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Best Films - 1961

The Innocents 1961Possibly the best ghost story ever filmed, Jack Clayton’s The Innocents, an adaptation of Henry Jamess’ novel The Turn of the Screw, offers spooky apparitions, demented religiosity, repressed sexuality (in an adult), emergent sexuality (in pre-teenagers), and incest in a manner that is funny, poignant, and disturbingly creepy.

It is perhaps no wonder that Truman Capote (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, In Cold Blood) was partly responsible for the screenplay (along with William Archibald, co-screenwriter of Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess).

Clayton’s direction is full of incisive psychological touches that are immeasurably enhanced by Freddie Francis sinister black-and-white cinematography.

Deborah Kerr’s masterful performance as the neurotically religious and sexually repressed governess – who sees both sex and ghosts everywhere – remains one of the very best ever put on film.

Best Film
Breakfast at Tiffany’s, dir.: Blake Edwards; scr.: George Axelrod.
The Children’s Hour, dir.: William Wyler; scr.: Lillian Hellman.
The Giant Ferris Wheel / Das Riesenrad, dir.: Géza von Radványi; scr.: Ladislas Fodor.
The Hustler, dir.: Robert Rossen; scr.: Robert Rossen & Sidney Carroll.
The Innocents, dir.: Jack Clayton; scr.: William Archibald & Truman Capote.
The Job / Il Posto; dir. & scr.: Ermanno Olmi.
Judgment at Nuremberg, dir.: Stanley Kramer; scr.: Abby Mann.
A Taste of Honey, dir.: Tony Richardson; scr.: Shelagh Delaney & Tony Richardson.
Victim, dir.: Basil Dearden; scr.: Janet Green & John McCormick.
Viridiana, dir.: Luis Buñuel; scr.: Julio Alejandro & Luis Buñuel.
West Side Story, dir.: Robert Wise & Jerome Robbins; scr.: Ernest Lehman.

Best Actress
Anouk Aimée, Lola.
Harriet Andersson, Through a Glass Darkly / Såsom i en spegel.
Leslie Caron, Fanny.
Audrey Hepburn & Shirley MacLaine, The Children’s Hour.
Deborah Kerr, The Innocents.
Piper Laurie, The Hustler.
Vivien Leigh, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.
Margaret Rutherford, Murder She Said.
Maria Schell, Das Riesenrad.
Miyoshi Umeki, Flower Drum Song.
Natalie WoodWest Side Story.

Best Actor
Dirk Bogarde, Victim.
O.W. Fischer, Das Riesenrad.
Clark Gable, The Misfits.
Paul Newman, The Hustler.
Sandro Panseri, Il Posto.
Maximilian Schell & Spencer Tracy, Judgment at Nuremberg.

Best Supporting Actress
Mary Astor, Return to Peyton Place.
Fay Bainter & Miriam Hopkins, The Children’s Hour.
Dora Bryan, A Taste of Honey.
Marlene Dietrich & Judy Garland, Judgment at Nuremberg.
Megs Jenkins, The Innocents.
Zorah Lampert, Splendor in the Grass.
Rita Moreno, West Side Story.
Daniela Rocca, Divorce Italian Style / Divorzio all’italiana.

Best Supporting Actor
Richard Briers, Stringer Davis & Ronnie Raymond, Murder She Said.
Montgomery Clift, Judgment at Nuremberg.
Francisco Rabal, Viridiana.
George C. Scott, The Hustler.
Martin Stephens, The Innocents.
Robert Stephens, A Taste of Honey.

Best Cinematography
Jack Cardiff, Fanny.
Geoffrey Faithfull, Murder She Said.
Freddie Francis, The Innocents.
Robert Krasker, El Cid.
Ernest Laszlo, Judgment at Nuremberg.
Oswald Morris, The Guns of Navarone.
Sven Nykvist, Through a Glass Darkly.
Franz Planer, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Eugen Schüfftan, The Hustler.
Harry Waxman, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.
Frederick A. Young, The Greengage Summer / Loss of Innocence.

Best Original Score
Richard Addinsell, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.
Georges Auric, The Innocents.
Ron Goodwin, Murder She Said.
Michel Legrand, Lola.
Henry Mancini, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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