Sunday, May 30, 2021

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The 1972 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part One

The Top Ten is done, you've seen the nominees - now the winners of the 1972 Retro Hollmann Awards...Part One:

Best Original Song
1. "Pusherman" from Super Fly
music and lyrics by Curtis Mayfield
2. "Money, Money" from Cabaret
music by John Kander
lyrics by Fred Ebb
3. "Sister" from Black Girl
music and lyrics by Ed Bogas and Jesse Osborne
4. "Mein Herr" from Cabaret
music by John Kander
lyrics by Fred Ebb
5. "The Song from The Poseidon Adventure" from The Poseidon Adventure
music and lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn

Eight more categories, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Director, after the jump...

Best Visual Effects
The Poseidon Adventure
A.D. Flowers, mechanical effects
L.B. Abbott, special photographic effects
2. Duck, You Sucker; 3. Slaughterhouse-Five

The Academy got this one right. Its famous capsizing sequence, sending a miniature rolling through a tidal wave, then flinging the cast and props across the set, is one for the ages. The subsequent fights with gushing water and explosion after explosion add to the spectacle, each effect holding up! They're exciting and awe-inspiring.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jay Presson Allen
Hugh Wheeler, research consultant
from the book of the musical by Joe Masteroff, the play I Am a Camera by John Van Druten, and Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
2. Savage Messiah; 3. The Godfather; 4. Deliverance; 5. Malcolm X

Allen and Wheeler take three sources and make a single, cohesive narrative, much of which has been subsequently adapted once more for the stage productions that followed. The lines are funny, the transitions from book scenes to musical numbers are smooth, the characters are clearly influencing the story, not vice versa. For my money, probably the best stage-to-screen adaptation...ever.

Best Ensemble
casting by Michael Shurtleff
2. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie; 3. What's Up, Doc?; 4. The Ruling Class; 5. The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid

If you listen to the Broadway cast recording, then watch the film, you can better appreciate the way the ensemble has adjusted their performances for the cinema. You hear the choked-back tears in "Mama Look Sharp," the bilious disgust in "Molasses to Rum," the exhaustion in "Sit Down, John," the familiarity in "But, Mr. Adams," even an increase of conceit for "The Lees of Old Virginia." Book and musical scenes alike, the attention to character and general chemistry is present in every performance. Which brings us to....

Best Supporting Actor
Donald Madden as John Dickinson of Pennsylvania
2. Eddie Albert in The Heartbreak Kid; 3. Gene Hackman in Prime Cut; 4. Bill Henderson in Trouble Man; 5. Robert Duvall in The Godfather

Even with the loss of his showcase number, Madden makes an indelible impression as the Loyalist whose patriotism is to a nation that is subject, rather than sovereign. A deliciously smarter-than-thou antagonist whose points are frustrating and derailing. His ultimate decision at the end would be confounding had Madden not laid the groundwork for Dickinson as a man who sees his beliefs not as anti-American, but rather the opposite, a way to preserve the American way of life as he knows it. It's a touching moment, but God you're glad he lost.

Best Film Editing
David Bretherton
2. Prime Cut; 3. Savage Messiah; 4. The Godfather; 5. Malcolm X

That right there illustrates the brilliance of the editing, the Kit Kat Club's sense of fun distracting from the horrors on the streets, making the impact of each slap that much worse. People are getting hurt, no one's paying attention, ignore that ugliness, in here life is beautiful. Just...the best.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Bay of Blood
Carlo Rambaldi, special makeup effects
2. Lake of Dracula; 3. The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean; 4. Pink Flamingos; 5. Man of La Mancha

Some of the best - and most influential! - kills in horror cinema, gruesomely executed with a hint of mischief, intentionally comical but also shocking.

Best Director
Bob Fosse
2. Ken Russell for Savage Messiah; 3. John Waters for Pink Flamingos; 4. John Boorman for Deliverance; 5. Francis Ford Coppola for The Godfather

Cabaret has ten nominations for this Retro Hollmann Awards, and Fosse is the reason why. Sweet Charity is a solid debut, I think, but Cabaret truly is that notch-up kick, beautifully choreographed in the dancing, editing, camerawork, everything. I mean, I said this all before.

Best Actor
William Daniels as John Adams of Massachusetts
2. Jack Nicholson in The King of Marvin Gardens; 3. Lee Marvin in Prime Cut; 4. Marlon Brando in The Godfather; 5. Peter O'Toole in The Ruling Class

I don't think Daniels plays John Adams with a lot of subtext, because his Adams has very little of it: hot-headed, pushy, eager to voice his opinions as truths. It could be exhausting...but then there's the tender way he communicates with Abigail, the quiver of his jaw as he realizes the expulsion of slavery will not be included, the exhausted determination of "Is Anybody There?" It's not naturalistic, but it is real and true.

Tomorrow, Best Cinematography, Best Original Screenplay, and more - including Best Picture of the Year.

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