I love the British New Wave. I really, really do. One of the first films from the era/style that I saw was Tony Richardson’s film The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner from 1962. I saw it on TCM as part of group of films hand-picked by guest programmer Benjamin McKenzie (some day, I’m gonna track him down and talk kitchen sink dramas with him!) and I was blown away by how great it was. Like many of the films in the wave, it’s based on a short story by Alan Sillitoe. Clearly, I need to get to reading his stuff.
Movie Quote of the Day – How The West Was Won, 1962 (dir. John Ford, Henry Hathaway & George Marshall)
Parson Alec Harvey: The laddie’s health the reason you’re heading west?
Zebulon Prescott: Partly, only partly. Mostly our trouble east was rocks. I had me a farm where some years I’d raise a hundred bushels of rocks to the acre.
Rebecca Prescott: Now, Zebulon, you hadn’t oughta lie to the man like that.
Zebulon Prescott: Wife, I’m a god fearin soul and I tell the truth as I see it. Now I never used a plow, I’d blast out the furrows with gunpowder. And then one morning, I hauled the bucket up from out of the well and so help me the bucket was full of rocks. Rocks! I just stood there, right still, tryin’ not to blaspheme, and I said to myself, “You’ve got a son that’s ailin, you’ve got a twenty year old daughter what won’t take to herself a husband, there she sits over there, moonin as usual, and you’ve got another daughter who just don’t seem quite right in the head”. Lilith! Now, I remind you sir, I’m still standin’ there, holding a bucket full of rocks, and starin into a bleak old age. So I made me a vow right then and there, I said, “If I can find a man with five hundred dollars, who likes rocks, then there’s going to be another fool ownin this farm. Well sir, the Lord provided such a man, and here I am.
Rebecca Prescott: He ain’t told you one word of truth, Mr.Harvey. We had the best farm in the township.
Zebulon Prescott: Yeah, Rockville Township it was. Stone County.
Inspector A: None of this is going to show up very well in the record, Mr. K. My men say you even tried to stop them from putting this down [points to notebook].
Josef K.: Well, I tried to stop one of them from making a fool of himself. [pointing] Yes, yes: ovular.
Inspector A: What’s that?
Josef K.: Ov-u-lar.
Inspector A: There’s no such word.
1962 is a tough year to talk about because two of the greatest and most beloved films of all-time came out that year: Lawrence of Arabia and To Kill A Mockingbird; both were nominated for Best Picture. I feel the need to mention a few other amazing films from that year that weren’t up for the top prize: Birdman Alcatraz, Days of Wine and Roses, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Sweet Bird of Youth, The Manchurian Candidate and Lolita. Also four films that I haven’t yet seen, but have been meaning to: Divorce Italian Style, Last Year At Marienbad, Through a Glass Darkly and The Miracle Worker. The other three films nominated for Best Picture that year were: The Longest Day, The Music Man and Mutiny on the Bounty. I love The Longest Day and have yet to see The Music Man, but I must say the 62 remake of Mutiny on the Bounty has not aged well at all and is waaaay longer than it has any right to be. I guess my point is that 1962 was one heck of year for film and you owe it to yourself to get to know some (if not all) of these great films. This is not a “the Academy got it wrong” post; this is a “how were they even able to choose?!” post. To Kill A Mockingbird was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won three: Best Score, Best B&W Cinematography, Best B&W Art Direction (won), Best Adapted Screenplay (won), Best Supporting Actress Mary Badham, Best Director, Best Actor Gregory Peck (won), Best Director and Best Picture.
Atticus Finch: You never really understand a person. . .until you consider things from his point of view.
Atticus Finch: Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.
Scout: But if I keep going to school, we can’t ever read anymore.
Atticus Finch: Scout. . .do you know what a compromise is?
Scout: Bending the law?
Atticus Finch: Uh. . .no. It’s an agreement reached by mutual consent. Now. . .here’s the way it works. You concede the necessity of going to school, we’ll keep right on reading the same every night. . .just as we always have. That a bargain?