Best Cinematography 1965

1927/28 through 1997

What was the best Black-and-White and Color Cinematography among the Oscar nominees?

In Harm's Way (Loyal Griggs)
0
No votes
King Rat (Burnett Guffey)
1
4%
Moritori (Conrad L. Hall)
2
8%
A Patch of Blue (Robert Burks)
1
4%
Ship of Fools (Ernest Laszlow)
8
31%
The Agony and the Ecstasy (Leon Shamroy)
0
No votes
Doctor Zhivago (Freddie Young)
9
35%
The Great Race (Russell Harlan)
1
4%
The Greatest Story Ever Told (William C. Mellor, Loyal Griggs)
0
No votes
The Sound of Music (Ted D. McCord)
4
15%
 
Total votes: 26

Big Magilla
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Re: Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Apr 13, 2019 5:08 pm

Morituri aka Saboteur: Cod Name "Morituri" is an upcoming May release from boutique Blu-ray label, Twilight Time.

I just watched the trailer on YouTube and still have no recollection of it, although the scene with Wally Cox seemed vaguely familiar.

I kind of think it's something I saw in the base theatre a few steps from the barracks in Darmstadt, Germany where I had my office and conducted training classes on Saturday mornings. I saw just about every movie that played there from early 1966 through May, 1967. They showed a lot of black-and-white thrillers that are mostly forgotten now.

I was the Operations Officer and Training NCO for my quartermaster supply company, a job I got because I was the only one in the company that had a security clearance. Company officers and other NCOs who I assigned to teach classes all came up with excuses, and since they all outranked me, there was nothing I could do but conduct the classes myself. I soon learned that I could fill the time with military training films from somewhere on the other side of Frankfurt, which I would exchange every week with the help of a pool driver I had assigned to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hyg6Y4w ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Apr 13, 2019 4:13 pm

Since I'm the purist who wants to have full exposure to nominees before voting, I've fallen way behind -- so far I pretty much despair of ever catching up at this one-a-week rate. But, my little bit to contribute to one year I have managed to completely cover:

As I noted when we started the 60s, the decade's rage for widescreen epics makes the color side of the ledger the least interesting -- pretty-to-gorgeous was the general range, rather than delicately/subtly-lit. One omission that might have improved the general art quotient on display would have been The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.

To give you an idea of the sorts of films I got taken to at this point in my life (cusp of grade school/high school), I saw three of the color nominees in a theater, but only one of the black-and-whiters. Two of those three were the big boppers; the third was The Greatest Story Ever Told, a less-than-impressive twilight effort for George Stevens which was, I guess, pretty, but nothing special.

The Great Race was colorful as all get-out, and perhaps a contender for costumes in a lesser year, but not prime choice.

The Agony and the Ecstasy's failure at the box-office was probably a warning signal that the era of the epic wouldn't last forever. It's actually not a bad movie (I only watched it recently, for the first time), and it had truly superb sets and costumes. But it doesn't measure up to the top tier.

The Sound of Music had its opening mountain vista, and lots of picturesque shots of the Austrian landscape. But I don't think of it as an exceptionally beautiful film.

Whereas I thought of Doctor Zhivago as nothing but. Freddie Young did for snow what he'd done for sand in Lawrence of Arabia -- made it virtually a character in the film; captured more beauty than even nature might have provided. You can certainly argue that it was all in the service of a banal story-line, and that Lean was wasting all that visual splendor. (A sentence thrown around a lot at the time was "When a director dies, he becomes a photographer.") But if we're judging beauty -- and it's clear that's what Oscar voters were mostly doing -- I think Zhivago wins that crown by a wide margin.

Black-and-white, as today, offered more opportunity for visual art, and a number of the nominees took advantage. Left-out films that might also have qualified were (as mentioned by some) The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and also Bunny Lake is Missing.

This year's slate included a bunch of films I'd never seen before. In Harm's Way is a watchable enough, soap-opera-y wartime drama, with a rape subplot that would probably be very controversial today. I don't think it's all that distinguished in the visual department, and, in fact, I have to wonder why it was shot in black-and-white in 1965. A diminishing number of films were being shot that way by the mid-60s (hence the elimination of the category just two years hence), and you'd think a sprawling period war film would have automatically got the Technicolor treatment by then.

I've seen A Patch of Blue several times over the years, and always found its story touching in a minor way, but never thought of it as anything in the visual department.

King Rat, another of my recent (past year) acquisitions, has an interesting, stark look, suited to its detached prison camp narrative. In another year, I might consider voting for it.

Ship of Fools is the only nominee I saw in a theater (in 1966, with subsequent TV viewings). I can see why many of you have voted for it; it's got some striking shots, uses black-and-white rather well (more than the often-turgid script deserves), and also creates visual variety despite the handicap of limited on-board space.

But I'm going to be the outlier here and select Morituri -- another movie that spends much of its time on a ship. This may be recency-bias -- Morituiri was the last film on the list I saw (just a week or two ago). But I was impressed by (early) Conrad Hall making significant use of shadow and fog to create truly striking images. The film itself is iffy -- not quite a good thriller, but with its moments. The visuals, though, carry it home. A surprise (to me) vote for the movie I might otherwise never have seen.

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Re: Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Oct 12, 2018 4:42 pm

My choices were very easy: B&W Ship of Fools, Colour The Sound of Music.

Ship of Fools is the only nominee from the B&W list that I have seen on the big screen, back in 1989. I do remember a rather moody film with photography that helps capture the mood of the film. All the others were seen on VHS, and I've never gotten around to watching my DVD of A Patch of Blue. I certainly don't have any issues with the nominations for A Patch of Blue, King Rat or In Harm's Way, but like Magilla, I known I've seen Moritori but don't remember a thing about it. Funnily enough whilst at a FNAC shop in Paris today I saw a copy of it on Blu Ray. I didn't buy it as I have do desire to view it again.

The Sound of Music is such a easy pick for me. It was the first film I ever saw on the big screen when I was about 8 years ago and I've seen it countless times over the years. I have only seen all the other nominees on VHS and none of them come aware near The Sound of Music on any level. Just for the recordI think Doctor Zhivago is the worst film David Lean ever made and I found the whole film a bore on every level.

Omissions: The Sands of Kalahari, Shadows of our Forgotten Ancestors, The Moment of Truth, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (odd that didn't get a nomination as it is the best shot B&W film of the year), Red Beard, Replusion, Return from the Ashes, The Loved One, Alphaville, Mandragola, The Collector, Le Bonheur, Peirrot Le You & My Way Home. Gee, it was a sensational year after all.
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Re: Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:49 pm

I have to issue a promissory note here, as I'm missing two from the black-and-white column (Morituri and In Harm's Way) and one color (The Agony and the Ecstasy). I have In Harm's Way coming via Netflix, and Agony is scheduled for TCM within the next month. Once those two are under my belt, I'll weigh in (though still not vote b&w).

I have to say, Magilla, when you opened the thread saying it was an easy one, I never imagined you voting the way you have.

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Re: Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:10 pm

Black-and-White

I know I've seen Moritori but I have absolutely no memory of it. so no.

I remember liking King Rat but it's been so long ago that I can't remember anything outstanding about teh cinematography.

Possible substitutes would include The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (Oswald Morris) and The Train.

I have re-watched the other three recently and would rank Oscar winnerShip of Fools the strongest, followed closely by In Harm's Way with A Patch of Blue third.

Color

The Greatest Story Ever Told was fairly undistinguished and The Great Race monotonous. Better candidates might have been The Flight of the Phoenix (Joseph Biroc) and Shenandoah (William Clothier).

The Agony and the Ecstasy was another of Leon Shamroy's pictorial triumphs, but this was clearly a race between Doctor Zhivago and The Sound of Music. Doctor Zhivago was a visual delight, but Freddie Francis has two other well-deserved Oscars for David Lean Films. I'm going with Ted McCord (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, East of Eden nearing the end of his sadly Oscarless career for The Sound of Music.
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Re: Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:13 am

Reza wrote:It's Loyal, not Lloyd Griggs.


How disloyal of me! Fixed.

Griggs was a former neighbor of mine though I never met him. He died in his home in Leisure World in Laguna Hills in 1978. I lived around the corner from there from 1981-1982. Lee Patrick died there just before I moved to Northern California at the end of 1982. I never met her either. It was a big place. The residents used to block traffic on the main roads with thier golf carts.
“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” - Voltaire

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Re: Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Reza » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:22 am

It's Loyal, not Lloyd Griggs.

B/W
1. Ship of Fools
2. Morituri
3. King Rat
4. A Patch of Blue
5. In Harm's Way

Colour
1. Doctor Zhivago
2. The Sound of Music
3. The Agony and the Ecstacy
4. The Greatest Story Ever Told
5. The Great Race

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Best Cinematography 1965

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:41 pm

A fairly easy one, methinks.
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