelight
    Francis Ford Coppola-The Godfather
    Joseph Mankiewicz-Sleuth
    As I said Chaplin handles the direction of Limelight with a sure and elegant hand, Bogdanovich has the rhythms of classic slapstick down to a tee in Doc and Mankiewicz manages to keep the talk piece Sleuth from being a static bore. My choice though is Boorman, a wildly variable director but when he connects to the material, Hope and Glory, Excalibur, this film and a few others, he's capable of making amazing films.

    I haven’t seen two of your nominated performances, Steiger and Kinski, and as much as I love Peter O’Toole I detested The Ruling Class and while his performance fit into the tenor of the piece the whole irked me so much I don’t remember a great deal of his work. Again we match with two though our winner differs.

    My five:
    Marlon Brando-The Godfather
    Michael Caine-Sleuth
    Steven McQueen-Junior Bonner
    Laurence Olivier-Sleuth
    Al Pacino-The Godfather-Winner
    McQueen gives one of his most thoughtful performances as Junior Bonner. Olivier and Caine are so good together it would be impossible to pick one over the other as the best. Brando's excellent, and I can understand his win, but some of the power of his performance is aided by his transformative makeup whereas Pacino's is strictly through the force of his personality, gravitas and nuance. I wish he had won for this thereby sparing him from the consolation Oscar for the dreadful Scent of a Woman years later.

    1. YAY!!!

      I've been waiting for your comments, Joel!

      Ok, so BP...I really love Deliverance, and I think I mentioned this earlier, but I hate that I only nominate it in one place, but that's how tight some of these categories were for me. I have not seen Sleuth, and I hate that because I really want to and felt it was an important film to see from this year...but it's not available anywhere!!!

      I adore your love of What's Up Doc!

      So, of your Actor lineup, I've only seen the two Godfather perfs. Like I said, no Sleuth, and I didn't get to see Junior Bonner. It was on my DVR, but I didn't get to check it out before we needed to be out of our house and so I had to unplug the DVR...and cancel my Dish...and I lost it forever


      PS - I give Pacino the win in 74, if you remember, for his tremendous performance in The Godfather Pt. I'm more than ok snubbing him here and giving the win to Brando.

    2. That stinks that you lost the recording of Junior Bonner, it's an excellent showcase for McQueen as well as Preston and Ida Lupino. On the upside TCM shows both it and Sleuth with some regularity. :-)

    3. I mourn the loss of TCM!!! We switched to Roku with the move and so now I don't have it anymore, which is pretty much the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

    4. OH that sucks about TCM! I don't know if I'd know how to function without it! I'm not very familiar with how Roku works as a main supplier, I have one but I used to use it strictly for Netflix streaming but I don't have that anymore because I thought it sucked.

      I know you used to be able to stream content from Youtube with it after I no longer had it, I did it a few times at my niece's house. If you still can I found a lot of obscure films on there, you have to poke around but I've found stuff I've never seen anywhere else.

      Last week I happened upon South Riding with Ralph Richardson, Edmund Gwenn and a 15 year old Glynis Johns in her screen debut as well as two of Vivien Leigh's first films. I almost squelched with glee!

    5. Life without TCM sucks royally right this may not last long.

  9. Actress:
    That’s an interesting actress line up, I can’t speak to Carstensen, but the other four are admirable pieces of work, though we share only Liza in our lists.

    My five:
    Liza Minnelli-Cabaret
    Barbra Streisand-What's Up, Doc?
    Cicely Tyson-Sounder
    Tuesday Weld-Play It As It Lays-Winner
    Susannah York-Images
    Two iconic performances, two obscure but incredibly complex ones and a celebrated one. All are great and although I'm not a big fan of the film Liza's would seem to be the leader. But while her musical numbers are awesome, to me they actually weaken her interpretation of the role. The root of the problem is she's too talented to be Sally Bowles, a second-rate talent at best playing in a lowdown dive. She's compelling but I think it's a major flaw. Streisand is the most delightful she's ever been on screen in Doc, loose, daffy and a total hoot. Cicely makes her struggles and weariness vivid in Sounder, I’ve always seen her as a lead, and Susannah makes the scrambled narrative of Images worth navigating. I'm handing the prize to Tuesday Weld though for making the fractured Maria Wyeth, in the hard to like Play It As It Lays, so layered. It's the sort of work rarely acknowledged but wonderful to find.

    Supporting Actor:
    There are so many rich performances in Godfather I guess it’s not surprising that we chose separate ones beside Caan, Duvall’s excellent in the film. Winfield is great in Sounder probably sixth place for me and while Bridges wouldn’t make my chart I’d have to think hard to come up with a film where he didn’t give a good performance including this one.

    My five:
    James Caan-The Godfather
    John Cazale-The Godfather-Winner
    Joel Grey-Cabaret
    Kenneth Mars-What's Up, Doc?
    Robert Preston-Junior Bonner
    Mars's over the top performance in Doc is a source of endless joy, his "I am Hugh" bit makes me laugh ever time, in a weaker year he'd be my winner. Grey gets the sleazy MC just right and Preston is perfect as the difficult Dad in Bonner. Caan got most of the attention for his flashy work as Sonny in The Godfather but I prefer Cazale's work as the hapless Fredo.

    Supporting Actress:
    This is where we’re farthest apart but I guess that speaks to a rich pool of choices for the year. I haven’t seen two of these and Tyson is wonderful but as I said I think of her as a lead. Berlin was the highlight of Heartbreak Kid but since I have a low opinion of that film that’s damning it with faint praise. Tyrrell is strong in Fat City but as with Bridges she won’t make my list.

    My five:
    Uta Hagen-The Other
    Eileen Heckart-Butterflies Are Free
    Madeline Kahn-What's Up, Doc?-Winner
    Ida Lupino-Junior Bonner
    Shelley Winters-The Poseidon Adventure
    Uta made something from virtually nothing in The Other. Shelley does lovely things with Belle Rosen in The Poseidon Adventure, particularly near the end and Ida Lupino is just right as the wise and weary mother in Bonner, a role that should have led to more great work for her but was her last decent role. I hate to take Eileen's Oscar away because she was wonderful, the best thing in that dated mess however it's the one of a kind Madeline Kahn and her masterful creation of THE Eunice Burns that I think deserved the award.

    The Morning After!! God that song was EVERYWHERE that year. I was just a young kid and because of the endless playing I could sing the damn thing all the way though!

    Even though I’m not a big fan of the film I’m glad to see those tech wins for Cabaret, it is very evocatively filmed and designed. Have you ever seen the source film, I Am a Camera with Julie Harris as Sally Bowles? It’s quite different but you can see the bones of the film in it, it posted in full on YouTube.

    Also yeah to that win for The Poseidon Adventure for its special effects which are still impressive today, far more so that CGI renderings of today because you feel those people are in real peril.

    1. So, I find it odd that you consider Tyson a Lead and yet place Winfield in Supporting, when for me he felt more of a Lead than she did. Honestly, the film belongs to the son, and his parents have always, to me, felt like supporting players in his personal journey. Either way, I love that you nominate her.

      I haven't seen Welds or York, which makes me sad.

      Mars was probably #6 for me, to be honest. Like...he's pitch perfect in the film. Hilarious. Kahn was also very close to a nom from me as well.

      I kind of hated Winters, but I just didn't care much for the whole of that film, to be honest. Like, special effects aside, it didn't do much for me. Neither did Heckart, unfortunately.

      I need to see I Am A Camera!

    2. Not like The Poseidon Adventure?! ACH! OUCH! As a 70's disaster film junkie I don't understand that sentence but I realize not everyone shares my devotion.

      Good news, Play It As It Lays is on YouTube. Here's the link & I Am A Camera as well.

      I don't know if they're available anywhere else. By the way I also found the very obscure Me, Natalie starring Patty Duke (Al Pacino also shows up for a hot minute in his screen debut) on there in full. It's very much of it's time (1969) but not a bad film with a wonderfully natural performance from Patty.

    3. I don't hate it or anything, but I thought The Towering Inferno was a better all around flick, to be honest.

      I'll have to check out all three of those!

  10. Good job Andrew! I'm with you Cabaret, Solaris & Godfather are deserving of lots of noms!

    Duck You Sucker is a fun if overlong western, it relies on Leone's trusted formula, but it has some terrific scenes, and I'm especially happy you give it a nom for the original score.

    Cabaret, I lean towards the title track as my favorite. On a different day I might prefer those songs you nominate.

    I was going to say Cries & Whispers (1972) for cinematography, then I looked it up and apparently wasn't eligible until the 1974 oscars.

    I still need to see films such as Superfly(thanks Wendell in the comments), Sounder, Petra van Kant,The Emigrants and Fat City.

    1. I really loved Duck, You Sucker...and didn't mind the length at all. I felt it had impeccable flow, and Steiger is just top notch.

      The title track of Cabaret is my favorite as well...but it's not original.

      And, yup, I have Cries & Whispers in 1973, because of the Oscar noms.

  11. Love these! I've seen all but one of the winners. In a year where I still have a lot to see, I'm surprised I only lack 6 nominees (Fat City, The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, Duck, You Sucker, The Ruling Class, Roma, and Travels with My Aunt). It seems like a pretty weak year overall, but I can't wait to dig into more - and rewatch Sounder. Ugh, I need to finish off my '55 update once I knock out a few more '15 films.

    Not sure why I left out Duvall, and it's great to see my acting winners get noms, if not wins. #SchygullaForever

    Chaplin is officially a Fisti winner!! (Though, I assume he'll get another one or two in other years.)

    Love the dominance of The Godfather and Cabaret as well. :)

    1. It's not the strongest year, but I do love so much about it (especially my acting ballots).

      I could have awarded any of those Supporting Actresses and been happy, to be honest.

      Chaplin wins MANY Fistis, I can promise you that.

  12. I feel like I shouldn't be allowed to comment because I haven't seen Cabaret yet. *hides*

    There are many others here that I need to see as well, like The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant and Solaris.

    Happy to see Lady Sings the Blues show up in so many categories. I unabashedly love that film. Other mentions I love: Klaus Kinski (a singular performance for sure), Limelight and of course, The Godfather.

    1. LOL, you better your living room...with a DVD of Cabaret!

      I don't love Lady Sings the Blues, but aspects of it are pretty incredible.

      It was probably 6th in Cinematography, too, but that category was STACKED.