Thursday, February 21, 2019


I have decided to name my choice for Best Picture for the year 1959.  My criteria is that I can only use films that are on the 1001 list. To make it a little easier on myself, I am using the rules of the first Academy Award and name a winner for Best Picture (won by Wings for 1927-1928) and Best and Unique and Artistic Picture (won by Sunrise from 1927-1928). 

Some years are more difficult than others. Few years have as many good choices as 1959. I'm glad I designed this to have two winners. 

And the nominees on the entries from every edition of 1001 Movie You Must See Before You Die are...
The 400 Blows
North by Northwest 
Some Like It Hot 
Anatomy of a Murder
Ride Lonesome 
Black Orpheus
The World of Apu 
 Hiroshima Mon Amour
Rio Bravo

And the winner for the Best Picture of 1959 is…North by Northwest
North by Northwest

I’m giving this to what I think is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most entertaining films. It’s still one that works over repeated viewings, even if you know where the twists and turns of the plot are going ahead of time. Some Like It Hot (If you prefer classic comedies) or Ben-Hur (the actual Academy Award winner) could have been good choices, but I really couldn’t go against North by Northwest.
North by Northwest

And the Award for Unique and Artistic Picture of 1959 is...The World of Apu
The World of Apu

Like the Academy did for Lord of the Rings, I'm giving this to Apu more for the whole trilogy than just the final film. Few films have ever seemed more real than Ray's depiction of a Bengali village and it really puts you right there in the life of this family. Despite the tragedies that unfold in Apu's life, I'm glad I was there to vicariously experience them with him. What a tough choice for this category! The 400 Blows, Shadows, Breathless and even Hiroshima, Mon Amour could have fit into this category as well, but also like the Academy, there is a tendency to gravitate towards the picture freshest in your mind. But I stand by choice.
The World of Apu


  1. I cannot question the choice of North by Northwest. It would be a great movie in any year.
    The artistic award is tricky because art is in the eye of the beholder. I can respect the choice for Apu, but I would go in a different direction. Art movies made to be arty often miss the mark for me and I would suggest a controversial pick: Some Like It Hot. It is a comedy, yes, but it is intelligent and work on many levels. It is also groundbreaking for what you can do in movies and to me it is a piece of art.

  2. I also love Some Like It Hot and am a big Billy Wilder fan in general. This was a difficult year to pick one (or two).