Best Actor – 1962

peck

Actual Nominations: Gregory PeckTo Kill a Mockingbird as Atticus Finch Burt LancasterBirdman of Alcatraz as Robert Stroud Jack LemmonDays of Wine and Roses as Joe Clay Marcello MastroianniDivorce, Italian Style as Ferdinando Cefalù Peter O’TooleLawrence of Arabia as T. E. Lawrence

This was a big year for leading male performances with at least two of the nominations remaining iconic to this day. Peter O’Toole commands the screen with his misty eyed Lawrence in a role which has seen him on British TV screens every Christmas, while Gregory Peck gives his career defining performance as judge, father, and all round good man Atticus Finch- a role which has ensured that he will haunt English Classrooms for years to come. Peck won the award this year and gets my vote too. Other A-listers missing out this year included a fiery drunk Lemmon (two Ms) , and a harmonious Burt Lancaster. Propping up the list is Marcello Mastroianni is the hit Italian comedy as an unhinged husband.

My Winner: Gregory Peck.

My Nominations: Gregory Peck. Burt Lancaster. Jack Lemmon. James Mason. Marlon Brando.

There isn’t too much difference in my choices except that I have added Brando for Mutiny On The Bounty and James Mason for Lolita.

My Winner: Marlon Brando

Best Picture – 1962

Official Nominations: 1962 was, above all, a year of epics, with Lawrence Of Arabia, The Longest Day, and The Mutiny On The Bounty all providing big budget thrills. It was also the year of MAN with the major nominees featuring near all male casts. Indeed, LOA is the only Best Picture Winner to have credited roles for only one sex. David Lean showed that he was the undisputed king of the epic, and that he could go one better with his all encompassing tale, while a couple of smaller scale films- Morton DaCosta’s The Music Man (a faithful screen adaptation of the Broadway hit), and Robert Mulligan’s To Kill A Mockingbird had just as great an impact. Lean’s earlier success with River Kwai meant he was a directorial force to be reckoned with while Darryl F. Zanuck was a massive Hollywood legend with numerous wins and nominations bursting out of his trophy cabinet- he assembled a strong cast of directors and actors to make another all star cast. My winner though, sneaking in behind the defence, is Milestone’s Mutiny On The Bounty; this remake out does the original in every way, with great performances from the 3 leads, Brando, Howard, and Harris, it is an exciting, harsh voyage which was not well received at the time. Arabia is almost too clean, too refined, while The Longest Day was groundbreaking but lacks something entertaining. The Music Man, for me, is just another throwaway musical, while with Mockingbird I struggle to look past the fact that it was one of those books forced upon us in school, and I don’t share the same love for it as many do.

My Winner: The Mutiny On The Bounty

My Nominations: Cape Fear. Dr. No. Lolita. The Mutiny On The Bounty. Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? The Manchurian Candidate.

I’m torn between winners from my personal nominations because there are several hits here, with Cape Fear being an outstanding thriller, Dr. No kick starting one of the greatest movie franchises, and Lolita being yet another Kubrick classic. As it’s my blog it comes down to personal preference so while Dr No is by no means the best or my favourite Bond film it gets my vote. Rarely before had we seen such a fascinating and winning mix of action, humour, drama, tension all weaved around a strong plot with subersive characters and good performances. This is the starting point for all modern action movies and gave other film-makers a new benchmark to aspire to.

My Winner: Dr. No