Film Honors: 1978

My own personal choices for the year. They reflect not just necessarily what I think is the best or essential cinema, but perhaps resonate with me or inspire, both at the time, and still today. Subject to alter choices if new viewings are worthy enough. Other published Film Honors posts can be found at the menu at the top of the page.


Néstor Almendros (Days of Heaven)
William A. Fraker (Heaven Can Wait)
Sven Nykvist (Höstsonaten)
Ermanno Olmi (L’albero degli zoccoli)
Vilmos Zsigmond (The Deer Hunter)

Picture Editing

Dawn of the Dead
Days of Heaven
The Deer Hunter
The Fury
Midnight Express

Actor Support

Halvar Björk (Höstsonaten)
Bruce Dern (Coming Home)
Gene Hackman (Superman)
John Hurt (Midnight Express)
Christopher Walken (The Deer Hunter)

Actor Lead

Jon Voight (Coming Home)
Richard Gere (Days of Heaven)
Robert De Niro (The Deer Hunter)
Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait)
Brad Davis (Midnight Express)

Set Designing

Days of Heaven
Heaven Can Wait
L’albero degli zoccoli
Violette Nozière

Costume Designing

Days of Heaven
L’albero degli zoccoli
Violette Nozière
A Wedding

Score Composing

Dave Grusin (Heaven Can Wait)
Pierre Jansen (Violette Nozière)
Pierre Jansen (La dentellière)
Ennio Morricone (Days of Heaven)
John Williams (Superman)

Sound Designing

Dawn of the Dead
Watership Down

Special Effects

Dawn of the Dead
The Fury
Invasion of the Body Snatchers


Cast Ensemble

The Deer Hunter
Heaven Can Wait
L’albero degli zoccoli
Midnight Express
Watership Down

Screenwriting Orginal

Ingmar Bergman (Höstsonaten)
Nancy Dowd, Waldo Salt, Robert C. Jones (Coming Home)
Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven)
Ermanno Olmi (L’albero degli zoccoli)
Deric Washburn, Michael Cimino, Louis Garfinkle, Quinn K. Redeker (The Deer Hunter)

Screenwriting Adapted

Odile Barski, Hervé Bromberger, Frédéric Grendel (Violette Nozière)
Claude Goretta, Pascal Lainé (La Dentellière)
Elaine May, Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait)
Martin Rosen (Watership Down)
Oliver Stone (Midnight Express)

Actress Support

Stéphane Audran (Violette Nozière)
Dyan Cannon (Heaven Can Wait)
Florence Giorgetti (La dentellière)
Amy Irving (The Fury)
Meryl Streep (The Deer Hunter)

Actress Lead

Ingrid Bergman (Höstsonaten)
Jane Fonda (Coming Home)
Isabelle Huppert (La dentellière)
Isabelle Huppert (Violette Nozière)
Liv Ullmann (Höstsonaten)



Ingmar Bergman (Höstsonaten)
Claude Chabrol (Violette Nozière)
Michael Cimino (The Deer Hunter)
Terrence Malick (Days of Heaven)
Alan Parker (Midnight Express)

Motion Picture

Coming Home (Hal Ashby) USA
Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick) USA
The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino) USA
Halloween (John Carpenter) USA
Heaven Can Wait (Warrenn Beatty) USA
Höstsonaten (Ingmar Bergman) Sweden / West Germany
L’albero degli zoccoli (Ermanno Olmi) Italy
La dentellière (Claude Goretta) France
Midnight Express (Alan Parker) UK / USA / Turkey
Violette Nozière (Claude Chabrol) France / Canada


The cinema of 1978 proved to have plenty of scope as the decade headed towards its end, and some very strong performances by actresses. What shone for you this year – comment below.


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