Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (1964)

As a lifelong Lennon man, it pains me a bit to choose a McCartney tune, "Can't Buy Me Love" from A Hard Day's Night, as the best song of 1964, even if Sir Paul is his generation's Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and Hoagy Carmichael all rolled into one. I mean, the guy has already collected every accolade ever invented by man—does he really need one more from me?

Still, you've got to give the devil his due: "C
an't Buy Me Love" is the best use of an original song in a movie in 1964.

This is what Roger Ebert wrote about it—with a straight face—in his review of A Hard Day's Night for his Great Movies series:

The most powerful quality evoked by A Hard Day's Night is liberation. ... When the boys are freed from their "job," they run like children in an open field, and it is possible that scene (during "Can't Buy Me Love") snowballed into all the love-ins, be-ins and happenings in the park of the later '60s. The notion of doing your own thing lurks within every scene.

He might be overstating his case—then again, he might not—but that he can make such a statement and not sound like an idiot doing it is a testament to the influence of the Beatles. I only wish I could pile up even more Katies in their honor.

winner: Goldfinger (prod. Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman)
nominees: Fail-Safe (prod. Max E. Youngstein); A Fistful Of Dollars a.k.a. Per un pugno di dollari (prod. Arrigo Colombo and Giorgio Papi); Marnie (prod. Alfred Hitchcock); The Night of the Iguana (prod. Ray Stark); Nothing But A Man (Michael Roemer, Robert Rubin and Robert M. Young); Seance On A Wet Afternoon (prod. Richard Attenborough); Seven Days In May (prod. Edward Lewis)

PICTURE (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (prod. Stanley Kubrick)
nominees: The Americanization of Emily (prod. Martin Ransohoff); A Hard Day's Night (prod. Walter Shenson); Mary Poppins (prod. Walt Disney); My Fair Lady (prod. Jack L. Warner)

PICTURE (Foreign Language)
winner: Les parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) (prod. Mag Bodard)
nominees: Bande à part (Band of Outsiders) (prod. Anouchka Films and Orsay Films); Kaidan (Kwaidan) (prod. Shigeru Wakatsuki); Onibaba (prod. Hisao Itoya, Tamotsu Minato and Setsuo Noto); Suna no onna (Woman In The Dunes) (prod. Kiichi Ichikawa and Tadashi Ôno); Il vangelo secondo Matteo (The Gospel According To St. Matthew) (prod. Alfredo Bini)

ACTOR (Drama)
winner: Anthony Quinn (Alexis Zorbas a.k.a. Zorba the Greek)
nominees: Richard Attenborough (Seance on a Wet Afternoon); Richard Burton (Becket and The Night of the Iguana); Sean Connery (Goldfinger); Ivan Dixon (Nothing But A Man); Henry Fonda (The Best Man and Fail-Safe); Burt Lancaster (Seven Days In May); Lee Marvin (The Killers)

ACTOR (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Peter Sellers (Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb)
nominees: The Beatles (A Hard Day's Night); James Garner (The Americanization of Emily); Cary Grant (Father Goose); Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady); Rock Hudson (Man's Favorite Sport?)

winner: Ava Gardner (The Night of the Iguana)
nominees: Anne Bancroft (The Pumpkin Eater); Bette Davis (Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte); Tippi Hedren (Marnie); Anna Karina (Bande à part a.k.a. Band of Outsiders); Deborah Kerr (The Night of the Iguana); Kyôko Kishida (Suna no onna a.k.a. Woman of the Dunes); Nobuko Otowa (Onibaba); Nina Pens Rode (Gertrud); Kim Stanley (Seance On A Wet Afternoon)

ACTRESS (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Paula Prentiss (Man's Favorite Sport?)
nominees: Julie Andrews (The Americanization of Emily); Catherine Deneuve (Les parapluies de Cherbourg a.k.a. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg); Audrey Hepburn (My Fair Lady); Ann-Margret (Viva Las Vegas); Geraldine Page (Dear Heart); Debbie Reynolds (The Unsinkable Molly Brown); Margaret Rutherford (Murder Most Foul and Murder Ahoy); Tippy Walker (The World Of Henry Orient)

winner: Hiroshi Teshigahara (Suna no onna a.k.a. Woman In The Dunes)
nominees: Bryan Forbes (Seance on a Wet Afternoon); Guy Hamilton (Goldfinger); John Huston (The Night of the Iguana); Masaki Kobayashi (Kaidan a.k.a. Kwaidan); Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars a.k.a. Per un pugno di dollari); Pier Paolo Pasolini (Il vangelo secondo Matteo a.k.a. The Gospel According To St. Matthew); Michael Roemer (Nothing But A Man)

DIRECTOR (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Stanley Kubrick (Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb)
nominees: George Cukor (My Fair Lady); Jacques Demy (Les parapluies de Cherbourg a.k.a. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg); Arthur Hiller (The Americanization of Emily); Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night); Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins)

winner: George C. Scott (Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb)
nominees: Wilfrid Brambell (A Hard Day's Night); Gert Fröbe (Goldfinger); Sterling Hayden (Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb); Stanley Holloway (My Fair Lady); Slim Pickens (Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb); Ronald Reagan (The Killers); Harold Sakata (Goldfinger); Victor Spinetti (A Hard Day's Night); David Tomlinson (Mary Poppins); Peter Ustinov (Topkapi); Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins)

winner: Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins)
nominees: Gladys Cooper (My Fair Lady); Grayson Hall (The Night of the Iguana); Lila Kedrova (Alexis Zorbas a.k.a. Zorba the Greek); Abbey Lincoln (Nothing But A Man); Agnes Moorehead (Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte)

winner: Stanley Kubrick, Peter George and Terry Southern, from the novel Red Alert by Peter George (as "Peter Bryant") (Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb)
nominees: Paddy Chayefsky, from the novel by William Bradford Huie (The Americanization of Emily); Alun Owen (A Hard Day's Night); Richard Maibaum and Paul Dehn, from the novel by Ian Fleming (Goldfinger); Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi, from the novel by P.L. Travers (Mary Poppins); Anthony Veiller and John Huston, from the play by Tennessee Williams (The Night of the Iguana)

"Can't Buy Me Love" (A Hard Day's Night) music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney (Song); Gilbert Taylor (A Hard Day's Night) (Cinematography); Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman (Mary Poppins) (Original Song Score); Norman Wanstall (Goldfinger) (Sound Effects); Cecil Beaton (My Fair Lady) (Costume)


Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Can't Buy Me Love is a great record and deserving choice, but really there are no bad songs in the movie. I Should've Known Better may be my favorite -- but man I love them all. I defy anyone my age to frown in the face of the opening chord of A Hard Day's Night or not smile at some point during the 2-minute gem She Loves You. I know John & Paul have both mocked Happy Just to Dance With You but I don't know why - it's a fine song with a genuine sentiment, and all the more special for giving us a peek at what musical goodness was yet to come from the silent Beatle.

Mythical Monkey said...

A Hard Day's Night sends a thrill through me to my fingertips, as Ringo might say. It's one of my all-time favorite movies. I think I could just about quote every line of the entire movie from memory. For me, it's one of the greatest musicals ever made.

I'd put it third for the entire decade in the category of comedy/musical behind only The Apartment and Dr. Strangelove -- the latter unfortunately also being a 1964 film.

In fact, I'd say that Dr. Strangelove, A Hard Day's Night, Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady constitute four of the best six comedy/musicals of the decade. It's an overstuffed category in 1964 in a decade that otherwise didn't see many good comedies or musicals.

Unknown said...

I remember watching A Hard Day's Night and chuckling at Ringo's modest demeanor that bordered on self-loathing. It was easily one of the funniest parts of the film.

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

Fascinating. 1963 seems to be the dividing line between "old" or "classic" movies and "modern". The sentiments, styles and fashions of the movies you list in 1962 and before come from another world. In 1963, they look cool, mod, and full of rock and roll, same as today's movies.

Or is it just because I'm a child of the 60s?