Best Cinematography 1961

1927/28 through 1997

What was the best b&w and color cinmatography among the 1961 Oscar nominees?

The Absent-Minded Professor (Edward Colman)
No votes
The Children's Hour (Franz Planer)
The Hustler (Eugen Schufftan)
Judgment at Nuremberg (Ernst Laszlo)
One, Two, Three (Daniel L. Fapp)
Fanny (Jack Cardiff)
Flower Drum Song (Russell Metty)
A Majority of One (Harry Stradling Sr.)
One-Eyed Jacks (Charles Lang)
West Side Story (Jack L. Fapp)
Total votes: 24

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Precious Doll
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Re: Best Cinematography 1961

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:26 am

What a mish mash of nominee's. To be honest aside from The Hustler I don't think any of them really standout.


I've seen The Hustler, One Two Three & The Children's Hour on the big screen as well as Blu Ray/DVD. The Children's Hour is my favourite film of 1961 and though well shot there is nothing really special about that aspect of the film. The Hustler on the other hand makes great use of the widescreen for not only it's pool shots but the intimacy of the piece as well. One, Two, Three is perfectly serviceable but nothing special.

Having only seeing Judgement at Nuremberg on the VHS I recall it looking fairly impressive but must confess that having only viewed it in that format has probably done judging its photography a disservice. I really can't recall much about The Absent-Minded Professor (better than the Robin Williams remake decades later though) but to be honest if you had asked me before seeing the poll if it was shot in B&W or Colour, I would have said colour. :oops:

The Hustler easily gets my vote.


I voted for One-Eyed Jack. I first saw it in a faded bootleg VHS print decades ago, however, recently saw the restoration on Blu Ray and what a stunning difference that makes to the visuals. Absolutely gorgeous looking film, even if Brando's pacing is some what off. I voted for it.

I saw West Side Story on the big screen over 30 years ago and it certainly looked good from what I can recall. No doubt my second choice. The remaining three were all seen on VHS. Flower Drum Story was probably the best looking. I didn't care for Fanny in any respect so it looses points here and to be honest I don't recall A Majority of One.

Omissions abound this year: The Innocents, La Notte, Pigs and Battleships, The End of Summer (Ozu film that has several English titles), Through a Glass Darkly, Two Women, The Misfits, Virdiana, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Leon Morin Pretre, Mother Jean of the Angels & Antigone. As usual foreign language films get short-shifted.
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Re: Best Cinematography 1961

Postby Reza » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:55 am

1. The Hustler
2. Judgement at Nuremberg
3. One, Two, Three
4. The Children's Hour
5. The Absent-Minded Professor

1. Fanny
2. Flower Drum Song
3. West Side Story
4. One-Eyed Jacks
5. A Majority of One

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Best Cinematography 1961

Postby Big Magilla » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:23 pm


The obvious omissions are the year's eligible non-Hollywood films, La Dolce Vita, L'Avventura,Two Women and Rocco and His Brothers from Italy, Breathless from France, Ballad of a Soldier from the U.S.S.R. and The Bridge from West Germany to cite the most obvious.

Certainly, there should have been room for La Dolce Vita, if nothing else, over the box-office hit The Absent-Minded Professor.

The Children's Hour doesn't rise to the level of some of the other foreign films mentioned above, but would be a perfectly decent nominee if it weren't for those that were overlooked. The Hustler, Judgment at Nuremberg and One, Two, Three are all terrific nominees with Judgment at Nuremberg the one I would give it to in the absence of La Dolce Vita.


I recently re-watched all four Best Picture Oscar winning musicals of the decade and found My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and Oliver! to be as splendid as ever. On the other hand, I found West Side Story to be something of a bore from its opening credits to just about all the scenes with the Jets. Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, on the other hand, stand up to the test of time. Richard Beymer now seems terribly bland and Russ Tamblyn way too old for his character. George Chakiris really doesn't have enough screen time to make much of an impression. His Oscar win remains one of the biggest head-scratchers. While I might still nominate it in many of the categories it won, including this one, I certainly wouldn't support the boatload it took home.

One-Eyed Jacks and A Majority of One are OK nominees, but Breakfast at Tiffany's, Splendor in the Grass andSummer and Smoke would all have been better.

Flower Drum Song may not be as good a musical overall as West Side Story but its cinematography holds up very well, thank you.

My choice for the win, however, is the film that should have been a musical, but thanks to its director retains its Broadway score but omits its vocals. That, of course, is Fanny photographed by the incomparable Jack Cardiff.
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