*Lawrence of Arabia, Peter O'Toole, nominated. Omar Sharif, nominated. An inordinately complex man who has been labeled everything from hero, to charlatan, to sadist, Thomas Edward Lawrence blazed his way to glory in the Arabian desert, then sought anonymity as a common soldier under an assumed name. The story opens with the death of Lawrence in a motorcycle accident in London at the age of 47, then flashbacks to recount his adventures
The Longest Day, Tells the story of the D-Day invasion of Normandy in WWII. There are dozens of characters, some seen only briefly, who together weave the story of five separate invasion points that made up the operation. Numerous cameo roles by popular actors.
The Music Man, Confidence man Harold Hill arrives at staid River City intending to cheat the community with his standard scam of offering to equip and train a boy's marching band, then skip town with the money since he has no music skill anyway. Things go awry when he falls for a librarian he tries to divert from exposing him while he inadvertently enriches the town with a love of music. Stars Robert Preston and Shirley Jones. The part of Harold Hill was first offered to Frank Sinatra.
Mutiny on the Bounty, Stars Marlon Brando, this movie is a remake from the 1935 film. The Bounty leaves Portsmouth in 1787. Its destination: to sail to Tahiti and load bread-fruit. Captain Bligh will do anything to get there as fast as possible, using any means to keep up a strict discipline. When they arrive at Tahiti, it is like a paradise for the crew, something completely different than the living hell on the ship. On the way back to England, officer Fletcher Christian becomes the leader of a mutiny.
To Kill a Mockingbird, Gregory Peck wins, Mary Badham, nominated in supporting role. Based on Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize winning book of 1960. Atticus Finch is a lawyer in a racially divided Alabama town in the 1930s. He agrees to defend a young black man who is accused of raping a white woman. Many of the townspeople try to get Atticus to pull out of the trial, but he decides to go ahead. How will the trial turn out - and will it change any of the racial tension in the town ?
Birdman of Alcatraz, Burt Lancaster, nominated, Telly Savalas, nominated. Thelma Ritter, nominated. As an inmate at Leavenworth prison, Robert Stroud has a series of confrontations with the guards and with the other convicts. When Stroud kills a guard, he is sentenced to be executed, and only his mother's impassioned intervention gets his sentence commuted to life imprisonment, which he must serve in solitary confinement. As he serves out his sentence in boredom and despair, one day he finds a helpless baby sparrow in the exercise yard. Stroud soon takes a deep interest in caring for birds, which gives him a new purpose in life, but which also brings new conflicts with prison authorities
Days of Wine and Roses, Jack Lemmon, nominated. Lee Remick, nominated Joe Clay is a top-notch public relations man. Anything a client wants Joe can arrange for them, whether it be dancing girls or an article in a prominent magazine. Part of the job however is drinking and Joe's ability to consume alcohol seems boundless. When he meets the very pretty Kirsten Arnasen, she prefers chocolate to alcohol but Joe has a solution to that in the form of a Brandy Alexander (made up of brandy and creme de cocoa). They eventually marry but their love is insufficient to prevent them from the downward spiral that alcohol brings to them. They try desperately to break the habit but continually relapse until only one of them manages to break free.
The Miracle Worker, Anne Bancroft, wins, Patty Duke, wins. Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is in danger of being sent to an institution. Her inability to communicate has left her frustrated and violent. In desperation, her parents seek help from the Perkins Institute, which sends them a "half-blind Yankee schoolgirl" named Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Through persistence and love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through Helen's walls of silence and darkness and teaches her to communicate. Remade for TV starring Patty Duke.
Long Day's Journey Into Night, Katherine Hepburn, nominated Author Eugene O'Neill gives an autobiographical account of his explosive homelife, fused by a drug-addicted mother, a father who wallows in drink after realizing he is no longer a famous actor and an older brother who is emotionally unstable and a misfit. The family is reflected by the youngest son, who is a sensitive and aspiring writer. Remade in the 80's.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Bette Davis, nominated. Victor Buono, nominated. Also stars Joan Crawford. Two aging film actresses live as virtual recluses in an old Hollywood mansion. Jane Hudson, a successful child star, cares for her crippled sister Blanche, who's career in later years eclipsed that of Jane. Now the two live together, their relationship affected by simmering subconscious thoughts of mutual envy, hate and revenge.
Sweet Bird of Youth, Geraldine Page, nominated, Ed Begley wins for supporting role. Shirley Knight, nominated. Drifter Chance Wayne returns to his hometown after many years of trying to make it in the movies. With him is a faded film star he picked up along the way, Alexandra Del Lago. While trying to get her help to make a screen test, he also finds the time to meet his former girlfriend Heavenly, the daughter of the local politician Tom 'Boss' Finley, who more or less forced him to leave the town many years ago. Written by Tennessee Williams.
The year concludes with 356 movies including Elvis and Biblical. Cape Fear, a movie starring Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck is a personal favorite.