Nominees Named for Director Awards
RICHARD DE ATLEY
Jan. 30, 1986
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A black comedy about a mob hitman and a drama about a murder case that reaches into the Amish community are among the five 1985 films whose directors were nominated by the Directors Guild for outstanding work.
The winner of the guild award is often a favorite for the Oscar for best direction, since only two of the 37 Directors Guild awards failed to match the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science selection a few weeks later.
Those came in 1968, when Anthony Harvey won the guild award for ''The Lion in Winter,'' and Sir Carol Reed won the Oscar for ''Oliver''; and 1972, when Bob Fosse won the Oscar for ''Cabaret'' after Francis Coppola won the guild award for ''The Godfather.''
Nominated by the guild Wednesday were Ron Howard for ''Cocoon,'' about aliens offering immortality to residents of retirement community; John Huston for ''Prizzi's Honor,'' about a mob hitman torn between loyalty and love; Sydney Pollack for ''Out of Africa,'' the story of a romance between writer Isak Dinesen and a hunter; Steven Spielberg for ''The Color Purple,'' about the troubles of a black woman in the rural South; and Peter Weir for ''Witness,'' about a police officer going into the Amish community to protect two witnesses to a murder.
Last year's Guild winner, ''Amadeus'' director Milos Forman, won the best- director Oscar.
The nominations for Howard and Weir were their first. Huston, Pollack and Spielberg all have been nominated before, but despite their impressive careers, none has yet captured a Directors Guild award, said President Gilbert Cates.
Huston won a Golden Globe award last week as best director for ''Prizzi's Honor.''
The winners will be announced March 8 at dinner-dances in Los Angeles and New York. The guild also will announce winners in television and commercial categories.