The Best Years of Our Lives

In 1946 the war was over and service men and women had returned home to their families and the lives they left behind. The Best Years of Our Lives paints a picture of the challenges they faced. Harold Russell plays a wounded war vet Homer Parish. Russell was an actual wounded war vet having lost … Continue reading The Best Years of Our Lives

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Going My Way

The theme of the world war and its major players had been central to several best picture nominees over the previous 4 years. The Great Dictator Sergeant York Miniver The Invaders Wake Island Casablanca In Which We Serve Watch on the Rhine By 1944 World War II was winding down. After the Allies’ victory at … Continue reading Going My Way

Casablanca

Like Gone With the Wind this is a film that has long been highly esteemed. For many it is among the greatest films ever made. For some there is none better. I have long been a fan of Casablanca. When my wife and I were married more than 20 years ago one of the first … Continue reading Casablanca

The Oscar Project 1942: Mrs. Miniver

Smack dab in the middle of World War II this film tells a tight and focused story of the Minivers, a British family in London struggling to survive the first months of the war. It might be one of the best films you’ve never heard of. The character of Mrs. Miniver originated in 1937 in … Continue reading The Oscar Project 1942: Mrs. Miniver

The Oscar Project 1941: How Green Was My Valley

The first thing I wrote when taking notes during this film was... “OK movie... let’s see what you’ve got” For at least 50 years How Green Was My Valley has been the legendary “HUH?” of best picture winners for one reason and one reason only...the other nominees. Of the 10 films nominated for best picture … Continue reading The Oscar Project 1941: How Green Was My Valley

The Oscar Project 1939: Gone With the Wind

This film is the stuff of legends. Everyone knows this movie even if they’ve never seen it. It has become ingrained in our pop cultural collective consciousness. We all know the famous lines. “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.” – Rhett Butler “After all, tomorrow is another day!” – Scarlett O’Hara “You can’t … Continue reading The Oscar Project 1939: Gone With the Wind

The Oscar Project 1938: You Can’t Take it With You

I’ve seen You Can’t Take it With You both on the stage and the screen. The stage version actually featured my brother-in-law Donavan as Donald, a volunteer handyman for the Sycamores. It’s a quirky original that influenced many a film over the years, quite a few by Wes Anderson. What makes this film pop is … Continue reading The Oscar Project 1938: You Can’t Take it With You