A Century of FilmScreen Shot 2021-01-23 at 2.28.05 PM

Film History

1940-1949

Filmmaking had supposedly peaked in 1939 just as the war arrived to greatly limit (outside of America, film production was massively down) and influence it (in America, War films took the forefront).  After the war concluded, came the two lawsuits that changed the way of films in America.  First came de Havilland vs. Warner Bros. Pictures which altered the notion of what a studio could put in a contract.  Second came United States vs. Paramount Pictures which meant that production studios would have to sell off their theater chains.  The first hastened the end of the way films were made in the Studio Era while the second altered how they were distributed and brought an to the end to the concept of the “majors” as they had been known. (more…)

A couple of very deserving Oscar winners from 1948 - a happy father and son.

A couple of very deserving Oscar winners from 1948 – a happy father and son.

Introduction:

This is a companion piece to three different series.  The first is 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…)

the dancing mushrooms in Fantasia - the best animated film of the 1940's

Well, before I go into 1949, I’ll cover the decade as a whole.  Bear in mind the decade awards cover films by their original release date, so you might find films that haven’t shown up in individual years yet.

1940  –  1949

Total Films I’ve Seen:  617

Films That Make the Top 5 in a Category:  42

Best Film Not to Make the Top 5 in any Category:  The Best Years of Our Lives

Film of the Decade:  Children of Paradise

Worst Film of the Decade:  King of the Zombies

Worst Best Picture Nominee of the Decade:  All This and Heaven Too

Worst Film of the Decade Made by a Top 100 Director:  Under Capricorn (more…)

David O. Selznick triumphs again with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier in Alfred Hitchcock's Rebecca (1940)

The 13th Academy Awards, for the film year 1940.  The nominations were announced on February 10, 1941 and the awards were held on February 27, 1941.

Best Picture:  Rebecca

  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • The Philadelphia Story
  • The Great Dictator
  • The Letter
  • The Long Voyage Home
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Our Town
  • Kitty Foyle
  • All This and Heaven Too

Most Surprising Omission:  Arise My Love

Best Film Not Nominated:  His Girl Friday

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #50 (more…)

My Top 10:

Henry Fonda as Tom Joad during his final speech in The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

  1. The Grapes of Wrath
  2. The Great Dictator
  3. The Philadelphia Story
  4. Rebecca
  5. His Girl Friday
  6. Pinocchio
  7. The Great McGinty
  8. The Shop Around the Corner
  9. La Bete Humaine
  10. Pride and Prejudice (more…)
Pathsofglory2

Kirk Douglas in Kubrick’s Paths of Glory, one of the best films from 1957

A little note before my article: I have a new article appearing on CinCity2000.com on Tuesday. It’s a response to a New York Times article about the lack of decent women’s roles in summer movies.

The Myth of 1939

We are so fond of anniversaries. Just look at everything we celebrated last year. The 80th anniversary of the Academy Awards. The 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love and Sgt Pepper’s. The 30th anniversary of Star Wars and the Summer of Sam. But did we forget the best anniversary from last year? Isn’t the big number supposed to be 50 (“not to fifty” Christopher Guest shouts as that classic turned 20)? Shouldn’t we have been looking back to 1957? For movies, after all, it might have been the peak of artistic creation, both on the national and international front. (more…)