Sunday, February 16, 2014
Best Picture Winners 1950 -1954
1950 - The winner was All About Eve, and the other nominees were Born Yesterday, Father of the Bride, King Solomon's Mines and Sunset Blvd. B pictures for years to come would be thankful to King Solomon for supplying location footage to steal. FotB and BY provide excellent show cases for Judy Holiday and Elizabeth Taylor, respectively. But Sunset is the film that is arguably better than Eve. But they're both great, so this was a good pick by the Academy.
1951 - The winner was An American in Paris and the other nominees were Decision Before Dawn, A Place in the Sun, Quo Vadis and Streetcar Named Desire. I'm a big fan of Gene Kelly musicals, but Paris is not nearly as fun as Singin' in the Rain or On the Town, or even lesser films like The Pirate and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Of the nominees, Streetcar probably deserved to win just for introducing the method acting of Brando to the screen. The real scandal was the films not even nominated that year: The African Queen, Strangers on a Train, Scrooge and The Day the Earth Stood Still.
1952 - The Greatest Show on Earth won and is often correctly cited as one of the worst Oscar picks. The hokey circus tale hasn't held up well, but nominees Ivanhoe and Moulin Rouge haven't held up particularly well either. Most say nominee High Noon should have won, but I would have gone with nominee The Quiet Man.
1953 - The winner was From Here to Eternity and the other nominees were Julius Caesar, The Robe, Roman Holiday and Shane. A decent Best Picture choice.
1954 - The winner was On the Waterfront, and the other nominees were The Caine Mutiny, The Country Girl, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Three Coins in the Fountain. I love Seven Brides, but it has its weak patches. Three Coins is pretty bad. This was an another decent best choice. (But the best film made this year was Hitchcock's Rear Window.)
So for this stretch, 3 out of 5 weren't bad.