Saturday, October 17, 2015

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The 1965 Hollmann Awards: Supporting Actor and More!

After much delay, the RETRO HOLLMANN AWARDS OF 1965 finally continue! Today, we remember that Martin Balsam won Best Supporting Actor, Thunderball was honored for Visual Effects, Darling's costumes (for black-and-white) and screenplay were declared the Best, and Doctor Zhivago added costumes (for color) to its cache of trophies -- and we determine who should have won, and indeed, who should have even been nominated. Unlike that ceremony, we will not be dividing craft categories between B&W and color; we will, however, guarantee 100% honesty in  our assessments.

My personal ballots:

5. Brock Peters as Rodriguez
The Pawnbroker
Leaves an impression, not just because we rarely get to see Peters in villain mode -- but because he's so damn good at it. So commanding a presence, he cannot help but dominate every scene he's in, even if it's just his voice over the phone. You can hardly blame Steiger for breaking down into tears -- Rodriguez is a son of a bitch who feels more dangerous than he already is.

4. Rod Steiger as Mr. Joyboy
The Loved One
Who knew Steiger had this in him? Creepy, ridiculous, yet somehow...not unrealistic. Mincing about yet lip-smackingly obsessed with the film's heroine, Joyboy is a creepy mama's boy, a cross between Mr. Humphries from Are You Being Served? and Francis Dolarhyde from Red Dragon. It is perhaps the most dedicated performance I've seen from Steiger.

3. John Gielgud as Sir Francis Hensley
The Loved One

A brief turn, but this is where all the heart is. Gielgud, as a somewhat absent-minded thespian facing irrelevancy, is sharp in his comic timing -- and heartbreaking in his pathos. His once-over before leaving the studio for the last time is an emotional moment, and Gielgud does not overplay his hand. And besides, he sets the plot into motion.

2. Oskar Werner as Dr. Wilhelm Schumann
Ship of Fools
From my original post: "The film's beating heart, possessing all the complications and ambiguities that the rest of the ensemble is only able to convey on the surface. Apparently it's impossible for this man not to bring out the best in all his scene partners."

1. Alec Guinness as Yevgraf
Doctor Zhivago

Another understated performance, but perhaps because he narrates and bookends the film, Guinness is more dominantly felt. He's masterful in his detached delivery, betraying some emotion on a rare occasion, and genuinely surprised by his own sentimentality. This is the performance I walked away thinking about.

Costumes, Original Screenplay, and more after the jump....

4. Die, Monster, Die
Ernie Sullivan/Wally Veevers, special effects

Kooky, but genuinely unsettling -- the reveal of Hell's Zoo is particularly nightmarish. And I, for one, adore the flow around the monster's head at the end.

3. The Great Race
Johnny Borgese/George Brown/Danny Lee, special effects
Linwood G. Dunn/James B. Gordon, photographic effects

The effects hold up! Besides car accidents and random explosions, one has to make mention of that bicycle-dirigible thing Professor Fate pedals. It looks so convincing!

2. The Train
Lee Zavitz, special effects
Jean Fouchet, optical effects

Stunts with real trains! Stations exploding in multiple bombardments! Excitement!

1. Thunderball
John Stears, special effects
Roy Field, visual effects
Cliff Culley, optical effects supervisor

Should I talk about the jet crashing into the ocean? The yacht speeding into an island before exploding? Or the freeking jet pack?

5. Love Has Many Faces
Edith Head

Makes it purely based on Lana Turner's stunning gowns -- oh, but we'll give a tip of the hat to Hugh O'Brian's swim shorts, too.

4. Ship of Fools
Bill Thomas

You want opulence? Vivien Leigh will give you opulence. You want theatricality? Let the Spanish dancers handle that. You want tight loungewear benefiting the figure of a voluptuous fraulein? Oh, buddy...

3. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Jacqueline Moreau

The colors in this film! I can't help thinking about Catherine Deneuve's stylish maternity clothes -- in casual and bridal editions! Nor can I forget Nino Castelnuovo's garage coveralls, la mere's crimson suit, or the fact that the outfits often match the wallpaper.

2. The Great Race
Don Feld/Edith Head

Costumes with a capital "C", as Don and Edith make a colorful tribute to the early days of cinema -- while accurately capturing the cuts, trims, and layers of turn-of-the-century fashions. I mean -- look how hot Natalie Wood is! And what about Tony Curtis's threads, as perfectly spotless as his teeth?

1. Doctor Zhivago
Phyllis Dalton

I mean, right there -- the difference between a Tsarist Russia where the rich can take advantage, and a post-revolution Russia where silks and satins are traded in for simpler things. These are both winters, by the way.

5. Love Has Many Faces
Marguerite Roberts

John D. MacDonald, one of my favorite authors, would have been proud to have written this one -- it's tropical, it's sexy, it's weirdly moral -- and best of all, there are real people within the bordering-on-camp aspects. A toast to Ms. Roberts, who takes it all seriously enough that she can sincerely drop in some fine one-liners (mostly from the mouth of Ruth Roman). What does one call the cinematic equivalent of a page-turner?

4. Shenandoah
James Lee Barrett

The amount of story Barrett fits in! A family saga -- war -- regret! Gives a good argument for anti-war sentiments, but also acknowledges that one cannot just go about ignoring what's going around them. A large cast of characters, but no one is given short shrift.

3. Onibaba
Kaneto Shindo

A slow burn horror. The chills don't come from the murders, but from the amoral ensemble, scratching at -- and clutching on to -- each other for survival. Repetition begets anticipation, suspense.

2. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Jacques Demy

From my original post: "I like how film's lyrics progress from the innocently simple romanticism of Part One to the more mature and poetic sense of loss and lost in Parts Two and Three... And all done so charmingly, romantically, sincerely!"

1. Who Killed Teddy Bear?
Arnold Drake/Leon Tokatyan, story by Arnold Drake

This movie unpacks a lot -- obsession, sex, brain damage, rape, impotence of law and order -- and handles all of it beautifully. I appreciated the humanity, with nary a stock character in sight. Its spin on the tireless cop fighting a lone battle rang true, especially as this cop is a single father to a precocious girl -- how could his work not affect her? And to its credit, an earlier-than-expected reveal actually increases the suspense. Why isn't this taught?

Next: Sound, Song, Cinematography....and Best Actor in a Leading Role. Stay tuned...

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1 comment:

Keifer said...

Another overlooked joy from 1965 for costume design is Edith Head's designs (especially Carroll Baker's feather white suit and eye-popping champagne costumes) for the underrated "Harlow".