Best Screenplay 1975

1927/28 through 1997

What were the best screenplays of 1975?

Amarcord(Federico Fellini and Tonino Guerra)
12
38%
And Now My Love(Claude Lelouch and Pierre Uytterhoeven)
0
No votes
Dog Day Afternoon(Frank Pierson)
3
9%
Lies My Father Told Me(Ted Allan)
1
3%
Shampoo(Warren Beatty and Robert Towne)
1
3%
Barry Lyndon(Stanley Kubrick)
5
16%
The Man Who Would Be King(John Huston and Gladys Hill)
0
No votes
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest(Bo Goldman and Laurence Hauben)
7
22%
Scent of a Woman(Ruggero Maccari and Dino Risi)
3
9%
The Sunshine Boys(Neil Simon)
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 32

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:12 pm

I finally caught up with the original Scent of a Woman. I liked it a lot, though not enough to change my vote from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

The film is excellent, far better than the Hollywood version which is quite a different movie altogether, but I agree with Italiano that it loses steam about two thirds of the way in when they get to Naples. However, I liked the ending which was a lot more realistic than the baloney in the Pacino version. Both Vittorio Gassman and Alessandro Momo are excellent as the blind ex-soldier and his travel companion. I looked Momo up on IMDb. and was shocked to learn that he died in a motorcycle accident in Rome shortly after completing the film. He was only 17.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Jul 10, 2015 6:13 am

It's on DVD.

It's available on YouTube, albeit in the German dubbed version.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby ITALIANO » Fri Jul 10, 2015 5:24 am

Precious Doll wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:(Now: can someone point me to Casanova 70, the lack of which will impede me in next week's vote?)

Can't remember a thing about it though I rated it rather low.


Yes, it's not tbe best Italian comedy ever, but I will talk about it when we get to 1965.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:47 am

ITALIANO wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:(Now: can someone point me to Casanova 70, the lack of which will impede me in next week's vote?)


I feel that I will be the only one voting there... The movie must be one of the most obscure nominees ever - especially for non-Italians.


I saw it about 5 years ago or so thanks to a DVD release in the UK. Can't remember a thing about it though I rated it rather low.

It can be purchased from other dealers via Amazon UK quite reasonably well priced, however, the postage tends to be very expensive.
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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby ITALIANO » Fri Jul 10, 2015 4:28 am

Mister Tee wrote:(Now: can someone point me to Casanova 70, the lack of which will impede me in next week's vote?)


I feel that I will be the only one voting there... The movie must be one of the most obscure nominees ever - especially for non-Italians.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:34 am

The Original BJ wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:(Now: can someone point me to Casanova 70, the lack of which will impede me in next week's vote?)


It's available on Netflix streaming.

Unhappily, I'm in the Netflix-by-mail category, and they list it as Release Date Unknown.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:22 pm

Mister Tee wrote:(Now: can someone point me to Casanova 70, the lack of which will impede me in next week's vote?)


It's available on Netflix streaming.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Mister Tee » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:55 pm

Quite belatedly, I'm an honest voter, having watched And Now My Love this afternoon. (Now: can someone point me to Casanova 70, the lack of which will impede me in next week's vote?)

I can understand why the writers went for it. Many writers (me included) value ambition, and this movie has that in spades. (Sometimes too much: the sudden cut, half an hour in, from the characters I'd been following to the execution of the Romanovs, followed by decades of Russia history, made me wonder if YouTube had switched me to a different film) It also has lots of interesting dialogue exchanges on various topics, and multiple story-lines that intrigue. I found the whole thing quite absorbing -- I'd planned on stopping for dinner halfway, but found I didn't want to leave it and watched all the way through.

But in the end, there was nothing to connect it all, except a vague "love is everything" feeling, which fell short of justifying the film by a country mile (it also reminded me of Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, which seemed to view the same simplistic message as profound). The at-last meeting of the film's the two central characters -- to which we had obvious been building -- also felt pretty anti-climactic, especially since we didn't get to see much of it (spending time instead with that lengthy and numbingly stupid futuristic sequence). So, while I enjoyed the journey, in the end I found myself wondering why I'd made it.

As it happens, I just posted today my comments on the 1966 race, and I can say with certainty that this nomination is by far the more deserved of Lelouch's two. But it doesn't change my vote, which still goes to Amarcord.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:19 am

Had it been an option, Nashville would get my vote for Best Original Screenplay. I enjoyed reading Mister Tee’s analysis of the factors that led to its exclusion, but it’s still a bit baffling it missed, given the more obscure candidates cited. (It would have been like Boyhood missing in this category for, say, Leviathan.) And, as with Boyhood, any argument that amounts to “great movie, but not a writing achievement” really irks the writer in me -- I don’t think any movie has ever juggled so many fascinating characters and storylines so exceptionally, and the film is Joan Tewkesbury’s achievement as much as Altman’s.

Love and Death would also be worth citing; like a lot of Oscar favorites, it took Woody Allen a while to get any attention, but looking back, so many of his early efforts feel like logical candidates for writing nods.

The actual nominees don’t represent a banner crop, but all of these scripts are at least interesting in some way. And thanks to the miracle of YouTube, I was able to catch up with the two nominees that had been previously unavailable to me.

And Now My Love is definitely structurally ambitious, in the way it spans multiple generations, and leaves out major story details only to have them filled in later on in flashback. And I found obvious invention along the way, from the opening silent movie-style portion, which signaled this wasn't just the same old thing, to the wry observation of some dialogue scenes. But I thought it had issues too, namely a lack of narrative clarity -- honestly, if I didn't have the Wikipedia page readily available, with a fully detailed plot summary, I'm not sure I would have even understood what was happening sometimes. And by the time the movie reached its conclusion, with a detour into a very bizarre futuristic sequence that bordered on parody for me, I wasn't sure what the story was supposed to have added up to, or why so many generations worth of characters were needed to reach such a minor finale. On the whole, I found it a curious effort, but not nearly successful enough to consider.

Lies My Father Told Me is indeed a very genuine nominee -- I actually thought it had some of the same sensitivity as Amarcord in terms of its portrait of growing up, and learning about things exciting (the birds and the bees) and tragic (coping with death). And its portrait of Jewish life in early twentieth century Canada feels rich and authentic (at least to someone very removed from that world.) But from a craft standpoint, I found the screenplay a little raw -- it doesn’t feel as shaped by a writer’s sensibility as, say, Amarcord does -- and ultimately it’s too minor an effort to get my vote.

In many spots, Shampoo does feel guided by the gifts of its writers (both of whom would get my votes in other years), who start with an ambitious concept and fill it with compelling characters and fizzy dialogue. But I don’t feel the movie ties together its threads very well -- the political satire just isn’t very biting, and the romantic comedy portions just aren’t that funny. For me, the film feels like the rough outline of something with a lot more promise, but which too often sits there on-screen given the execution. It’s pleasantly watchable, but nothing very special for me.

There are two excellent entries on the ballot, and I’m a little surprised a script as bracing as Dog Day Afternoon hasn’t managed to drum up more votes here. I think it’s a genuinely exciting winner -- the plot barrels along with crackling energy, the dialogue provides a lot of really snappy jolts, and the subject matter (which, especially in 1975, must have seemed a borderline insane concept for a Hollywood movie) gives the story a really poignant resonance beneath its thriller trappings. This is a screenplay with both great ambition and sterling execution, and I honor its achievement.

But I didn’t vote for it, because, like almost everyone else, I sided with Amarcord. I agree with those who have opined that the film’s visuals stick out more than its script, or maybe I would say, its plot, which is a bit free-wheeling. But what vignettes fill this wonderful story! They’re full of humor and heart, honesty and fantasy, specific insight into individual lives and broad celebration of community. And the movie’s narrative structure, which drifts between seasons, characters, and tones with the fluidity of memory, is a chief way the film conveys its meanings. Amarcord is a big movie with a lot of detail, and I salute the writers for tying it all together into such a glorious piece with my vote here.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby CalWilliam » Mon May 11, 2015 4:53 am

You are welcome.
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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Mister Tee » Sun May 10, 2015 9:35 pm

Belated thanks for the link to And Now My Love. I'd actually searched YouTube, under both the English and French titles, but nothing came up except a 5-minute excerpt.

I'll try to get to it over the next week or so. I'd have done it this weekend, but it's 2 1/2 hours, and I'd already Netflix-committed to Winter Sleep, which was more than enough.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Big Magilla » Sun May 10, 2015 7:50 pm

Looks like I have some YouTube watching to do.

In the meantime I've changed my Original Screenplay vote to Amarcord having re-watched it today. Not having seen it in many years I remembered well the look of it but I had forgotten the scope of the screenplay, remembering only that it was a series of vignettes. On re-viewing I found the narrative quite compelling, not just the funny moments of which there are many but the over-riding sadness of it as well - from the melancholy burning of the winter witch to the fog shrouded old man's fear of death to the middle-aged mother's actual death to the bleak wedding that ends it in Mussolini's Italy, it's the memory of a childhood that wasn't all fun and games as I had erroneously remembered it.

I'm now re-watching Barry Lyndon which is another film I haven't seen in many years. I doubt I'll want to change my vote from Cuckoo's Nest to Barry, but we shall see.

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby ITALIANO » Sun May 10, 2015 6:18 am

Lies My Father Told Me is also on Youtube, and as it was never shown in Italy, that's where I've just seen it in order to vote in this category. It's a very affectionate, and I guess partly autobiographical, portrayal of a Jewish childhood in Canada in the 20s. At times the young boy is a bit too "cute", but in general it's a pleasant and quite realistic movie, obviously deeply-felt, traditionally made, and rather well-acted (Uri will probably know the Israeli actor playing the central character of the religious grandfather - the contrast between him and his more modern son-in-law is one of the best aspects of the movie). Not a bad script, I have to say. As for Toute Une Vie, it was actually a huge hit in France back then, and rather successful in Italy too, so it was shown several times on Italian tv when I was a teenager. It has admittedly vanished from sight here, too, since then. I guess that what the writers liked most about it it's that it's a multi-generational saga, full of characters, spanning several decades - I mean, it's undoubtedly an ambitious work, with a scope which must have seemed impressive at the time. It's also, of course, a typical Lelouch movie - I'm sure that if I saw it today I'd find it alternatively touching and kitsch (the ending, I found kitsch even back then). It made, of course, an international star of Swiss actress Marthe Keller, who would soon make Marathon Man and other important movies in both Europe and the US. But, obviously, its script can't be compared to Nashville's - not at all. I don't think I must say which one I voted for here, nor why - except that I didn't JUST because it's an Italian movie. But really - how can one not vote for what is truly one of the best movies ever made by one of the best directors ever? And it's not just great "visually" - it's really a woderful, and poetic (Tonino Guerra isn't there for nothing) work of writing too. Dog Day Afternoon can only be a (solid) runner-up here.

In Adapted, after some thinking I went with Barry Lyndon - one of the best, and most intelligent, adaptations of a classic (or semi-classic?) of literature ever, and a portrayal of a whole era and society - not a small feat to accomplish. With the exception of the badly dated Sunshine Boys, all the nominees are at least good, and I'm personally glad that Scent of a Woman found a spot in such a race. The movie - a big, big hit not only in Italy at the time - is much more cynical, much tougher than its American remake - Vittorio Gassman's blind officer being much more uncompromisingly repulsive than Al Pacino's equivalent. It's also true that once he and the boy get to the final destination (in this case Naples) the movie doesn't quite know how it should end, and the solution - a not-too-convincing love story - isn't the best one. But for two thirds, it's an insightful, unsentimental character study (and one which should have brought Gassman the Oscar nomination he admitted he would have so loved to get).

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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby Precious Doll » Sat May 09, 2015 7:10 am

I found Toute une vie middle of the road Lelouch but something of a curiosity due to the pairing of Marthe Keller & Andre Dussollier before they achieved more widespread fame. Amazon unfortunately doesn't state if the Blu Ray has English subtitles. However, anyone that is curious to see it should certainly check the film out via the YouTube link CalWilliam supplied.

I am fairly certain I sold off my copy years ago.
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Re: Best Screenplay 1975

Postby CalWilliam » Sat May 09, 2015 5:30 am

For those interested, Toute une vie is actually available on YouTube with english subtitles, divided in five parts. Here's the link. I'll watch it some day, since I don't quite disdain Lelouch peculiar and old-fashioned style, like in the much rewarded Un homme et une femme. It provides, at least, some tacky charm, if that's possible. This one appears to be an interesting film.

http://youtu.be/_MLcaamstAA
Last edited by CalWilliam on Sat May 09, 2015 9:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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