"Julia" and "The Turning Point," prestige examples of Hollywood's rediscovery of movies about women led all contenders for 1977 Academy Awards with 11 nominations each as finalists were announced yesterday in Los Angeles.
"Star Wars," the year's overwhelming popular success, narrowly trailed with 10 nominations.
All three pictures were produced by 20th Century Fox, which enjoys a commanding position in the 50th annual Oscar race. They will contend for the top award, best film of 1977, along with the Woody Allen romantic comedy "Annie Hall" and the Neil Simon romantic comedy "The Goodbye Girl."
The year's second science-fiction blockbuster. "Close Encounters of the Third kind," was a somewhat surprising omission from the best film category, but it did win eight other nominations.
Allen, with separate nominations as actor, director and screenwriter for "Annie Hall," became the first triple nominee since Orson Welles for "Citizen Kane" 36 years ago.
The nominations are determined by balloting within the various branches of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a professional organization administered the film. guilds and unions. For example, only members of the music division make nominations for best song and original score, only cinematographers nominate cinematographers, etc.
The entire academy membership of about 3,000 is eligible to vote for the final awards, which will be presented on Monday. April 3, in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion of the Los Angeles Music Center. The Oscar program will be telecast live by ABC.
"Julia" and "The Turning Point" qualified four performers each for acting awards. Jane Fonda, who starred as playwright Lillian Hellman in "Julia," will contend for the best actress Oscar against "Turning Point" co-stars Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine as well as Diane Keaton in "Annie Hall" and Marsha Mason in "The Goodbye Girl."
Vanessa Redgrave, who played the title role in "Julia," is on a list of finalists for best supporting actress that includes young ballerina Leslie Browne for "The Turning Point," juvenile actress Quinn Cummings for "The Goodbye Girl," Melinda Dillon for "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and Tuesday Weld for "Looking for Mr. Goodbar."
Richard Burton, six times an Oscar bridesmaid, received his eventh nomination for "Equus." His toughest competitor for best actor should come from Richard Dreyfuss in "The Goodbye Girl." The other nominees are Allen, Italian star Marcello Mastroianni in "A Special Day" and 24-year-old TV star John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever."
Jason Robards, last year's winner as best supporting actor in "All the President's Men," will have the chance to make it two in a row, following his nomination in "Julia," where he played writer Dashiell Hammett. Maximilian Schell was also nominated for best supporting actor for his work in "Julia." The other three nominees are dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov for "The Turning Point." Peter Firth for "Equus" and Sir Alee Guinness for "Star Wars."
The nominations for best direction duplicated the finalists recently announced by the Directors Guild for its annual award: Allen for "Annie Hall." Steven Spielberg for "Close Encounters." Fred Zinnemann for "Julia." George Lucas for "Star Wars" and Herbert Ross for "The Turning Point." Zinnemann has won the Oscar for direction twice before: the 1953 "From Here to Eternity" and the 1966 "A Man for All Seasons." This is his seventh nomination. Lucas was nominated for "American Graffiti" in 1974. The other candidates are all first-time nominees.
Since the past year was distinguished by a revival of prominent roles for actresses, competitive interest in the 50th annual awards may center on the contest for best actress, where Fonda and Keaton loom as co-favorites. Fonda won in this category for the 1971 "Klute" and was nominated two years earlier for "They Shoot Horses. Don't They?" Keaton will be in contention for the first time. Before the nominations were announced, she also was considered a strong candidate for her dramatic performance in "Looking for Mr. Goodbar." In "Annie Hall" she played a character patterned after herself (her real name is Diane Hall) in a story evidently inspired by her real-life affair with Allen.
Anne Bancroft won the Oscar for best actress in 1962 for "The Miracle Worker." She also was nominated for "The Pumpkin Eater" in 1964 and "The Graduate" in 1967. Shirley MacLaine has been nominated three times in this category without winning: "Some Came Running" in 1958. "The Apartment" in 1960 and "Irma la Douce" in 1963. Marsha Mason was a nominee four years ago for "Cinderella Liberty."
MacLaine, Redgrave and Burton share a history of Oscar frustration. Redgrave was a nominee for best actress in "Morgan" (1966). "Isadora" (1968) and "Mary, Queen of Scots" (1971), when the award was won by her "Julia" colleague Fonda. This is her first nomination as supporting actress, and despite the brevity of her role, she is considered a heavy favorite. Burton's nominations began with a supporting actor candidacy for "My Cousin Rachel" back in 1952. He has been a best actor finalist for "The Robe" in 1953. "Becket" in 1964. "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" in 1965. "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" in 1966 and "Anne of the Thousand Days" in 1969. Since Equus" has foundered at the box office. Burton's history as a runner-up may be his greatest asset in this year's competition.
Mastroianni was a best actor nominee in 1962 for "Divorce Italian Style." Allen and Travolta are new to the competition, and it will be interesting to see if Allen, who underrated his chances of ever being nominated for a single Oscar, turns up for the awards ceremony.
Two of the supporting actor nominees. Guinness and Schell, have won Academy Awards as best actor, the former in 1957 for "Bridge on the River Kwai" and the latter in 1961 for "Judgment at Nuremberg." Baryshnikov and Firth are first-time nominees, as are Browne, Cummings, Dillon and Weld in the supporting actress category.
A local production company, the Rockville firm Charlie/Papa Productions, is in contention for the documentary short subject award with "Of Time, Tombs and Treasure," a 28-minute survey of the Tutankhamun exhibit written and directed by Jim Messenger. Underwritten by Exxon, the film was shot at the National Gallery of Art and on locations in Egypt and England. J. Carter Brown, the director of the National Gallery, served as host and narrator.
Oscar leader Fox recently announced net earnings for 1977 of $50.8 million, an increase of 374 percent over the previous year. The major contributor to this upsurge was, of course. "Star Wars," which had accounted for $120 million in film rentals by the end of the year and passed "Jaws" as the domestic box-office champion. The company also took a calculated risk two years ago on several projects centering on friendships and/or conflicts between women. "Julia" and "The Turning Point" were the first prestige productions in this cycle, preceded by the nonprestige hit "The Other Side of Midnight." The results at the upcoming Oscar show should put the icing on Fox's cake.
Nominations in other categories:
Foreign Language Film: "Iphigenia" (Greece), "Madame Rosa" (France), "Operation Thunderbolt" (Israel), "A Special Day" (Holy) and "That Obscure Object of Desire" (Spain).
Original Screenplay: "Annie Hall," Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman: "The Goodbye Girl," Neil Simon: "The Late Show," Robert Benton: "Star Wars," George Lucas: "The Turning Point," Arthur Laurents.
Screenplay Adaptation: "Equus," Peter Shaffer: "I never Promised You a Rose Garden." Gavin Lambert and Lewis John Carlino: "Julia." Alvin Sargent: "Oh God." Larry Gelbart: "That Obscure Object of Desire," Luis Bunuel and Jean-Claude Carriere.
Song: "Candle on the Water" from "Pete's Dragon," music and lyrics by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn: "Nobody Does It Better" from "The Spy Who Loved Me," music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager: "The Slipper and the Rose Waltz (He Danced With Me/She Danced With Me)" from "The Slipper and the Rose," music and lyrics by Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman: "Someone's Waiting for you" from "The Rescuers," music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins: "You Light Up My Life" from the film of the same title, music and lyrics by Joseph Brooks.
Original Score: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," John Williams: "Julia," vvv Georges vvv Delerue: "Mohammad -- Messenger of God," Maurice Jarre: "The Spy Who Loved Me," Marvin Hamlisch: "Star Wars," John Williams Song Score or Musical Adaptation: "A Little Night Music," adaptation by Jonathan Tunick: Pete's Dragon," adaptation by Irwin Kostol: "The Slipper and the Rose," adaptation by Angela Morley.
Cinematography: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Vilmos Zsigmond: "Islands in the Stream," Fred J. Koenekamp: "Julia," Douglas Slocombe: "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," William A. Fraker: "The Turning Point," Robert Surtees.
Editing: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Michael Kahn: "Julia," Walter Murch and Marcel Durham: "Smokey and the Bandit," Waiter Hannemann and Angelo Ross: "Star Wars," Paul Hirseh, Marcia Lucas and Richard Chew: "The Turning Point," William Reynolds.
Art Direction: "Airport '77," art direction by George C. Webb and set decoration by Mickey S. Michaels: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," art direction by Joe Alves and Dan Lomino and set decoration by Phil Abramson: "The Spy Who Loved Me," art direction by Ken Adam and Peter Lamont and set decoration by Hugh Scaife: "Star Wars," art direction by John Barry, Norman Reynolds and Leslie Dilley and set decoration by Roger Christian: "The Turning Point," art direction by Albert Brenner and set decoration by Marvin March.
Costume Design: "Airport '77," Edith Head and Burton Miller: "Julia," Anthea Sylbert: "A Little Night Music," Florence Klotz: "The Other Side of Midnight," Irene Sharaff: "Star Wars," John Mollo.
Sound: "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," Robert Knudson, Robert J. Glass, Don MacDougall and Gene S. Cantamessa: "The Deep," Walter Goss, Dick Alexander, Tom Beckert and Robin Gregory: "Sorcerer," Robert Knudson, Robert J. Glass, Richard Tyler and Jean-Louis Ducarme: "Star Wars," Don MacDougall, Ray West. Bob Minkler and Derek Ball: "The Turning Point," Theodore Soderberz. Paul Weils, Douglas O. Williams and Jerry Jost.
Documentary Feature: "The Children of Theater Street," "High Grass Circus," "Homage to Chagall -- The Colours of Love," "Union Maids" and "Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get 19 Kids?"
Documentary Short Subject: "Agueda Martinez: Our People, Our Country," "First Edition," "Gravity Is My Enemy," "Of Time, Tombs and Treasure" and "The Shetland Experience."
Animated Short: "The Bead Game," "The Doonesbury Special," "Jimmy the C" and "Sand Castle."
Live Action Short: "The Absent-Minded Waiter," "Floating Free," "I'll Find a Way," "Notes on the Popular Arts" and "Spaceborne."