Best Actor: 1965

Official Nominations: Lee Marvin. Laurence Olivier. Rod Steiger. Oskar Werner. Richard Burton.

Lee Marvin picked up a surprising win this year for his dual role as opposing gunslingers in Cat Ballou. An odd little comedy, it opened up a variety of new roles for Marvin. Previously known for his hard-ass characters, his performance here was strong enough that he was offered a wider array of roles.  Laurence Olivier this year did what he did best, bringing a literary character to life. This time it is Othello, but the film is cheap mess and Olivier loses all credibility for pulling an Al Jolson, complete with blackface, deep voice, and what appears to be a ‘funky’ walk. Rod Steiger notched up another Oscar nomination for his gripping performance in the brave The Pawnbroker. Steiger accurately depicts the life of a Holocaust survivor who is so withdrawn and scarred that he can only find solace in the darkest pits of NYC. Richard Burton and Oskar Werner both starred in The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, but while Burton was nominated for his performance, Werner picked up the nod for Ship Of Fools (which also featured Lee Marvin…). Fools is more of an ensemble piece, so the nomination for Werner doesn’t feel quite right, though his performances in both films are fine.

My Winner: Lee Marvin.

My Nominations: Michael Caine. James Stewart. Marlon Brando. Lee Marvin. Max Von Sydow.

Only Marvin makes the grade for me this year, with a quartet of Hollywood giants being added to the list. Caine’s performance as Harry Palmer is a wonderful contrast to the image of the spy presented by Sean Connery. Caine fully embraces his Cockney heritage and plays the spy as a grizzled Sergeant focussed on when his next paycheck is will arrive. Brando excels in Morituri, a little remembered film with many interesting ideas. Brando plays a German pacifist during WWII who is blackmailed into helping the Allied forces into destroying a Nazi ship, and shows a range of skills and restraint in the role. Jimmy Stewart starred in 3 films this year, though only The Flight Of The Phoenix and Shenandoah are worth mentioning.Stewart gets my vote for the former, as the pilot of the famous aircraft who reluctantly leads a ragtag group of survivors. It’s an unusual film for Stewart, but one worth watching due to many fine performances, Stewart’s leading the way. Finally, Max Von Sydow bursts onto the US scene with the little known character Jesus, in The Greatest Story Ever Told. A messy film in many ways, Von Sydow carries the ensemble cast and breezes his way into the all action world of Hollywood.

My Winner: Michael Caine

Let us know in the comments section who your pick for the Best Actor of 1965 is.

Jaws 4

Jaws 4

Firstly yes, the premise is absurd but if we can try to forget that then Jaws 4 is not as bad as some have said. Certainly better than part 3.

Sheriff Brody has been dead for some years, his sons have grown, and his wife has tried to move on, but she now fears the water and still has nightmares. Her son Sean, now a cop at Amity is killed one night in the water so a paranoid Ellen decides to visit Michael, her other son on a Caribbean island. Ellen believes her family is haunted by sharks and wants her son to stop working with them as he now has a family of his own to look after. He will not believe her, but a Great White attacks him and his friend Jake. They escape, but decide to investigate. Meanwhile Ellen is falling for local Pilot, Hoagie. Soon though it becomes clear that the shark is after the family. Elle decides to find and destroy the shark as she cannot get on with her life and must protect remaining members of her family, and Mike, Jake and Hoagie follow.

There are some good performances here, they hardly are special, but above average especially when you remember the story. Lorraine and Lance are solid as the Brody family, while Van Peebles is good and provides some banter. Caine looks like he is having fun, it is the Bahamas after all, and he probably was paid well. There are a couple of good moments- the banana boat scene and the shark following Mike into the sunken ship. A poor finish to the series, but then again not much new could really be done to spice things up. The cinematography is good, the shark looks OK, but of course some things the shark does are just wrong. The films should have ended after part 2. Then again, if someone could make a fifth, with a good story, I’d pay my money. Hmm.

The DVD has nothing extra of note.

Feel free to leave any comments on the movie- is this the worst thing ever?

Zulu: CHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGEEEEEEEEEEE!

This is a documentary about the various wars America has fought in Africa. It proves that even though the American army may have been severely outnumbered (at least 3 million to one) that their superior intellect and firepower would crush the enemy. How arrogant of the natives to try and fight the Americans who were only trying to bring some rock’n’roll to their continent. Did they think that the mighty US wouldn’t fight back! Well, they soon saw the error of their ways as Lee Marvin, Michael Kane, Clint Eastwoodand co kick some butt! Yeah man! 10 Km! Wave after wave of bad guys come, wave after wave of bad guys fall. Let this be a lesson to the bad guys of the world. If you annoy us, you will die. If you attack us, you will die. If we attack you, oh you better believe yo gonna die! A strong piece of Propaganda produced by Spielberg which successfully wiped out every American/African War and brought peace. The rest of the world needs to watch.

Best Scene: When Hawsbee is saving Jacobs and the rest of the gang from the fire in the bedroom.