"A-15.  UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW).  Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down.  She is in her early thirties.  She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees.  She wears no stockings, no nothing.  On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms.  On her left ankle a gold anklet."

“A-15. UPPER LANDING OF STAIRCASE (FROM BELOW). Phyllis Dietrichson stands looking down. She is in her early thirties. She holds a large bath-towel around her very appetizing torso, down to about two inches above her knees. She wears no stockings, no nothing. On her feet a pair of high-heeled bedroom slippers with pom-poms. On her left ankle a gold anklet.”

My Top 5:

  1. Double Indemnity
  2. Gaslight
  3. Arsenic and Old Lace
  4. Laura
  5. Ministry of Fear

Note:  That’s it.  My whole list for the year.  But it’s also a year where only 8 films rank above *** and the other three are original.  Not a good year for film. (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…)

One look at her and Walter Neff was doomed.

One look at her and Walter Neff was doomed.

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. This is the start of the 5 Best Picture nominee era at the Oscars, which will last until 2008.  It’s the second year of the Golden Globes – there were still no nominees and no distinction between Drama and Comedy, but those films in red in the Globe section won the Globes.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Double Indemnity
  2. Gaslight
  3. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
  4. Hail the Conquering Hero
  5. Arsenic and Old Lace

Analysis:  This is not a great year, and yet it’s still going to be better than 1945.  These are all **** films, but this is the lowest total for the top 5 since 1937 and it’s the lowest top 10 since 1936.  That’s because this is it for **** films and there are only three ***.5 films: Ministry of Fear, Laura and The Princess and the Pirate and the last two are lower level.  The only years so far with a weaker 6 through 10 are 1931, 1934 and 1936.  Arsenic was actually ready in 1942 but Warners was contractually obligated to wait for the end of the Broadway run and so it becomes the third great comedy here. (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…)

Oscar winners Barry Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby in Best Picture winner Going My Way (1944)

The 17th Academy Awards, for the film year 1944.  The nominations were announced on February 3, 1945 and the awards were held on March 15, 1945.

Best Picture:  Going My Way

  • Double Indemnity
  • Gaslight
  • Since You Went Away
  • Wilson

Most Surprising Omission:  Laura

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek

Rank (out of 82) Among Best Picture Years:  #60

(more…)

My Top 10:

The ultimate femme fatale: Barbara Stanwyck in Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity (1944)

  1. Double Indemnity
  2. Gaslight
  3. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
  4. Hail the Conquering Hero
  5. Arsenic and Old Lace
  6. Ministry of Fear
  7. Laura
  8. The Princess and the Pirate
  9. Kismet
  10. The Seventh Cross (more…)