There is an awful lot that has been and can be written about this film. I touched briefly on 1967’s impact on American cinema a few years back, so I’m not really going to delve into that aspect of the film, though I will point out a few things that made it a game-changer. I remember when I first saw this film, I wasn’t all that impressed to be honest. But the more I watch it the more its genius reveals itself to me. I saw it on the big screen at the Castro last spring and I am so glad that I did. A few weeks ago some kind stranger anonymously bought it for me from my Amazon wishlist, so I decided it was time for another revisit. The result is going to be this rather epic look at what I now realize is one of the most exquisitely directed films of all time. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, though it only won one: Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress Katharine Ross, Best Actress Anne Bancroft, Best Actor Dustin Hoffman, Best Director Mike Nichols (won) and Best Picture. The other films up for Best Picture that year were Bonnie and Clyde, Doctor Doolittle, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and winner In The Heat of the Night.
I am a big fan of Joshua Logan’s Picnic, Bus Stop, Sayonara and Paint Your Wagon (and Mister Roberts, which he took over when John Ford became ill; though I must say I did not really like Fanny), so when I heard the Warner Archive was releasing a remastered copy of 1960’s Tall Story (a film I’d been trying to see or ages) I was overjoyed. While the title sequence is still a little grainy, the rest of the remaster is wonderful and crisp. Nothing makes me happier than crisp black and white cinematography and this remaster does justice to Ellsworth Fredericks‘ excellent work.