Monthly Archives: March 2010

James Dean – What Might Have Been

Watching Cool Hand Luke recently on the DVR – thank you ’31 Days of Oscar’ on TCM – I noticed Dennis Hopper and Richard Davalos kicking around the background, with Jo Van Fleet having a turn in the foreground, and there was something in the convergence of the three that got me thinking about James Dean. After all, Davalos and Van Fleet were both in East of Eden with Dean, playing his mother and brother, and Dennis Hopper, in addition to playing a small part in Rebel Without a Cause and a less smaller part in Giant, had been a friend/devotee of Dean at the time of Dean’s death. Continue reading


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The Best Picture Project – The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Directed by William Wyler

Screenplay by Robert E. Sherwood

Starring Frederic March, Dana Andrews, Teresa Wright, Harold Russell, Myrna Loy

The Oscars are a cyclical bunch. For a while they lavish awards on movies that aren’t terribly deep, i.e., spectacles- Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge on the River Kwai, Oliver – only to eventually snap out of it and give awards to more ‘serious’ and ‘earnest’ films, i.e., boring, like Kramer v. Kramer and Ghandi only to fall back into it Forrest Gump and Titanic. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project

Some time ago I watched Julie &Julia with my wife and daughter, one of whom loves Food Network, the other of whom is thinking about becoming a chef. Anyway, the movie was all right, but a bit like a meringue. The parts with Julia Child were magnificent while the parts with Julie Powell – well, let’s just say that addition by subtracted would have occurred with this movie if the Julie Powell parts suddenly went MIA. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Oscar Winners

Here is the list films seen and to be seen in the ongoing Best Picture Project (and the director).  Clink on the film for a link to the blog post:

• 1928 – Wings (William Wellman)

• 1929 – The Broadway Melody (Harry Beaumont)

• 1930 – All Quiet on the Western Front (Lewis Milestone)

• 1931 – Cimarron (Wesley Ruggles)

1932 – Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding)

• 1933 – Cavalcade (Frank Lloyd)

• 1934 – It Happened One Night (Frank Capra)

• 1935 – Mutiny on the Bounty (Frank Lloyd)

• 1936 – The Great Ziegfield (Robert Z. Leonard)

• 1937 – The Life of Emile Zola (William Dieterle)

1938 – You Can’t Take It With You (Frank Capra)

• 1939 – Gone With The Wind (Victor Fleming)

• 1940 – Rebecca (Alfred Hitchcock)

• 1941 – How Green Was My Valley (John Ford)

• 1942 – Mrs. Miniver (William Wyler)

• 1943 – Casablanca (Michael Curtiz)

• 1944 – Going My Way (Leo McCarey)

• 1945–The Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder)

• 1946–The Best Years Of Our Lives (William Wyler)

• 1947–A Gentleman’s Agreement (Elia Kazan)

• 1948–Hamlet (Laurence Olivier)

• 1949–All The King’s Men (Robert Rossen)

• 1950–All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankewiecz)

• 1951–An American in Paris (Vincent Minnelli)

• 1952–The Greatest Show on Earth (Cecille B. DeMille)

• 1953–From Here to Eternity (Fred Zimmerman)

• 1954–On The Waterfront (Elia Kazan)

• 1955–Marty (Delbert Mann)

• 1956–Around the World In 80 Days (Michael Anderson)

• 1957–Bridge Over The River Kwai (David Lean)

• 1958–Gigi (Vincent Minelli)

• 1959–Ben Hur (William Wyler)

• 1960–The Apartment (Billy Wilder)

• 1961–West Side Story (Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise)

• 1962–Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean)

• 1963–Tom Jones (Tony Richardson)

• 1964–My Fair Lady (George Cukor)

• 1965–The Sound of Music (Robert Wise)

• 1966–A Man For All Season (Fred Zimmerman)

• 1967–In The Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison)

• 1968–Oliver (Sir Carol Reed)

• 1969–Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger)

• 1970–Patton (Franklin J. Schaffner)

• 1971–The French Connection (William Friedkin)

• 1972–The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola)

• 1973–The Sting (George Roy Hill)

• 1974–The Godfather Part 2 (Francis Ford Coppola)

• 1975–One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Milos Forman)

• 1976–Rocky (John G. Avildsen)

• 1977–Annie Hall (Woody Allen)

• 1978–The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino)

• 1979–Kramer Vs. Kramer (Robert Benton)

• 1980–Ordinary People (Robert Redford)

• 1981–Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson)

• 1982–Gandhi (Sir Richard Attenborough)

• 1983–Terms of Endearment (James L. Brooks)

• 1984–Amadeus (Milos Forman)

• 1985–Out of Africa (Sydney Pollack)

• 1986–Platoon (Oliver Stone)

• 1987–The Last Emperor (Bernado Bertolucci)

• 1988–Rain Man (Barry Levinsen)

• 1989–Driving Miss Daisy (Bruce Beresford)

• 1990–Dances With Wolves (Kevin Costner)

• 1991–Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme)

• 1992–Unforgiven (Clint Eastwood)

• 1993–Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg)

• 1994–Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis)

• 1995–Braveheart (Mel Gibson)

• 1996–The English Patient (Anthony Minghalla)

• 1997–Titanic (James Cameron)

• 1998–Shakespeare in Love (John Madden)

• 1999–American Beauty (Sam Mendes)

• 2000–Gladiator (Ridley Scott)

• 2001–A Beautiful Mind (Ron Howard)

• 2002–Chicago (Rob Marshall)

• 2003–Lord of the Ring: The Return of the King (Peter Jackson)

• 2005–Crash (Paul Haggis)

• 2006–The Departed (Martin Scorsese)

• 2007 – No Country For Old Men (The Coens)

• 2008 – Slumdog Millionaire (Danny Boyle)

• 2009 – The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)

2010 – The King’s Speech (Tom Hooper)

• 2011  The Artist (Michel Hazanavicius)

• 2012  Argo (Ben Affleck) 

2013 – 12 Years A Slave (Steve McQueen)

2014 – Birdman (Alejandro G. Iñárritu)

2015 — Spotlight (Tom McCarthy)


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