Friday, April 11, 2014

Alternate Oscars VI

Olivia Hussey in Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet
Each of the ten nominees listed below (both the actual and the alternate) are legendary cinematographers. Pasqualino De Santis may have very well photographed the most ravishing picture of 1968: Romeo and Juliet; even if I personally feel that his fellow Italian countryman Tonino Delli Colli (Once Upon a Time in the West) was more deserving of the gold statue; his work for iconic Western director Sergio Leone practically reinvented the closeup.

Conrad L. Hall (possibly my all-time favorite practitioner of this field) had made a little over half a dozen films by the time he shot John Boorman's perennially underrated Hell in the Pacific (a tour de force for actors Lee Marvin and the great Toshiro Mifune). He would eventually go on to win three Academy Awards for Cinematography (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; American Beauty; Road to Perdition) setting a thirty year record gap in the category between his first and second wins.

Douglas Slocombe's subtle, set-bound work in The Lion in Winter is painterly, without drawing attention to itself; the fireworks in the film came courtesy of Hepburn and O'Toole (she won the Oscar that year, he didn't). William A. Fraker (Bullitt; 1941), Geoffrey Unsworth (Cabaret; Tess), Oswald Morris (Moby Dick; Fiddler on the Roof), Ernest Laszlo (Kiss Me Deadly; It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World), Harry Stradling (A Streetcar Named Desire; My Fair Lady) and Daniel L. Fapp (West Side Story; The Great Escape)...they just don't make 'em like that anymore.

1968 Academy Award for Best Cinematography

the actual nominees:

Pasqualino De Santis for Romeo and Juliet (winner)
Daniel L. Fapp for Ice Station Zebra
Ernest Laszlo for Star!
Oswald Morris for Oliver!
Harry Stradling for Funny Girl

the alternate universe nominees:

William A. Fraker for Rosemary's Baby
Tonino Delli Colli for Once Upon a Time in the West
Conrad L. Hall for Hell in the Pacific
Douglas Slocombe for The Lion in Winter
Geoffrey Unsworth for 2001: A Space Odyssey

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