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 -Didn’t enjoy this one as much as I thought I would. It’s a bit too long and the characters aren’t as sympathetic as one would hope for. I did enjoy the way they try and explore what people would be willing to do for love. I think this might have been a better film had they actually kept it as a musical. The chemistry between the three main characters is lacking and doesn’t work as well as it should.
  • 4. – The Hustler – Some interesting themes are explored here, but the movie drags on too much to be effective enough. Newman, Scott and Gleason are great as usual, but I just wasn’t very impressed with the final product. Just seemed very mediocre since it 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. Interesting and gripping plot. Great (if old) cast and nicely done WWII war pic.
  • 2. – West Side Story – Such an amazing film because it does an amazing job modernizing one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays. The songs and music are spectacular choreographed and written and it’s so easily to get caught up in the story yet at the same time hum or sing along with the music. I’m not at all surprised that this film had so much momentum come Oscar time that they were able to garner 10 Golden Statuettes that year. It lost only for best adapted Screenplay and set a record held until today for the most awards of a Musical at the Oscars. Still find it quite funny and silly that these “tough” gang members can dance so well all around the city.
  • 1. – Judgement At Nuremberg – Such a fabulously written movie that truly captures all of the emotions one would think of in a trial like this. Amazing cast led by the always dependable Spencer Tracy and Burt Lancaster. Despite being over 3 hours long, it moves by swiftly because of the subject matter and the way it was filmed in the courtroom. Hard to say whether this should have beaten West Side Story (1961) because both are very different movies and styles.

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 ?


Let me Know what you think!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.