Charlie Chaplin – The Great Dictator
My Overall Thoughts:
This is another nice year with 5 great directors as nominees. Once again, two of them are better than the rest and either could have taken home Gold for their work.
5. Sam Wood
4. George Cukor
3. William Wyler
2. John Ford
1. Alfred Hitchcock
5. Kitty Foyle – This is a film that has an interesting idea that unfortunately just doesn’t feel as original as it probably could have been. I liked the way that they deal with social classes here and show the various struggles of the characters as they try to find a way to bridge the gap between them. Rogers definitely stands out in the lead role and deservingly won an Oscar for her performance.
4. The Philadelphia Story – Interesting screwball comedy from the 40’s, but very dated. Great cast.
3. 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.
2. Rebecca – Interesting psychological thriller when Hitchcock was still warming up. Nice cast and Hitchcockian twists galore. Seems a bit dated now tho.
1. The Grapes of Wrath – Excellent film that shows the true difficulties of families during the Depression who faced even more hardship when they moved along to “supposedly” better situations. Fonda is superb in the title role and is helped by some great supporting performances, most notably Jane Darwell as his mother. Ford knew how to create the right atmosphere for such a film and kept things feeling as realistic as possible as we follow the Joad family’s journey across the country.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! AH does a wonderful job with Rebecca and although the film managed to win BP, it lost BD to JF for TGoW. I personally would have switched the wins between the two of them.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!