Tag Archives: Movies

Double Gobble Oscar Picks – 2015

81st Academy Awards¨ Press Kit Images
We know its been a while since we posted anything but we couldn’t let the Oscars pass us by without putting up our picks for this year.  Once again, we have seen a very large chunk of the nominated films including all of the films and performances in every major category. Below you will find our Oscar picks. For the bigger categories, we decided to pick the films that we want to win (From the Heart) and also the films we think The Academy is likely to choose (From the Head). We only included the categories that we have seen or have extensive knowledge in. Feel free to leave your own picks below!

Kristy’s Picks

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Best Picture

From the Heart: “Birdman” – This movie has great acting, a great script, a fantastic score, and an intriguing focus on the psychological struggles of the acting world.  The more I think about this film, the more I appreciate and enjoy it.

From the Head: “Boyhood” – I truly admire the dedication that Linklater and his actors gave to this film, however, the one area that I feel this film falls flat is in its story.  For that reason alone, I am hoping that “Birdman” wins, however, I would not be at all surprised if the Academy awards Linklater for his incredible efforts.

Best Actor

From the Heart: Michael Keaton in “Birdman” – While this is an incredibly strong category this year, Michael Keaton outperformed everyone.

From the Head: There’s a chance that Eddie Redmayne could be rewarded for his transformation in “The Theory of Everything” but I still think the Academy will give Michael Keaton his moment.

Best Actress

From the Heart: My two favorites in this category were the emotional performances by both Marion Cotillard in “Two Days One Night” and Julianne Moore in “Still Alice”.  I would be happy if either of these two women were given the award.

From the Head: Julianne Moore is the likely favorite which would be well deserved considering this is her most emotionally compelling performance to date.

Best Supporting Actor

From the Heart: The transformation that J. K. Simmons gives in Whiplash should absolutely be rewarded.  Despite the fact that little is known about the character’s background in the film, Simmons creates a depth of emotion with a character that could have been simply played as a manipulative jerk of a music teacher.  Instead Simmons was able to capture the many facets of the obsession for perfection.

From the Head: I think that J.K. Simmons will take this one.

Best Supporting Actress

From the Heart: First off, I love Meryl Streep but what the heck is she doing in this category this year?  The true star in this category is Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood”.  For me she was the most enjoyable part of the film.

From the Head: I think Patricia Arquette will be rewarded for her years of dedication to this character.

Best Director

From the Heart: While I chose “Birdman” as my favorite for Best Picture, I absolutely think that Linklater should be rewarded for his years of work on “Boyhood”.  He achieved a feat that many other directors would not even consider attempting.

From the Head: I think it comes down to Inarritu and Linklater and it’s honestly difficult for me to determine who’s going to take this one.

Other Category Choices:

Best Original Screenplay

“Birdman” for its fluid and artistic storyline.

Best Adapted Screenplay

“The Imitation Game” for bringing the story of Alan Turing to the public eye.

Best Original Score

“The Imitation Game” because of its traditional Oscar score.

Best Original Song

“Selma” largely because I would like to see Common and John Legend accept this award as I’m a fan of both of them.

Best Editing

“Boyhood” – I honestly cannot comprehend how much footage Sandra Adair had to sift through in order to weave together a cohesive storyline and she should be rewarded for her sheer dedication.

Best Cinematography

“Birdman” because it was a beautifully crafted visual film.

Best Production Design

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Probably the most intriguing visuals we’ve seen yet from Wes Anderson.

Best Costume Design

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Going hand in hand with the design, the costumes of this movie were stunning.

Best Makeup

“Guardians of the Galaxy”

Best Sound Editing

“Birdman”

Best Sound Mixing

“Whiplash”

Best Visual Effects

“Interstellar”

Best Live-Action Short

“Boogaloo and Graham”.  Those darn chickens!

Koob’s Picks

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Best Picture

From the Heart: “Boyhood” – While this film was groundbreaking by the fact that it was filmed over the course of 12 years, I feel like it goes way beyond just being a gimmick.  Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke were both great and Ellar Coltrane more than held his own and was definitely a surprise.  I remember walking out of the theater and just being blown away by this movie so I’m sticking with that as no other film gave me that feeling this year.

From the Head: “Boyhood” – It seems like it is neck and neck between “Boyhood” and “Birdman” this year and they were both great but I think the Academy will give the slight edge to “Boyhood”.

Best Actor

From the Heart: Michael Keaton in “Birdman” – This was a great performance by a very well liked actor in a very original film.  It’s not just rewarding him for a long career. I think he deserves it.

From the Head: Michael Keaton – Eddie Redmayne was great as Stephen Hawking and this should be another close one but the Academy loves to reward people who have been around for a while and never got their due so I think Keaton will come out on top.

Best Actress

From the Heart: Reese Witherspoon in “Wild” – Julianne Moore was great in “Still Alice” and she’s had a great career so it’s probably her time, but of the five performances Reese’s was the one that moved me the most.

From the Head: Julianne Moore in “Still Alice” – this is a virtual lock.  A well-deserved win for a phenomenal actress who has been a bridesmaid several times before and should now get her due.

Best Supporting Actor

From the Heart: J.K. Simmons in “Whiplash” – Always a tough category as Hawke, Norton, and Ruffalo were all great (not sure why Duvall is even here) but Simmons’ performance was pitch perfect and will be remembered for a long time.

From the Head: This is the year of J.K. Simmons.  He has pretty much won every award and I don’t think the Oscars will be any different.

Best Supporting Actress

From the Heart:  I really liked Laura Dern in “Wild” but I will give the slight edge to Patricia Arquette as a mother who went through some tough relationships but was always there for her kids.

From the Head: Once again, my pick matches up with what I think the Academy will do; Patricia Arquette for the win!

Best Director

From the Heart: This one is probably the toughest for me as “Birdman” was really cool and innovative and “Boyhood” was groundbreaking.  I have to give the edge to Linklater for carrying the project through for twelve years and never losing sight of his ultimate vision.

From the Head: Another very close race but I think Linklater edges out Inarritu.

Other Category Choices

Best Original Screenplay

I think “Birdman” will win here and deservedly so as it was very original.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Not really sure how this one will go down.  I thought Inherent Vice was pretty cool but I think maybe this will be one of the few wins for “The Imitation Game”.

Best Original Score

I didn’t see “Interstellar” or “Mr. Turner”, but I think “The Theory of Everything” will take this one.

Best Original Song

Seems to be a battle between “The Lego Movie” and “Selma”.  I’m going with John Legend and Common from “Selma” in this one.

Best Editing

I would be shocked if “Boyhood” didn’t win this as they put together footage filmed over the course of twelve years and blended it seamlessly together.

Best Cinematography

I’ve only seen “Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” in this category but I think they would have to be the two frontrunners.  I’ll give the slight edge to “Birdman”.

Best Production Design

I’ll go with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with this one.  Another awesome world created by Wes Anderson.

Best Costume Design

“Grand Budapest” again for this one.

Best Makeup

Steve Carell’s transformation in “Foxcatcher” was pretty amazing, but I’ll go with “Grand Budapest” for this one as well.

Best Sound Editing

I’m going with “Birdman” for this one…

Best Sound Mixing

…and this one.  “Birdman”.

Best Visual Effects

I’ve only seen “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “X-Men” in this category, but from the trailers, I think “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” could take this one.

Best Live-Action Short

I loved the Ireland film “Boogaloo and Graham” about two brothers and their chickens.

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Decade Recap – The 1920s and 1930s

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After seeing the first 12 Best Picture Winners from the 1920s and ’30s, we have yet to have a Double Gobble rating (a perfect 5 star movie), but there were still some very enjoyable films.  All Quiet on the Western Front and It Happened One Night were our favorites while You Can’t Take It With You was the surprise of  the bunch.  Here are the rankings for the first 12 movies:

1) All Quiet on the Western Front – 4.5 stars

2) It Happened One Night – 4 stars

3) You Can’t Take It With You – 3.5

4) Gone With the Wind – 3 stars

Mutiny on the Bounty – 3 stars

Wings – 3 stars

7) Cimarron – 2.5 stars

Grand Hotel – 2.5 stars

The Great Zeigfeld – 2.5 stars

10) The Life of Emile Zola – 2 stars

11) Broadway Melody – 1.5 stars

12) Cavalcade – 1 star

What do you think about our list? Tell us in the comments!

 

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You Can’t Take It With You – Best Picture Winner; 1938

You Can't Take It With You

The Basics – You Can’t Take It With You (1938) – Director – Frank Capra; starring Jean Arthur, Jimmy Stewart, Lionel Barrymore; Run Time – 126 mins. – Comedy, Romance –  “A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.”

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – In order to prepare the food, I had to do a little research on the movie, so I know that it is basically about a collision of worlds between two very different families.

Koob – All I know about this movie is that it is by the great Frank Capra.

Fun Facts

Shortly before filming began, Lionel Barrymore lost the use of his legs to crippling arthritis and a hip injury. To accommodate him, the script was altered so that his character had a sprained ankle, and Barrymore did the film on crutches.

Lionel Barrymore plays Jean Arthur‘s grandfather in the film. In reality, he was only 22 years her senior.

-A 1938 feature film usually ran to 8,000 feet of film. Frank Capra shot 329,000 feet for this one.
-The original play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was still running on Broadway when the film opened.
The first film collaboration of Jean ArthurJames Stewart and Frank Capra. Later the same teamed up for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939).

Viewing Source – Free streaming video @ http://stagevu.com/video/lchbzzytrcbd

Post Viewing Responses

 

Ratings (with 1 star = the worst and 5 stars = the best)

Koob: 3 stars

Kristy: 4 stars

Double Gobble Score: 3.5 stars

 

The Takeaway: An under-appreciated Frank Capra film that should be recognized by modern audiences for its witty, intelligent comedy and memorable cast of characters.

 

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A Symphony of Cheeses for “The Life of Emile Zola”

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Cheese in all its incarnations is definitely one of Kristy and Koob’s favorite foods, and France is the home of so many delicious cheeses. But with so many different kinds, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose just one. As Charles de Gaulle once famously said of France, “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese”.

Emile Zola captured this sentiment in his 1873 novel “Le Ventre de Paris (The Belly of Paris)”. Much of the novel focuses on Les Halles which was the central market of Paris for many years. While the book is a social commentary on the struggles of the working class and the “fattening” of the bourgeoisie, it is also filled with beautifully descriptive passages of the amazing variety of food found at Les Halles; the most well-known of which is the “Cheese Symphony” which is excerpted below:

All around them the cheeses were stinking. On the two shelves at the back of the stall were huge blocks of butter: Brittany butter overflowing its baskets; Normandy butter wrapped in cloth, looking like models of bellies on to which a sculptor had thrown some wet rags; other blocks, already cut into and looking like high rocks full of valleys and crevices. […] But for the most part the cheeses stood in piles on the table. There, next to the one-pound packs of butter, a gigantic cantal was spread on leaves of white beet, as though split by blows from an axe; then came a golden Cheshire cheese, a gruyère like a wheel fallen from some barbarian chariot, some Dutch cheeses suggesting decapitated heads smeared in dried blood and as hard as skulls – which has earned them the name of ‘death’s heads’. A parmesan added its aromatic tang to the thick, dull smell of the others. […] Then came the strong-smelling cheeses: the mont-d’ors, pale yellow, with a mild sugary smell; the troyes, very thick and bruised at the edges, much stronger, smelling like a damp cellar; the camemberts, suggesting high game; the neufchâtels, the limbourgs, the marolles, the pont-l’évèques, each adding its own shrill note in a phrase that was harsh to the point of nausea; […]
A silence fell at the mention of Gavard. They all looked at each other cautiously. As they were all rather short of breath by this time, it was the camembert they could smell. This cheese, with its gamy odour, had overpowered the milder smells of the marolles and the limbourg; its power was remarkable. Every now and then, however, a slight whiff, a flute-like note, came from the parmesan, while the bries came into play with their soft, musty smell, the gentle sound, so to speak, of a damp tambourine. The livarot launched into an overwhelming reprise, and the géromé kept up the symphony with a sustained note.

( The Belly of Paris, by Émile Zola, Oxford University Press, translated by Brian Nelson, 2007, p210-216)

So grab yourself some brie or some roquefort or some camembert (personally, we say the stinkier the better) and enjoy “The Life of Emile Zola” while creating your own cheese symphony.

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The Life of Emile Zola: Best Picture Winner – 1937

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The Basics – The Life of Emile Zola (1937) – Director – William Dieterle; Paul Muni, Gale Sondergaard, Joseph Schildkraut; Run Time – 116 mins. – Biography, Drama – “The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair.”

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – The only thing I know is that Emile Zola was a well-known French author and activist.

Koob – The only knowledge that I have of this movie was what I read on Wikipedia about Emile Zola; that he was a French writer and that he wrote “J’accuse” and was involved in the Dreyfus Affair

Fun Facts from IMDB

The film was shot in reverse order; Paul Muni grew his own beard for the role, and it was trimmed and darkened as he proceeded to scenes where Zola is younger. His makeup took 3-1/2 hours to apply each morning.

 Studio boss Jack L. Warner, who was himself Jewish, personally ordered that the word “Jew” be removed from all dialogue in this movie, apparently in order not to offend the Nazi regime and hurt business for the film in Germany–this according to Ben Urwand in his controversial 2013 study, ‘The Collaboration: Hollywood’s Pact With Hitler’.
This was the first film to receive 10 Academy Award nominations.

Considered highly contentious in France, the film wasn’t granted a proper release in that country until 1952

Viewing Source – Amazon Instant Video ($2.99 rental)

Post Viewing Responses

Ratings (with 1 star = the worst and 5 stars = the best)

Koob: 2 stars

Kristy: 2 atars

Double Gobble Score: 2 stars

The Takeaway: A fairly standard biopic with some solid acting and an interesting history lesson.

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The Great Ziegfeld – Best Picture Winner; 1936

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The Basics – The Great Ziegfeld (1936) – Director, Robert Z. Leonard; starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, Louise Rainer; Run Time – 176 mins. – Biography, Drama, Musical -“This biography follows the ups and downs of Florenz Ziegfeld, famed producer of extravagant stage revues.”

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – I know of Ziegfled as a legend on Broadway, however, I know nothing about the actual film itself but I’m expecting large musical numbers with fancy, feathered ladies.

Koob – I have heard of the Ziegfled Follies and know that Ziegfeld was a legendary producer on Broadway but know nothing about the actual film.

Fun Facts from IMDB

-The sequence “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody” was filmed in two lengthy takes after several weeks of rehearsals and filming (a definite cut is made when moving to a close-up on the singer dressed as Pagliacci, presumably to effect a change of camera position, necessary to start the inexorable move up the huge staircase). It features 180 performers and cost $220,000; 4,300 yards of rayon silk were used for the curtains in the scene.

-Myrna Loy, who received second billing for this film, does not actually appear on screen until 2 hours and 15 minutes into the movie.

-Pat Nixon (then Patricia Ryan), the future wife of Richard Nixon and the First Lady of the United States from 1969 to 1974, makes an uncredited appearance as a Ziegfeld girl.

-A.A. Trimble, who portrays Will Rogers in the film, was actually a Cleveland map salesman who frequently impersonated Rogers at Rotarian lunches.

Viewing Source – Amazon Instant Video ($2.00 rental)

Post Viewing Responses

Ratings (with 1 star = the worst and 5 stars = the best)

Koob: 3 stars

Kristy: 2 stars

Double Gobble Score: 2.5 stars

The Takeaway: Watch for the elaborate recreation of Ziegfeld’s Follies, but make sure you clear your schedule (it’s a long one!).

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Mutiny on the Bounty – Best Picture Winner; 1935

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The Basics – Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) – Director, Frank Lloyd; starring Clark Gable, Charles Lauhgton, Franchot Tone; Run Time – 132 mins. – Adventure, Drama, History –  “Fletcher Christian successfully leads a revolt against the ruthless Captain Bligh on the HMS Bounty. However, Bligh returns one year later, hell bent on avenging his captors.”

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – My knowledge of this movie is limited to the fact that it takes place on a ship near Tahiti.

Koob – Once again, I saw this movie around 12 or 13 years ago.  I remember it being pretty entertaining and Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh is one of the great screen villains of all time.

Fun Facts from IMDB

-The only film in Oscar history that had three nominees for Best Actor: Clark GableCharles Laughton, and Franchot Tone. Because of this, the Academy introduced a Best Supporting Actor Oscar shortly afterward to ensure this situation would not be repeated.

James Cagney was sailing his boat off of Catalina Island, California, and passed the area where the film’s crew was shooting aboard the Bounty replica. Cagney called to director Frank Lloyd, an old friend, and said that he was on vacation and could use a couple of bucks, and asked if Lloyd had any work for him. Lloyd put him into a sailor’s uniform, and Cagney spent the rest of the day as an extra playing a sailor aboard the Bounty. Cagney is clearly visible near the beginning of the movie.

Clark Gable had to shave off his trademark mustache for this film for historical accuracy. Mustaches were not allowed in the Royal Navy during the time the story takes place.

-In order to break the ice before shooting, Clark Gable, apparently unaware of co-star Charles Laughton‘s homosexuality, took him to a brothel. Laughton’s wife Elsa Lanchester always said that Laughton was nevertheless “flattered” by this gesture.

Viewing Source – Amazon Instant Video ($1.99 rental)

Post Viewing Responses

Ratings (with 1 star = the worst and 5 stars = the best)

Koob: 3 stars

Kristy: 4 stars

Double Gobble Score: 3.5 stars

The Takeaway: Worth seeing for the incredible story and the great performance by Charles Laughton as the villainous Captain Bligh.

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It Happened One Night – Best Picture Winner; 1934

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The Basics – It Happened One Night (1934) – Director, Frank Capra; starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert; Run Time – 105 mins. – Comedy, Romance – “A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who’s actually a reporter looking for a story.”

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – Although I have little knowledge on the plot of this movie I am excited to see it because many people have told me how great it is.

Koob – As is the theme with most of these early best picture winners, I saw this film around 12 years ago and I remember it being a very witty and clever romantic comedy.  I also know that it is one of only three films to win all five of the major categories at the Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay).

Fun Facts from IMDB

-Constance Bennett and Myrna Loy, among others, turned the script down. Claudette Colbert only accepted because Capra promised he would double her salary and she would be done in four weeks. She disliked the film so much she didn’t even attend the Oscars; when she won for Best Actress she was found about to leave on a trip and was rushed to the ceremony, where she made her acceptance speech in a traveling suit.

-Friz Freleng’s unpublished memoirs mention that this was one of his favorite films, and that it contains at least three things upon which the character “Bugs Bunny” was based; the character Oscar Shapely’s (Roscoe Karns) personality. the manner in which Peter Warne (Clark Gable) was eating carrots and talking quickly at the same time, and an imaginary character mentioned once to frighten Oscar Shapely named “Bugs Dooley.”

-Director Frank Capra came up with the idea about “the walls of Jericho” because Claudette Colbert refused to undress in front of the camera.

-When director Frank Capra asked Claudette Colbert to expose her leg for the hitchhiking scene, she at first refused. Later, after having seen the leg of her body double, she changed her mind insisting that “that is not my leg!”

Viewing Source – Amazon Instant Video ($2.99 rental)

Post Viewing Responses

Ratings (with 1 star = the worst and 5 stars = the best)

Koob: 4 stars

Kristy: 4 stars

Double Gobble Score: 4 stars

The Takeaway: A little dated but still a witty, well-written classic and the standard bearer for all future romantic comedies.

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Double Gobble Oscar Picks

Nate D. Sanders Auctions Collection Of Academy Award Oscar Statuettes Set To Be Auctioned

Here we go, Double Gobblers- we can’t believe that The Oscars are almost here! While we didn’t have the chance to see all of the shorts, we did see a good chunk of the films nominated this year. Below you will find our Oscar picks. For the bigger categories, we decided to pick the films that we want to win (From the Heart) and also the films we think The Academy is likely to choose (From the Head). We only included the categories that we have seen or have extensive knowledge in. Feel free to leave your own picks below!

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Kristy’s Picks

Best Picture

From the Heart: 12 Years A Slave- I loved this film and I think that time will prove it to be one of the best films in American cinema. The acting is superb, the writing is fantastic, and if The Academy is going for true emotion and grit, they will pick this one.

From the Head: American Hustle – This film has it all; an all-star cast, great direction, a suspenseful storyline, and a steady momentum at the box office. While it’s not my personal favorite, I think The Academy will reward this film for it’s originality.

Best Actor

From the Heart: Chiwetel Ejiofor deserves this and I will honestly be upset if anyone else wins out over him.

From the Head: Public opinion can have a strong influence over any person or group, and The Academy is no exception. For this reason, I think that Leonardo DiCaprio might actually get that golden statue- not because he deserves it for this particular role, but because the internet has decided it is time for him to win.

Best Actress

From the Heart: I am unhappy with the situation that has come to light regarding Woody Allen, but I do believe that Cate Blanchett has the strongest performance out of this group.

From the Head: There are quite a few award show darlings in this category, and it is tough to decide where The Academy will go with this one. If American Hustle wins Best Picture, it might end up being Amy Adams’ time to shine.

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Cavalcade- Best Picture Winner; 1933

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The Basics – Cavalcade (1933) – Director, Frank Lloyd; starring Diana Wynyard, Clive Brook, Una O’Connor; Run Time – 112 mins. – Drama, Romance  “A cavalcade of English life from New Year’s Eve 1899 until 1933 seen through the eyes of well-to-do Londoners Jane and Robert Marryot.”

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – It’s about a British family, that’s all I know.

Koob – Once again, I saw this movie years ago but remember close to nothing about it except that it follows a British family through different events from turn of the century through World War I.

Fun Facts from IMDB

-Betty Grable, in one of her earliest film appearances played, with no screen credit, “Girl on couch.”
-The second most popular film of 1933.
 
-At present, this is the only Best Picture Oscar winner not to be available on DVD in the Region 1 territory. It can be bought as part of the 20th Century Fox 75th Anniversary Collection, but the studio has no plans to release it separately.
 
-The third war film within 6 years to win the Best Picture Academy Award, the others being Wings (1927) and All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).
 
-Has the fewest IMDb votes out of all Best Picture Oscar winners as of April 2013 (less than two thousand).

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