31 years ago and four months after a calamitous U.S. debut, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz‘s Howard The Duck opened in England with a new title — Howard…A New Breed of Hero — and without any indications (at least in the print ads) that the hero was white and feathered. I don’t know if this approach was used in other European territories, but it would’ve made sense, given what happened with the straightforward U.S. sell. If IMDB figures are correct (total U.S. haul was $16,295,774, worldwide gross was $21,667,000), the European marketing didn’t help. Honest admission: I’ve never watched Howard The Duck start to finish — I’ve only seen a third of it on DVD.

N.Y. Times ads published on 3.2.62, or five weeks before the 34th Academy Awards. Jack Clayton‘s The Innocents at least warranted a Best Actress nomination for Deborah Kerr and Best Black-and-White Cinematography nom for Freddie Francis, but it was blanked. The Hustler was nominated for 9 Academy Awards — Best Picture, Best Director (Robert Rossen), Best Adapted Screenplay (Rossen, Sidney Carroll), Best Actor (Newman), Best Actress (Piper Laurie), Best Supporting Actor (Jackie Gleason and George C. Scott, although Scott refused the nomination) plus two others. It won for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Eugen Schufftan) and Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White.

I posted this a couple of years ago, but what an amazing rundown of top-tier, just-opened films, playing within four or five blocks of each other — Roman Holiday, Stalag 17, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Julius Caesar, War of the Worlds, etc.