90 Days of Oscar Nominees #58 – Kings Row (1942)


In my attempt to have a more prolific repertoire of Oscar Nominated Films, I have taken it upon myself to watch 90 new Best Picture Nominees that I’ve never seen before between 5 Dec 2017 and The 90th Annual Oscars on 4 Mar 2018.

Here is my 58th review of the 90 chosen Films…

Well, Mitchell, I don’t know at all your approach to medicine. Perhaps you regard it as an opportunity to become one of those bedside manners with a list of proper pills to give the patient – particularly when you don’t know what is the matter with him. Or perhaps your aim is to become an eminent carpenter with a knife and a chisel and a saw. Perhaps even you’ll flow over with the nobility of relieving humanity’s suffering. I’ll tell you my approach to medicine! It is a game in which man pits his brains against the forces of destruction and disease. In the beginning I don’t expect you to participate in the game. You’ll only listen and accept. You will study and you will make notes and you will memorize… and you will do all this only because I tell you to.” – Dr. Alexander Q. Tower

Number of Times Seen – 1 (30 Jan 2018)

Brief Synopsis – The tale of five friends who grow up in small town America around the turn of the 20th Century and how their lives progress.

My Take on it – I have never seen any films that starred former President Ronald Reagan and this film is supposedly one of his best.

It was strange seeing him in this film yet I do agree that he does a great and convincing job making his character seem genuine.

This film is another one that I had never heard of before watching it for this series and it is another great surprise to me as to how great it is.

The fact that the novel this film is based on deals with some really dark issues shows how great a job they did making this film since they were able to subtly refer to these issues in order to get by the censors of the time yet still make them known to those paying attention.

The characters are all great and they do a fantastic job showing us how the lives of these 5 children evolve into varying directions as they eventually reach adulthood.

Each of the characters finds ways to deal with their own personal problems that try to stop them from achieving their goals.

The cast is great and besides Reagan, Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings and Betty Fields do wonderful jobs.

This IMHO is one of the best films of the year and I’m a bit surprised that it somehow only managed to get three Oscar nomination (Picture, Director and Cinematography).

Bottom Line – Such an amazing film because of the way that it is able to tell such a complex and dark story yet due to the censors have to do it in more subtle ways.  The characters are all great and we get to see how their lives progress over the years.  Each of them finds a way to live their lives despite their own personal problems that try to stop them along the way.  Great cast led by Sheridan, Cummings, Reagan and Fields. One of the best films of that year which is surprising that it only managed to garner three nominations (Picture, Director and cinematography). Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Ronald Reagan titled his 1965 autobiography after his biggest line in the film version of Kings Row: “Where’s the rest of me?”. He later described the film as the best he appeared in. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy

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8 thoughts on “90 Days of Oscar Nominees #58 – Kings Row (1942)

  1. I watched this late last year and enjoyed it. I’m a sucker for melodrama and films that focus on small-town dysfunction, so it was right up my alley. Definitely one of the better Reagan performances I’ve seen, too. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m laughing that both you and Lindsey said it was one of Reagan’s best performances. I don’t disagree – but considering most of his others were with a monkey – it’s probably his ONLY good performance.

    Liked by 1 person

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