Best Cinematography 1963

1927/28 through 1997

Which Oscar nominees had the best B7W and Color Cinematography of 1963?

The Balcony (George J. Folsey)
0
No votes
The Caretakers (Lucien Ballard)
1
4%
Hud (James Wong Howe)
9
39%
Lilies of the Field (Ernest Haller)
1
4%
Love with the Proper Stranger (Milton R. Krasner)
1
4%
The Cardinal (Leon Shamroy)
1
4%
Cleopatra (Leon Shamroy)
5
22%
How the West Was Won (William H. Daniels, Milton R. Krasner, Charles Lang, Joseph LaShelle)
1
4%
Irma La Douce (Ernest LaShelle)
0
No votes
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (Ernest Laszlo)
4
17%
 
Total votes: 23

The Original BJ
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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Nov 24, 2018 12:20 am

Choosing among the Color slate this year is like choosing whether I'd rather die by flesh-eating bacteria or dismemberment from a chainsaw. What a grisly set of films.

There were, of course, numerous superior options -- The Leopard, The Birds, Tom Jones (perhaps the most puzzling of the omissions given its overall dominance that year).

Even by the standards of most bloated white elephants, Cleopatra is an interminable, insufferable snooze. It's obviously a BIG production, but there's not an ounce of artfulness to any of the visuals. The only tolerable aspect of its win here is that the other nominees aren't much either.

Irma la Douce falls under "be careful what you wish for" territory -- you thought there couldn't be anything more fun than an Apartment reunion, but boy were you wrong about that! Nothing about the movie really works, and the candy-colored images create a portrait of the underbelly of Parisian life that feels utterly phony and way too cute.

It's possible that time has simply dulled the humor, but I've never found It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World to be all that funny. You have to assume the travelogue aspect of the film helped it land the nomination here, but I think it's a pretty slapdash affair visually, which I guess makes sense for such a chaotic movie. But I simply don't find it especially impressive as a cinematography candidate.

The Cardinal covers quite a lot of visual ground -- it had to, given the movie's attempt to tackle virtually every social issue of the 20th century -- but I find it a thoroughly impersonal historical epic. There are shots of clear visual beauty along the way, but on the whole it's such a dull affair, and the images aren't adding much in the way of personality at all.

How the West Was Won is another total bloat-fest, with nothing about the film's images of the American West rising to the level of the era's most artful westerns. I guess I'll give it my vote based on the sheer technical achievement of it all -- I didn't see it in Cinerama, but there's an obvious majesty to the film's images that's hard to deny, even if in many cases it's the natural beauty of the landscape that's doing much of the heavy lifting. Still, it also basically sucks, and I wouldn't spend that much time defending this choice beyond the fact that I had to pick something.

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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Oct 29, 2018 12:55 pm

One more.

I somehow managed to overlook the most glaring omission in black and white: Haskell Wexler for America America, which was second only to Hud.

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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:51 am

Spencer's Mountain was filmed in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming which gave it its natural beauty. The mountain in the novel was in the poor country of Virginia's Appalachia as was the long-running TV version renamed The Waltons.

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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:10 am

Big Magilla wrote:I came close to replacing Cleopatra with Charade on my preferred list but changed my mind at the last minute. I forgot about Spencer's Mountain which was even more deserving. While I do think Cleopatra deserved its nods for art direction and costume design, the only thing I found impressive about its cinematography was the hard work it must have been for Shamroy and his crew.

High and Low was not Oscar eligible until 1964.


I go by year of first release so a lot of my alternative foreign titles are not going to reflect US releases and I'm too lazy to cross reference everything with imdb.

To be honest I would never have included Spencer's Mountain a year ago as I only saw it recently for the first time when Warners released it on Blu Ray and it was a blind buy for me because I like a lot of Delmer Daves films and Henry Fonda & Maureen O'Hara together was just too much to resist. It's a small gem that deserves to be better known.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Oct 26, 2018 3:59 am

I came close to replacing Cleopatra with Charade on my preferred list but changed my mind at the last minute. I forgot about Spencer's Mountain which was even more deserving. While I do think Cleopatra deserved its nods for art direction and costume design, the only thing I found impressive about its cinematography was the hard work it must have been for Shamroy and his crew.

High and Low was not Oscar eligible until 1964.

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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Oct 26, 2018 1:41 am

B&W

Have seen The Balcony & Lilies on the Field on the big screen and recall them looking fine both outstanding. And whilst I've only ever seen Love is the Proper Stranger & The Caretakers on VHS, I don't think either had anything notable in relation to their photography. Hud is the easy winner here. I think I first saw it decades ago on VHS but did watch it again a few years ago on DVD and it certainly looked spectacular. It's an easy choice.

Colour

I've sonly seen Irma La Douce on the big screen and I recall it looked pretty good ditto The Cardinal which I recently re-watched on Blu Ray. Despite my dislike of Cleopatra & How the West Was One, both only seen on VHS their is no denying that they must have looked impressive on the big screen. My vote goes to a film I have only ever seen on VHS, It's a Mad, Mad.....I do have a Blu Ray copy of the film and do hope to get to it sometime soon but I recall it being visually impressive and somewhat inventive in some respects.

Omissions: High and Low, Tom Jones, 8 1/2, Spencer's Mountain, Contempt, Bay of Angels, Muriel, The Silence, The Haunting, Charade & of course The Leopard. Mostly foreign films which have pretty much always had a hard time getting acknowledged in this category.
“Those Koreans. They’re so suspicious, you know, ever since Hiroshima.” Constance Langdon (Jessica Lange) from American Horror Story: Season One

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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Oct 25, 2018 6:23 pm

Black-and-White

It's been years since I've seen them, but I don't recall anything particularly memorable about the cinematography of either The Balcony or The Caretaker. While the NYC location cinematography of Love with the Proper Stranger was pleasing to the eye, it wasn't anything spectacular. I'd replace all three with 8 1/2 (Gianni Di Venanzo), This Sporting Life (Denys Cooop) and The Haunting (Davis Boulton).

I'd leave Lilies of the Field as the fourth nominee, but the winner should have been, as it was, James Wong Howe for his high water mark of Hud.

Color

Most conspicuous by its absence is, of course, Tom Jones (Walter Lassally), to which I'd add The Great Escape (Daniel L. Fapp) and The Leopard (Giuseppe Rotunno) in place of Irma La Douce, How the West Was Won and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Personally I'd prefer anything to the snooze fest that was Cleopatra but I will concede that on a technical level the film was first-rate. Still, I would have preferred to see Leon Shamroy win his fourth Oscar for his other 1963 nominee, The Cardinal in the absence of Lassally's nod.

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Re: Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Reza » Thu Oct 25, 2018 2:21 am

B/W
1. Hud
2. Love With the Proper Stranger
3. Lilies of the Field
4. The Balcony
5. The Caretakers

Colour
1. Cleopatra
2. The Cardinal
3. It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
4. How the West Was Won
5. Irma La Douce

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Best Cinematography 1963

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Oct 24, 2018 7:29 pm

And away we go...


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