Saturday, February 15, 2014

Best Picture Winners 1945 - 1949

1945 - The winner was The Lost Weekend and the other nominees Anchors Away, The Bells of St. Mary, Mildred Pierce and Spellbound. All good films that are still watched to some degree or another. But no great films in the bunch. Can't help but wonder if part of Weekend's win was make-up to Billy Wilder for Double Indemnity the year before. I'm sure part of its win is due to the message "alcoholism is bad". Still, Weekend was a decent pick among the choices.

1946 - The winner was The Best Years of Our Lives and the other nominees were Henry V, It's a Wonderful Life, The Razor's Edge and The Yearling. It's a Wonderful Life is one of my very favorite films, makes me teary every time, but I'm still okay with Best Years as the winner. It is still one of the most powerful and respectful films about soldiers and war ever made.

1047 - Gentlemen's Agreement was the winner and the other nominees were The Bishop's Wife, Crossfire, Great Expectations and Miracle on 34th Street. Gentlemen's Agreement won as a message film - anti-semitism is bad. The film hasn't held out as well, it's more than a bit stiff. The winner should have been the rightly beloved and remembered Miracle on 34th Street.

1948 - The winner was Hamlet and the other nominees were Johnny Belinda, The Red Shoes, The Snake Pit and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Some might argue the winner should have been the ballet classic The Red Shoes and I'd argue it should have been Sierra Madre, but not many would argue much anymore for Olivier's Hamlet which didn't due the Bard justice and used a Freudian approach that gets creakier as the years pass.

1949 - All the King's Men won, also nominated that year: Battleground, The Heiress, A Letter to Three Wives, and 12 O'Clock High. King's Men stands as a great film about politics and a respectable Oscar choice.

So, today's count is 3 out of five choices weren't bad for a total of 9 out of 21 decent Best Picture Oscars.

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