Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Best Picture Project – Rocky (1976)

Rocky (1976)

Directed by John G. Avildsen

Written By Sylvester Stallone

Starring Sylvester Stallon, Talia Shire, Carl Weathers, Burgess Meredith

It’s a normal human trait to procrastinate. Why do today what can be done tomorrow, the more unpleasant the better? Take out the garbage? Clean the litter box? Tell the kids you love them? There’s always tomorrow, and if not tomorrow, then the day after. This is the same quality that makes people engage in the intellectually-dishonest practice of picking out black jelly-beans from a bag of jelly-beans and throw them away, so they can avoid the putrid taste. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – From Here To Eternity (1953)

From Here to Eternity

Based on the novel by James Jones

Directed by Fred Zinneman

Starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, Donny Reed, Ernest Borgnine and Jack Warden

From Here To Eternity was based on an absolute brick of a book by James Jones – also the author of The Thin Red Line – and tells the story of four people on an Army base on pre-December 7 Hawaii.   There is Prewitt (Clift), the stubborn bugler who refuses to box because he accidentally blinded a man some time ago. There is Warden (Lancaster) the pragmatic non-commissioned officer who resists a commission because he doesn’t see himself as one of ‘them’. There is Lorene/Alma (Reed) the ‘hostess’ – read prostitute – Prewitt falls in love with. Finally there is Karen (Kerr), the wife of Warden’s superior, who he risks life and limb to have an affair with. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Directed By John Ford

Produced By Darryl F. Zanuck

Starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Donald Crisp, Roddy McDowall and Barry Fitzgerald

Any discussion of the Best Picture for 1941 must begin with a discussion of Citizen Kane. After all, it was in 1941 that Orson Welles unleashed his masterpiece upon the world, altering the landscape of movies forever. It was nominated for 9 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but for all its accomplishments – the amazing cinematography of Gregg Toland, with those deep-focus shots, Bernard Herrmann’s lively score, Robert Wise’s magnificent editing, the elliptical telling of the tale – it won but one Oscar, for Original Screenplay, an Award that was actually hissed at the time because of some pretty intense hatred of Welles. If he hadn’t been nominated with Herman Mankiewicz, it’s doubtful it would have even won that. Continue reading

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