Stuart Rosenberg – Cool Hand Luke
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a superb year for nominees and any of the 5 could have conceivably won. Two of them give very chilling crime films so much life though and they are a slight cut above the rest.
5. Norman Jewison
4. Mike Nichols
3. Stanley Kramer
2. Richard Brooks
1. Arthur Penn
5. The Graduate – This film is more iconic for a few of its scenes and its music but still isn’t as amazing as some claim. Cast is great with Hoffman, Bancroft and Ross all giving career defining performances. The music is amazing and the Simon & Garfunkel songs have always been associated with this film (and vice versa). There are some really great scenes in this film, but something just seems off in the way that the story is told. Nichols won Best Director for this film, but the film failed to win any of the other 6 nominations.
4. In the Heat of the Night – Mediocre best picture, mediocre murder mystery but the themes make it worth watching.
3. In Cold Blood – Excellent true crime story put to screen. Brooks expertly gives us a chilling story in a matter-of-fact way by showing the events leading up to a senseless murder ad how the two killers spend the next few days afterwards. Liked the non-linear way this story is told because it gives us so much insight into the true character of these men. The added choice to wait to show us what actually happened at the farmhouse until nearly the end makes this even more chilling because we know they are guilty from the start, but we are never quite sure what they did until nearly the end. Excellent script keeps things thrilling and slightly ambiguous the entire time as to what is going through the minds of these men.
2. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Excellent movie, great acting, great dialogue and story with a very true message that even stands the test of time up through modern times.
1. Bonnie and Clyde –The thing that makes this film so great is the chemistry between the two leads played by Beatty and Dunaway. The way that the plot is presented works really well because we see how things can slowly escalate in situations like this until they get completely out of hand. The supporting cast is just as good as the leads and its great seeing how Hackman, Parsons and Pollard each hold their own against the two powerhouse actors they are paired with. All 5 of them got Oscar nominations for their roles, but only Parsons walked away with gold that year.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not really! There are 5 very strong contenders here and any could have won, but I think that Bonnie and Clyde was the best both from a directing and film perspective.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!