Best Adapted Screenplay – 1977

Official Nominations: Julia. Equus. I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. Oh, God!. That Obscure Object Of Desire.

Not many surprises here, with Julia picking up the win. It’s a standard enough story set in a torrid time, but I don’t think there’s enough here to warrant a win. Equus in its original form is a messed up story, seeing it adapted for screen ups the ante but doesn’t add much to the story which wasn’t already there. I Never Promised You A Rose Garden is a film which never really found its audience. A sister to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest it deals with schizophrenia and institutionalization while offering several scenes of fantasy as the lead character struggles with reality and her condition. The film takes a less brave approach than the book but on its own merits remains engaging and deserves reevaluation.

Oh God!… it may be better to just say that Carl Reiner directs, that John Denver works in a supermarket and becomes God’s latest spokesperson on Earth, and that God is played by George Burns. Still with me? Denver obviously thinks he’s going mad, his life begins to fall apart, then he accepts the role and becomes a celebrity only for religious nuts to try to discredit him and eventually go to court to prove God’s existence. They don’t make ’em like that anymore. It’s very funny and you won’t have seen anything like it. Finally, That Obscure Object Of Desire is based on a novel from almost a hundred years earlier which details the violent relationship between a French man and a Spanish Woman. The film had been adapted for screen before, but Bunuel makes the story his, keeping the violence and sexual frustration and peppering the film with flashbacks and uncertainty.

My Winner: That Obscure Object Of Desire

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My Nominations: Oh, God!. That Obscure Object Of Desire. The Duellists. The Jabberwocky. The Other Side Of Midnight.

I add The Duellists, which expands Joseph Conrad’s short into a mini epic and features a series of battles and duels against the backdrop of Napoleonic times. Terry Gilliam takes Lewis Carroll’s slice of nonsense as a starting point for his darkly comic fantasy – as a film it has its flaws which Gilliam would iron out in later films, but the script is peppered with invention and vibrancy. The Other Side Of Midnight is a frustrating film with many moments of brilliance, following two lead characters over a period of less than ten years – their initial romance, a breakup filled with careless promises, revenge, murder plots and more. The characters and the scenario is interesting, but ultimately it feels like a proto – crazy white woman movie in the vein of Fatal Attraction which suggests at a high level that women can’t cope without men.

My Winner: That Obscure Object Of Desire

Let us know your winner in the comments!

One thought on “Best Adapted Screenplay – 1977

  1. John Charet February 3, 2020 / 3:28 am

    Great post 🙂 I too would pick That Obscure Object of Desire 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

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