We are in the final week of the 31 Days of Oscar festival.  For the rest of the series, all the films will be Best Picture nominees or winners.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream


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Oscar Winners

Best CinematographyHal Mohr

Best Film EditingRalph Dawson

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Henry Blanke)

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Best Assistant Director-Sherry Shourds

The movie where James Cagney wears a donkey head.

The Maltese Falcon


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis)

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Best Supporting ActorSydney Greenstreet as Kasper Gutman

Best ScreenplayJohn Huston

Bogie and others look for a jewel-encrusted bird.  Huston’s directorial debut.

Top Hat


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Pandro S. Berman)

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Best Song“Cheek to Cheek” by Irving Berlin

Best Art DirectionCarroll Clark and Van Nest Polgase

Best Dance DirectionHermes Pan

Who cares what the plot is about!  Fred and Ginger dance!

The Thin Man


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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Hunt Stromberg)

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Best Director (W.S. Van Dyke)

Best ActorWilliam Powell as Nick Charles

Best AdaptationFrances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Nick and Nora drink martinis and solve mysteries!  Shot in 16 days.



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Oscar Winner

Best ActressIngrid Bergman as Paula Alquist Anton

Best B&W Art DirectionCedric Gibbons and William Ferrari (Art Direction); Paul Huldschinsky and Edwin B. Willis (Set Decoration)

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Arthur Hornblow, Jr.)

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Best ActorCharles Boyer as Gregory Anton

Best Supporting ActressAngela Lansbury as Nancy Oliver

Best ScreenplayJohn L. Balderston, Walter Reisch, and John Van Druten

Best B&W CinematographyJoseph Ruttenberg

Angela Lansbury’s film debut.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers


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Oscar Winner

Best Scoring of a Musical PictureAdolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Jack Cummings)

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Best Story and ScreenplayAlbert Hackett, Frances Goodrich, and Dorothy Kingsley

Best Cinematography, ColorGeorge J. Folsey

Best Film EditingRalph E. Winters

A musical about kidnapping!



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Oscar Winners

Best Art Direction, Color-William Flannery and Jo Mielziner (Art Direction); Robert Priestley (Set Decoration)

Best Film Editing-Charles Nelson and William A. Lyon

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Fred Kohlmar)

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Best Director (Joshua Logan)

Best Supporting ActorArthur O’Connell as Howard Bevans

Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureGeorge Duning

Watch 37-year-old William Holden play someone at least ten years younger.

Mutiny on the Bounty


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Oscar Winner

Best Picture (Irving Thalberg and Frank Lloyd)

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Oscar Nominations

Best Director (Frank Lloyd)

Best ActorClark Gable, Charles Laughton, and Franchot Tone as Fletcher Christian, Captain Bligh, and Byam

Best AdaptationJules Furthman, Talbot Jennings, and Carey Wilson

Best Scoring-MGM Studio Music Department

Best Film EditingMargaret Booth

Gable had to shave off his famous mustache for this role.

All Quiet on the Western Front


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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Carl Laemmle, Jr.)

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Best Director (Lewis Milestone)

Oscar Nominations

Best WritingGeorge Abbott, Maxwell Anderson, and Del Andrews

Best CinematographyArthur Edeson

War is hell.



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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (Lucien Hubbard)

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Best Engineering EffectsRoy Pomeroy



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Oscar Winners

Best Picture (William LeBaron)

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Best AdaptationHoward Estabrook

Best Art DirectionMax Ree

Oscar Nominations

Best Director (Wesley Ruggles)

Best ActorRichard Dix as Yancey Cravat

Best ActressIrene Dunne as Sabra

Best CinematographyEdward Cronjager

Dunne’s first Oscar nomination.



Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde


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Oscar Winner

Fredric March as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde

Oscar Nominations

Best Adaptation-Percy Heath and Samuel Hoffenstein

Best CinematographyKarl Struss

He tied with Wallace Beery

Bright Victory


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Oscar Nomination

Arthur Kennedy as Larry Nevins

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Best Sound Recording-Leslie I. Carey

A WWII vet has to accept his blindness.



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Oscar Nominations

Charles Boyer as Cesar

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Best Picture (Joshua Logan)

Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureMorris Stoloff and Harry Sukman

Best Color CinematographyJack Cardiff

Best Film EditingWilliam H. Reynolds

Boyer’s last Oscar nomination.

Watch on the Rhine


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Oscar Winner

Paul Lukas as Kurt Muller

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Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis)

Best Supporting ActressLucile Watson as Fanny Farrelly

Best ScreenplayLillian Hellman and Dashiell Hammett

The guy who beat Bogie, who was nominated for Casablanca.

Life With Father


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Oscar Nominations

William Powell as Clarence Day, Sr.

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Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureMax Steiner

Best Art Direction, Color-Robert M. Haas (Art Direction) and George James Hopkins (Set Decoration)

Best Color CinematographyPeverell Marley and William V. Skall

Powell thinks he rules the roost, but his wife Irene Dunne does.

Love Me or Leave Me


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Oscar Winner

Best Motion Picture StoryDaniel Fuchs

Oscar Nominations

James Cagney as Martin Snyder

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Best ScreenplayDaniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart

Best Scoring of a Musical PicturePercy Faith and George Stoll

Best Song“I’ll Never Stop Loving You” by Nicholas Brodszky (music) and Sammy Cahn (lyrics)

Best Sound Recording-Wesley C. Miller

A biography of singer Ruth Etting.

Babes in Arms


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Oscar Nomination

Mickey Rooney as Mickey Moran

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Best ScoreRoger Edens and George E. Stoll

The first “let’s put on a show!” from Judy and Mickey.

Goodbye, Mr. Chips


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Oscar Winner

Robert Donat as Charles Edward Chipping

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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Victor Saville)

Best Director (Sam Wood)

Best ActressGreer Garson as Katherine

Best ScreenplayEric Maschwitz, R.C. Sherriff, and Claudine West

Best Sound Recording-A.W. Watkins

Best Film EditingCharles Frend

This is the guy who beat out Clark Gable and James Stewart in their best-known roles.



Image result for marty 1955

Oscar Winners

Ernest Borgnine as Marty Piletti

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Best Picture (Harold Hecht)

Best Director (Delbert Mann)

Best ScreenplayPaddy Chayefsky

Oscar Nominations

Best Supporting ActorJoe Mantell as Angie

Best Supporting ActressBetsy Blair as Clara

Best B&W Art DirectionEdward S. Haworth and Walter Simonds (Art Direction); Robert Priestley (Set Decoration)

Best B&W CinematographyJoseph LaShelle

A lonely butcher finds love…maybe.

Sergeant York


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Oscar Winners

Gary Cooper as Sgt. Alvin York

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Best Film Editing-William Holmes

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Hal B. Wallis and Jesse L. Lasky)

Best Director (Howard Hawks)

Best Supporting ActorWalter Brennan as Pastor Rosier Pile

Best Supporting ActressMargaret Wycherly as Mary Brooks York

Best Original ScreenplayJohn Huston, Howard Koch, Abem Finkel, and Harry Chandlee

Best Music Score of a Dramatic PictureMax Steiner

Best Sound RecordingNathan Levinson

Best B&W Art Direction-John Hughes (Art Direction) and Fred MacLean (Set Decoration)

Best B&W CinematographySol Polito

This was Howard Hawks’ only Best Director nomination.

Cyrano de Bergerac


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Oscar Winner

Jose Ferrer as Cyrano de Bergerac

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Would you believe Ferrer only made his film debut two years earlier?

The Goodbye Girl


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Oscar Winner

Richard Dreyfuss as Elliot Garfield

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Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Ray Stark)

Best ActressMarsha Mason as Paula McFadden

Best Supporting ActressQuinn Cummings as Lucy McFadden

Best Original ScreenplayNeil Simon

A woman finds out her ex subletted her apartment to an aspiring actor.


The Best Original Story Oscar was given as an award until 1956, where it was combined into the Best Original Screenplay award.

Manhattan Melodrama


Oscar Nominations

Best Original Story-Arthur Caesar

7th Academy Awards® (1935) ~ Arthur Caesar ~ (1892 – 1953) won an Oscar® for Best Writing - Original Story for "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934) (Won 1 Oscar)

The movie that Dillinger saw before he was gunned down.  Also, the first of fifteen films pairing William Powell and Myrna Loy.

One Way Passage


Oscar Winner

Best Original Story-Robert Lord

He’s headed for death row and she’s dying from a bad heart.  What an idea for a love story.

A Guy Named Joe


Oscar Nominations

Best Original Story-David Boehm and Chandler Sprague

A pilot dies and becomes the guardian angel of another pilot who winds up wooing the angel’s left-behind fiancee.  Van Johnson’s breakthrough film.

My Favorite Wife


Oscar Nominations

Best Original Story-Leo McCarey, Samuel Spewack, and Bella Spewack

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Best Original Score-Roy Webb

Best B&W Art DirectionVan Nest Polglase and Mark-Lee Kirk

Widower declares missing wife dead and re-marries.  The first wife returns.  Oops!

Mystery Street


Oscar Nomination

Best Original Story-Leonard Spigelgass

Leonard Spigelgass Net Worth

CSI: 1950s edition.

White Heat


Oscar Nomination

Best Original Story-Virginia Kellogg


Cody Jarrett tries to make it to the top of the world.  Seriously, only ONE Oscar nod?!!

Action in the North Atlantic


Oscar Nomination

Best Original Story-Guy Gilpatric

The Merchant Marines fight in WWII.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington


Oscar Winner

Best Original Story-Lewis R. Foster

Lewis R. Foster

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Frank Capra)

Best Director (Frank Capra)

Best ActorJames Stewart as Jefferson “Jeff” Smith

Best Supporting ActorHarry Carey and Claude Rains as President of the Senate and Senator Joseph “Joe” Harrison Paine

Best ScreenplaySidney Buchman

Best ScoreDimitri Tiomkin

Best Art Direction-Lionel Banks

Best Film Editing-Gene Havlick and Al Clark

Best Sound RecordingJohn LivadaryJohn Livadary

We need a Jeff Smith today.

The Champ


Oscar Winner

Best Original Story-Frances Marion

Frances Marion

Best ActorWallace Beery as Andy “Champ” Purcell

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (King Vidor)

Best Director (King Vidor)

Wallace Beery tied with Fredric March for the Best Actor trophy.  The only Best Actor tie to date.

A Star is Born


Oscar Winner

Best Original Story-William A. Wellman and Robert Carson

William Wellman

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (David O. Selznick)

Best Director (William Wellman)

Best ActorFredric March as Norman Maine

Best ActressJanet Gaynor as Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester

Best AdaptationAlan Campbell, Robert Carson, and Dorothy Parker

Best Assistant Director-Eric G. Stacey

An actress’ career explodes while her husband/mentor’s fades.

Boys Town


Oscar Winner

Best Original Story-Eleanore Griffin and Dore Schary

 Dore Schary

Best ActorSpencer Tracy as Father Edward Flanagan

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (John W. Considine, Jr.)

Best Director (Norman Taurog)

Best Screenplay-John Meehan and Dore Schary

A priest opens a orphanage for wayward boys.  Still in operation today.

Vacation From Marriage


Oscar Winner

Best Original Story-Clemence Dane

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An unhappily married couple find themselves reenergized by WWII and flings with others.


The Best Original Score was first awarded in 1935.  The category was originally called Best Scoring and was a mix of original scores and adaptations of pre-existing material.  Later the category was split into Best Music Score of a Dramatic Picture and Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.  There are so many name changes I can hardly keep up!

Our Town (1940-6am/5am c)

Oscar Nominations

 Aaron Copland

Best ScoringAaron Copland

Best Picture (Sol Lesser)

Best ActressMartha Scott as Emily Webb

Best SoundThomas T. Moulton

Best Art Direction-Lewis J. Rachmil


An adaptation of Thorton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about small-town life in the early 20th century.  Isn’t it weird that Aaron Copland was nominated for Score and Scoring?

This is the Army (1943-7:30am/6:30am c)

Oscar Winner

Best Scoring of a Musical PictureRay Heindorf

Oscar Nomination

Best Sound RecordingNathan Levinson

Best Art Direction, Color-John Hughes (Art Direction), Lt. John Koenig (Art Direction); George J. Hopkins (Set Decoration)

The musical was sung and danced by real American soldiers.  The movie was by Warner Bros. by special arrangement by the War Department to boost morale.

The Old Man and the Sea

(1958-9:45am/8:45am c)

Oscar Winner

Musical Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureDimitri Tiomkin

Oscar Nominations

Best ActorSpencer Tracy as The Old Man

Best Cinematography, ColorJames Wong Howe

Spencer Tracy’s sixth nomination for Best Actor.

A Star is Born (1954-11:15am/10:15am c)

Oscar Nominations

Scoring of a Musical PictureRay Heindorf

Best Actress-Judy Garland as Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester

Best SongThe Man That Got Away” by Harold Arlen (music) and Ira Gershwin (lyrics)

Best Art Direction, Color-Malcolm Bert (Art Direction), Gene Allen (Art Direction), Irene Sharaff (Art Direction); George James Hopkins (Set Decoration)

Best Costume Design, ColorJean Louis, Mary Ann Nyberg, and Irene Sharaff

The magnum opus of Judy Garland’s career.  She only lost the Best Actress award for Grace Kelly by six votes.

On the Town (1949-2:15pm/1:15pm c)

Oscar Winner

Best Scoring of a Musical PictureRoger Edens and Lennie Hayton

The first musical to be shot on location.  Three sailors find adventure and love during a 24-hour furlough in New York.


Annie Get Your Gun (1950-4pm/3pm c)

Oscar Winner

Best Scoring of a Musical PictureAdolph Deutsch and Roger Edens

Oscar Nominations

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

Best Film EditingJames E. Newcom

Best Cinematography, ColorCharles Rosher

Boy, what a troubled production!  First, Judy Garland was fired and replaced by Betty Hutton.  Then leading man Howard Keel broke his leg.  Then, Frank Morgan, who was the first choice to play Buffalo Bill, died.  He was replaced by Louis Calhern.  Then director George Sidney was replaced by George Walters, who found out he was the new director in a gossip column!

Now, Voyager (1942-6pm/5pm c)

Oscar Winner

Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy PictureMax Steiner

Oscar Nominations

Best ActressBette Davis as Charlotte Vale

Best Supporting ActressGladys Cooper as Mrs. Windle Vale

I’m surprised this movie only received three Oscar nominations, many considered this to be Bette’s best performance.  This was her fifth consecutive Best Actress nomination.

Limelight (1952-8pm/7pm c)

Oscar Winner

Best Original Score (Dramatic)Charles Chaplin, Raymond Rasch, and Larry Russell

This film was nominated and won an Oscar 20 years after it was made.  You see, the movie was never played in a Los Angeles cinema until 1972 which made it eligible for Oscar consideration.

Fiddler on the Roof


Oscar Winners

Best Original Song and Adaptation ScoreJohn Williams

Best Sound-David Hildyard and Gordon McCallum

Best CinematographyOswald Morris

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Norman Jewison)

Best DirectorNorman Jewison

Best ActorChaim Topol as Tevye

Best Supporting ActorLeonard Frey as Motel Kamzoil

Best Art DirectionRobert Boyle (Art Direction) and Michael Stringer (Art Direction); Peter Lamont (Set Direction)

Producer/director was brought into the production because the executives thought he was Jewish because his last name was Jewison.  He has gotten this all of his life.

Yankee Doodle Dandy

(1942-1:45am/12:45am c)

Oscar Winners

Scoring of a Musical PictureRay Heindorf and Heinz Roemheld

Best ActorJames Cagney as George M. Cohan

Best SoundNathan Levinson

Oscar Nominations

Best Picture (Jack Warner, Hal B. Wallis, and William Cagney)

Best Supporting ActorWalter Huston as Jerry Cohan

Best Original Motion Picture StoryRobert Buckner

Best Film Editing-George Amy

What is this?  Ray Heindorf day?  This is the third movie that he conducted today!  Also, when George Cohan saw the rough cut of the movie, he said, “It was a good movie.  Who was it about?”  The movie had deviated very far from the real Cohan.

Cover Girl (1944-4am/3am)

Oscar Winner

Scoring of a Musical PictureMorris Stoloff & Carmen Dragon

Oscar Nominations

Best Song-“Long Ago and Far Away” by Jerome Kern (music) and Ira Gershwin (lyrics)

Best Art Direction, Color-Lionel Banks (Art Direction) and Cary Odell (Art Direction); Fay Babcock (Interior Decoration)

Best Cinematography, ColorRudolph Mate and Allen M. Davey

Rita Hayworth married Orson Welles during production.  Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen began their fruitful collaboration during this film.


Wait Until Dark (1967)

Who would terrorize poor, blind, Audrey Hepburn?

Waterloo Bridge (1940)

The personal favorite film of leads Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor.

West Side Story (1961)

One of the few films to have two Best Directors.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

Watch this movie before FX’s Feud premieres on Sunday night.

White Heat (1949)

If you only can see a little bit of this movie, watch this scene.


Coming to TCM in January…



Star of the Month: Jane Wyman (Thursdays in January)


The Oscar-winning actress, who had a 57-year career in film and television, is the Star of the Month for January, and would have been 100 years old on January 5.  So sit back and watch 45 of her films, including here Oscar-winning performance in 1948’s Johnny Belinda (airing January 12).

TCM Spotlight: Stars Behind Bars (Tuesdays in January)


TCM presents 31 films featuring some of Hollywood’s biggest stars in the clinker.  Three movies are TCM premieres: 1954’s Riot in Cell Block 11, 1980’s Brubaker, and 1985’s Doin’ Time. The film above will air at midnight January 11.

Guest Programmer: Damian Chazzelle (January 18)


The probable Oscar nominee for the musical La La Land presents four films to the TCM audience: the musicals It’s Always Fair Weather, Meet Me in St. Louis, and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and the non-musical silent City Lights.

Next month is the annual 31 Days of Oscar festival!