Joad got out and stood beside the cab window.  The vertical exhaust pipe puttered up its barely visible blue smoke.  Joad leaned toward the driver.  'Homicide,' he said quickly."

“Joad got out and stood beside the cab window. The vertical exhaust pipe puttered up its barely visible blue smoke. Joad leaned toward the driver. ‘Homicide,’ he said quickly.”

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category.  Films in blue were nominated.  The Academy added two categories this year.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Grapes of Wrath
  2. Rebecca
  3. The Philadelphia Story
  4. The Great Dictator
  5. His Girl Friday

(more…)

Sociology, history and a thrilling real crime all wrapped together with pure Crichton entertainment.

Sociology, history and a thrilling real crime all wrapped together with pure Crichton entertainment.

The Great Train Robbery

  • Author:  Michael Crichton  (1942 – 2008)
  • Published:  1975
  • Publisher:  Knopf
  • Pages:  281
  • First Line:  “Forty minutes out of London, passing through the rolling green fields and cherry orchards of Kent, the morning train of the South Eastern Railway attained its maximum speed of fifty-four miles an hour.”
  • Last Line:  “The money from The Great Train Robbery was never recovered.”
  • Film:  1979  (*** – dir. Michael Crichton)
  • First Read:  Spring 1993

(more…)

The Penguin Classics edition of the novel that first got me to read it.

The Penguin Classics edition of the novel that first got me to read it.

La Bête humaine

  • Author:  Émile Zola
  • Published:  1890
  • Publisher:  Charpentier
  • Pages:  366
  • First Line:  “Roubaud came into the room and put the pound loaf, pâté and bottle of white wine on the table.”
  • Last Line:  “With no human hand to guide it through the night, it roared on and on, a blind and deaf beast let loose amid death and destruction, laden with cannon-fodder, these soldiers already silly with fatigue, drunk and bawling.”
  • Film Version:  1920 (possibly lost), 1938 (**** – dir. Jean Renoir), 1954 (***.5 – dir. Fritz Lang), 1957
  • First Read:  2010

(more…)

superman_iii_xlg

Yes, it is as bad as this poster makes it look.

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part VI

Superman III

  • Director:  Richard Lester
  • Writer:  David Newman  /  Leslie Newman
  • Producer:  Ilya Salkind
  • Stars:  Christopher Reeve, Richard Pryor, Annette O’Toole, Robert Vaughn
  • Studio:  Warner Bros
  • Award Nominations:  none from groups I track
  • Length:  125 min
  • Genre:  Fantasy  (Comic Book)
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  17 June 1983
  • Box Office Gross:  $59.95 mil  (#12  -  1983)
  • Ebert Rating:  **.5
  • My Rating:  *
  • My Rank:  #87  (year – out of 91)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notable:  none
  • First Watched:  on HBO at some point – I don’t think I saw it in the theaters
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  2 or 3

(more…)

The Bantam two volume Complete Sherlock Holmes.

The Bantam two volume Complete Sherlock Holmes.

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, consisting of:

  1. A Study in Scarlet  (1887, 104 p)
  2. The Sign of the Four  (1890, 102 p)
  3. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes  (1892, 246 p)
  4. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes  (1894, 208 p)
  5. The Hound of the Baskervilles  (1902, 146 p)
  6. The Return of Sherlock Holmes  (1905, 263 p)
  7. The Valley of Fear  (1915, 144 p)
  8. His Last Bow  (1917, 168 p)
  9. The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes  (1927, 214 p)
  • Author:  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle  (1859  -  1930)
  • Published:  see above
  • Publisher:  various, mostly George Newnes, after initial publication in The Strand
  • Pages:  see above  (all page totals from the Bantam Complete Sherlock Holmes)
  • First Line:  “In the year 1878 I took my degree of Doctor of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the Army.”
  • Last Line:  “Both police and coroner took a lenient view of the transaction, and beyond a mild censure for the delay in registering the lady’s decease, the lucky owner got away scatheless from this strange incident in a career which has now outlived its shadows and promises to end in an honoured old age.”
  • ML Edition:  #206  (1946 – Adventures and Memoirs published together); gold hardcover (Adventures and Memoirs published together); Modern Library classics (Adventures and Memoirs published together; A Study in Scarlet; Hound)
  • Films:  see below
  • First Read:  high school

(more…)

hustleIn the history of the Golden Globes, only once has the Best Picture – Comedy category produced more than 2 Oscar nominees for Best Picture (that was in 1987, with Hope and Glory, Moonstruck and Broadcast News).  Today, though I had been hoping for 5, they went with 4.

You could argue that there are now more Best Picture nominees at the Academy Awards and so of course this happens.  And yet, in the first four years of the expanded Best Picture lineup, only 5 Globe Picture – Comedy nominees went on to the Oscar lineup.  There were 4 just from this year.

But here is the other big statistic, which I looked up last night, just in case it came true.  And it did.  This is the 86th annual Academy Awards.  In the first 85 years, 14 times a film was nominated in all four acting categories.  Those 14 films were directed by 14 different directors.  And now we have a 15th film – American Hustle.  And not only is American Hustle directed by a director who’s done this before, David O. Russell, but he did it last year!  Hell, last year was the first time in 31 years this happened.  And now Russell has done it in back-to-back years.  It’s truly astounding, and yet, I thought it might happen.

This might also put Jennifer Lawrence in the driver’s seat.  Only two of those 14 films failed to win an acting Oscar – My Man Godfrey and Sunset Boulevard.

As usual, I jotted things down.  I missed one in almost every category – Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Animated Film.  I’m stunned they passed on Inside Llewyn Davis and incredibly stunned they would pick the dreck of The Croods over Monsters University.  But I got Adapted Screenplay and Supporting Actress right and correctly picked Amy Adams, though I thought they would pass on Streep.  I also correctly got Leo over Redford, but missed on Bale instead of Hanks.

On to the trivia: (more…)

oz

The one film from 1939 that might be better than its reputation.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category.  Films in blue were nominated.  The Academy added one category this year – splitting Score into Score and Original Score, though they are vague over what the precise difference is.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  3. Wuthering Heights
  4. Stagecoach
  5. Gone With the Wind

(more…)

"So once more the little company set off upon the journey, the Lion walking with stately strides at Dorothy's side."  (book, p 55).  Or, to put it another way: "Follow the Yellow Brick Road."

“So once more the little company set off upon the journey, the Lion walking with stately strides at Dorothy’s side.” (book, p 55). Or, to put it another way: “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.”

My Top 9:

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Wuthering Heights
  3. Port of Shadows
  4. The Lady Vanishes
  5. Stagecoach
  6. Harvest
  7. Gunga Din
  8. Of Mice and Men
  9. Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Note:  Again we have a list that isn’t quite reflective of the films as a whole.

Oscar Nominees  (Best Screenplay):

  • Gone with the Wind
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips
  • Wuthering Heights

Analysis:  This time we have two films in this category that would qualify as original – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (which would actually win Best Original Story) and Ninotchka. (more…)

A couple of famous Oscar winners in 1939.

A couple of famous Oscar winners in 1939.

Introduction:

This is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is the The History of the Academy Awards, in which I covered each category in individual posts.  This was originally done in 2009 and additions were included in 2010.  You can find links to all of these pieces in each individual category.  I have grouped all of the categories together for the same reason that I did so originally – because most pieces on the Oscars don’t approach the awards through the categories, but through the years.  This specific piece is designed to take a closer look at the decade (with a couple of extra years, since there was no point in doing a separate piece on the first two years of the Oscars) and how I think the Academy did in those years.

The second series is my Year in Film series.  That is mentioned here because in those pieces I included paragraphs about the Oscars as a whole for each year and included a considerable amount of trivia.  Since I had based my Year in Film series and eligibility as such on the Academy calendar, it all seemed very relevant.  Also, starting in 1930-31, I started including various prizes (Worst Oscar, Worst Nomination, Worst Omission, etc) and I didn’t want to repeat myself, so following the links will bring you there.  Those links are at the end of this piece, where I do a brief summation of each year and how the Academy did.

The third series is my History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture series, where I reviewed every film ever nominated for Best Picture (except The Patriot, which is lost).  Those links are also down below, grouped by year. (more…)

Jean Gabin and Marcel Dalio escape the war in The Grand Illusion (1937, eligible in 1938).

Jean Gabin and Marcel Dalio escape the war in The Grand Illusion (1937, eligible in 1938).

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category.  Films in blue were nominated.  The Academy added one category this year – splitting Score into Score and Original Score, though they are vague over what the precise difference is.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Grand Illusion
  2. The Adventures of Robin Hood
  3. Bringing Up Baby
  4. Pygmalion
  5. You Can’t Take It With You

(more…)

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