Lawrence Of Arabia: Maurice Jarre’s theme is instantly recognisable and indeed set up several musical clichés which still exist today- it’s difficult to watch any desert scene in a movie without that oriental swirling string style used in the 1962 hit. The soundtrack is filled with these foreign moments whilst also sounding distinctly French, but most importantly it immediately evokes images of endless sand landscapes, mirages, and wanderers in white with their faces covered before impending dust hurricanes. It is a deserving winner and gets my official vote.
Freud: Jerry Goldsmith got his first Oscar nomination for this Biopic of Freud, a film which was not a success and has been long since forgotten. The soundtrack however has managed to stand he test of time and is full of plinky plonky plucked strings and dissonant sounds- it almost sounds like the archetypal mystery movie soundtrack. There aren’t a lot of obvious melodic moments but rather many merged smaller pieces which create a great amount of tension and inertia. It was also famously re-used for Alien in 1979.
Mutiny On The Bounty: Bronislau Kaper’s theme is an old school epic theme, typical for Milestone’s movies and one which is full of stirring strings and choirs and definitely creates thoughts of high sea adventure in one’s head.
Taras Bulba: Franz Waxman’s score for Taras Bulba is an unusual one- it has all the cheesy hallmarks of pre-1960 Hollywood with dreary, lost vocals and gentle melodies but it is punctuated by bizarre harpsichord sounds and Eastern scales.
To Kill A Mockingbird:Bernstein is a God amongst composers, but I have to say the theme for the 1962 flick didn’t leave an impression on me. On re-visiting it reminds me of Edward Scissorhands and although it lacks a standout moment, the overall feel of soft playing and melodies gives a sense of innocence and eventually tragedy and justice when you are familiar with the plot. It is a strong score which stands well on its own and may have been down played during the movie.
The Music Man: This was the winner for this year’s awards and it’s an obvious one- the film is packed full of jolly hits which appeal to musical fan’s taste, and naturally there are a few of the songs which are so damn catchy that even the most hardened anti-musical man would struggle not to smile at a few of them. However, as a whole it is simply too cheesy and happy for my tastes and will not be getting my pick as winner.
Billy Rose’s Jumbo: George Stoll’s adaptation of the Rodgers and Hart score is equally old school Hollywood and although there are a few decent songs and though it does adequately evoke images of Circuses and clowns, it is so generic and unimaginative that it goes in one ear and out the other for me.
Gigot: Again we are in ye olde territory here, not surprising with Gene Kelly at the helm, although thankfully it doesn’t go overboard with the wailing choral voices or soundless strings. There is nothing outstanding here but it suits the tear-jerking, soppy nature of the film.
Gypsy: And once again it’s another horrific old style score to fit another horrific film admirably. Even for musical fans I don’t think there is anything outstanding here.
The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm: This movie was all about the visuals and the stories and the adventure and it is unfortunate that the film got a fairly generic, unimpressive score- weird fairy tale ditties aside.
My Winner: Freud
My Nominations: Lawrence Of Arabia. Freud. Mutiny On The Bounty. To Kill A Mockingbird. Dr. No. The Phantom Of The Opera.
Only Dr No and The Phantom OfThe Opera are newly added to my choices. Monty Norman and John Barry’s famous James Bond Theme is one of the most recognisable pieces of music ever written and stands the test of time – the rest of the score is punctuated by Calypso sounds and Caribbean styles. Edwin Astley’s score for The Phantom Of The Opera features strong original and burrowed music, but has since been overshadowed by later versions.
Actual Nominations: The Longest Day. Mutiny On The Bounty.
Only two films were nominated this year, with Robert MacDonand and Jacques Maumont winning for The Longest Day, a film where realism was key. Mutiny has plenty of sea-faring escapades, but the sheer scope and variety of effects earns The Longest Day my vote.
My Winner: The Longest Day
My Nominations: The Longest Day. Mutiny On The Bounty. The Day Of The Triffids. Dr.No. King Kong Vs Godzilla. Brothers Grimm.
I copy over the 2 actual nominees and had a host of other films which missed out. Dr No gets an obvious vote due to a myriad of well-executed traditional effects, while my remaining three choices are a little more outlandish in their efforts. King Kong Vs Godzilla is one of the most successful in the Godzilla series, thanks largely to some stunning set pieces which are still highly regarded today (the Octopus attack in particular). The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm is a marvel for effects and make-up fans. The Day Of The Triffids may look dated now but somehow the effects still work well enough to make the film’s scares effective.
My Nominations: Lawrence Of Arabia. The Amphibian Man. The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm. Dr No. To Kill A Mockingbird. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?
Once again, there was no award for Make-Up this year, so it’s time to right that wrong by praising some of the great work done by the artists in 1962. Charles E Parker and A.G.Scott dealt with a huge cast on Lawrence Of Arabia and ensured as much authenticity as Hollywood would allow. Parker was known for make-up on some of the biggest movies ever made – Ben Hur, 2001, Star Wars etc, while Scott was a stylist on many big films from the 40s to the 70s. The Amphibian Man is a movie no-one remembers, and I have no idea who did the make-up, but it’s pretty cool. If any film deserved to be the first official winner for this project, it’s The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm. William Tuttle does his stuff again, having previously done make-up for every film ever made. Sydney Guilaroff spiced up the hair and has a mere 416 credits to his name from the 30s to 1989. Dr No has some good work too, thanks to John O’Gorman and Eileen Warwick. Bud Westmore, Frank Prehoda, Larry Germain, and Lavaughn Speer do the make-up on Mockingbird while Baby Jane had Jack Obringer and a host of others adding to the crumbling veneer.
My Winner: The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm.
My Winner: Again I agree with the choices of winners this year- Baby Jane and Brothers Grimm. A rare winless year for Edith Head, Norma Koch’s weary, grim costumes for Baby Jane add to the unsettling tone, while Mary Wills gives abundant flare to the onscreen antics of Brothers Grimm.
My Nominations: The 300 Spartans. Dr. No. Lawrence Of Arabia. Lolita. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Mutiny On The Bounty. Baby Jane. Brothers Grimm.
My Winner: My winner this year goes to The 300 Spartans thanks to epic scale and wonderfully detailed costumes on both warring sides. Ginette Devaud did not have a huge career but deserves the win here.
Do you like shell-suits and ankle-warmers? If so, give your thoughts on this year’s picks in the comments!
My Winner: The Wonderful World Of The Brothers Grimm
My Nominations: Dr. No. Lawrence Of Arabia. Brothers Grimm. The Longest Day. Mutiny On The Bouny.
Bond films are known for their elaborate sets as well as luxurious locations and costumes which bring the world of high class espionage as globe trotting evil to life. Syd Cain, Freda Pearson, and of course, Ken Adam are largely responsible for the look of Bond films to come, setting the tone in the original and they deserve much credit.
Actual Nominatons: David Lean. Pietro Germi. Robert Mulligan. Arthur Penn. Frank Perry.
Although it was close between Lean and Germi, there can really only be one winner from these nominations- Lean’s singular vision and epic may never be a favourite of mine, but the man knew how to direct with a wider scope than many others would dare. Lean was the official winner and gets my nod too. Divorce, Italian Style is impressive but was a one off and didn’t exactly have a massive impression on filmmakers to come. Mulligan gives a fairly straight interpretation of Mockingbird and it could have just as easily been any other director of the time. Perry’s first film shows a promising new talent while Penn’s second film shows his command of both Stage and film work as he is able to translate faithful from one to the other.
My Winner: David Lean
My Nominations: Terence Young, John Ford, John Frankenheimer, J. Lee Thompson, David Lean, Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles, Robert Aldrich.
My nominations are a much more sparklng and worthy bunch with John Frankenheimer appearing for 2 films, and Terence Young bringing Bond to life in vicious, suave fashion. Kubrick and Welles pop up too with strong work, but not strong enough to get my vote. Thompson comes close to a win with Cape Fear, Aldrich’s Baby Jane is not too far behind, while Hathaway and Marshall each provided segments to How The West Was Won. But Frankenheimer gets my win thanks to Birdman and Manchurian Candidate, two very different films with opposing styles.
This was a strong year all round for actors and actresses with Patty Duke picking up the win making her the youngest winner up till that point. She was used to the role of Helen Keller on stage so that it wasn’t much of a leap when the play was translated onto screen. As much as I adore Thelma Ritter, I think from the actual awards I’ll give the win to Angela Lansbury in The Manchurian Candidate, well deserved especially as it is such an opposing performance to what we’re used to from her. Also nominated was Mary Badham as Scout where she holds her own against Peck and became the youngest ever nominee in this category. Shirley Knight gets another nomination for Sweet Bird Of Youth for a performance which stood out even when surrounded by a large cast.
My Winner: Angela Lansbury
My Nominations: Thelma Ritter. Angela Lansbury. Sue Lyon. Joan Crawford.
I’ve made two additions for my choices- Sue Lyon for her shocking portrayal of Lolita and Joan Crawford for Whatever Happenned To Baby Jane – a film where she is largely overshadowed by Davis. This time my winner is Ritter for another sterling show, proving yet again that she was one of the greats.
My Winner: Thelma Ritter
Who is your pick as the Best Supporting Actress in 1962? Let us know!
A strange one this year, with Ed Begley edging the official win ahead of some more likely winners. My winner is Telly Savalas for a role he isn’t really remembered for but should be sought out. Everyone recalls Omar Sharif, who seemed like the most likely winner, while newcomer Terence Stamp is electrifying in his debut, and Victor Buono gets an odd nomination for a small part in Baby Jane.
My Winner: Telly Savalas
My Nominations: Robert Mitchum. Telly Savalas. Peter Sellers. Anthony Perkins.
My choices this year are mostly different, with only Telly Savalas surviving. Robert Mitchum gets my win for his wicked performance in Cape Fear as one of Cinema’s great villians, a role which was only recognised later. Peter Sellers gives Lolita another nomination in a role unlike most of his more famous ones while Anthony Perkins is superb in The Trial next to Orson Welles. Perkins should really be in the Best Actor category but I put him here to make the nominations a bit more even.
My Winner: Robert Mitchum
Who would your pick be? Let us know in the poll and the comments!