Screen Shot 2021-07-24 at 7.25.33 AMThis is the 11th part of the countdown of the Top 1000 Films of the first Century of Film (1912-2011).  The introduction can be found here.  Just click here to find the other parts.

All 50 of these films earns a 92 which is mid ****. (more…)

A Century of Film


Film History Through 1929

I’m certainly not going to discuss all of film history through 1929.  That has been done in numerous books in far more detail than I could ever discuss here.  There are some important dates that should not be ignored like 1912 (the release of Richard III, the oldest surviving feature-length film), 1915 (the release of The Birth of a Nation), the formation of the major studios (remember that what you think of as major may not meet that definition – it’s the five studios that both distributed films and owned theaters to which they could distribute the films and those were Fox, MGM, Warners, Paramount and RKO Radio, the last of which began releasing films in 1929, thus cementing the status of the five majors) and the double whammy of the introduction of sound with The Jazz Singer and the inception of the Academy Awards. (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…)

NosferatuShadowYou can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  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.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category.  Films in blue were nominated.  But remember, there were only a handful of Oscar categories in this, the second year of the Oscars (and, in fact, several fewer than the year before).

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Nosferatu
  2. The Wind
  3. Steamboat Bill Jr
  4. L’Argent
  5. Lonesome (more…)
One of the brilliant scenes in Murnau's Nosferatu that's not in the original source.

One of the brilliant scenes in Murnau’s Nosferatu that’s not in the original source.

My Top 5:

  1. Nosferatu
  2. L’Argent
  3. The Wind
  4. The Docks of New York
  5. Street Angel

Note:  There is only a top 5 for this year.  There were more than enough adapted screenplays to have a Top 10 if the quality of the scripts had merited it.  They do not.  And there wouldn’t even have been 5 if I hadn’t seen L’Argent last week. (more…)

sunrise7shotsYou can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  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.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category.  Films in blue were nominated.  But remember, there were only a handful of Oscar categories in this, the first year of the Oscars.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Sunrise
  2. Metropolis
  3. The Man Who Laughs
  4. The Circus
  5. 7th Heaven (more…)
One of the beautiful and haunting images from Sunrise.  Nothing to do with the script, but great to look at.

One of the beautiful and haunting images from Sunrise. Nothing to do with the script, but great to look at.

My Top 10:

  1. Sunrise
  2. 7th Heaven
  3. The Man Who Laughs
  4. The Love of Jeanne Ney
  5. The Cat and the Canary
  6. Tartuffe
  7. Sadie Thompson
  8. The Lodger
  9. Laugh Clown Laugh
  10. The Scarlet Letter (more…)

Greed-notes-and-queries-v-007You can read more about this year in film here.  Since this is the pre-Oscar era, clearly there are no Best Picture reviews to link to.  So, without further ado, here are the initial Nighthawk Awards, covering the entire pre-Oscar era.  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.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture:
  1. Greed
  2. The Battleship Potemkin
  3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  4. The Gold Rush
  5. The Phantom of the Opera

note:  A good year for films because there are so many.  The next five, in order, are The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Birth of a Nation, Faust, The Last Laugh and Foolish Wives and the **** films go all the way down to #16. (more…)

I grabbed this banner from altscreen.com.  They deserve credit, because it's awesome.

I grabbed this banner from altscreen.com. They deserve credit, because it’s awesome.

My Top 10 Adapted Screenplays:

  1. Greed  (1925)
  2. The Phantom of the Opera  (1925)
  3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (1923)
  4. Faust  (1926)
  5. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse  (1921)
  6. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  (1920)
  7. Ingeborg Holm  (1913)
  8. Oliver Twist  (1922)
  9. The Birth of a Nation  (1915)
  10. The Avenging Conscience  (1914) (more…)

That Oscar Cameron Crowe is holding? It wasn't for Best Director.

I have put off what was supposed to be an annual update of the Top 100 Directors of All-Time because I got sidetracked working on a ranking of all 210 directors who have been nominated for an Oscar over the years.  I had hoped to add Christopher Nolan to that list.  After all, on my initial list he was the highest ranked director without an Oscar nomination and Inception was easily going to be a Best Picture nominee.  Except, somehow, the Academy left him off their nomination list – the third time he has earned a DGA nomination but not an Oscar nomination, tying Rob Reiner for first place on that dubious distinction list.

So, since I’m a long way from finishing my ranking of the Oscar nominated directors, I thought I would throw up two lists.  The next one will be the best English language directors who have never been nominated for an Oscar or had one of their films nominated for Best Picture.  But this one is the Top 10 Directors of All-Time Who Have Never Been Nominated for An Oscar Even Though Their Film Was.

Because I am only including directors who have never been nominated, some of the more egregious director omissions in Academy history aren’t part of this list (like say Steven Spielberg for Jaws or John Huston for The Maltese Falcon or Ang Lee for Sense and Sensibility).  Those directors have all been nominated for Best Director by the Academy at some point and are among the 210 who will be ranked later.

There are 72 directors on this list – many of them from the early years when there were far more films nominated than directors (today the films outnumber the directors 10 to 5 but there were years where they outnumbered them 12 to 3).  In the last two years as many directors have been added to this list (8) as had been added from 1994 to 2008.

By the way, the antithesis to this list is Fellini.  He is the only person in Academy history to be nominated for Best Director more than once while never having a film nominated for Best Picture.  He is tied with Woody Allen for most Director nominations without Picture noms (4), ahead of Billy Wilder and Alfred Hitchcock (3 each).  Oddly enough, Otto Preminger was nominated twice when his film wasn’t and the only film he ever directed that was nominated didn’t earn him a nomination.

I have cut people off for the same reason that I have done on my all-time list – if they have directed fewer than 4 films, so no Joe Wright or Neill Blomkamp.  But here is my Top 10: (more…)