Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Best Picture Project – Patton (1970)

 Directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

Starring George C. Scott and Karl Malden

Written by Francis Ford Coppola and Edmund H. North

Patton, the film, like the man, is a curious oddity. Whereas war movies that came before it were usually rather jingoistic and made dying for one’s country a heroic act – think John Wayne in Green BeretsPatton makes clear that dying for one’s country is idiotic. Losers die for their country, we are told; winners make the other guy die for his country. It might be a conceit that’s pretty standard nowadays but at the time it must have been a watershed idea. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Marty (1955)

 Directed by Delbert Mann

Screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky

Starring Ernest Borgnine and Betsy Blair

At the beginning of this project I had one goal in mind: to see a lot of ‘good’ movies and to be exposed to what peoples of other times thought of as good movies. In a sense, this project was something like a time machine. I got to see the past but couldn’t do anything about it. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – The Broadway Melody (1929)

Dir. by Henry Beaumont

Starring Anite Page, Bessie Love, Charles King

When sound films came into being back in 1927 – with The Jazz Singer – the death of silent films was at hand but because of the time needed to switch over to producing and exhibiting sound films there was an unusual lag in time between the death knell and the actual death itself. This meant that in the first year of the Academy Awards, when sound films were just making hay, silent films were able to rule the day. By the second year, though, silent films were over. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Annie Hall (1977)

Annie Hall

Written and Directed by Woody Allen

Starring Woody Allen and Diane Keaton

Woody Allen has had one hell of an eventful life. He started as a TV writer for Sid Ceasar, transitioned successfully to the stage and then the screen. He won three Oscars, toured with a jazz band, made some fairly interesting movies and, notoriously, married the adopted daughter of his former wife. Continue reading

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