The Paradine Case
My Overall Thoughts:
This was an excellent year of nominees and all 5 could have theoretically won the award that year.
Each has a great message that was clear following the long war that everyone had just endured.
The Academy made the right choice in the end because the winner really discussed themes that people wouldn’t really talk about at the time and still remains poignant today 70 years later.
- 5. – Crossfire – Liked the way that they played out the detective story here because they slowly build up the suspense and information that we can understand how and why the crime came to be committed. Excellent cast that shines despite all of them being early in their careers. Not sure if this really is deserving of a Best Picture Nomination, but the idea of tolerance was an important one to show in the days following World War II and because ending Fascism doesn’t necessarily end hatred.
- 4. – Great Expectations – Great story about how life can be affected by so many factors that we may never even be aware of. Lean does a great job presenting Dicken’s long and detailed novel in a succinct and understandable way. Mills and Guinness are both great here especially since this was the first time that both of them worked with Lean and would continue to work with him for years to come even managing to secure both of these men Oscars for their later work with him.
- 3. – Miracle on 34th Street – Inspirational holiday movie that truly is a classic. Gwenn is great and truly deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role.
- 2. – The Bishops’ Wife – Love the tone of this film. It has an aura to it like films in the vain of It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). Grant is great in this and has great chemistry with everyone else included Niven and Young. I can definitely understand how this could be a film nominated for Best Picture, but at the same time don’t really think it had much of a chance to win because of it’s demeanor. I’m extremely glad that I finally got a chance to see this film because it has such an uplifting theme to it.
- 1. – Gentleman’s Agreement – I am still amazed after all these years that this movie was ever made. It came out in the theaters two years after the end of WWII and doesn’t even mention the war with Germany or Germany’s attempted destruction of the Jews. It also came out at the time where many of the movie studios were headed by Jews who supposedly tried convincing the Director Elia Kazan against making the movie because of it’s theme of tolerance and bigotry. Subsequently, a scene was added to the movie which portrayed the magazine’s publishers (who are Jews) trying to convince the editor not to do the series on antisemitism. Knowing that makes the scene even more poignant. Peck is superb in the title role.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! Each of the 5 nominees are Oscar winner caliber films, but GA is slightly better because of it’s themes which remain quite poignant even 70 years after it was made.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!