OSCARS (ACADEMY AWARDS)
1960 - Best Film - Ben-Hur, Best Actor - Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur), Best Actress - Simone Signoret(Room at the Top)
1961 - Best Film - The Apartment, Best Actor - Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry), Best Actress - Elizabeth Taylor(Butterfield8)
1962 - Best Film - West Side Story, Best Actor - Maximilian Schell(Judgement at Nurenberg), Best Actress - Sophia Loren (Two Women)
1963 - Best Film - Lawrence of Arabia, Best Actor - Gregory Peck(To Kill a Mocking Bird), Best Actress - Anne Bancroft(The Miracle Worker)
1964 - Best Film -Tom Jones, Best Actor - Sidney Poitier(Lilies of the Field) , Best Actress - Patricia Neal(Hud)
1965 - Best Film - My Fair Lady, Best Actor - Rex Harrison(My Fair Lady), Best Actress - Julie Andrews(Mary Poppins)
1966 - Best Film - The Sound of Music, Best Actor - Lee Marvin(Cat Ballou), Best Actress - Julie Christie(Darling)
1967 - Best Film - A Man for All Seasons, Best Actor - Paul Schofield(A Man for All Seasons), Best Actress - Eliz. Taylor(Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf)
1968 - Best Film - In the Heat of the Night, Best Actor - Rod Steiger (In the Heat...) Best Actress - Katherine Hepburn ( Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner)
1969- Best Film - Oliver, Best Actor - Cliff Robertson(Charly), Best Actress - Katherine Hepburn(The Lion in Winter)
`Elmer Gantry`: an alliance of God, Mammon and Burt Lancaster
New York 7 July 1960 Writer-director Richard Brooks has bucked the current Biblical trend, producing a movie about religion which is not set against the time of Christ. Elmer Gantry, adapted by Brooks from Sinclair Lewis’ novel, stars Burt Lancaster as the silver-tongued salesman who joins evangelist Jean Simmons’ barnstorming crew in the West of the 1920’s. However the group’s phoney mission is exposed by the sceptical journalist Arthur Kennedy, while he tracks the evangelists’ bible-thumping progress through the American heartland. Shirley Jones, until now associated with virginal roles, is cast as Lulu Bains, the blowsy hooker redeemed by Lancaster, while Patty Page makes her debut.
Death of Gable, `king` of Hollywood
California 17 November 1961. Only a short time after finishing work on Huston’s The Misfits, Clark Gable has died of a heart attack at his Encino home. The strain of the production, in which he insisted on performing all his own stunts had taken its toll on the ageing king of Hollywood. He was 60 and about to become a father.
Alfred Hitchcock’s latest shocker enters the realm of madness.
Los Angeles 10 August 1960. Alfred Hitchcock, torturer supreme, has stepped into the world of madness with Psycho. And, with typical perversity, he disposes of
his leading lady, Janet Leigh, early in the picture. Leigh plays a phoenix secretary, on the lam with $42,000 of her bosses’ money crammed into her bag. The theft is not her big mistake, it is her decision to check in for the night to the seedy Bates Motel.
12 cabins and 12 vacancies with old Mrs Bates American Gothic house perched above on a hill. Then, after sharing a frugal meal with Mrs Bates’ twitchy son Norman, Leigh decides to take a shower. That’s her last mistake. In the jet-black comedy which follows we discover the true identity of Mrs Bates as well as the true nature of Norman. Hitchcock is at his most masterful with Psycho, but the revelation of the picture is the performance of Anthony Hopkins son of the late actor Osgood Perkins
Elizabeth Taylor gets Best Actress Oscar.
Hollywood 18 April ‘61 Bob Hope was this year’s master of ceremonies at the Academy Awards gathering, which was produced by Arthur Fred and directed by Vincente Minelli. Top film of the year is Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, which has collected five Oscars . The Best Actor award has gone to Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry. Elizabeth Taylor, only recently recovered from pneumonia, has won the Best Actress award on a tide of sympathy for her role as a call girl in Butterfield 8. There was a moment of high emotion at the end of the ceremony when Gary Cooper, too ill to attend, was awarded a special Oscar for his services to film.
Music, dance and tragedy colours NY’s West Side.
Hollywood 19 October 1961. Leonard Bernstein’s 1957 landmark Broadway musical West Side Story has now been made into a dynamic film.
The director Robert Wise has transformed the essentially theatrical mixture of opera, ballet, musical comedy and social drama into cinematically pleasing entertainment that has been shot in Technicolor and Ultra Panavision 70. As in the theatre, however, it is the choreography of Jerome Robins, and the vigorous dancing that dominate.
The picture opens with a helicopter shot of Manhattan, the camera zooming in on the finger-snapping American born youths of the Jets, the sworn enemies of the Sharks, a Puerto Rican gang. They then dance balletically through the streets, actually filmed on location on West 64th Street, Maria and Tony, the star-crossed lovers from opposing factions in this updating of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
The final crack-up in Marilyn Monroe’s life.
Los Angeles 6 August 1962. Marilyn Monroe has been found dead in her bed this morning in her Brentwood house on the West Side of Los Angeles. The autopsy revealed that she had succumbed to a massive dose of sleeping pills. If it was a case of suicide, then numerous reasons could be given for it: a loveless and profoundly unhappy childhood; a mentally unstable mother and an unknown father; three failed marriages; two miscarriages; a number of unfulfilled romances; constant pressure from the press; and professional difficulties due to a loss of confidence in herself... In fact, very little had gone well for her since February 1961, after her divorce from Arthur Miller. It was then that Marilyn entered a psychiatric clinic, fearful that she might suffer insanity as her mother before her.
Marilyn returned to work last April to begin shooting on her 29th movie, Something’s Got To Give. One of her last appearances was at Madison Square Gardens on 21 May at John F. Kennedy’s birthday party.
Peter O’Toole and the Sahara compete for beauty.
New York 16 December 1962. Director David Lean has exchanged the steamy jungles of Ceylon in which he filmed his Bridge on the River Kwai, for the shimmering empty spaces of the Jordanian desert where the subject of his latest picture fought a legendary guerrilla campaign in the First World War. In Lawrence of Arabia, Lean and producer Sam Spiegel have mounted an epic examination of the ambiguous war hero and writer, T.E. Lawrence, which is bound to spark off a controversy.
In the title role Lean has cast a relatively unknown actor, 30 year-old Irish-born Peter O’Toole, whose blond hair and staring blue eyes give his interpretation of the compromised hero an unnerving intensity. Here, Lean orchestrates the expansive action in leisurely style, and makes a nod in the direction of the Lawrence enigma, hinting at the repressed homosexual and sado-masochistic tendencies which lay under the surface of the warrior-scholar.
Zanuck’s all-star cast disembarks for longest day.
Paris 10 October 1962. Producer Darryl F. Zanuck, who for several years has been operating as an independent based in France, has become a five-star general for The Longest Day, fighting the Normandy invasion all over again with a budget of $10 million, 50 international stars, 10,000 extras 48 technical advisors and dozens of locations. No black-and-white movie has ever cost so much. Three directors were assigned to the picture - Ken Annakin, Andrew Marton and Bernhard Wicki - but there was never any doubt about who was in charge.
Darting from location to location in a helicopter, the cigar-chewing Zanuck declared, “This is my picture. When one wants to take the credit for something, one must also take the responsibility”, These are the words of a producer who has not had too much success lately as an independent. A healthy measure of authenticity has been achieved by the decision to allow the characters to speak in their own languages, with sub-titles.
Magic of `Kabuki` in `An Actor’s Revenge`
Tokyo 13 January 1963. Kon Ichikawa, who began his career in
The Taylor-Burton show has finally opened.
New York 12 June 1963. The long-awaited premiere of Cleopatra, is finally taking place at the Rivioli Theatre in New York. Walter Wagner;s gigantic production cost 20th Century Fox $40 million. This was due to the sumptuous sets, the 26,00 costumes.. But mainly to the innumerable difficulties during its making. On 30 September 1960,
Ruben Mamoulian started filming at Pinewood Studios in England with Elizabeth Taylor, Peter Finch, (as Caesar) and Stephen Boyd
(as Anthony). Miss Taylor was being paid $1 million against 10% of the gross, making her the highest paid performer in the history of Hollywood. However she hardly ever appeared on the set for over a month. First she was stricken with a cold, then a fever, then an infected tooth. In March 1961, Taylor was rushed to the London Clinic with lung congestion. Shooting was suspended and Mamoulian, Finch and Boyd left the film. Joseph L. Mankiewicz was hired to take over at the helm, Rex Harrison and Richard Burton joined the cast, and the entire project was shipped from the old of England to sunny Rome. It had already cost $7 million for seven minute of film.
Hepburn and Grant make a real class act.
New York 5 December 1963. With Charade, the director Stanley Donen has achieved the magic paring that everybody wanted to see: Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. No matter that (as so often with Audrey, and her leading men),
there is a 27-year age gap. Grant is a very fit and attractive man, and a scintillating screenplay uses the age gap to advantage. Made on location in Paris, with Hepburn again eye-catchingly clothed by Givenchy, this is a high-octane, high-definition romantic comedy-thriller. The complicated plot centres on the plight of Reggie Lampert, wife of a wealthy Parisian businessman, who returns to find her husband mysteriously murdered. Enter a trio of richly characterised villains (James Coburn, Ned Glass,George Kennedy), the American ambassador (Walter Matthau) - and Cary Grant. A winner to close out 1963.
Richard Lester brings the Beatles to the screen in madcap farce
London 31 August 1964. At the height of Beatlemania A Hard Days Night, brings the pop group to an even wider public. The almost plot less script suits the anarchic personalities of the Beatles (Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) who play themselves. It follows the Fab Four as hotly pursued by fans, they board a train from Liverpool to London where they are to do a TV show. In London, they keep disappearing during rehearsals to the annoyance of their harassed manager and a fussy TV director. But all ends well with the show . The group sing many of their greatest hits.
Hepburn and Harrison charm in `My Fair Lady`
New York 21 October 1964. Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s long-running stage musical, My Fair Lady, finally reaches the screen, with Rex Harrison repeating his London and Broadway performance as Shaw’s Professor Higgins, who, for a bet, turns a guttersnipe into a “lady”. However, English rose Julie Andrews, a fine soprano but unknown to movie audiences, is replaced by one of the worlds most loved film stars, Audrey Hepburn who, her
Her tremulous and appealing delivery of “moon River”, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, notwithstanding, can barely sing a note.
Jack Warner, last of the old style moguls, has staked much on this lavish production. Determined to acquire the rights after seeing the Broadway show at its 1956 opening, it took him several years to clinch a deal which cost him a massive $5.5 million for the rights alone.
The hills are alive with the sound of Julie Andrews.
New York 3 March 1965. Julie Andrews’ shining soprano rectitude soars above the saccharine sentimentality of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway smash, The Sound of Music, directed by Robert Wise. Andrews is in her element as Maria, the postulant nun who leaves her Austrian abbey to care for the seven children of Christopher Plummer’s irascible Baron von Trapp, stays with them through thick and thin and eventually becomes his wife. With her guidance the family is then transformed into a
Troupe of singers, and as such they elude the Nazis and escape into Switzerland. Based on a real life story and handsomely filmed on location in Salzburg in the Austrian Alps, The Sound of Music, is more than two and a half hours of captivating corn.
Love in the time of revolution with Zhivago.
New York 22 Dec. 1965 Omar Sharif, who shot to international stardom in David Lean’s film Lawrence of Arabia,
Has been cast in the title role of the same director’s Doctor Zhivago, exchanging Arabian sand for Finnish snow. He is the idealistic doctor hero swept along by the epic events of the Russian Revolution in Robert Bolt’s adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize winning novel. The lovers are Sharif’s Zhivago and Julie Christie’s beautiful Lara, for whom a brief happiness is tragically engulfed by the tide of history,. Co-starring are Geraldine Chaplin, Rod Steiger, Tom Courtney, Alec Guinness and Ralph Richardson.
Audrey’s disappointment is Julie’s reward
Los Angeles 5 April 1965 This year’s Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Bob Hope at the
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, was a bitter sweet occasion: bitter fro Audrey Hepburn, sweet for Julie Andrews. Miss Hepburn, exquisite in a white full-length gown with gloves to match, found herself presenting the Best Actor Oscar to her My Fair Lady, co-star Rex Harrison, and having to stand by and watch the original Eliza Doolittle, Julie Andrews, who was passed over for the film in Audrey’s favour, receiving the Best Actress Award for Mary Poppins.
Hedy Lamarr lives out a nightmare.
New York 30 January 1966.
Fallen star Hedy Lamarr has been imprisoned for shoplifting. It is not the first time she has courted scandal. Born Hedwig Kiesler in Vienna, on 9 November 1913, she gained international notoriety by appearing fleetingly naked in a Czech film. She has married four times to a screen-writer, an actor, a Texan millionaire and her divorce lawyer.
Paramount bought by Gulf-Western.
New York 19 October 1966. At the company’s recent annual meeting,
The stockholders of Paramount Pictures agreed to accept an offer of $83 a share(almost $10 over the market price) from Charles Bluhdorn’s Gulf and Western Industries. This essentially means that the deal will now go ahead. Paramount thus becomes the first major Hollywood film company to be owned by a corporate conglomerate.
The Burtons dispense on-screen vitriol.
Los Angeles 22 June 1966. Booze and self-disgust flow in torrents on the screen version of Edward Albee’s play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Here, Warners have cast the worlds most famous married couple, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as one
of the unhappiest ever to have tied the knot. The love-hate relationship between college history professor George and his blowsy wife Martha, daughter of the college president, has ben festering for years before it explodes like a boil in the faces of the young campus couple - George Segal and Sandy Dennis - whom they invite home. As the martinis mingle with mutual loathing,
both couples find themselves staring into the abyss. Choreographing this lacerating encounter, and also making his screen debut, is Broadway director Mike Nichols, who found the film a tough assignment. “There was a very unpleasant aspect for all of us. We had to keep coming back to the same damn room, over and over, every day.” and the poor Burtons had to spit and hit each other for days.
Veteran star Spencer Tracy is laid to rest after a lengthy illness.
Hollywood 11 June 1967 Spencer Tracy has died at his Hollywood home shortly after completing work on his last film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 5 April 1900, he made his stage debut in 1922. He entered films in 1930.
Dark secrets of `Belle de Jour` win the prize.
Venice 10 September 1967 Luis Bunuel continues to astonish. His latest film Belle de jour, shot in France, is a witty and erotic exploration into the secrets of femininity. It tells of a respectable doctors wife, who spend her afternoons working in a high-class brothel with kinky clients. Catherine Deneuve, as the
Part-time bourgeois whore, grows more beautiful with each perversion, imagined or otherwise. The film merited the Golden Lion. Coincidentally sharing the Special Jury Prize were two films reflecting the current western interest in Maoism.
Sci-fi and soft porn from Roger Vadim.
Paris 25 December 1967. Jane Fonda has been directed for the third time by her husband Roger Vadim in Barbarella, based on a science-fiction
Comic book. The film has created a storm, because Miss Fonda does a striptease during the opening credits. Although her nudity is partially hidden, this did not stop the censors from cutting some of it before releasing the film with a certificate restricted to audiences over 18. Thus critics have unfairly accused Vadim of “anti-eroticism”.
Oscars promote racial tolerance in wake of King assassination.
Los Angeles 10 April 1968. This year the Academy Award ceremony was held under unusually sombre circumstances. The assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King caused the event to be postponed for 48 hours.For the same reason the post- Oscar ball was cancelled altogether It was significant, therefore, that most of the major awards went to two films that deal with racial prejudice. The Best Picture winner, Norman Jewison’s In The Heat Of The Night, takes place in a small steamy Mississippi town where Philadelphia’s no. 1 detective Virgil Tibbs, reluctantly arrives to help the red-neck police solve a murder, The fact the senior visitor is black -Sidney Poitier ant his most dignified and passionate - and that the local cop is a white bigot makes for an entertaining game. Katherine Hepburn was presented with her second Best Actress Oscar for Stanley Kramer’s comedy of racial co-existence, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. She gives a warm and touching portrayal of an understanding woman whose daughter wishes to marry a black man.(Sidney Poitier again).
A Funny Girl with a truly sensational voice.
New York 19 September 1968. Fanny Brice, born to a Jewish New York family, grew up with one burning ambition: to succeed in the theatre. That Fanny was ugly, skinny and flat chested, and yet overcame these disabilities to reach stardom, was testament to her determination. The story of Brice was told in the hit Broadway musical Funny Girl, which made a star of a Jewish girl from New York, determined to succeed - Barbra Streisand. Now Funny Girl, director William Wyler, has been filmed, bringing 151 minutes of Streisand. She has presence, humour acting talent and, above all, a rich and powerful voice that belts its way through the songs with considerable artistry. Co-starring with Streisand as her no-good husband is Omar Sharif as Nicky Arnstein.
Newman, Redford : effervescent outlaws.
Connecticut 23 September 1969. George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is not the first screen portrayal of two of the West’s legendary
Outlaws, leaders of the “Hole in the Wall” gang, but it looks like it is the most profitable. Paul Newman and Robert Redford make an attractive Butch and Sundance (who’s real name was Harry Lonhbaugh), laid-back outlaws for whom the west is a playground rather than the
Killing ground portrayed by Sam Peckinpah. The film is full of the currently fashionable nostalgia for the passing of the West - “the horse is dead,” announces a bicycle salesman.
Dolly, years too young but full of bounce
New York 16 December 1969. Fox have reportedly spent $24 million on filming the smash hit stage musical Hello Dolly!, They have staked the money on hot star Barbra Streisand, who delivers the goods with exuberance, vivacity, a great line in rapid-file patter and, of course, that voice. However it must be said that as Dolly Levi, match-maker and self appointed fixer, in search of a rich husband she is at least 20 years too young for the role.
Garland’s star tragically extinguished
London 27 June 1969.Judy Garland, who died of a drug overdose six days ago, was buried today. Her passing at the age of 47 marks the end of a difficult life which encompassed worldwide
fame and adulation but was punctuated by nervous breakdowns, suicide attempts, studio suspensions, lawsuits and five husbands (including Vincente Minnelli). Her fifty Mickey Deans, was present at the funeral with daughter Lisa Minnelli.
The Soviets and the British feature at Cannes
Cannes 23 May 1969. Although the prizes at this years Cannes Film Festival were spread among the British, French, Brazilian, Swedish and American entries, it was a Soviet film that created most interest. Completed in 1966, Andrei Rublev has been kept on the shelf by the government of the USSR, who found various pretexts to ban it, one of them being that they felt it was too “Dark” for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. The film consists of eight imaginary episodes in the life of Rublev, the 15th-century icon painter as he journeys through feudal Russia. As for those who took the prizes, the Grand Prix was awarded to Lindsay Anderson’s If, a vitriolic attack on the British class system which owes much to Jean Vigo’s Zero for Conduct.
Karel Reisz, Anderson’s colleague from the days of the Free Cinema movement in the 1950’s was represented by Isadora, for which Vanessa Redgrave won the prize for the best actress for her role as the celebrated American dancer Isadora Duncan. Jean-Louis Trintignant was chosen as best actor for his portrayal of the honest judge in `Costa-Garvas` effective political thriller.
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