Tag Archives: Birth of a Nation

The Best Picture Project — The Life of Emile Zola (1937)

The Life of Emile Zola poster.jpg

Directed by William Dieterle

Screenplay by Norman Reilly Raine; Story and Screenplay by Heinz Herald and Geza Herczeg; based upon the book by Matthew Josephson

Starring Paul Muni, Gloria Holden, Gale Sondergaard and Joseph Schildkraut

The Life of Emile Zola is really two movies in one.

The first is a 25 minute seminar of a film, focusing on the professional life of writer Emile Zola.  It begins with him dirt poor in Paris, proceeds through a whirlwind medley of his greatest hits – books are published, a wife is married, fame is gotten – then settles with him into state of retirement and living off his wealth. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Gone With The Wind (1939)

Directed by Victor Fleming

Screenplay by Sidney Howard, based on the novel by Margaret Mitchell

Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia DeHavilland, Leslie Howard and Hattie McDaniel

In the grand history of the Oscars, 1939 might be the most stellar year of them all, what with a Best Picture race that include Of Mice and Men, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The Wizard of Oz, Goodbye Mr. Chips, and the eventual winner, Gone With The Wind.  In another year it’s conceivable any of those films might’ve taken the top prize – of the losers, I’m especially fond of Mr. Chips – but this wasn’t any other year, this was 1939, and this was the year of Gone With The Wind. Continue reading

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