Shadow of a Doubt
My Overall Thoughts:
Looking back on the roster of films nominated this year, it seems like a no-brainer as to the winner.
Truth is, the ultimate winner is such a timeless classic and remains the most popular film from this list.
- 10. The Human Comedy – Interesting look at how people dealt with life on the homefront while their loved ones were far away fighting for their freedom. The cast does a fine job here and the fact that this film was written at the time of the war helps reflect attitudes at the time. The dialogue is written really well and even simple scenes come across as being so well thought out. The scene with the librarian works really well to prove that to us.
- 9. – For Whom the Bell Tolls – Cooper and Bergman have nice chemistry together but some of the scenes are a bit too melodramatic. The ideas presented here about patriotism, loyalty and love all come across really well. I’ve never read the novel this is based on, so I’m not sure how good of an adaptation this is. The action scenes work well and I really liked the way that eventhough things seem a bit predictable, they keep the story moving at a nice pace allowing the characters to grow on us as we slowly learn more and more about their lives.
- 8. – The Song of Bernadette – Great tale that truly puts forth a question that deals solely with faith. The characters choose to believe or disbelieve based on their own experiences along with their hopes and dreams. Jones is great in the title role and truly deserved her Best Actress Oscar for this role because she plays the part so beautifully. It was fascinating seeing how and why different characters chose to follow their beliefs and how some changed along the way. The story drags on a bit too much and might have been even better had it been trimmed a bit.
- 7. – In Which We Serve – Very patriotic look at war. We get to know the characters very well and the use of their backstories via flashback gives us so much insight into their true character. Amazing cast works really well here. This was used as propaganda against the Germans during World War II and still resonates so well. Lean does a great job in his first outing as director.
- 6. – Madame Curie – Great biography of a woman who was able to change the way the world looks at female scientists. Really enjoyed the way the story builds up and we see the collaborative work with her husband yet also see how she spearheaded the scientific discoveries. Great cast helps make this biopic feel so realistic and Garson and Pidgeon are nice choices for the two leads and both were nominated for Lead Oscars for these roles.
- 5. – The More the Merrier– Starts off amazingly, but tapers off as things move along. Coburn is amazing and deservingly won an Oscar for Best Supporting actor for this role. Loved the way that the early scenes are written because the dialogue and actions of the characters are so much fun to watch as things rapidly move along. I can understand how this film could have been nominated for Best Picture that year, but in the end it’s a fun romantic comedy of the 40’s, but not the kind of film that would have been able to walk away with the big award.
- 4. – Heaven Can Wait – Great idea that works really well. The characters and story are so enjoyable to watch as we slowly learn about their lives and everything that happens to them over the course of the near 80 years depicted. Ameche is great in the title role and it’s interesting seeing his character age since I’m more familiar with him as an older actor. I could have spent so much more time with these characters and I would have enjoyed having them expand some of the various vignettes depicted or even show us more events of his life because it was so enjoyable to take in. Nice to see this film among the Best Picture nominees of that year.
- 3. – Watch on the Rhine – Such a fascinating story that gets more intriguing as things move along, The cast is perfect with everyone giving a great performance, but the best is clearly Lucas who won an Oscar and Globe for this role. The dialogue is quite gripping and the fact that this film (and the play it was based on) were made during the war years says so much about how things were viewed at that time.
- 2. – The Ox-Bow Incident – Excellent movie about social pressures. Very moving movie.
- 1. – Casablanca – Blane is an amazing anti-hero character who has a great dilemma and arc that works so well because most people can relate or at least understand his motivations. The story is truly timeless and the intrigue and mystery along the way helps keep things interesting. The cast is superb with Bogart, Bergman, Heinreid and rains all perfectly cast in these roles. The story moves along at a great pace and by the end, we can completely understand the true motivations of everyone. One of the best films ever written.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! Casablanca is a timeless classic that combines a love story, intrigue with has the aura of war in just about every scene. Was quite poignant when it came out and remains so until this very day!
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!