Tag Archives: william wyler

The Best Picture Project – You Can’t Take It With You (1938)

Directed by Frank Capra

Written by Robert Riskin

Based on the play by George Kaufman and Moss Hart

Starring Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur, Edward Arnold and Lionel Barrymore

Somewhere in the history of this project – probably here – I was a bit incredulous that It’s A Wonderful Life did not win Best Picture of 1946.  After all, the movie was everything the Academy loves: it’s sappy, with charming acting, humor and grandstanding speeches, and a sense of nostalgia for a bygone time.  Plus, with the Harry Bailey winning the Medal of Honor storyline, it also tapped into nationalistic fervor.  In all, it seemed like a natural to win, except the Academy had other plans, giving the award to The Best Years of Our Lives, another William Wyler movie that I just don’t get. Continue reading

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The Best Picture Project – Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Mrs. Miniver

Directed by William Wyler

Screenplay by George Froeschel, James Hilton, Claudine West and Arthur Wimperis

Starring Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright and Richard Ney

Who would have thought William Wyler, three-time winner of the Academy Award for Best Director, 12-time nominee in the same category, who would make the mammoth and always entertaining western The Big Country and who would win his last directing Oscar for the biblical behemoth Ben-Hur – which gave the world the phrase Academy Award Winner Charlton Heston – would win his first Oscar for the much less ambitious and almost terminally dull war-pic, Mrs. Miniver? Considering the films he was nominated for previously, including the film that made Laurence Olivier a star, Wuthering Heights, it’s almost unthinkable. But cest la vie. Some things cannot be changed.

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