2017 3rd Annual 30/007Hz First Watch Hertzie Awards

My stat sheet indicates that I watched 304 movies in the year of 2017 and 70.7% of those were brand new to me. From Manchester By the Sea on January 1 to Baywatch on December 31 that’s a solid collection of movies. Only 17 of those films were released in 2017.

What? You’re dying to know more details from my stat sheet?

letterboxd stats

I watched more movies on Friday than any other day of the week and of the non-English countries of origin I watched more Italian films than Japanese films despite watching 10 movies from the Zatoichi series. I’m fascinated and I know you are too.

While everyone else is out there during this time of year discussing their favorite movies from the year that was, I’m not so sure I’m qualified anymore. The Oscar nominations arrived this morning. And unlike my more youthful days when I was a barely-compensated entertainment journalist for a tabloid-style publication, I haven’t seen them all — nowhere close, actually. You know what I have seen? The 304 movies I watched last year. I am 100% qualified to discuss and give out awards to all of those movies.

So what you won’t see is any furor over accolades for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. I declare this a Three Billboards fury-free zone. Because, yes, you guessed it. I haven’t seen it. (Yet.)

My Oscar-season counter-programming might not entertain more than a couple people out there on the Interwebs, but I enjoy allowing myself the time to reflect upon my year in movies — so much so that this is the third year I’ll have given out the prestigious Hertzies. To recap: Slither (1973) took home the first Hertzie grand prize in 2015 and The Wanderers (1979) walked off (without controversy) with the 2016 Hertzie. Some love the Oscars, others fancy the Golden Globes, and four people out there know about the Hertzies.

Now it’s time to turn the microphone over to the once and forever Hertzie girl, our master of ceremonies, Myrna Loy, to present the nominees for the 3rd Annual Hertzie Awards.

myrna loy

Presenting the 3rd Annual First Watch Hertzie Award Nominations (and Winners!)

Celeste Holm, The Tender Trap
Jennifer Jones, Beat the Devil
Angela Lansbury, The Private Affairs of Bel-Ami
Joan McCracken, Good News
Una Merkel, Murder in the Private Car
Agnes Moorehead, The Magnificent Ambersons

*Surprise nomination for Una Merkel in the silly Murder in the Private Car might cause some controversy. It’s almost like the Rumble just wanted her to come to the party. 

Agnes Moorehead The Magnificent Ambersons

Winner: Agnes Moorehead, The Magnificent Ambersons

It’s impossible to overlook poor beleaguered Agnes Moorehead in Orson Welles’ other other masterpiece. Torture and inward retreat. She makes you feel and breathes life and breath into Joseph Kotten’s performance as well.

Jack Lemmon, The China Syndrome
Adam Driver, What If…
Thomas Gomez, Ride the Pink Horse
Victor Mature, My Darling Clementine
Victor Moore, It Happened on Fifth Avenue
James Stewart, Rope

*Adam Driver’s here solely due to his sex nacho speech.

victor mature my darling clementine

Winner: Victor Mature, My Darling Clementine

Victor Mature is a rock in John Ford’s My Darling Clementine. No longer just a chiseled jawbone with sunken, brooding eyes. Doc Holliday continues to prove that it’s the juiciest of juicy roles.

Humphrey Bogart, In a Lonely Place
Ronald Colman, A Double Life
Douglas Fairbanks, The Mark of Zorro
W.C. Fields, The Bank Dick
Shintaro Katsu, Tale of Zatoichi
Joseph Cotten, The Magnificent Ambersons

*Colman receives his second nomination in as many years. Is he destined to become the Hertzie’s version of Susan Lucci?

Humphrey Bogart In a Lonely Place

Winner: Humphrey Bogart, In a Lonely Place

Bogart steps out of his “Bogart” comfort zone. He and Gloria Grahame display a master class in restraint and disillusionment. One doesn’t work without the other, and its a shame the Hertzies couldn’t see fit to reward Grahame equally. *SPOILER ALERT*

Amy Adams, The Arrival
Irene Dunne, Theodora Gone Wild
Gloria Grahame, In a Lonely Place
Judy Holliday, Bells Are Ringing
Lisa Margolin, David & Lisa
Barbara Streisand, What’s Up Doc?

*Amy Adams received the only nomination for a modern film in the lead acting categories. And this automatically gives me more credibility than the 2017 Academy Awards. 

judy holliday bells are ringing

Winner: Judy Holliday, Bells Are Ringing

Powerhouse song and dance performance by Judy Holliday narrowly bests Gloria Grahame.

John Paxton – Murder, My Sweet (1944)
Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger – Black Narcissus (1947)
Eleanor Perry – David & Lisa (1962)
Andrew Solt, Edmund H. North – In a Lonely Place (1950)
Orson Welles – The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Samuel G. Engel, Winston Miller – My Darling Clementine (1946)

*That little indie film, David & Lisa, picks up it’s surprise second nomination.

david & lisa 1962

Winner: Eleanor Perry – David & Lisa 

David (& Lisa) slays Goliath. Takes home a screenwriting award for Eleanor Perry and her touching love story about two students in a school for the mentally-impaired searching for a connection.

Trey Parker – Cannibal! The Musical (1993)
Mike Gray, T.S. Cook, James Bridges – The China Syndrome (1979)
Richard Linklater – Everybody Wants Some! (2016)
Mario Puzo, Francis Ford Coppola – The Godfather Part III (1990)
Kim Ki-Young – The Housemaid (1960)
Buck Henry, David Newman, Robert Benton – What’s Up Doc? (1972)

*The Original Screenplay category wins at life. Just look at those options. Nowhere — and I mean nowhere — could you ever see a Korean film from 1960 in the same category as Cannibal! The Musical and The Godfather Part III. Plus, the category contains two, count ’em, two exclamation points! 

what's up doc

Winner: Buck Henry, David Newman, Robert Benton – What’s Up Doc? (1972)

The favorite takes this category in a landslide as Hertzie voters were overhead saying on Twitter that it was the most fun they had at a movie all year.

Alfred Hitchcock, Rope
Kim Ki-Young, The Housemaid

Jose Ramon Larraz, Symptoms
Ida Lupino, The Hitch-hiker
Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Black Narcissus
Orson Welles, The Magnificent Ambersons

*I can’t wait to seat this crew at the same table, just to see what happens. The potential conversation between Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock and Jose Ramon Larraz is the reason the Hertzies are the best awards show on the planet. 

black narcissus

Winner: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, Black Narcissus

Orson and Hitchcock received some votes, but the visual splendor and ensemble performances throughout Black Narcissus made it the Hertzies’ favorite.

The Bank Dick (1940)
Bells Are Ringing (1960)
Black Narcissus (1947)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
Rope (1948)
What’s Up Doc? (1972)

*Two comedies, a thriller, a film noir, a musical, and a technicolor melodrama contend for the top prize. 

Winner: The Bank Dick (1940)

The tightest, most brutal Hertzie Best Picture race in the history of ever finds W.C. Fields and The Bank Dick squeaking out a victory over the heavily favored Black Narcissus and In A Lonely Place. It is my guess that neither had ever boondoggled and the voters went with their gut — the movie that would get the most replay.

Cannibal! The Musical (1993)
The Housemaid (1960)
Mill of the Stone Women (1960)
Symptoms (1974)
Tower of Screaming Virgins (1968)
Vanishing Point (1971)

*Some don’t even care about the Best Picture award, contending that the real action happens here — in what amounts to the Hertzie after party. Even this category stirs some controversy as Kim Ki-Young’s The Housemaid slips into the B-Picture category, but word has it the studio felt it had a much better shot at carrying away the first foreign-language Hertzie in the coveted B-Picture category than fighting it out with the big boys. 

the housemaid 1960

Winner: Symptoms

The Tower of Screaming Virgins cries fowl over The Housemaid’s inclusion in the B-Picture category, but we’ll let the courts decide the legal battle. Nobody speaks Korean to know what director Kim Ki-Young has to say about the nature of his production. It snuck in thanks to a lax quality control by the Rumble’s accountants who didn’t much care because there’s no money at stake here. So it goes.

The winners were announced the night of the 2018 Academy Awards on March 4th.