Tag Archives: Oscars

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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Grand Hotel- Best Picture WInner: 1932

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The Basics – Grand Hotel (1932) – Director, Edmund Goulding; starring Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford; Run Time – 112 mins. – Drama, Romance 

Prior Knowledge

Kristy – Once again, I know pretty much nothing about this classic flick. The lineup of stars is obviously stellar, though, so I am looking forward to the acting in this one.

Koob – Once again, I actually saw this movie around 15 or so years ago and don’t remember much about it other then that it’s about a bunch of lives and loves intersecting at a very glamorous hotel.  I think I also remember there being some comic relief even though it is listed as mainly a drama and a romance.  And of course it has the classic Greta Garbo line, “I vant to be alone.”

Fun Facts from IMDB

-There are no scenes where Greta Garbo and Joan Crawford are in the same frame. This was done to eliminate the possibility that one of the two great stars might upstage the other.

Joan Crawford was irked by Greta Garbo‘s insistence on top billing and decided to take her revenge. Knowing that Garbo loathed tardiness and Marlene Dietrich in equal measures, Crawford played Dietrich records between shots and made sure to arrive late on set.

-The only Best Picture Oscar winner not to be nominated for any other Academy Awards.

-The original MGM Grand in Las Vegas (where Bally’s now stands) was built to resemble the design of this film.

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Why Leo Doesn’t Deserve the Oscar

Good Morning Double Gobblers. Kristy here, and today we are going to narrow our focus a bit to discuss something that has been bubbling up on the internet for quite some time.

On Wednesday, we wrote about some talented actors and actresses who earned more than one Academy Award for their portrayals on the big screen. Today, we are going to talk about one actor who many believe to have been snubbed time and again for Oscar-worthy performances: Leonardo Dicaprio.

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Yes, it’s true that when I was in 6th or 7th grade I owned a book similar to this: Leonardo Tear-out Photo Book. While I can’t deny that my young adult self started off as a fan girl for Leo, I would like to believe that my film tastes have matured over the years to look beyond his boyish smirk to see a really talented young actor emerge.

I appreciate many of DiCaprio’s films and I think he is one of the finest American actors of my generation. That being said,  I do not believe that the campaign for Leo to win an Oscar in 2014 is warranted (see this article for some over the top fan tweets campaigning for Leo’s Oscar win).

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When Lightning Strikes Twice…

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Winning an Oscar is an undeniable milestone is an actor’s career. For newer actors, it can open doors to amazing roles and for more seasoned professionals, winning can validate a long and challenging career.

It is widely believed that many of the award granting organizations, such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, have  favorite actors and actresses that tend to win out over others. While this may be true about nominations, in fact, it is still quite rare to win multiple Oscars in acting categories.

In total, there have only been 39 actors and actresses with more than one Oscar win for acting. This list includes such megastars as; Marlon Brando, Robert Deniro, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman, Elizabeth Taylor, and Jessica Lange. Even more illustrious than winning two Oscars, is the rare feat of winning 3 or more. This club holds only 6 members to date; Katharine Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

While it is always fun to root for the under dog, it is nice to see some of the world’s most talented actors and actresses consistently rewarded for all of their hard work.

This year, there are quite a few actors and actresses expected to be nominated, and possibly join the “Multiple Oscars Club”;

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Cimarron- Best Picture Winner: 1931

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The Basics – Cimarron (1931) – Director, Wesley Ruggles; starring Richard Dix, Irene Dunne, Estelle Taylor; Run Time – 123 mins. – Drama, Western

Prior Knowledge

Koob- I actually saw this movie around 15 years ago but I don’t remember much about it.  I just remember that it is about a family during the Oklahoma Land Rush.

Kristy- I am aware that it is a Western, and I have to admit, I am not a big fan of Western’s in general. That being said, the above poster image is by far the best we have seen, and gives me some hope that the film will indeed be “as terrific as all creation” (whatever that means).

Fun Facts from IMDB

– According to Anthony Holden’s book “Behind the Oscar” (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1993), R.K.O. lost $5.5 million (approximately $58 million in 2003 dollars, when factoring in inflation) on the movie despite its winning a Best Picture Academy Award. Its initial financial failure was blamed on its being released during one of the darkest periods of the Great Depression
-The first film to be nominated for every major Academy Award, including Best Picture.
-It would be another 59 years before a Western would win the Academy Award for Best Picture again when Dances with Wolves (1990) took the main prize.

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All Quiet on the Western Front – Best Picture Winner, 1929/1930

All Quiet on the Western Front

The Basics

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) – Direstor, Lewis Milestone; starring Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray; Run time – 136 mins. – Drama, War

Prior Knowledge

Koob – I saw this movie around 15 years ago and I remember it having a pretty profound effect on me.  I have never read the book that this film is based off of, but I thought it did a great job of depicting the horrors of war and it was unique in that it depicted WWI from the German perspective.  It really shows that war is terrible for all sides involved.

Kristy – Unlike the first two movies we watched I have heard of this one and it has been recommended to me numerous times.  I know that it is another film set during WWI but this time from the German soldiers’ perspective.  I’m interested to see it because I’ve heard that it is sympathetic, in a way, to the young German soldiers who ended up in war.

Fun Facts from IMDB

-A silent version of this film was produced simultaneously for theaters not yet wired for sound but didn’t receive its US TV premiere until 2011.

-In part because of his experience in playing the part of Paul Baumer, Lew Ayresbecame a conscientious objector during the Second World War. His films were banned in over 100 Chicago theaters.

-With the loss of limbs and gory deaths shown rather explicitly, this is undoubtedly the most violent American film of its time. This is because the Production Code was not strictly enforced until 1934, and also because Universal Pictures deemed the subject matter important enough to allow the violence to be seen.

-Nazi rabble rousers stormed screenings of the film in Germany, often releasing rats or stink bombs into the theaters, as the wounds of defeat in the First World War still ran deep. This led to the film ultimately being banned by the Nazi party. It wouldn’t receive proper screenings in Germany until 1956.

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Wings- Best Picture Winner, 1927/1928

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The Basics

Wings (1927) – Director, William Wellman; starring Clara Bow, Charles “Buddy” Rogers, Richard Arlen; Run time – 2 h 24 min. – Drama, Romance, War

Prior Knowledge

Koob: I have actually already seen Wings probably around 12 or 13 years ago.  I remember liking it well enough and as far as the plot, I remember the two main characters become pilots in WWI and wind up in France where one of them falls in love and the main female character played by Clara Bow becomes a nurse helping wounded soldiers.  I don’t remember too many of the details or the ending so I am looking forward to a second viewing.

Kristy: My knowledge of this film is limited to it being about young men signing up for and flying out to war. By the cover image, I assume the following to be essential to the plot: a love story, fantastic makeup and looking forlornly off into the distance.

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