Amadeus

Rock me, Amadeus.

Miloš Forman deservedly won his second Oscar as Best Director for this raucous, fictionalized tale of the staggering rise and fall of a musical genius.

The film won eight little gold men, including Best Picture, and remains one of the most-entertaining movies to rule awards night.

Tom Hulce is aces as a giddy, giggling enfant terrible, a child-man who seems to tap into a different universe as he delivers stunning musical compositions, before descending into delighted debauchery.

His rival, his face etched in pain and jealousy, is F. Murray Abraham’s Salieri.

It’s a battle for the ages.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

I know why the caged bird sings.

Playing a man pretending to be crazy, Jack Nicholson won the first of his three Oscars as Randle McMurphy, a prisoner who refuses to be held down by restraints — psychical, or of the mind.

The award was a nice makeup for being robbed the year before when his career-best work in Chinatown was nominated, but Art Carney won.

While that detective yarn is my personal all-time favorite, Cuckoo is more than worthy of all its accolades.

Perfectly mixing dark humor with pain, frustration, and, ultimately, existential horror, director Miloš Forman crafts a classic.

 

Hair

The hippies are alright.

Revolutionary in its day, this Broadway musical turned big-budget film, helmed by two-time Oscar winner Miloš Forman, features an incredibly-deep roster of songs.

John Savage and Treat Williams are two of my favorite character actors, and they nail it as, respectively, uptight farm boy Claude, and blissed-out tribal leader Berger.

One is headed to Vietnam, but gets waylaid by the sights and sounds of the big city.

Meanwhile, the other lives life like McConaughey before McConaughey, only to see things go tragically wrong.

An odd couple, to be sure, but a memorable duo.