FAVORITE ANGRY MAN #11: Juror 7 (Jack Warden)


My 11th favorite Angry Man is arguably the most obnoxious of them all. Right from the off, Juror 7 (Jack Warden) makes his position known: he is not happy about doing jury duty and he would much rather be at the baseball game. He dismisses the case initially because not only does it seem to him like an open-and-shut case but also because he couldn’t care less and, while it would be accurate to claim that he represents many people’s feelings about jury duty, he represents more than that. Juror 7 is the embodiment of apathy, indifference and standing for nothing. He is not doing this maliciously, of course, he’s doing it because he has probably never been in this situation before and he would rather go back to the life he knows, without giving it much thought. This mindset is perhaps the only one he’s used to, because has never had to have any other. Juror 7 sadly represents the majority of people. He functions as one of the antagonists of the film, and eventually comes around after being confronted – after he realizes the game has already started. It’s an uncomfortable yet necessary portrayal of one of society’s biggest shortcomings.

Number 10 will be here next month!

Six classics, zero Oscar nominations


It’s Oscar season! For the past four years during the month of February, I’ve talked about Oscar races – Best Actress of 1942/43 and Best Supporting Actress of 1952/53, Howard Hawks’ sole nomination, and people who never won an Oscar . So, this year, I’m going to talk about classic films that received ZERO nominations (prepare to be outraged) and the nominations I would have given them. Remember, this is all just a bit of fun. Here we go!

Bringing up Baby (1938, dir. Howard Hawks) – That’s right, the funniest screwball ever made was a flop when it came out and received nothing. My nomination: Best Supporting Actor (Charles Ruggles)

Sweet Smell of Success (1957, dir. Alexander Mackendrick) – You know this is one of my favorites, and, in the year of The Bridge on the River Kwai (dir. David Lean) and 12 Angry Men (dir. Sidney Lumet), it would have had very strong competition anyway. My nominations: Best Actor (Tony Curtis), Best Actor (Burt Lancaster), Best Adapted Screenplay (Ernest Lehman and Clifford Odets) and Best Cinematography (James Wong Howe)

Baby Face (1933, dir. Alfred E. Green) – Between this and Three on a Match (1932), I can’t decide what my favorite Pre-Code is, but Baby Face’s significance in the Pre-Code canon cannot be overlooked. My nominations: Best Actress (Barbara Stanwyck) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Gene Markey and Kathryn Scola) Note: the Supporting categories were introduced in 1936, so I couldn’t have nominated Theresa Harris since this came out in 1933, but she was wonderful.

Three on a Match (1932, dir. Mervyn LeRoy) – I covered this absolute masterpiece here, and will never stop praising it. My nominations: Best Actress (Ann Dvorak) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lucien Hubbard). Joan Blondell and Warren William would have gotten nods in the Supporting categories (see above).

In a Lonely Place (1950, dir. Nicholas Ray) – The noir melodrama that may very well be one of the very finest of all time got no love at the Oscars. My nominations: Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Best Actress (Gloria Grahame) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Andrew Solt, Edmund H. North)

The Searchers (1956, dir. John Ford) – The greatest Western of all time and the proud owner of the most homaged shot in cinema history (looking at you, Tarantino, Scorsese and Carpenter!). My nominations: Best Cinematography (Winton C. Hoch), Best Director (John Ford) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Frank S. Nugent)




The absolute omnishambles that was Carl Foreman’s career in Hollywood should be a lesson in decency, morals and how not to treat people and his blacklisting, along with that of so many other creatives, serves as a testament to what is arguably Hollywood’s darkest period.

Born in Chicago in 1914, Carl Foreman attended the University of Illinois, quitting in 1934 at 19 to go to Hollywood. He came back to Chicago to study law, before dropping out again to work as a newspaper reporter, press agent, theatre director, among other things. He returned to Hollywood in 1938 and, in 1941, he received his first screen credit for Bowery Blitzkrieg (dir. Wallace Fox), the first of his films with Monogram Pictures. In the early 40s, he served in US military, and, in 1945, he wrote Know Your Enemy – Japan (dir. Frank Capra) as well as Dakota (dir. Joseph Kane), starring John Wayne. He then began a prosperous if tumultous working relationship with producer-director Stanley Kramer, starting with So This Is New York (1948, dir. Richard Fleischer), then Champion (1949, dir. Mark Robson), for which Foreman received his first Oscar nomination. Then came Home of the Brave (1949, Robson), and, in 1950, he wrote The Men (dir. Fred Zinnemann), Cyrano de Bergerac (dir. Michael Gordon) and Young Man With a Horn (dir. Michael Curtiz), which I covered here. Then in 1952, as he was writing what would become High Noon (dir. Fred Zinnemann), he was summoned by the House Un-American Activities Commitee, after being accused of being a member of the Communist Party. He was subsequently blacklisted, but amazingly received an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of the film, which to this day is still being debated as an allegory for McCarthyism. He ended up emigrating to England that same year and, while there, he wrote the screenplay for The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, dir. David Lean). Due to his blacklisting, the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay went to someone else as a front – we now know that this wasn’t the only time this happened. He continued to write and produce films, including The Guns of Navarone (1961, dir. J. Lee Thompson) and he eventually became the President of the Writers Guild of Great Britain. He received a CBE for his contributions to British cinema and the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut is named in his honor. In 1984, Carl Foreman died of a brain tumor at the age of 69. The day before he died, he was told that he would finally receive his Oscar for The Bridge on the River Kwai.