Best Cast- 1961

My Nominations: Guns Of Navarone. The Hustler. Judgement At Nuremberg. West Side Story.

Only four picks for this year for Best Cast. Guns Of Navarone is a minor ensemble piece with Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn, Stanley Baker, Anthony Quale, and James Darren leading the way, propping up the likes up Richard Harris and Gia Scala in minor roles. The Hustler is an altogether smaller affair but may have the more standout individual performances from Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, and George C Scott. Likewise, Judgement At Nuremberg relies more on it’s big players, such as Spencer Tracey, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, Burt Lancaster, but also up and comers like William Shatner and Maximillian Schell. Finally, West Side Story’s tale of harmless gangs is given life by Natalie Wood, Russ Tamblyn, John Astin, Rita Moreno, Richard Beymer, and a host of other faces you didn’t realise appeared both in some of your favourite TV shows and movies and in this all singin, all dancin bonanza.

My Winner: Guns Of Navarone

Guns Of Navarone

Bang bang, did I get it? Let me know in the comments and in the poll


Best Stunt Work – 1961

My Nominations: Guns Of Navarone. Yojimbo. El Cid. The Comancheros. Mothra. One-Eyed Jacks.

For my nominations this year we have two early action classics, one old school epic, one slice of Japanese madness, and a forgotten film waiting to be resurrected. The Guns Of Navarone is one of the most popular man’s-man’s films, featuring an essentially all muscle cast throwing punches, running, hiding, shooting, and crashing their way across Nazi Greece. The action is on such a large scale that there are too many Stunt performers to mention, but thanks to the work of heroes like Bob Anderson (Star Wars Trilogy, LOTR Trilogy), Peter Grant (Led Zeppelin), Jimmy Lodge (Goldfinger, Live And Let Die), Joe Powell (Zulu, You Only Live Twice), and Bob Simmons (Dr. No, Goldinger), Navarone remains thrilling over 50 years later.

Yojimbo’s sword play was masterminded by Hiroshi Kanesu, Ryu Kuze (known for many Kurosawa collaberations), and Yoshio Sugino (Seven Samurai) while Mothra’s stunts were largely the product of Ishiro Honda and the effects crew. El Cid is one of the greatest epics from the early 60s and sees inspired work (especially involving horsies) from Buff Brady (The Green Hornet, Escape From New York), the Canutt Brothers (The Omega Man, The Wild Bunch, Ben Hur), and Jack Williams (The Magnificent Seven, Wild Wild West) amongst others. The Comancheros has more horse action with many of the same performers from El Cid and also featuring Jim Burk (Conan The Barbarian, Young Guns) and Chuck Hayward ( Blues Brothers, Spartacus). The forgotten One-eyed Jacks has strong work from the likes of Henry Wills (Bonanza, Magnificent Seven) and Paul Baxley (Dukes Of Hazard, Star Trek).

My Winner: Guns Of Navarone.


Best Special Effects- 1961

Actual Nominations: Guns Of Navarone. The Absent Minded Professor

Clearly a quiet year then for this category according to The Academy. We know that isn’t true though. My winner here is GOFN.

Guns Guns Guns

My Nominations: Guns Of Navarone. The Absent Minded Professor. Atlantis. The Day The Earth Caught Fire, Mothra. The Pit And The Pendulum.

My Winner: The Day The Earth Caught Fire

My pick goes to the superb The Day The Earth Caught Fire and Les Bowie. Due to the mix of matte paintings, crumbling effects, post nuke imagery and orange-o-vision, the film retains a unique vision.

The Day The Earth Caught Fire

Let me know your thoughts? Did I miss out on some effects extravaganza!?