Posts tagged “1927-1928

The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Director (1927/1928-1949)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Actress (1927/1928-1949)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Actor (1927/1928-1949)

This is part of a series of articles where I’m putting forth my opinions about what I’d nominate in all of the Oscar Quest categories (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress). Normally I take the categories as they are, but I thought it would be fun to figure out what I’d vote for if I had a ballot each year. Keep in mind, this is only for NOMINATIONS and nothing else.

My only problem with this is that I knew if I did it, too many people, were they doing the same thing, would put on movies that just didn’t belong on an Oscar ballot. (I would too, in some cases. We just like what we like.) My problem was that people would take this exercise as an opportunity to really just go off the rails with stuff (which, if you read through all these articles, you’ll see me call people out for it, since I know exactly which films and which performances people would put on). So my way around this was by creating what I call a “Compromise List” — after I tell you what was actually nominated and what I’d put on my ballot, I’m making a list whereby I try to make everyone happy and keep it mostly close to what would be there, Academy-wise. You’ll see. My lists usually end up being better and not crazy.

The things to take into account with the performance categories — I can only nominate what I’ve seen. So me not seeing something will be a big reason why some stuff doesn’t appear. And, as always, I tell people not to bother me with one random person in one random category, since I have everything to think about. If you want to say something, wait until you’ve seen all the films/tried this yourself before you do it. And I don’t care about foreign performances, for the most part. There’s a long and complicated answer there, but — I don’t. And the big rule for anyone doing this — if someone won a category, YOU CAN’T LEAVE THEM OFF THE COMPROMISE LIST. Can’t do it.

Otherwise — here’s the next set of categories. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: My Oscar Nominations — Best Picture (1927/1928-1949)

To run down the intro quickly — this is a series of articles about what I would nominate in every single Oscar Quest category if I had a ballot. I always felt I should do them, but didn’t want to pull that shit everyone pulls of, “Here’s what I’d nominate,” even though it’s all the same five films they add on and they haven’t even seen half the stuff that was nominated. I know my stuff’s legit, because I’ve seen all the films, but I refused to start this discussion unless I was going to do it with the ability to tell people how to do it the right way, since unless you keep them honest, it’s fucking chaos.

So I decided to, along with picking what I’d vote for, create what I’m calling a Compromise List. The Compromise List is — aside from my personal nominations (which on the whole are pretty close to what would fit the typical notion of “Oscar,” since I’ve seen everything and know what is and what isn’t an “Oscar” movie and actually respect the precedents in place even though I don’t always agree with them enough to not be like, “I vote for Star Trek!”), a list of films that are basically a mix of my nominees and their nominees that I think everyone could live with. The idea is to make a list that works for everyone that’s great, and to cut out all the shit that so clearly shouldn’t be there.

The things to keep in mind: 1) if a category has five nominees, I’m only nominating five films. 2) The lists are only based on what I’ve seen. 3) Don’t bother me with your opinion unless you’re gonna go the full nine and do every single year. 4) If you’re going to attempt something like this — be honest. Don’t get too subjective, and DO NOT take off a film you haven’t seen just to put on a film you have seen. And most importantly, 5) YOU CANNOT take off a Best Picture winner. You can not vote for it on your list, but on your compromise list, the Best Picture winner MUST BE THERE. If it won, you have to include it. No exceptions.

Okay, let’s get to the next set of Best Picture years: (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1927-1928

Ah, the first Oscars. There’s a lot to say here. Let’s see how quickly we can get it in. The Oscars began when Louis B. Mayer (head of MGM, and the second M in the title) thought to have an organization that would honor those people in the industry and also help improve the industry’s image (since at that point, there were a lot of labor disputes. There weren’t really any of the guilds as we know them today. They were still working to be formed. Plus film had a negative connotation to it. The industry had this reputation for putting smut on screen and was just attacked all around). Basically — it was a way to promote the good of the industry, rather than what the perceived opinion of it was. And it just stuck. But it’s important to note that the Oscars were originally more about AMPAS than the ceremony.

This first ceremony happened in May of 1929, and wasn’t even about the ceremony. They announced the winners three months earlier, and it was basically a reception for people to pick up the awards. Kind of like they do now with the Kennedy Center and AFI Awards. It’s about honoring the winners. They kept up the tradition for the first decade, handing out the names of the winners to the newspapers at 11 pm the night of the awards all the way until 1941, which is when they started with the whole envelope and the “and the winner is…” thing. Also of note, the reason the first five ceremonies have two years attached to them is because, until 1934, there was no set ceremony. Starting in 1934 was when they pushed the ceremony to the end of February/March like we know it to be. The 1927-1928 awards were given out in 1929, and they basically spend the nest few years playing catch up. The next two Oscar ceremonies happened in 1930, and then they caught up by 1932-1933, which allowed them to have the 1935 ceremony purely for the films of 1934. (Which also continues to piss me off that people constantly misquote what year it is. For instance, they call them the 2012 Oscars, meanwhile they’re for the films of 2011, just because the ceremony happened in 2012. It’s very infuriating.)

Let’s put the break here, since I have a lot more to say. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1927-1928 (Comedy & Dramatic)

(Note: THIS CATEGORY IS NOT FINISHED. I still need to watch one of the nominees. I still have not been able to find Sorrell and Son in any cheap/acceptable format. If anyone has it or knows where it can be procured, let me know, so this category can be finished.)

The very first Best Director category. It’s split up into two. So we’ll deal with one then go into the other one afterward. First let’s recap the year.

Best Picture was also split into two categories. The “Outstanding Production” of the year was Wings, while the “Unique or Artistic Production” went to Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. Then Best Actor was Emil Jannings for The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh (talked about here). And Best Actress was Janet Gaynor for Seventh Heaven, Street Angel and Sunrise (talked about here). All of them are good decisions.

And these categories — based on what was nominated (for the first one), or simply based on the effort (the second one), they were both good choices (the second being really good).

BEST DIRECTOR – 1927-1928 (Comedy)

And the nominees were…

Lewis Milestone, Two Arabian Knights

Ted Wilde, Speedy (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1927-1928

(Note: THIS CATEGORY IS NOT FINISHED. I still need to watch one of the nominees. I still have not been able to find The Noose in any cheap/acceptable format. If anyone has it or knows where it can be procured, let me know, so this category can be finished.)

Ah, the very first Best Actor category. Talk about a completely different set of rules than normal. These were the first Oscars ever. The winners were announced in advance and the awards were given at a small dinner event. And there were only like three nominees in each category! Two here! It’s crazy.

Anyway, the Best Picture for this year was — well, there were two. The “Outstanding Picture, Production” award, went to Wings, and the “Unique and Artistic Production” award went to Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (I love using that subtitle). Most people call Wings the first Best Picture winner, mostly because — between art and business, Hollywood always chooses business.

Best Director this year was split into two categories as well. First was for Comedy, which went to Lewis Milestone for Two Arabian Knights, and the other was for Dramatic, which went to Frank Borzage, for Seventh Heaven. And then Best Actress went to Janet Gaynor, for Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise (talked about here). I rank that decision a top ten decision for all time.

So then we have this one. This was a no-brainer, because Emil Jannings was considered the best silent film actor working (remember, actor and comedian are two different things in 1928). Of course he was gonna get the first Best Actor Oscar. It’s like if they created a “Most Universally Liked” actor award today, and your top finishers would be Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr. and George Clooney. What a surprise.

BEST ACTOR – 1927-1928

And the nominees were…

Richard Barthelmess, The Noose & The Patent Leather Kid

Emil Jannings, The Last Command & The Way of All Flesh (more…)