Sunday, November 26, 2023

1977 Alternate Oscars

I'm told the kids today have never seen the original theatrical version of what in my youth was known simply as Star Wars.

In case you don't remember Star Wars, that was the out-of-nowhere surprise indy hit of 1977 that knocked the movie world on its ear, launching a thousand movie franchises and driving the final nail in the coffin of what Quentin Tarantino refers to as hippie auteur cinema. I myself haven't missed the likes of Bob Rafelson and Paul Mazursky but I sure do miss the original cut of Star Wars.

Han shot first! And if you're under thirty and don't know what that means, I weep for you. Trying to describe the impact of that version of the movie in 1977 is like trying to describe filet mignon to somebody who's only ever eaten Soylent Green.

(If you're over thirty and don't know what I'm talking about, consider yourself lucky.)



Raymond Chandler wrote in his introduction to Trouble Is My Business: "There are things in my stories which I might like to change or leave out altogether. To do this may look simple, but if you try, you find you cannot do it at all. You will only destroy what is good without having any noticeable effect on what is bad. You cannot recapture the mood, the state of innocence, much less the animal gusto you had when you had very little else."

George Lucas didn't get the memo ...

My choices are noted with a ★. A tie is indicated with a ✪. Historical Oscar winners are noted with a ✔. Best foreign-language picture winners are noted with an ƒ. A historical winner who won in a different category is noted with a ✱.

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