I don’t like 1937. I think we’ve established this by now on the blog. I think The Life of Emile Zola is one of the weakest Best Picture choices of all time, and I think the Academy didn’t know what to do here and gave it to that film as a cop out decision. You can tell it probably was that because it didn’t also win this category. Joseph Schildkraut won Best Supporting Actor for the film, which, as I said here, I don’t really care about, even though I didn’t think the performance was anything to write home (or anywhere) about.
Best Actor this year was Spencer Tracy for Captains Courageous (talked about here). I don’t particularly like it as a Best Actor-winning performance, but I can live with it (it’s really his 1938 win that I can’t live with). Best Actress was Luise Rainer for The Good Earth, which, as I said here, I think is a horrible, horrible decision. And Best Supporting Actress was Alice Brady for In Old Chicago. You can read my problems with that decision here.
And this category, I’ve talked about it in the intros of the other articles I’ve written about this year, I think it’s a great decision, but I think it was for the wrong film. So I intend to talk about both the film he won for and the film he should have won for. But either way, this was a great decision.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1937
And the nominees were…
William Dieterle, The Life of Emile Zola
Sidney Franklin, The Good Earth
Gregory La Cava, Stage Door
Leo McCarey, The Awful Truth
William A. Wellman, A Star is Born (more…)