Just how funny was John Boorman’s recollection of his childhood during the London Blitz? Also competing that year in the comedy category was Broadcast News, which still holds the record for having won all five of the major New York Film Critics awards including Best Picture, Actress, Actor, Director, and Screenplay.
Ultimately, however, it was the HFPA choice for Best Motion Picture Drama, The Last Emperor, which prevailed at the Oscars winning no less than eight statues. Hope and Glory was a departure for director John Boorman who was best known for his genre films Point Blank and Deliverance. It was his first comedy, although an affectionate one, and was based on his own family’s experiences as told through the eyes of a ten-year-old, Boorman himself.
Initially the film was given a cursory limited release, but after winning the Globe, it was rescued by the studio, and, eventually, it recovered its small budget. Among the cast members, the only recognizable names are Sarah Miles and Ian Bannen. In retrospect, Hope and Glory was a surprise win considering it was also up against the highly popular Moonstruck, which won Golden Globes for Best Actress (Cher) and Best Supporting Actress (Olympia Dukakis).
1987 was a year when the critics' awards were all over the map; so it was reassuring that the Hollywood Foreign Press had the greatest impact on the Oscars, forecasting seven of their top winners including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Song. Besides Broadcast News, Moonstruck and Hope and Glory, the other nominees for best motion picture comedy or musical were Baby Boom and Dirty Dancing.
Nominees for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical were Nicholas Cage for Moonstruck, Danny DeVito for Throw Momma from the Train, William Hurt for Broadcast News, Steve Martin for Roxanne, Patrick Swayze for Dirty Dancing and the winner, Robin Williams for Good Morning Vietnam. The nominees for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy, besides Cher, were Jennifer Grey for Dirty Dancing, Holly Hunter for Broadcast News, Diane Keaton for Baby Boom, and Bette Midler for Outrageous Fortune.
Other than Olympia Dukakis, the only actress nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category was Anne Ramsey for Throw Momma From the Train. Ramsey, who specialized in playing terrifying characters, also received an Oscar nomination, but sadly she died the same year. In accepting her Globe, Olympia Dukakis alluded to her cousin Michael, who was running for president, by proclaiming, “I think this is the year for the Dukakis.”
It was not to be.