Tag Archives: Frank Cavett

The Best Picture Project – The Greatest Show On Earth (1952)

Greatest.gifDirected by Cecil B. DeMille

Screenplay by Fredric M. Frank &  Barré Lyndon   &  Theodore St. John, story by Fredric M. Frank   &  Theodore St. John   & Frank Cavett

Starring Charlton Heston,

It’s a fact: sit around and talk to anybody about the Oscars long enough and eventually you’ll get around to arguing over which was the worst Best Picture Winner – that I s, which was the worst film to win in a given year.  Inevitably, people in my generation, or at least those with no sense of history, will make strong arguments for Crash, Shakespeare in Love or maybe Titanic being the worst choices in recent memory.  Those with any real sense of history will instead bandy about two other choices:

  1. Citizen Kane, one of which is arguably the greatest film of all time,  being bested by How Green Was My Valley, a film that isn’t even one of the five best films by its own director – for John Ford, his best films obviously include The Grapes of Wrath, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The Quiet Man, The Searchers, and one of about ten other films not named How Green Was My Valley.
  2. The Greatest Show On Earth winning Best Picture over Ford’s own The Quiet Man and a little Gary Cooper movie called High Noon.

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The Best Picture Project – Going My Way (1944)

Directed by Leo McCarey

Screenplay by Frank Butler and Frank Cavett, story by Leo McCarey

Starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald

Here’s an intriguing question:  What does it take for an actor to win an Oscar?  Leaving the little matter of politics out of it, my curiosity is over what kind of performance does it take for an actor to win an Oscar?  Is it better to play a showy role where the scenery can be chewed in all it’s glory, or at least one where we know a part is being played?  Or, is it better to play a role that rewards the naturalistic, showcasing the kind of acting where the actor doesn’t’ even seem to be acting? Continue reading

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