March 6, 2018 - Leave a Response

TCM debuts a brand new “season” this March.  Usually, TCM’s calendar year runs from March and ends with the 31 Days of Oscar festival.  TCM has hired two new hosts, Dave Karger and Alicia Malone to assist Ben Mankiewicz.  Also, with a heavy heart, it has been one year since we lost Robert Osborne.


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Technically, Taylor is the Star of the Week.  There are 30 movies and one documentary on the docket which will start with a lesser seen Taylor movie, 1947’s Cynthia (March 12 @ 4:15pm/3:15pm) where Elizabeth receives her first onscreen kiss.  This festival includes one TCM premiere, 1970’s The Only Game in Town (March 16 @ 12:30am/11:30pm) starring Liz, Warren Beatty, and is the last film directed by George Stevens.  Stevens directed Taylor in two of her most memorable films, 1951’s A Place in the Sun (which will not be shown) and 1956’s Giant (March 14 @ 11pm/10pm).  Here’s a still of her from the movie.

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The first TCM spotlight this month is about how films depict mental illness, for better or for worse.  Part one has films all nominated or won an Oscar.  The second night all take place at mental health asylums or clinics.  So lay on the couch and tell your life story.


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The second TCM spotlight focuses on some of the greatest endings in movie history.  I won’t spoil anything for you, I promise.  Each night has a different chapter including Going Out with a Bang (March 19-20), Ending on a Musical Note (March 20-21), Romantic Endings (March 21-22), Famous Last Words (March 22-23), and Twist Endings (March 23-24).  So get ready for your closeup, make it to the top of the world, and remember tomorrow is another day.


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Noir Alley will now air on Saturday nights at 11 with an encore the next morning at 9.  This month’s films include The Big Heat, Stranger on the Third Floor, Crossfire, and No Questions Asked.


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TCM celebrates the career of the first Chinese-American movie star featuring four of her films of the 1920s and the 1930s.

Born Wong Liu Tsong in Los Angeles, Anna began performing bit parts in silent films at the age of 14.  Her breakthrough performance was in 1922’s The Toll of the Sea, a rare silent film in color.

The four films which will be shown include 1931’s Daughter of the Dragon (8pm/7pm), 1932’s Shanghai Express (9:30pm/8:30pm), 1929’s Piccadilly (11pm/10pm), and the Silent Sunday Night feature, 1927’s Mr. Wu (1am/midnight) with Lon Chaney.


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The realtor Property Brother sits down with host Ben Mankiewicz to discuss his choices for the night.  Most were inspired by his father, James Scott, who immigrated from Scotland to Canada after being inspired by American Westerns.  Mr. Scott lived out his dream and became a cowboy.  Drew’s choices include High Noon (8pm/7pm), To Kill a Mockingbird (9:45pm/8:45pm), Poltergeist (12:15am/11:15pm), and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (2:30am/1:30am).


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Film historian Leonard Maltin again serves as host of the semi-annual series.  All are TCM premieres including 1962’s In Search of the Castaways (10pm/9pm) starring Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevallier plus Goldie Hawn’s movie debut in 1968’s The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band (midnight/11pm).


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TCM celebrates Britain’s Marilyn Monroe (aka “The Siren of Swindon) with three films and two of them are TCM premieres 1956’s Yield to the Night and 1952’s Lady Godiva Rides Again.  Her birth name was Diana Mary Fluck.  She once said, “I suppose they were afraid that if my real name, Diana Fluck, was in the lights, and one of the lights blew.”


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For Passover and Easter, TCM has 8 religious epics from the 1950s and the 1960s (they were really popular then) scheduled, except for The Ten Commandments which will air on ABC, probably on Passover night.  However, you will see Paul Newman’s movie debut, 1954’s The Silver Chalice (5am/4am) which he later apologized for.  Also, this is the first time I’ve seen a screenshot from the movie, because what the heck is Jack Palance wearing?!!


Come back in April with Star of the Month William Holden, who celebrates his centennial on April 17, and the special Live from the TCM Classic Movie Festival with Michael Douglas.



March 3, 2018 - Leave a Response

The final day!

The Best Picture award went through several different name changes.  This name has been used since 1962.

  • 1927/281928/29Academy Award for Outstanding Picture
  • 1929/301940Academy Award for Outstanding Production
  • 19411943Academy Award for Outstanding Motion Picture
  • 19441961Academy Award for Best Motion Picture
  • 1962–present: Academy Award for Best Picture

Captain Blood


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis, Harry Joe Brown, and Gordon Hollingshead)

Image result for hal b wallisImage result for harry joe brown producerImage result for gordon hollingshead

Best Director (Michael Curtiz-write in nod)

Best AdaptationCasey Robinson

Best Scoring-Warner Bros.-First National Studio Music Department-another write in

Best Sound RecordingNathan Levinson

Errol Flynn’s breakthrough film.



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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Pandro S. Berman)

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Best Dramatic or Comedy ScoreMiklos Rozsa

Best Color Cinematography-F.A. Young

SPOILER ALERT!  He doesn’t wind up with Elizabeth Taylor.

Mutiny on the Bounty


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Aaron Rosenberg)

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Best Original ScoreBronislau Kaper

Best Song“Follow Me” by Bronislau Kaper (music) and Paul Francis Webster (lyrics)

Best Art Direction, Color-George W. Davis and J. McMillian Johnson (Art Direction); Henry Grace and Hugh Hunt (Set Decoration)

Best Color CinematographyRobert L. Surtees

Best Film EditingJohn McSweeney, Jr.

Best Visual EffectsA. Arnold Gillespie and Milo B. Lory

This movie set was a nightmare.

The Music Man


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Oscar Winner

Best Adaptation or Treatment ScoreRay Heindorf

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Morton DaCosta)

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Best Sound RecordingGeorge R. Groves

Best Art Direction, Color-Paul Groesse (Art Direction) and George James Hopkins (Set Decoration)

Best Costume Design, ColorDorothy Jeakins

Best Film EditingWilliam H. Ziegler

Shirley Jones was pregnant during the making of this film.  In fact, during a romantic scene, Robert Preston held her so close that her unborn baby kicked so hard that Preston felt it!

The Yearling


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Oscar Winners

Best Art Direction, ColorCedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse (Art Direction); Edwin B. Willis (Set Decoration)

Best Color CinematographyCharles Rosher, Leonard Smith, and Arthur Arling

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Sidney Franklin)

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Best Director (Clarence Brown)

Best ActorGregory Peck as Ezra “Penny” Baxter

Best ActressJane Wyman as Ora Baxter

Best Film Editing-Harold Kress

Jane Wyman’s daughter Maureen saw the movie and wouldn’t speak to her mother for days.



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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Richard Attenborough)

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Best Director (Richard Attenborough)

Best ActorBen Kingsley as Mahatma Gandhi

Best Original ScreenplayJohn Briley

Best Art DirectionStuart Craig and Robert W. Laing (Art Direction); Michael Seirton (Set Decoration)

Best Costume DesignJohn Mollo and Bhanu Athaiya

Best CinematographyBilly Williams and Ronnie Taylor

Best Film EditingJohn Bloom

Oscar Nominations

Best Original ScoreRavi Shankar and George Fenton

Best SoundGerry Humphreys, Robin O’Donoghue, Jonathan Bates, and Simon Kaye

Best Makeup-Tom Smith

Apparently, you need to watch this movie baked.  I’ll let The 40-Year-Old Virgin explain:



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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Mel Gibson, Alan Ladd, Jr. and Bruce Davey)

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Best Director (Mel Gibson)

Best Sound Effects EditingLon Bender and Per Hallberg

Best MakeupPeter Frampton, Paul Pattison, and Lois Burwell

Best CinematographyJohn Toll

Oscar Nominations

Best Original ScreenplayRandall Wallace

Best Original Dramatic ScoreJames Horner

Best SoundAndy Nelson, Scott Millan, Anna Behlmer, and Brian Simmons

Best Costume DesignCharles Knode

Best Film EditingSteven Rosenblum

Didn’t Gibson wear a kilt to the Oscars?



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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Sam Zimbalist)

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Best Director (William Wyler)

Best ActorCharlton Heston as Judah Ben-Hur

Best Supporting ActorHugh Griffith as Sheik Ilderim

Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureMiklos Rozsa

Best Sound RecordingFranklin Milton

Best Art Direction, ColorWilliam A. Horning-posthumous and Edward Carfagno (Art Direction); Hugh Hunt (Set Decoration)

Best Color CinematographyRobert L. Surtees

Best Costume Design, Color-Elizabeth Haffenden

Best Film EditingRalph E. Winters and John D. Dunning

Best Special EffectsA. Arnold Gillespie, Robert MacDonald, and Milo Lory

Oscar Nominations

Best Adapted ScreenplayKarl Tunberg

Won 11 Oscars, only Titanic and The Return of the King have tied it.


March 2, 2018 - Leave a Response

Five Star Final


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Oscar Nomination

Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis)

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An editor searches for sensational headlines at any cost.  Somethings never change.

Lost Horizon


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Oscar Winners

Best Art DirectionStephen Goosson

Best Film Editing-Gene Havlick and Gene Milford

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Frank Capra)

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Best Supporting ActorH.B. Warner as Chang

Best Scoring-Columbia Studio Music Department

Best Sound RecordingJohn Livadary

Best Assistant Director-C.C. Coleman, Jr.

One of the most expensive movies ever made at that time.

The Nun’s Story


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Henry Blanke)

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Best Director (Fred Zinnemann)

Best ActressAudrey Hepburn as Sister Luke

Best Adapted ScreenplayRobert Anderson

Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureFranz Waxman

Best Sound RecordingGeorge Groves

Best Color CinematographyFranz Planer

Best Film Editing-Walter Thompson

Audrey Hepburn becomes a nun because she wants to be a missionary nurse.

The Great Dictator


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Charlie Chaplin)

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Best ActorCharlie Chaplin as The Barber/Adenoid Hynkel

Best Supporting ActorJack Oakie as Benzino Napaloni

Best Original ScreenplayCharlie Chaplin

Best Original ScoreMeredith Wilson

Chaplin’s talking debut.

Foreign Correspondent


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Walter Wanger)

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Best Supporting ActorAlbert Bassermann as Van Meer

Best Original ScreenplayCharles Bennett and Joan Harrison

Best B&W Art DirectionAlexander Golitzen

Best B&W CinematographyRudolph Mate

Best Special EffectsPaul Eagler and Thomas T. Moulton

This is what Eagler and Moulton won for

The Guns of Navarone


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Oscar Winner

Best Special EffectsBill Warrington and Vivian C. Greenham

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Carl Foreman)

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Best Director (J. Lee Thompson)

Best Adapted ScreenplayCarl Foreman

Best Musical Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureDimitri Tiomkin

Best Sound-John Cox

Best Film Editing-Alan Osbiston

Guys climb mountain to destroy Nazi guns.

Annie Hall


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Charles H. Joffe)

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Best Director (Woody Allen)

Best ActressDiane Keaton as Annie Hall

Best Original ScreenplayWoody Allen and Marshall Brickman

Oscar Nomination

Best ActorWoody Allen as Alvy “Max” Singer

Diane Keaton’s real name is Diane Hall and her childhood nickname was “Annie.”

Kramer vs. Kramer


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Stanley R. Jaffe)

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Best Director (Robert Benton)

Best ActorDustin Hoffman as Ted Kramer

Best Supporting ActressMeryl Streep as Joanna Kramer

Best Adapted ScreenplayRobert Benton

Oscar Nominations

Best Supporting ActorJustin Henry as Billy Kramer

Best Supporting ActressJane Alexander as Margaret Phelps

Best CinematographyNestor Almendros

Best Film EditingGerald B. Greenberg

Robert Benton will be getting a tribute at the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival.

A Man for All Seasons


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Fred Zinnemann)

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Best Director (Fred Zinnemann)

Best ActorPaul Scofield as Sir Thomas More

Best Adapted ScreenplayRobert Bolt

Best Color CinematographyTed Moore

Best Costume Design, Color-Joan Bridge and Elizabeth Haffenden

Oscar Nominations

Best Supporting ActorRobert Shaw as King Henry VII

Best Supporting ActressWendy Hiller as Alice More

Sir Thomas More was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1935.

The Great Ziegfeld


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Hunt Stromberg)

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Best ActressLuise Rainer as Anna Held

Best Dance Direction-Seymour Felix

Oscar Nominations

Best Director (Robert Z. Leonard)

Best Original StoryWilliam Anthony McGuire

Best Art DirectionCedric Gibbons, Eddie Imazu, and Edwin B. Willis

Best Film Editing-William S. Gray

The fourth pairing of William Powell and Myrna Loy.

Naughty Marietta


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Oscar Winner

Best Sound RecordingDouglas Shearer

Oscar Nomination

Best Picture (Hunt Stromberg)

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The first teaming of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.


March 1, 2018 - Leave a Response

Heading into the homestretch…

The Crowd


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Oscar Nominations

Best Unique and Artistic Production (Irving Thalberg)

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Best Director, Dramatic Picture (King Vidor)

This was the only year the Academy had two Best Picture awards.  They were combined into one the next year.

Smilin’ Through


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Oscar Nomination

Best Picture (Irving Thalberg)

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Norma Shearer and Fredric March played dual roles.

Stage Door


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Pandro S. Berman)

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Best Director (Gregory La Cava)

Best Supporting ActressAndrea Leeds as Kay Hamilton

Best AdaptationMorris Ryskind and Anthony Veiller

Watch Kate and Ginger snark at each other!

Double Indemnity


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Joseph Sistrom)

Best Director (Billy Wilder)

Best ActressBarbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson

Best ScreenplayRaymond Chandler and Billy Wilder

Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureMiklos Rozsa

Best Sound Recording-Loren L. Ryder

Best B&W CinematographyJohn F. Seitz

I always thought that Stanwyck looked like she does in this movie.  I thought she had really bad hair.  Boy, was I wrong.

Anchors Aweigh


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Oscar Winner

Best Scoring of a Musical PictureGeorgie Stoll

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Joe Pasternak)

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Best ActorGene Kelly as Joseph “Joe” Brady

Best Song“I Fall in Love Too Easily” by Jule Styne (Music) and Sammy Cahn (Lyrics)

Best Color CinematographyRobert Planck and Charles P. Boyle

The first teaming of Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra.  In the three films Sinatra co-starred with Kelly, he always played a shy guy who had trouble with the ladies.  Casting against type at its finest.

The Pride of the Yankees


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Oscar Winner

Best Film EditingDaniel Mandell

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Samuel Goldwyn)

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Best ActorGary Cooper as Lou Gehrig

Best ActressTeresa Wright as Eleanor Gehrig

Best Original Motion Picture StoryPaul Gallico

Best ScreenplayHerman J. Mankiewicz and Jo Swerling

Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureLeigh Harline

Best Sound RecordingThomas T. Moulton

Best B&W Art Direction-Perry Ferguson (Art Direction) and Howard Bristol (Set Decoration)

Best B&W CinematographyRudolph Mate

Wright is one of the few people who was nominated in two different acting categories.  The last person to achieve this was Jamie Foxx in 2004.



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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Robert B. Radnitz)

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Best ActorPaul Winfield as Nathan Lee Morgan

Best ActressCicely Tyson as Rebecca Morgan

Best Adapted ScreenplayLonne Elder III

The young boy who played David directed a television remake of this film which aired in 2003.

An American in Paris


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Arthur Freed)

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Best Story and ScreenplayAlan Jay Lerner

Best Scoring of a Musical PictureJohnny Green and Saul Chaplin

Best Art Direction, ColorCedric Gibbons and Preston Ames (Art Direction); Edwin B. Willis and Keogh Gleason (Set Decoration)

Best Color CinematographyAlfred Gilks and John Alton (ballet sequence)

Best Color Costume DesignOrry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, and Irene Sharaff

Oscar Nominations

Best Director (Vincente Minnelli)

Best Film EditingAdrienne Fazan

My Fair Lady


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Jack L. Warner)

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Best Director (George Cukor)

Best ActorRex Harrison as Professor Henry Higgins

Best Original ScoreRobert B. Sherman and Richard M. Sherman

Best Adaptation or Treatment Score-Andre Previn

Best SoundGeorge Groves

Best Art Direction, ColorGene Allen and Cecil Beaton (Art Direction); George James Hopkins (Set Decoration)

Best Color CinematographyHarry Stradling

Best Costume Design, ColorCecil Beaton

Oscar Nominations

Best Supporting ActorStanley Holloway as Alfred P. Doolittle

Best Supporting ActressGladys Cooper as Mrs. Higgins

Best Adapted ScreenplayAlan Jay Lerner

Best Film EditingWilliam H. Ziegler

Audrey Hepburn wasn’t even nominated!



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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Jack Woolf)

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Best Director (Carol Reed)

Best Original or Adaptation ScoreJohn Green

Best Sound-Shepperton Studio Sound Dept.

Best Art DirectionJohn Box and Terence Marsh (Art Direction); Vernon Dixon and Ken Muggleston (Set Decoration)

Oscar Nominations

Best ActorRon Moody as Fagin

Best Supporting ActorJack Wild as Jack Dawkins aka “The Artful Dodger”

Best Adapted ScreenplayVernon Harris

Best Costume DesignPhyllis Dalton

Best CinematographyOswald Morris

Best Film Editing-Ralph Kemplen

The musical version of Dicken’s Oliver Twist.

The Broadway Melody


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Oscar Winner

Best Picture (Irving Thalberg and Lawrence Weingarten)

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Oscar Nominations

Best Director (Harry Beaumont)

Best ActressBessie Love as Harriet “Hank” Mahoney

The musical numbers are nice.  That’s all I have to say.


March 1, 2018 - Leave a Response

I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis)

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Best ActorPaul Muni as James Allen

Best Sound RecordingNathan Levinson

This film helped bring about the end of the Georgia chain-gang system.

Grand Illusion


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Oscar Nomination

Best Picture (Frank Rollmer and Albert Pinkovitch)

The first foreign film to be nominated for Best Picture.

Broadway Melody of 1936


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Oscar Winner

Best Dance DirectionDave Gould

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (John W. Considine, Jr.)

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Best Original StoryMoss Hart

Just watch the dancing.



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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Sidney Franklin)

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Best ActressGreta Garbo as Nina Ivanovna “Ninotchka” Yakushova

Best StoryMelchior Lengyel

Best ScreenplayCharles Brackett, Walter Reisch, and Billy Wilder

Garbo’s first comedy and then she made another comedy and it stunk, so she retired.

Auntie Mame


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Jack L. Warner)

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Best ActressRosalind Russell as Mame Dennis

Best Supporting ActressPeggy Cass as Agnes Gooch

Best Art Direction-Malcolm Bert (Art Direction) and George James Hopkins (Set Decoration)

Best Color CinematographyHarry Stradling, Sr.

Best Film EditingWilliam Ziegler

Auntie Mame raises her nephew to live!

Mildred Pierce


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Oscar Winner

Best ActressJoan Crawford as Mildred Pierce Beragon

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Jerry Wald)

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Best Supporting ActressEve Arden and Ann Blyth as Ida Corwin and Veda Pierce Forrester

Best ScreenplayRanald MacDougall

Best B&W CinematographyErnest Haller

Mildred’s daughter is a spoiled little bitch.

Father of the Bride


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Pandro S. Berman)

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Best ActorSpencer Tracy as Stanley T. Banks

Best ScreenplayFrances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Tracy discovers planning a wedding is hell.

The Bridge on the River Kwai


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Sam Spiegel)

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Best Director (David Lean)

Best ActorAlec Guinness as Lieutenant Colonel Nicholson

Best Adapted ScreenplayMichael Wilson,