Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1961

dtgirbp-1961Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

The Guns of Navarone
The Hustler
Judgement At Nuremberg
West Side Story

Biggest Snub:

Breakfast At Tiffany’s

My Overall Thoughts:

I think only two of the 5 films nominated really had much of a chance at winning and once again, it was the best musical vs best drama with the Academy members choosing the Musical fare this time around.

Both are excellent films, but Judgement at Nuremberg is much more powerful a film overall.

My Rankings:


  • 5. – Fanny -An interesting idea for a triangle love story, but it doesn’t work as well as a drama instead of a musical.  The characters don’t have the kind of chemistry that they should have yet they do a nice job exploring what one would be willing to do for love.
  • 4. – The Hustler – Gleason and Newman are great here, but the film moves a bit too slow IMHO despite the fact that the characters are constantly trying to outmaneuver one another at the pool table.
  • 3. – The Guns of Navarone – Great WWII covert operations film that shows how thrilling a spy movie can really be.
  • 2. – West Side Story – Extremely fun film that is a modern adaptation of Romeo and Juliet transplanted to the tough New York Streets where gangs rule.
  • 1. – Judgement At Nuremberg – Excellent retelling of the trials following World War II of Nazi officials who were complacent in crimes.  Amazing message and extremely powerful film.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! WSS is an amazing film and they do a wonderful job adapting and modernizing Romeo and Juliet, but it just isn’t as powerful a film as JaN which has a message that still resonates so strongly after 56 years.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!


One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1961

  1. I got to watch Judgement at Nuremberg, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and West Side Story. I don’t know about the others on the list, but you’re spot on re Judgement .. West Side Story is even better than Breakfast…… imho. Maybe they liked Audrey Hepburn ?


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