Friday, 24 February 2017

An Oscar-Themed Film Friday

Every "Film Friday" throughout this month, I have been writing about a Best Picture winner or nominee in antecipation to the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday. However, since I did not have the time to prepare a decent article for today, this week on "Film Friday" I am simply going to remind you of all the Best Picture winners/nominees I have written about since I started this blog.

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Directed by Lewis Milestone | Starring Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray and Arnold Lucy | Universal Pictures

Theatrical release poster
All Quiet on the Western Front is widely regarded one of Hollywood's most durable and unforgettable testaments of the cruelty of war. Based on the controversially famous novel of the same name by German author Erich Maria Remarque, it follows a group of young soldiers as they try to adjust to the horrors of World War I. The film, produced by Universal's Carl Laemmle Jr., was uniformly acclaimed upon release, winning Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director for Lewis Milestone, himself a World War I veteran. It received two additional nominations for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Cinematography.

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THE DIVORCEE (1930)
Directed by Robert Z. Leonard | Starring Norma Shearer, Chester Morris and Robert Montgomery | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 

Theatrical release poster
Produced and directed by Robert Z. Leonard from a script based on Ursula Parrott's best-selling novel Ex-Wife, The Divorcee starts Norma Shearer as a married woman who, upon discovering that her husband has been unfaithful to her, decides to respond to his infidelities in kind. The film was a massive commercial success, although critics were somewhat mixed in their reviews. Nevertheless, the film earned Shearer the Academy Award for Best Actress and was additionally nominated for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT (1934)
Directed by Frank Capra | Starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable | Columbia Pictures

Original lobby card
Directed by Frank Capra, It Happened One Night focuses on the misadventures of a newspaperman as he tracks a runaway heiress on a madcap cross-country tour. The film, based on the short story "Night Bus" by Samuel Hopkins Adams, was a huge critical and commercial success, setting an house record for an opening day at Radio City Music Hall in New York. At the 7th Oscar ceremony, it became the first film to win the "Big Five" awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert) and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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THE THIN MAN (1934)
Directed by W. S. Van Dyke | Starring William Powell, Myrna Loy and Maureen O'Sullivan | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

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MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY (1935)
Directed by Frank Lloyd | Starring Clark Gable, Charles Laughton and Franchot Tone | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

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Directed by Roy Del Ruth | Starring Eleanor Powell, Robert Taylor and Jack Benny | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

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Designed to showcase Eleanor Powell's extraordinary and unique talents, The Broadway Melody of 1936 concerns a Broadway columnist who tries to use an innocent dancer to frame a producer. The production, directed by Roy Del Ruth, was a huge critical and commercial success, reportedly saving Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from bankruptcy. It won the Oscar for Best Dance Direction and received additional nominations for Best Picture and Best Story.

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LIBELED LADY (1936)
Directed by Jack Conway | Starring Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, William Powell and Myrna Loy | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

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Directed by W. S. Van Dyke | Starring Clark Gable, Jeanette McDonald | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

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Directed by Leo McCarey | Starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne and Ralph Bellamy | Columbia Pictures

Lobby card for The Awful Truth
Directed by Leo McCarey from a script based on the 1922 Broadway play by Arthur Richman, The Awful Truth stars Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as a soon-to-be-divorced couple who go to great lenghts to try to ruin each other's romantic escapades. The film opened to uniformly positive reviews from critics and went on to become one of Columbia's biggest box-office hits of all time. It was named as one of the ten best films of 1937 by Fim Daily and it earned McCarey his first Academy Award for Best Director, receiving four additional nominations for Best Actress (Irene Dunne), Best Supporting Actor (Ralph Bellamy), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Film Editing.

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Directed by Michael Curtiz | Starring Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland and Basil Rathbone | Warners Bros.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Michael Curtiz, The Adventures of Robin Hood is considered by many as the quintessential Errol Flynn film. He plays the legendary Saxon knight of the title, who fought back as the leader of a rebel guerilla against Norman oppression during the reign of King Richard I. The film opened to critical and popular acclaim, eventually becoming Warner Bros.' highest grossing Picture of that year. It won Academy Awards for Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing and Best Original Score and was further nominated for Best Picture.

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Directed by Frank Capra | Starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Thomas Mitchell | Columbia Pictures

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Directed by Wiliam Wyler | Starring Laurence Olivier, Merle Oberon and David Niven | United Artists

Re-release poster
Written by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur based on the eponymous novel by Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights tells the story of the doomed love between brooding gypsy Heathcliff (played by Laurence Olivier) and headstrong noblewoman Cathy Earnshaw (portrayed by Merle Oberon). The film, directed by William Wyler and produced by Samuel Goldwyn, opened to strong reviews from critics, but was not a box-office success. Still, it won the Oscar for Best Cinematography and received seven additional nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Olivier), Best Supporting Actress (Geraldine Fitzgerald), Best Screenplay, Best Original Score and Best Art Direction.

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KITTY FOYLE (1940)
Directed by Sam Wood | Starring Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan and James Craig | RKO

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Directed by George Cukor | Starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart | Metro-Golwyn-Mayer

Original lobby card
Directed by George Cukor, The Philadephia Story is about a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and a tabloid magazine journalist. The film, written by Donald Odgen Stewart based on the hit Broadway play by Philip Barry, the film opened to overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and broke box-office records all around the country. It won Academy Awards for Best Actor (James Stewart) and Best Adapted Screenplay and was further nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn) and Best Supporting Actress (Ruth Hussey).

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Directed by Alexander Hall | Starring Robert Montgomery, Claude Rains and James Gleason | Columbia Pictures

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KINGS ROW (1942)
Directed by Sam Wood | Starring Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan | Warners Bros.

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Directed by Mervyn LeRoy | Starring Ronald Colman, Greer Garson and Susan Peters | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Lobby card for Random Harvest
Based on the immensely popular novel of the same name by James Hilton, Random Harvest stars Ronald Colman as a shellshocked, amnesiac World War I soldier and Greer Garson as his love interest. The film, directed by Mervyn LeRoy, was a massive success upon release and became one of the top five highest grossing pictures of the year. It garnered seven Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Colman), Best Supporting Actress (Susan Peters), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Music Score and Best Art Director (Black and White).

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Directed by Michae Curtiz | Starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie and Walter Huston | Warner Bros.

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Directed by Billy Wilder | Starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson | Paramount Pictures

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Billy Wilder from a screenplay based on James M. Cain's 1943 novella ofthe same name, Double Indemnity stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman; Barbara Stanwyck as a provocative housewife who wishes her husband dead; and Edward G. Robinson as a claims adjuster whose job is to find phony claims. The film was instant hit with audiences and critics alike, receiving seven Academy Award nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress (Barbara Stanwyck), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Black and White), Best Original Score and Best Sound.

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Directed by Michael Curtiz | Starring Joan Crawford, Ann Blyth and Jack Carson | Warner Bros.

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SPELLBOUND (1945)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | Starring Gregory Peck, Ingrid Bergman and Michael Chekhov | United Artists

Theatrical release poster
Based on the novel The House of Dr. Edwardes by British author John Palmer and Hilary Saint George Saunders, writing under the pseudonyn "Francis Beeding," Spellbound tells the story of the new head of a mental asylum who turns out not to be what he claims. The film, produced by David O. Selznick and distributed by United Artists, was a critical and commercial success, becoming Alfred Hitchcock's biggest moneymaker to that date. It received six Academy Awards nominations: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Michael Chekhov), Best Cinematography, Best Visual Effects and Best Score.

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THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946)
Directed by William Wyler | Starring Fredric March, Dana Andrews and Teresa Wright | Universal

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IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946)
Directed by Frank Capra | Starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Henry Travers | Liberty Films

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Directed by Edmund Goulding | Starring Tyrone Power, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter and Clifton Webb | 20th Century Fox

Original release poster
Based on the novel of the same name by British author W. Somerset Maughm, The Razor's Edge concerns a disillusioned World War I veteran who follows an unconventional path to salvation through Hindu mysticism. The film was directed by Edmund Goulding and starred Tyrone Power, 20th Century Fox's most popular matinée idol, as well as Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter and Clifton Webb. It was a great success upon release, earning Baxter the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, in addition to three other nominations: Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Webb) and Best Cinematography (Black and White). 

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Directed by Elia Kazan | Starring Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and John Garfield | 20th Century Fox

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Directed by Henry Koster | Starring Cary Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young

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Directed by George Seaton | Starring Maureen O'Hara, Edmund Gwenn and Natalie Wood | 20th Century Fox

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Directed by Jean Negulesco | Starring Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres and Charles Bickford | Warner Bros.

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BATTLEGROUND (1949)
Directed by William A. Wellman | Starring Van Johnson, George Murphy and James Whitmore | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Theatrical release poster
Written by U.S. Army veteran Robert Pirosh, Battleground is widely regarded as one of best Hollywood productions about World War II. It follows a company in the 101st Airborne Division as they cope with the Siege of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. The film, directed by William Wellman, a World War I veteran, was a massive critical success and become the biggest moneymaker of the year. It won Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography (Black and White), while also receiving nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (James Whitmore) and Best Film Editing.

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THE HEIRESS (1949)
Directed by William Wyler | Starring Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift | Paramount Pictures

Theatrical release poster
Directed by William Wyler, The Heiress originated from the eponymous Broadway play by Ruth and Augusts Goetz, which in turn was inspired by Henry James's 1880 novella Washington Square. Its plot focuses on the doomed romance between a naïve young woman and a handsome fortune-hunter. The film, distributed by Paramount, was a solid box-office success and received  excellent reviews from critics, earning Olivia de Havilland her second Academy Award for Best Actress. It also won Oscars for Best Art Direction (Black and White), Best Costume Design (Black and White) and Best Dramatic or Comedy Score, receiving additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Ralph Richardson) and Best Cinematography (Black and White).

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Directed by George Cukor | Starring Judy Holiday, William Holden and Broderick Crawford | Columbia Pictures

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Directed by Billy Wilder | Starring Gloria Swanson, William Holden and Erich von Stroheim | Paramount Pictures

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AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
Directed by Vincente Minnelli | Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and Oscar Levante| Metro- Goldwyn-Mayer

Theatrical release poster
Produced by Arthur Freed and directed by Vincente Minnelli, An American in Paris is one of the glossiest musicals of MGM's golden age. It stars Gene Kelly as an American artist who finds love in Paris, but almost loses it to conflicting loyalties. The film was applauded by crítica and destroyed the perceived prejudice against musicals by winning six Oscars: Best Picture, Best Story, Best Cinematography (Color), Best Art Direction (Color), Best Musical Score and Best Costume Design (Color). It earned additional nominations for Best Director and Best Film Editing.

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Directed by George Stevens | Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift and Shelley Winters | Paramount Pictures

Theatrical release poster
Based on Theodore Dreiser's best-selling novel of the same name, A Place in the Sun tells the story of a working-class young man who is entangled with two women: one who works in his wealthy uncle's factory and the other a beautiful socialite. The film, helmed by George Stevens, opened to generally laudatory reviews from critics, winning six Academy Awards: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Black and White), Best Costume Design (Black and White), Best Film Editing and Best Original Score. It also received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Montgomery Clift) and Best Actress (Shelley Winters).
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Directed by William Wyler | Starring Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert | Paramount Pictures


Theatrical release poster
The picture that introduced Audrey Hepburn to the world, Roman Holiday tells the story of a royal princess out to see Rome on her own. The plot stemmed from a story by Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted and forced to serve eleven months in prison for refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Directed by William Wyler, the film was acclaimed upon release, earning Hepburn the Oscar for Best Actress. It also won Best Costume Design and Best Story, in addition to nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Eddie Albert), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction (Black and White), Best Cinematography (Black and White) and Best Film Editing.
 
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Directed by Edward Dmytryk | Starring Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson and Fred MacMurray | Columbia Pictures

Theatrical release poster
Helmed by blacklisted director Edward Dmytryk and starring Humphrey Bogart as one of the greastest villains in cinematic history, The Caine Mutiny depicts events aboard a fictitious World War II U.S. Navy destroyer minesweeper and a subsequent mutiny court-martial. The film, based on the eponymous best-selling novel by Herman Wouk, was critically acclaimed and financially successful upon release, receiving seven nominations at the Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Bogart), Best Supporting Actor (Tom Tully), Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording, Best Film Editing and Best Dramatic Score.

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Directed by George Seaton | Starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and William Holden | Paramount Pictures

Lobby card for The Country Girl
Based on Clifford Odets' hugely successful Broadway play of the same name, The Country Girl tells the story of an alcoholic has-been actor struggling with the one last chance he has been given to resurrect his career. The film opened to overwhelmingly positive reviews, earning seven Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Best Director (George Seaton), Best Actor (Bing Crosby), Best Actress (Grace Kelly), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Art Direction (Black and White) and Best Cinematography (Black and White). Kelly's win over the frontrunner Judy Garland, Groucho Marx called it "the biggest robbery since Brinks."

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MARTY (1955)
Directed by Delbert Mann | Starring Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair and Joe Mantell | United Artists

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Directed by John Ford and Mervyn LeRoy | Starring Henry Fonda, James Cagney and Jack Lemmon

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GIANT (1956)
Directed by George Stevens | Starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean | Warner Bros.

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Directed by Stanley Kramer | Starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier | United Artists

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Directed by Delbert Mann | Starring Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Rita Hayworth and David Niven | United Artists

Theatrical release poster
Adapted from Terence Rattigan's play of the same name, Separate Tables follows the lives of four desperately lonely people residing at the same seaside hotel in England. The film, produced by Burt Lancaster in association with his two partners, Harold Hecht and James Hill, was not a box-office success, but was critically acclaimed, with Deborah Kerr, David Niven and Wendy Hiller being singled out for praise. Indeed, it won Niven and Hiller Oscars for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, in addition to nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress (Kerr), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography (Black and White) and Best Original Score.

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WEST SIDE STORY (1961)
Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins | Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer and Rita Moreno | 20th Century Fox

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Directed by Stanley Kramer | Starring Spencer Tracy, Maximilian Schell, Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland | United Artists

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Stanley Kramer from a screenplay by Abby Mann, Judgment at Nuremberg centers on a military tribunal convened in Nuremberg, Germany, in which four German judges and prosecutors stand accused of crimes against humanity for their involvement in the atrocities committed under the Nazi regime. With an ensemble cast that included both American and German actores, the film opened to great box-office results and was universally acclaimed by critics, winning Oscars for Best Actor (Maximilian Schell) and Best adapted Screenplay. It was additionally nominated for Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Montgomery Clift), Best Supporting Actress (Judy Garland), Best Art Direction (Black and White), Best Cinematography (Black and White), Best Costume Design (Black and White) and Best Film Editing.

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Directed by Norman Jewison | Starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger | United Artists

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Directed by George Roy Hill | Starring Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katherine Ross | 20th Century Fox

Directed by George Roy Hill, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid follows the last months in the life of the notorious outlaws of the title.

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