Did They Get it Right? – Best Picture – Oscars 1940


dtgirbp-1940Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

All This and Heaven Too
Foreign Correspondent
Grapes of Wrath, The
Great Dictator, The
Kitty Foyle
Letter, The
Long Voyage Home, The
Our Town
Philadelphia Story, The
Rebecca

Biggest Snub:

Pinocchio

My Overall Thoughts:

The nominees this year were quite diverse and really showed the range and differences possible when looking at the spectrum of films made that year.

I think that they made a good choice in the end, but in retrospect, they could have made a better choice!

My Rankings:

Movies

(As of now, I have seen each and every Oscar nominated film from 1946 thru the present.  Starting with 1945’s nominees, there are movies that I have yet to see, so I will only rank the films that I’ve seen so far and will update as I see the missing films.)

  • 10. – All This and Heaven Too
  • 9. – Kitty Foyle
  • 8. – The Long Voyage Home
  • 7. – Our Town

 

  • 6. – The Philadelphia Story – Interesting rom-com from the 40’s, but very dated.  Great cast with Stewart garnering a Best Actor Oscar for this role.
  • 5. – The Letter – Davis is great here as a woman who committed murder who she claims was in self-defense. The way they explore love, racism and even the way the court system work in foreign occupied countries are all done expertly by Wyler.
  • 4. – The Grapes of Wrath – Great look at the effects of the depression on family life as we watch the journey f a family across the US in order to find salvation in California.  Fonda is superb here!
  • 3. – Rebecca – Interesting psychological thriller when Hitchcock was still warming up. Nice cast and Hitchcockian twists galore. Seems a bit dated now tho.
  • 2. – Foreign Correspondent – The fact that this plot was originally written 5 years before War actually broke out in Europe also shows a bit of prophesy that worked to everyone’s benefit in the end. Hitchcock’s genius in setting up a story and keeping us thrilled throughout is quite evident here.
  • 1. – The Great Dictator – Chaplin at his best. This is my favorite of all of his movies.  It’s amazing how astute he was to what was going on without really knowing it.  He does a perfect imitation of Hitler and we laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Rebecca is a great thriller by Hitchcock, but when comparing films that defined the year in retrospect, it is clear that The Great Dictator was a spectacularly made film showing the absurdity of the direction that the world was heading at the time.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

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