Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1982

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Richard Attenborough (Gandhi)
Sidney Lumet (The Verdict)
Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot)
Sydney Pollack (Tootsie)
Steven Spielberg (E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial)

Biggest Snub:

Ridley Scott – Blade Runner

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a great year of nominees. Any of the five would be deserving of winning with the work they did on these films.  It’s a year where they truly gave the nominees to the right group of Directors.

My Rankings:


5. Sydney Pollack 
4. Sidney Lumet 
3. Wolfgang Petersen
2. Steven Spielberg 
1. Richard Attenborough


5. Das BootVery well done movie, but too long. The feeling of claustrophobia that most submarine crews must endure is well presented and even makes the viewer feel that they are themselves aboard the sub.
4. TootsieGreat film that works on numerous levels. Hoffman is superb in the dual roles and is quite convincing in both of them. The supporting cast is perfectly chosen with Pollack standing out as Hoffman’s agent and Lange as an actress who he befriends. The script is fun and witty and works the entire time despite the premise seeming to be a bit crazy. This film is still very relevant today after more than 35 years and says so much about how Hollywood (and the entertainment industry on a whole) has worked for years without much changes. Was nominated for 10 Oscars yet only managed to win Best Supporting Actress for Lange. It did win Best Musical or Comedy Film at the Golden Globes that year tho.
3. The VerdictExcellent courtroom drama that helps highlight how great an actor Newman was. His performance here is truly amazing and he takes an engaging script and raises it even higher just by his actions and reactions to everything that happens. The courtroom drama isn’t as flashy as many TV shows or even other films of the genre, but that helps form a parallel between the character and the type of life he leads. So much happens in this story that takes place in the background and if you aren’t paying close attention, you may miss some key elements to why the film works so well. So glad I rewatched this and got a newfound appreciation for a film like this.
2. GandhiAmazingly done Epic biopic movie by Attenborough.  It works so well from so many aspects and is among the best epics ever filmed.
1. E.T.: The Extra-TerrestrialSuch a nostalgic piece of cinema for me that I can never get enough of. Spielberg once again hit a grand slam even with broken animatronics. Excellent story that includes so many of the elements that make a great movie. Proof once again of Spielberg’s genius when it comes to making movies. Very nostalgic for me and to have been able to share the experience with my kids was so amazing.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  All 5 nominees did amazing jobs here, but the way Attenborough filmed this epic clearly topped them all.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1982

  1. Ghandi is the exact TYPE of film that the Academy seems to adore – so that in and of itself gave Attenborough a running start. ALL 5 films this year were excellent and any one of their directors (IMO) deserved kudos for their work. Boy genius Spielberg was made to wait a while for his 1st win – even though of all these films – E.T. is iconic. “Dying is easy, comedy is hard” probably worked against Tootsie – which was a gem. The Verdict is one of the BEST courtroom dramas EVER (IMO) and Newman was superb (in a role turned down by Redford). Lumet, no stranger to courtroom pieces was at the top of his game here working with a Mamet screenplay. Disagree about Das Boot being “too long”. Superbly done inside of that sub. And the fact that it was Germans during WW II who became the rooting interest (if nothing else but to survive their harrowing journey) was a nice bit of tightrope walking.


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.