Monthly Archives: August 2010

The Best Picture Project – It Happened One Night (1934)

It Happened One Night (1934)

Directed by Frank Capra

Screenplay by Robert Riskin

Starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert

In the history of the Oscars, three movies have won the big five awards of Picture, Director, Actress, Actor and a Screenplay Award: It Happened One Night, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Silence of the Lambs. It’s the rarest of the rare achievement, occurring only 3 times in 82 years – so rare that there’s only been four other times when a films leads won in both Best Actor and Actress category. Because it doesn’t occur every year, or even every decade, you’d be tempted to think that surely the sweep each film put on was the result of some sort of dominance on it’s part, that these three films were the only time that Hollywood got it absolutely right and marched home with the trophy. At tempting as that is to think, it’s not the case, as all three were really the product of circumstances, benefitting in some way or another from just dumb luck to do what it did. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

Produced by Mike Todd

Directed by Michael Anderson

Screenplay by James Poe, John Farrow, S.J. Perelman

Based on the Novel by Jules Verne

Starring David Niven, Mario Moreno aka Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine and a whole host of cameos

For a good number of years now my first comment after seeing any movie for the first time is almost always about the length of the film and invariably this turns out to be a complaint that the movie was just too long and could have benefited from a neat little five or ten minute nip-and-tuck. Around my house my wife and kids have gotten so used to hearing me say it that by now my 13 year-old daughter has begun to say the same thing. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – All About Eve (1950)

All About Eve

Produced by Darryl F. Zanuck

Written and Directed By Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Starring Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, Thelma Ritter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe and Marilyn Monroe

The story of All About Eve – about the way a naïve young woman ingratiates herself with the more successful older woman, only to reveal herself as far less than naïve when she usurps the older woman’s success – is probably as old as time. And if it’s not, it’s still probably safe to say that All About Eve wasn’t the first dramatic representation of the plot, and given that Showgirls basically recycled the plot 50 years later, with way more boobs, it’s also not the last. Continue reading

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