"I haven't been here, you haven't seen me, and she hasn't been out of this house all evening!"-Beautiful line from "The Big Sleep" from Humphrey Bogart to Lauren Bacall
Favorite Scene From A Movie
This scene is unusual. It is from Hitchcock's "To Catch a Thief" where Cary Grant and Grace Kelly are trying to outrun a police vehicle. From this scene, I was influenced to start driving.
101 Dalmatians, Rear Window
Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Robert de Niro, William Holden, Faye Dunnaway, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Grace Kelly, Gene Hackman, Laurence Olivier
Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, Michael Powell/Emeric Pressburger, John Huston, John Ford, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Cappola, Akira Kurosawa, Steven Spielberg, Ingmar Bergman
Grace Kelly, Maureen O'hara, Lauren Bacall
Dramas, Mystery and Suspense
Bosley Crowther, Roger Ebert, James Berardinelli, Leonard Maltin
Posted on 06/16/11 12:37 AM | Last edited on 06/16/11 12:37 AM
So I have completed the 1940's, 1960's, and 1970's...and also 1950's. I have finally seen all of the Best Pictures winners from one of the golden decades of cinema. The question now is, were the Best Picture winners picked right...well we'll see. Here are the Best Picture winners in chronological order:
1950: All About Eve
1951: An American in Paris
1952: The Greatest Show on Earth
1953: From Here to Eternity
1954: On the Waterfront
1956: Around the World in 80 Days
1957: The Bridge on the River Kwai
Before I get to my critisicm, I have to say that the 1950's is my favourite decade for films. There are so many great ones, so I have unusual opinions on the winners of the various years. Now there are some interesting (and perhaps regrettable) picks from this decade and my thoughts on these winners.
10. Around the World in 80 Days: based on the book of these two men who decide to travel around the world in alotted time period stated in the title of this film. Sad to say, I rank as the worst Best Picture winner of the decade and one of the worst of all time. It is too long and tedious and pretty annoying. What other films were released in 1956? I really have no say on the nominees of that year accept for "Giant" which took home Best Director for George Stevens and it was a very good film. The other nominees were "The Ten Commandments," "The King and I," and "Friendly Persuassion" (that film has dissapeared off the radar). My favourite from that year is Douglas Sirk's "Written' on the Wind." Most others favourite from that is "The Searchers." As well, "The Invasion of the Body Snatcher" and "The Forbidden Planet" were released that year. Best Picture definately awarded wrong!
9. Gigi: a film about the maturity of girl (Leslie Caron) is a nauseating and annoying combination of sweetness and snobbiness. The songs, as well as the film, are not memorable. This film did not work and it took ten Academy Awards. Yikes! What other films were released that year...well one of the greatest films of all time: Hitchcock's "Veritgo." Another great film from that year: "Touch of Evil." Did I need to say any further of the choice? I think not!
8. The Greatest Show on Earth: Cecille B. Demille's overblown circus drama that lacks pretty much everything from plot to acting. A mess of a film! Like "Gigi's" year, one of the greatest films of all time was released: "Singin' in the Rain." This was named the greatest musical of all time and it hardly got a nod at the Academy Awards. Two nominations: Best Supporting Actress (Jean Hagen) and a Original Music Score. No song nominations, acting nom. for Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor, hardly anything. Other films ripped that year were "The Quiet Man," "The Bad and the Beautiful," "Ikiru," "Umberto D," and "High Noon." Considered a worse choice than the two I had already mentioning.
7. The Bridge Ove the River Kwai: not a preferred film of mine, but at least a good one and one that deserved the awards it received. The building of a bridge during World War II in Myanmar is well liked by many people, so I can support its win. However, there are number of films I do prefer more, include "Paths of Glory," "Sweet Smell of Success," "Wild Strawberries," "Throne of Blood," and "Witness for the Prosecution." Despite my favourites, I can accept this as a Best Picture winner. My godfather has different opinion and his hatred towards it is quite funny.
6. Marty: a film about an ugly man who has obvious social problems and at the same time, wants to take a woman to a dance. This is a very likeable and unusual Best Picture. It works for me. The problem is not so much this film, but the nominees from that year. All of them have been forgotten and I only one I have seen is "Mister Roberts," a film which I did not like. "Marty" is also not the best film from 1955. My favourite of that year "To Catch a Thief." Most people's, and my second favourite, "The Night of the Hunter." Other great films: "Rebel Without a Cause," "Bad Day at Black Rock," and "Kiss Me, Deadly." "Marty" is a very good film, but not 1955's best. I also have to note, 1955 is a great year for films.
5. On the Waterfront: considered one of the greatest films of all time. Marlon Brando is Terry Malloy, a longshoreman who wants to make a change among thugs working alongside him at the docks, only to face more turmoil. This is a great pick for Best Picture, because it well-acted, filmed, and just generally, loved. It is not my favourite film from that year. "Rear Window," my second favourite of all time is obviously the top for of that year. Other films from that year: "The Seven Samurai," "Johnny Guitar," "Silver Lode," and "La Strada." I really have no problem with "On the Waterfront" taking Best Picture. It is a very good film. 1954 was also a great year for films.
From Here to Eternity: the days preceding the attack of Pearl Harbor follows the lives of soldiers at a military base in Honolulu. Some have said this film is dated. I don't agree. I think it is a well-acted, well-cast, and very well-filmed, with astonishing footage at the end. However, this is not my favourite film from that year. My favourite is George Stevens' gorgeously shot "Shane." In fact, that is my favourite western of them all. In addition, "Tokyo Story," "The Wages of Fear," and "The Big Heat" I feel are superior films. It was such a good year, so I actually don't have problem with film winning either.
Ben-Hur: the grand scale epic film, spanning more than 3 hours, outlining the title character (Charlton Heston) journey through wealth, prison, and a beautiful chariot race. To some, this film is way to long and does not compare to other epics, such "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Gone With the Wind." To me, it is a great film. I actually found most of the very memorable and very entertaining. In addition to the chariot race, I also loved the war scene at sea; the leprocy affecting Ben-Hur's relatives; and crucification of Jesus. It deserved every Academy Award received, making it one of three films to win the most of all time (the other two being "Titanic" and "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King"). From this year, many movie buffs favour "Some Like It Hot" and "North By Northwest." My favourite is the courtroom drama "Anatomy of a Murder." I also loved "Rio Bravo," "Sleeping Beauty," and "The 400 Blows." Another great year for films.
2. An American in Paris: "Singin' in the Rain" is the greatest musical and my favourite musical. "An American in Paris" is second. I know the film has been critisized for its plot, but I don't care. It is so memorable and I was beaming from ear to ear in happiness. Unlike "Gigi," this film is not forgettable and songs of Gershwin are superb. It also my favourite film from the 1951, although there are so many famous films including "A Streetcar Named Desire," "The African Queen," "Strangers on a Train," and "The Day the Earth Stood Still."
1. All About Eve: I'd would put it as the best film to win Best Picture from the 1950's. The story of a woman (Anne Baxter) who steals the career of a famous broadway star, Margo Channing (Bette Davis) never gets old thanks to the beautiful script and terrific acting. This one of the greatest films of all time, with a powerful cast (including Marilyn Monroe). Now it was released in the same as another lengendary film, "Sunset Boulevard." This is one of those rare years were the two best films are tied, in my opinion. As well, another great film was released: Akira Kurosawa's "Rashomon." Other very good films include "In A Lonely Place" and "The Asphalt Jungle." I would say 1950 was another fine year for films.
So there you have it. This is my rankings for the Best Picture winners of the 1950's. There are definately some notable duds of this decade, but there are also some great films. I know a few of you will definately debate with me on my opinion on some of these films, and that's fine. Every opinion is important.
So altogether, I have seen 59 Best Pictures, of which I have 24 left. I am not sure which decade I go through next, but there are still, I believe, some great Best Pictures left.