It was Herbert Ross’s night all the way: both Golden Globe winners, The Turning Point for best drama and The Goodbye Girl for best comedy or musical, were directed by Ross and, of course, he won Best Director Globe as well (for Turning Point.)
1977 was also the year of Annie Hall, which was the critics’ choice and ended up winning multiple Oscars including Best Picture. The Hollywood Foreign Press preferred Neil Simon’s shtick, which was also the public’s favorite, ending up with $100 million in ticket sales. The film earned Richard Dreyfuss both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award and made him a star. Ironically he was also the leading actor in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a nominee for both the Golden Globes and the Oscars that year.
Simon wrote the female lead for his wife, Marsha Mason, and she tied with Diane Keaton (Annie Hall) for best actress in a comedy. The film was a co-production by MGM and Warner Bros. At one time Warner’s owned the property, then known as Bogart Slept Here, which actually went into production with Robert De Niro. After production was suspended, the studio almost dropped the option, but at the last minute, they decided to co-produce with MGM, which ended up one of the best decisions the studio ever made.
1977 was also the year of two groundbreaking movies, Star Wars (no explanation needed) and Saturday Night Fever, with arguably the best song score ever written for a motion picture. The Academy ignored the Bee Gees’ contribution, but to their credit, the HFPA nominated one of their songs (“How Deep Is Your Love”).
Can anyone deny the others are as good as they get? “Staying Alive,” “Night Fever,” “More Than a Woman.” “If I Can’t Have You,” “Jive Talkin’,” and “You Should Be Dancing.” The winner that year was “You Light Up My Life.”
The other nominees that year for best comedy or musical were High Anxiety, New York, New York, and Saturday Night Fever. Also nominated in the acting category were Woody Allen for Annie Hall, Mel Brooks for High Anxiety, Robert De Niro for New York, New York and John Travolta for Saturday Night Fever. And for best actress in a Musical or Comedy, Sally Field for Smokey and the Bandit, Liza Minnelli for New York, New York, and Lili Tomlin for The Late Show were nominated.
Oh yes, there was one other nominated song that year, Kander and Ebb’s immortal “New York, New York.”