Tuesday, February 13, 2007


The Academy Awards are 12 days away. Over the next 12 days I will be celebrating 12 different Best Picture Winners over the entire history of the Oscars.

Of the 78 Best Picture winners in Oscar history, I have seen all but 6 (Cimarron-1931; Cavalcade-1933; The Great Ziegfeld-1936; Around the World in 80 Days-1956; Tom Jones-1963; Oliver-1968). Looking back over the years, I have disagree with many of the Academy’s decisions even for some of the choices I admire.
However, the Academy has also made some great selections for films that have and will stand the test of time. This list will include the 12 Best Picture winners over the 78 years that I think stand out the most. This was difficult to choose 12 without leaving out some great films. Anyway, it’s just a fun little list to prepare for the Oscars in twelve days. I will include one film per day in chronological order starting with the earliest…

14th Academy Awards

Nominated With:
Blossoms in the Dust
Citizen Kane
Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Hold Back the Dawn
The Little Foxes
The Maltese Falcon
One Foot in Heaven
Sergeant York

Directed By:
John Ford

Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O’Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp, Sara Allgood, Roddy McDowall

Recounted via the memories of the Morgan family's youngest son (Roddy McDowall), How Green Was My Valley chronicles 50 years in the lives of a close-knit clan of Welsh coal miners. As the years pass, the Morgans try to survive unionization, a lengthy strike and a mining accident; meanwhile, their hometown and its venerable traditions slowly disintegrate. John Ford's gentle masterpiece won five Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.

Why this is a great choice:
The choice of this film is notorious today as one of the big mistakes by the Academy for not awarding Citizen Kane or Orson Welles. While I can understand those arguments, I still think How Green Was My Valley should not be thought of as an unworthy winner of its own. John Ford would go on to make more personal films, but this features some of his trademark mastery as a visual poet. Citizen Kane was the more groundbreaking film, but How Green Was My Valley stands the test of time as a worthy winner and a magical film.


At October 28, 2008 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great work.


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