Cannes Film Fest 1961: Year 14–Bunuel’s Viridiana Shares Top Award; Sophia Loren Best Actress (Two Women); Anthony Perkins Best Actor (Goodbye Again)

My Life as Film Festival Juror,


Representing the contingency of U.S. critics, I have been asked to serve on the jury of the 75th milestone edition of the Cannes Film Fest, May 17-28.

This would be my fifth service on the jury (Fipresci) of this prestigious venue; previously, I had also served on the jury of its 40th, 50th, 60th, and 70th anniversaries.

Cannes Film Fest 1961

The fourteenth Cannes Film Fest was again held in the spring, May 3-18, 1961.

The 1961 top award, the Palme d’Or, honored two films: Une aussi longue absence, directed by Henri Colpi, and Viridiana, directed by Luis Buñuel.

The festival opened with Che gioia vivere, directed by René Clément.

The festival also screened Shirley Clarke’s debut film, The Connection, an indie shown due to the efforts of the French Syndicate of Cinema Critics.

The film’s reception and success caused the festival to create the sidebar, International Critics’ Week, in the following year.

Jury Members

Oscar winner Fred Zinnemann (From Here to Eternity) was the sole U.S. representative on the jury.

  • Jean Giono (France) (president)
  • Sergei Yutkevich (Soviet Union) (vice president)
  • Pedro Armendáriz (Mexico)
  • Luigi Chiarini (Italy)
  • Claude Mauriac (France)
  • Edouard Molinaro (France)
  • Jean Paulhan (France) (author)
  • Raoul Ploquin (France)
  • Liselotte Pulver (West Germany)
  • Marcel Vertès (France)
  • Fred Zinnemann (USA)
  • Short Films Jury
  • Ion Popescu-Gopo (Romania) (short films)
  • Pierre Prévert (France) (short films)
  • Jurgen Schildt (Sweden) (journalist) (short films)
  • Jean Vidal (France) (short films)
  • Jean Vivie (France) (CST official) (short films)

Feature film competition

  • Une aussi longue absence by Henri Colpi.
  • El Centroforward murió al amanecer by René Múgica
  • Che gioia vivere by René Clément
  • Le Ciel et la boue by Pierre-Dominique Gaisseau
  • La Ciociara (Two Women) by Vittorio De Sica
  • Dan četrnaesti by Zdravko Velimirović
  • Darclee by Mihai Iacob
  • Domaren by Alf Sjöberg
  • Dúvad by Zoltán Fábri
  • Goodbye Again by Anatole Litvak (US)
  • Hoodlum Priest by Irvin Kershner (US)
  • I Like Mike by Peter Frye (Israel)
  • Kazaki by Vasili Pronin
  • Der Letzte Zeuge by Wolfgang Staudte
  • Line by Nils Reinhardt Christensen
  • Madalena by Dinos Dimopoulos
  • La Mano en la trampa by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson
  • The Mark by Guy Green
  • Matka Joanna od aniolów by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
  • Het Mes by Fons Rademakers
  • Otôto by Kon Ichikawa
  • Piesen o sivém holubovi by Stanislav Barabáš
  • Plein sud by Gaston De Gerlache
  • Povest plamennykh let by Yuliya Solntseva
  • A Primeira Missa by Lima Barreto
  • La Ragazza con la valigia by Valerio Zurlini
  • A Raisin in the Sun by Daniel Petrie
  • Il Relitto by Michael Cacoyannis
  • La Viacci by Mauro Bolognini
  • Viridiana by Luis Buñuel

Films out of competition

  • Exodus by Otto Preminger


  • Palme d’Or: Tie
    • Une aussi longue absence by Henri Colpi

                  Critics complained about the choice of this well acted                      but routine amnesia melodrama, starring Alida Valli,                     as the co-top winner

Viridiana by Luis Buñuel


  • Jury Special Prize: Matka Joanna od aniolów by Jerzy Kawalerowicz
  • Best Actor: Anthony Perkins for Goodbye Again
  • Best Actress: Sophia Loren for Two Women (La Ciociara). Loren also won the Best Actress Oscar for that role.
  • Best Director: Yuliya Solntseva for Povest plamennykh let
  • Technical Grand Prize – Special Mention:
    • Folkwangschulen by Herbert Vesely
    • Fuego en Castilla (Tactilvisión del páramo del espanto) by José Val del Omar
    • Otôto by Kon Ichikawa
    • Povest plamennykh let by Yuliya Solntseva
  • Short Film Palme d’Or: La Petite Cuillère by Carlos Vilardebó
  • Jury Prize – Best Short Film: Párbaj by Gyula Macskássy
  • Gary Cooper Award: A Raisin in the Sun by Daniel Petrie
  • FIPRESCI (International Critics) Prize: La Mano en la trampa by Leopoldo Torre Nilsson
  • OCIC Award: Hoodlum Priest by Irvin Kershner