Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Lee Van Cleef – For A Few Dollars More
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 great nominees each having given spectacular performances. Any of them could have taken home Gold for their work on these films.
5. Ian Bannen
4. Tom Courtenay
3. Frank Finlay
2. Martin Balsam
1. Michael Dunn
5. Othello – Great cast but the film moves along too slowly to stay interesting. Never having been a fan of Shakespearean verse, listening to these great actors was not easy for nearly 3 hours. Olivier’s blackface is strange to look at and seems even more anachronistic 53 years after this was made. The themes of jealousy and revenge helps make this one of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedies even if I personally had trouble feeling connected to these performances.
4. Doctor Zhivago – Classic Lean, done extremely well. Story was a bit choppy , but overall worth seeing.
3. The Flight of the Phoenix – Amazing story that works really well. the cast is superb and they manage to give us some great and diverse characters that help add so much to the structure of the storyline. We can easily feel the isolation seeping in the tension slowly rises bit by bit over the course of the film as the characters slowly become deprived of their senses due to lack of water, energy and of course hope along the way. They do an amazing job with this storyline to make things seem quite realistic since things are played out quite genuinely along the way while also filled with great surprises along the way.
2. A Thousand Clowns – Excellent and very clever script. Robards is great as the lead eventhough he excelled through his career as a supporting character actor. Adapted quite well from the original stage play.
1. Ship of Fools – Excellent film because the characters are written so well and each and every one is so diverse that their interactions can cause friction or friendship depending on the moment. Superb character study of different kinds of people done exceptionally well. Amazing cast helps make this film so memorable. Dunn and Werner stand out the most here as being the best tho. Can’t wait to see this again because it is so interesting on so many different levels.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Balsam is great in ATC and brings so much of a presence to the film but I still think that MD was even better in SoF and should probably have won.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!