Archive for July 2, 2011

The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1953

I love 1953. I say it every time, but I really do. If you want to see just how much I love 1953, read my articles where I talk about Best Actor for this year, William Holden for Stalag 17, Best Actress for this year, Audrey Hepburn for Roman Holiday, and Best Supporting Actor for this year, Frank Sinatra for From Here to Eternity. See that? I recapped without having to do all the rigamarole I did in those other articles. Also, Best Picture this year was From Here to Eternity and Donna Reed won Best Supporting Actress for it. It was a great year for movies, and an understandable Best Picture choice. While it wouldn’t have been my first choice (I love Roman Holiday and Shane), it’s still a good one, and a classy one. It’s a great film.

And this category — it works out about as well as one could hope for. The year before this, Fred Zinnemann should have been a shoo-in Best Director for High Noon. Everyone acknowledges he should have won (ditto the film for Best Picture). The reason it didn’t was because it was a thinly-veiled allegory against blacklisting. And the Academy doesn’t like controversy. So they played it safe, and chose The Greatest Show on Earth as Best Picture, which is a good film, but not a Best Picture. And since that film isn’t really the right choice, they went with John Ford for Best Director, for The Quiet Man. Which, is a gorgeous example of great directing, and he might well have won anyway, but, he had three Oscars by that point. Most people acknowledge he won because they didn’t want to vote for Zinnemann. Which is why it worked out that Zinnemann won this year. He won for the year’s Best Picture winner and for a film he directed a year earlier. Win-win. (P.S. This category is fucking stacked!)


And the nominees were…

George Stevens, Shane

Charles Walters, Lili

Billy Wilder, Stalag 17

William Wyler, Roman Holiday

Fred Zinnemann, From Here to Eternity (more…)

Pic of the Day: “We all need discipline. You said yourself they’re like children. Without discipline we should all behave like children.” “Oh. Don’t you like children, Sister?”