Tag Archives: A Clockwork Orange

The Also Rans – The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (Best Picture Nominee 1966)

Russians are coming.jpgDirected by Norman Jewison

Screenplay by William Rose, based upon the novel by Nathaniel Benchley

Starring Carl Reiner, Eva Marie Saint, Alan Arkin, Brian Keith, Jonathan Winters, Paul Ford and Theodore Bikel

The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming might’ve been nominated for Best Picture – and Best Actor, and Best Adapted Screenplay, and a couple others – but it had zero chance of winning.  And by zero, I mean zero.  There’s always one or two of those kind of films in any Best Picture race and in 1966 The Russians are Coming was it.

One reason was history: Since the beginning, only six comedies have won the Oscar for Best Picture.  Ironically, at the time Russians came out, it would’ve had a better chance than it does today, because at that time five comedies had won Best Picture.  In the fifty years since, just one.  In a very real way its zero chance of winning in 1966 has steadily fallen below zero since. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – The French Connection (1971)

Directed by William Friedkin

Screenplay by Ernest Tidyman, based upon the book by Robin Moore

Starring Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider and Fernando Rey

The Oscars have been known to follow the latest trends, gleeefully heaping awards on the latest flash-in-the-pan – those films or filmmakers that show promise, or even brilliance, but who never rise to the same level again.  The earliest of the bunch that comes to mind is Delbert Mann for directing Marty.  Like any next best thing he shot to the ultimate top of his profession, winning an Oscar for directing the film, only to fall immediately back to earth.  Even if he wasn’t exactly never heard from again, it seemed pretty close to it. Continue reading

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