23 Feb 2011 @ 6:00 AM 

Wednesday Minute
No. 218 | February 23, 2011

Oscar Perspective


Our theme this week

Films and filmmakers overlooked by Oscar

Featured this week
(See Monday post for theme introduction)
Monday         —   Actors Who Never Won an Oscar
Tuesday         —   Actresses Who Never Won an Oscar

Directors Who Never Won an Oscar

howard hawks_2stanley kubrick_2sidney lumet_2

Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick, Sidney Lumet:  great directors with something in common.  Who needs an expensive doorstop anyway?

Each year the Academy hands out four Oscars to actors but just one to directors.   It’s so much easier to ignore the great ones that way.  Today’s list includes many of Hollywood’s big-name filmmakers, ones who somehow never won an Academy Award for directing.  (Foreign directors have been snubbed too.  In fact, no director has earned an Oscar for a foreign-language film.  The foreign-born directors who have won Oscars include Billy Wilder, Fred Zinnemann, Miloš Forman, Bernardo Bertolucci, Roman Polanski, and Ang Lee, all who won for movies predominantly in English.)

Robert Altman
Directing nominations:  5
Award-caliber film:  Nashville (1975)
Honorary Oscar:  2005

Tim Burton
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  Ed Wood (1994)

Jane Campion
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  The Piano (1993)
Screenplay Oscar (The Piano, 1993)

John Cassavetes
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  A Woman Under the Influence (1974)

Charlie Chaplin
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  City Lights (1931)
Best Score (Limelight, 1952, awarded in 1973); Honorary Award:  1929, 1971

Brian DePalma
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  Blow Out (1981)

Edward Dmytryk
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  The Caine Mutiny (1954)

Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
Honorary Oscar for Donen:  1997;  Honorary Oscar for Kelly:  1951

Blake Edwards
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

Honorary Oscar:  2003

John Frankenheimer
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Howard Hawks
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  His Girl Friday (1940)
Honorary Oscar:  1974

Alfred Hitchcock
Directing nominations:  5
Award-caliber film:  Vertigo (1958)
Honorary Oscar:  1967

James Ivory
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  Howards End (1992)

Norman Jewison
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
Irving G. Thalberg Award:  1998

Stanley Kramer
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Irving G. Thalberg Award:  1961

Stanley Kubrick
Directing nominations:  4
Award-caliber film:  2001:  A Space Odyssey (1968)
Visual Effects Oscar (2001:  A Space Odyssey, 1968)

Fritz Lang
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  The Big Heat (1953)

Spike Lee
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  Do the Right Thing (1989)

Mervyn LeRoy
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  Mister Roberts (1955)
Honorary Oscar:  1946; Irving G. Thalberg Award:  1976

Ernst Lubitsch
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  Ninotchka (1939)
Honorary Oscar:  1946

Sidney Lumet
Directing nominations:  4
Award-caliber film:  Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Honorary Oscar:  2004

David Lynch
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  Mulholland Drive (2001)

Alexander Mackendrick
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Terrence Malick
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  The Thin Red Line (1998)

Michael Mann
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  The Insider (1999)

Alan J. Pakula
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  All the President’s Men (1976)

Arthur Penn
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  The Red Shoes (1948)
Writing Oscar, for Pressburger (49th Parallel, 1941)

Otto Preminger
Directing nominations:  2
Award-caliber film:  Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Nicholas Ray
Directing nominations: 0
Award-caliber film:  Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Douglas Sirk
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  All That Heaven Allows (1955)

Ridley Scott
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  Thelma & Louise (1991)

Preston Sturges
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  The Lady Eve (1941)
Screenplay Oscar (The Great McGinty, 1940)

Quentin Tarantino
Directing nominations:  2
Award-caliber film:  Pulp Fiction (1994)
Screenplay Oscar (Pulp Fiction, 1994)

Gus Van Sant
Directing nominations:  2
Award-caliber film:  Milk (2009)

King Vidor
Directing nominations:  5
Award-caliber film:  The Crowd (1928)
Honorary Oscar:  1978

Raoul Walsh
Directing nominations:  0
Award-caliber film:  White Heat (1949)

Peter Weir
Directing nominations:  4
Award-caliber film:  The Truman Show (1998)

Orson Welles
Directing nominations:  1
Award-caliber film:  Citizen Kane (1941)
Screenplay Oscar (Citizen Kane, 1941); Honorary Oscar:  1970

William Wellman
Directing nominations:  3
Award-caliber film:  A Star Is Born (1937)


Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
Sidney Lumet, director
P.F. Kluge, Thomas Moore (article), Frank Pierson (screenplay); writers
Al Pacino, Charles Durning

Lumet was nominated for Best Director.  Miloš Forman, for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, won the Oscar.


Quote of note
Sonny:  So what country do you want to go to?
Sal:  Wyoming.
Sonny:  Sal, Wyoming’s not a country.
—Sonny (Al Pacino), Sal (John Cazale), Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

…58…59…60.

Posted By: John Farmer
Last Edit: 23 Feb 2011 @ 09:40 PM

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