My all-time top 10 Oscar wins

The Oscars are here WOOHOO!! And as a sort of celebration, I’ve decided to a top 10, of my all-time favorite Oscar wins, in the 10 main categories.

Best Picture: The Apartment

Best Actress: Katharine Hepburn, The Lion in Winter

Best Actor: Marlon Brando, On the Waterfront

Best Supporting Actress: Eva Marie Saint, On the Waterfront/Donna Reed, From here to Eternity

Best Supporting Actor: Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects

Best Original Screenplay: Billy Wilder and Izzy Diamond, The Apartment

Best Adapted Screenplay: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All about Eve

Best Director: Michael Curtiz, Casablanca

Best Cinematography: B&W: Joseph LaShelle, Laura / Color: Robert Burks, To Catch a Thief

Best Original Score: Max Steiner, Now Voyager

 

Happy Oscars everyone!

 

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Was just thinking…

You know what I find really weird? That people like Jean Harlow or Carole Lombard or John Barrymore and so many others died DURING The Golden Age of Hollywood, at their peak. I can’t get my head around it. You kind of expect them all to grow old and have their own TV show and appear as guest stars on The Golden Girls or something… to think that some of them died when all the craziness and commotion of The Golden Age was still going on… I don’t know, it’s just odd. And then when you put things into perspective, it’s even more strange. Like, for instance, by 1939 (Hollywood’s greatest year), Jean Harlow had been dead for two years. Isn’t that awful? So, basically, she never saw Gone With the Wind or The Wizard of Oz. Weird, huh? I mean, obviously, their legacy lives on and that’s what matters, but it’s so strange and sad when you think about it.

Rififi (1955)

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If you haven’t seen this one, good news, it’s on Netflix. Not only is it THE greatest heist movie ever, but it’s also one of the greatest movies, of any genre in any language, ever. I’m sure you’ve heard all about the infamous 30 minute dialogue-free heist scene, which is genius, but Rififi (or Du rififi chez les hommes, in its original title) is a lot more than that. It’s a dark tale of entangled crooked characters set in the grittiness of underworld Paris with a very unhappy ending. According to IMDb, director Jules Dassin refused to do any filming on sunny days to keep the doom and gloom motif going. And boy, was the result great!

Four gangsters (played by Jean Servais, Carl Mohner, Robert Manuel and Jules Dassin himself, under a pseudynom) decide to rob a jewellery shop. They come up with an ingenious plan that works out perfectly, but things don’t go too well afterwards and they soon turn against each other.

The four main actors are outstanding in their roles. The supporting players are equally great and the movie won all sorts of international film awards. Put it on your list! Also, and this is completely irrelevant, doesn’t Carl Mohner look a bit like Ralph Meeker?

Movie facts about me

– I own approximately 30 books about movies, including three versions of ‘1001 Movies to see before you die’

– I have a top ten favorite movie list. I’ve tried to come up with a top 30 but that was a little bit too hard.

– I’ve probably seen Double Indemnity (1944) more times than any other classic, even though it is only my 6th favorite movie. I just find it very addictive.

– My two favorite genres are film noir and screwball comedy.

– My favorite movie character ever is C. C. Baxter (Jack Lemmon) from The Apartment (1960)

– My favorite movie decade is the 40s

– I spent an embarrasing amount of time sitting next to Kate Hepburn’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame taking pictures.

– On the same note, it took my mom and I two days to see every star on the Walk of Fame

– I get overly upset when someone gets a classic movie question wrong on a quiz show. Like properly upset. Borderline depressed. It just fills me with such anger and sadness that I feel my heart is going to explode. I just can’t fathom the idea of people not knowing who won the Best Actress Oscar in 1943. It really, really winds me up.

– I can do a great Bette Davis impression.

So there you have it, my movie facts and tiddy-bitties. Hope you enjoyed them! Have an awesome week!

Marathons… yet again

The theme for this weekend’s marathon will be either heist movies (I was thinking Rififi (1955) and The Killing (1956), maybe) or Pre-Code movies.

Or maybe both. I’ll decided tonight.

Enjoy your weekend! And have a great Valentine’s Day. If you’re into that sort of stuff.

 

Orson Welles’ other masterpiece

TouchOfEvil1Movies like Touch of Evil (1958) make me feel sad for all those people who say they don’t watch classic movies. I always say to those heathens ‘you’re gonna regret it on your deathbed’. It’s right up there with not making peace with your sister and not having travelled more. This particular one, I genuinely think it’s one of the greatest movies ever made. And the opening scene, which is very, very famous and endlessly talked-about, deserves all the praise it gets. One single take, shot on a warm night in Venice, California, that ends with an explosion. It’s genius. But before you head to YouTube to watch it, DON’T. The movie is NOT on YouTube and you can’t watch the opening scene without watching the whole movie. So hang in there and get the DVD. Granted, most of you probably already have it. This movie is hugely popular and understandably so. It’s also one of the best-directed I’ve ever seen. They say you can tell when a movie is well-directed when you don’t even notice the direction, but, in this case, you can’t help but admire it. Every angle, every shadow and every little detail is on point. The plot is (purposely) almost as confusing as The Big Sleep (1946), but not quite. Charlton Heston plays a Mexican cop and Orson Welles plays an American cop. They’re both called to investigate a murder that took place in the Mexican-American border. Everyone tries to frame everyone else and Janet Leigh is caught in the middle of it. And everything falls into place in the end. It’s exquisite. Oh, and a very famous actress makes a cameo appearance. See if you can spot her.

MGM 1954

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This photo is so awesome, I can’t even. A friend of mine posted it on a Facebook group and I had to share it with you guys.

Grace Kelly, Ann Blyth, Janet Leigh and Liz Taylor at the MGM commissary in 1954. Epicness all around. It’s just so cool seeing these huge stars casually eating together and sharing a laugh. Ah, the studio system days…