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Posts posted by Selk

  1. I see the Oscars this way: You have to go year by year, each film won for reasons that came from that year alone. Maybe politics, maybe good campaigning, maybe artistic merit, but they all won the Oscar for reasons that were immediate to that time. Looking back over the years, the film will probably lose something as trends grow, technology changes, attitudes turn and the film may not be the time capsule it should be.


    I can complain that It's a Wonderful Life or Singin' in the Rain didn't win the Oscar for Best Picture but in 1946 and 1952 these films weren't major hits, they became classics through the progression of time as a new generation discovered them.


    It is kind of pointless to argue over the worst mistakes the academy has made but sometimes you can't help but look back and shrug your shoulders. That's just my perspective.

  2. See those are the kinds of stories I like, "Inside Oscar" has tons of those.


    Like this little nugget of Oscar history from 1937:


    Alice Brady was not able to attend The 10 Annual Academy Awards in which she won Best Supporting Actress for In Old Chicago (1937). During the ceremony an unidentified man walked up to the podium and accepted the award on her behalf. When she called The Academy to say that she had not received her Oscar, it was revealed that the man was had been an impostor who had crashed the party, accepted her award and walked off with it. Brady passed away before the academy could issue a replacement. Neither the stolen Oscar nor the man who walked away with it were ever heard from again.

  3. I just saw a great one, Scarlet Street, directed by Fritz Lang and written by Dudley Nichols. It stars Edward G. Robinson in a very good performance as a milquetoast who falls in love with the wrong girl (wonderfully played by Joan Bennett). She dupes him into painting her picture and then sells it under his nose but the results are . . . well if you know noir.

  4. Personal opinon. If I picked the Best Picture Winners this would be it.

    I am not swayed by popular opinion, these are the films I would have chosen for every year.



    They Picked: Wings

    I would have Picked: Metropolis



    They Picked: The Broadway Melody

    I would have Picked: The Wind



    They Picked: All Quiet on the Western Front

    I agree



    They Picked: Cimarron

    I would have Picked: City Lights



    They Picked: Grand Hotel

    I would have Picked: Scarface: Shame of a Nation



    They Picked: Cavalcade

    I would have Picked: King Kong



    They Picked: It Happened One Night

    I would have Picked: The Thin Man



    They Picked: Mutiny on the Bounty

    I would have Picked: The Informer



    They Picked: The Great Ziegfeld

    I would have Picked: Modern Times



    They Picked: The Life of Emile Zola

    I would have Picked: Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs



    They Picked: You Can?t Take It With You

    I would have Picked: La Grande Illusion



    They Picked: Gone With the Wind

    I would have Picked: The Wizard of Oz



    They Picked: Rebecca

    I would have Picked: The Grapes of Wrath



    They Picked: How Green Was My Valley

    I would have Picked: Citizen Kane



    They Picked: Mrs. Miniver

    I would have Picked: To Be or Not To Be



    They Picked: Casablanca

    I agree



    They Picked: Going My Way

    I would have Picked: Double Indemnity



    They Picked: The Lost Weekend

    I would have Picked: Scarlet Street



    They Picked: The Best Years of Our Lives

    I would have Picked: It?s a Wonderful Life



    They Picked: Gentleman?s Agreement

    I would have Picked: Monsieur Verdoux



    They Picked: Hamlet

    I would have Picked: Treasure of the Sierra Madre



    They Picked: All the Kind?s Men

    I would have Picked: The Third Man



    They Picked: All About Eve

    I would have Picked: Sunset Blvd



    They Picked: An American in Paris

    I would have Picked: The Day the Earth Stood Still



    They Picked: The Greatest Show On Earth

    I would have Picked: Singin? in the Rain



    They Picked: From Here to Eternity

    I would have Picked: Pick Up on South Street



    They Picked: On the Waterfront

    I would have Picked: Rear Window



    They Picked: Marty

    I would have Picked: Night of the Hunter



    They Picked: Around the World in 80 Days

    I would have Picked: The Searchers



    They Picked: The Bridge on the River Kwai

    I would have Picked: Paths of Glory



    They Picked: Gigi

    I would have Picked: Mon Oncle



    They Picked: Ben Hur

    I would have Picked: Some Like It Hot



    They Picked: The Apartment

    I would have Picked: Psycho



    They Picked: West Side Story

    I would have Picked: Victim



    They Picked: Lawrence of Arabia

    I would have Picked: The Manchurian Candidate



    They Picked: Tom Jones

    I would have Picked: Toys in the Attic



    They Picked: My Fair Lady

    I would have Picked: Dr. Stranglove



    They Picked: The Sound of Music

    I would have Picked: Dr. Zhivago



    They Picked: A Man for All Seasons

    I would have Picked: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

  5. 1967

    They Picked: In the Heat of the Night

    I would have Picked: Bonnie and Clyde



    They Picked: Oliver!

    I would have Picked: 2001: A Space Odyssey



    They Picked: Midnight Cowboy

    I would have Picked: Easy Rider



    They Picked: Patton

    I would have Picked: MASH



    They Picked: The French Connection

    I would have Picked: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory



    They Picked: The Godfather

    I agree



    They Picked: The Sting

    I would have Picked: American Graffiti



    They Picked: The Godfather Part II

    I would have Picked: Chinatown



    They Picked: One Flew Over the Coo Coo?s Nest

    I would have Picked: Nashville



    They Picked: Rocky

    I would have Picked: Taxi Driver



    They Picked: Annie Hall

    I would have Picked: Star Wars



    They Picked: The Deer Hunter

    I would have Picked: Gates of Heaven



    They Picked: Kramer vs. Kramer

    I would have Picked: Manhatten



    They Picked: Ordinary People

    I would have Picked: Raging Bull



    They Picked: Chariots of Fire

    I would have Picked: Raiders of the Lost Ark



    They Picked: Gandhi

    I would have Picked: E.T.



    They Picked: Terms of Endearment

    I would have Picked: The Right Stuff



    They Picked: Amadeus

    I would have Picked: This is Spinal Tap



    They Picked: Out of Africa

    I would have Picked: Blood Simple



    They Picked: Platoon

    I would have Picked: Platoon



    They Picked: The Last Emperor

    I would have Picked: The Princess Bride



    They Picked: Rain Man

    I would have Picked: The Last Temptation of Christ



    They Picked: Driving Miss Daisy

    I would have Picked: Crimes and Misdemeanors



    They Picked: Dances With Wolves

    I would have Picked: Goodfellas



    They Picked: The Silence of the Lambs

    I would have Picked: Beauty and the Beast



    They Picked: Unforgiven

    I would have Picked: Malcolm X



    They Picked: Schindler?s List

    I agree



    They Picked: Forrest Gump

    I would have Picked: Pulp Fiction



    They Picked: Braveheart

    I would have Picked: Leaving Las Vegas



    They Picked: The English Patient

    I would have Picked: Fargo



    They Picked: Titanic

    I would have Picked: The Sweet Hereafter



    They Picked: Shakespeare in Love

    I would have Picked: Happiness



    They Picked: American Beauty

    I would have Picked: Being John Malkovich



    They Picked: Gladiator

    I would have Picked: Almost Famous



    They Picked: A Beautiful Mind

    I would have Picked: The Center of the World



    They Picked: Chicago

    I would have Picked: Far From Heaven



    They Picked: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    I would have Picked: City of God



    They Picked: Million Dollar Baby

    I would have Picked: The Passion of the Christ



    They Picked: Crash

    I would have Picked: Brokeback Mountain



    They Picked: The Departed

    I would have Picked: United 93



    They Picked: No Country for Old Men

    I would have Picked: Juno

  6. The Soviet Union and Communist Bloc nations endured quite nicely for another thirty-seven years after SINGIN' IN THE RAIN came out. The idea that that film, or any American movies, "turned people away from Communism" is ludicrous, especially since most American films were never released in the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe.


    Those Western European countries with strong Communist parties, like France and Italy, were distinctly un-aligned with Moscow, anyway, so the influence of U.S. culture in keeping them from drifting eastward was limited, to say the least.


    *My parents and grandparents came from Italy where they had fallen under the thumb of Mussolini and they and their friends were turned toward a love for America and the draw of capitalism through our movies as were many of their friends. They saw Singin? in the Rain when it was released there in 1953 and many other films from our country.*


    Of the first six best pictures, four do not have a very good critical reputation. "Wings" and "The Broadway Melody" are generally considered mediocre dramas, with great aerial scenes in the first and sound in the second, while "Cavalcade" and "Cimarron" are viewed even worse. To be fair, I haven't seen any of these four. Nor have I seen "The Great Ziegfeld," generally considered the next mediocre best picture.


    *Wings was the technical marvel of the time but today the dogfight sequences are confusing, you can?t tell who?s who except in close-ups. The Broadway Melody successfully added sound to a musical and added a story as well. Cavalcade is a nice British production but it?s kind of stiff. Cimarron is a lumbering dinosaur, an elongated bunch of epic ho-ha with a lot of grandure and little else. +The Great Ziegfeld? is the worst of the Best Picture winners.*

  7. Singin' in the Rain was only a minor success here in the states in it's initial release. DeMille's film won because a lot of academy members were either in it, worked on it or knew someone who worked on it. Greatest Show on Earth was a box office hit.


    Historical note: In 1952, while Joe McCarthy and his sycophants were looking for communist messages in American movies, we were shipping movies to Europe. Singin? in the Rain was a modest hit here in it?s initial release but in Europe it was seen as an mirror of the American Dream. Those people assumed that we all drove cars, owned televisions, sang and danced and were dressed beautifully. They wanted that opulence and so it turned many away from Communism. So while we in America were looking for Communist messages in our own movies, our own movies were in Europe helping to fight off Communism.

  8. I'm starting to feel like I am the only one who ever read this book. In 1992 Danny Peary wrote "Alternate Oscars" in which he took an intelligent look at the academy's choices from 1927 - 1991 and offers his own choices for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress.


    Did anyone ever read this book?

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