Archive for November, 2011

Pic of the Day Update

Haven’t done one of these in a while.

As you saw, October was horror month and November was studio logo month (specifically, variations of the classic logo for certain films). Which — I’m gonna list what all of them were down at the bottom of this article. Oh, and September, if you remember (rhyme!), was a series of my favorite shots/great shots from my favorite films. Those were a few of my fav-or-ite things, if you will.

Starting tomorrow — I’m very excited about this — will be Christmas month. All of the Pics of the Day will have to do with Christmas, either specifically, or indirectly in the sense that the scene takes place around the holidays. As we get closer to the actual day, they’ll get more and more Christmas-themed, with my favorite holiday films (and even cartoons! I’m so excited for that. I fucking love those cartoons). Then, there will be a few pseudo-holiday themed ones in the little three day lull between Christmas and the New Year’s Pics.

I’m very excited for this, since, now that I’m in Los Angeles, I don’t get cold, snow, or the abundance of Christmas cheer that I’m used to. These Pics of the Day are all I have, people!

Oh, and, I said before — January and February are all Oscar Pics of the Day. I’ll explain what I mean by that again at the end of the month. For now, let’s just revel in the Christmas spirit ((s)… Eggnog). (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1940

1940 is a year that I always say is good, but possibly not as good as it could have been (yet, it still ranks as a solid year). Rebecca wins Best Picture, beating The Grapes of Wrath. Maybe not the best decision, historically, but it’s still a solid film. Plus, there was this category to even it out. So it actually kind of works.

Jimmy Stewart won Best Actor for The Philadelphia Story (talked about here), which is the most blatant makeup Oscar of all time. They were clearly giving it to him for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington the year before. Henry Fonda or Charlie Chaplin really should have won that one. Best Actress was Ginger Rogers for Kitty Foyle, which I love, since it was the only time they could really reward her, and Joan Fontaine, who probably should have won, won the year after this, so it worked out. Best Supporting Actor was Walter Brennan for The Westerner (talked about here), which, despite it being his third, I feel actually was a good decision. And Best Supporting Actress was Jane Darwell for The Grapes of Wrath (talked about here), which makes perfect sense, because she’s “Ma.”

And then there’s this category, which, aside from the fact that Hitchcock never won an Oscar (not this category’s fault, really), is a fantastic decision.


And the nominees were…

George Cukor, The Philadelphia Story

John Ford, The Grapes of Wrath

Alfred Hitchcock, Rebecca

Sam Wood, Kitty Foyle

William Wyler, The Letter (more…)

Pic of the Day: “It’s just like Santa’s workshop! Except it smells like mushrooms, and everyone looks like they wanna hurt me.”

The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1964

1964 is a year that you can’t do anything about, so it’s better to just enjoy it. My Fair Lady wins Best Picture, and as much as people love Dr. Strangelove, it was never gonna beat My Fair Lady. It just wasn’t. George Cukor finally wins his well-deserved Best Director statue for the film, and Rex Harrison also wins Best Actor for it (talked about here). I’m cool with the Cukor win, and the Harrison one too, just because I know that Strangelove never really had a shot at anything.

Best Actress this year was Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins, which is cool. The category didn’t really have a definitive winner, and Julie Andrews was gonna win one at some point anyway. Worked out just fine here. And Best Supporting Actor was Peter Ustinov for Topkapi (talked about here). I’m cool with it. The category was really bad. So it’s fine that he won.

And that’s pretty much 1964. Overall, good, as long as you realize what was and wasn’t possible. And then this category, which — meh, it sucked. I don’t really care what happened here. To an extent. I still have an opinion, though.


And the nominees were…

Gladys Cooper, My Fair Lady

Edith Evans, The Chalk Garden

Grayson Hall, The Night of the Iguana

Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek

Agnes Moorehead, Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (more…)

Pic of the Day: “If you can find a greasier sandwich, you’re in Mexico!”

The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1938

I don’t much like 1938 as an Oscar year. It feels like a series of cop outs and weak choices. Almost like them saying, “We don’t know what we should do, so let’s do what we did before. That worked.”

Example 1: You Can’t Take It With You wins Best Picture out of a relatively weak set of nominees. It seems like the Academy, when faced with a French (Grand Illusion) and British (Pygmalion) film as potential winners (those two were clearly just as good, if not better, choices), they got nervous and said, “Well, It Happened One Night was a good choice, let’s do it again!” They also gave Frank Capra Best Director (talked about here), which makes sense, considering the Best Picture choice.

Example 2: Best Actor was Spencer Tracy for Boys Town (talked about here). It seems, faced with giving this to James Cagney for a performance in a gangster film (or Leslie Howard for Pygmalion), they balked and said, “Well, we gave it to Spencer Tracy last year, let’s do it again!” (This is the single worst Best Actor-winning performance of all time.)

Example 3: Best Actress was Bette Davis for Jezebel (talked about here). It seems, when faced with giving Wendy Hiller an Oscar (or Norma Shearer a second one), they decided, “We gave one to Bette Davis. That worked. Let’s do it again!”

And then Best Supporting Actress was Fay Bainter, also for Jezebel, and this was actually a good decision. Bainter was nominated for Best Actress as well, and was a well-respected actress. That one worked. And then there’s this category, which, again, feels like them not knowing what to do, and going, “Well, we gave it to Walter Brennan once before. That worked. Let’s do it again!”


And the nominees were…

Walter Brennan, Kentucky

John Garfield, Four Daughters

Gene Lockhart, Algiers

Robert Morley, Marie Antoinette

Basil Rathbone, If I Were King (more…)

Pic of the Day: “Give way, little man.” “Only to a better man than m’self.” “He stands before you.”