Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1934

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Frank Capra (It Happened One Night)
Victor Schertzinger (One Night of Love)
W.S. Van Dyke (The Thin Man)

Biggest Snub:

John Stahl – Imitation of Life

My Overall Thoughts:

This is another year where one of the nominees doesn’t belong here and either of the other two would have been worthy of winning, but one is slightly better than the other.

My Rankings:


3. Victor Schertzinger
2. W.S. Van Dyke 
1. Frank Capra


3. One Night of LoveThe story is quite bland and it’s hard to truly believe the love story between the leads. Yes, the music is quite good and helps a bit but one could listen to a recording of the classical music and get more out of it than watching this film. The cast also doesn’t add anything to this film. I can understand how this film could be nominated for and win an Oscar for Best Score, but this is far from being a Best Picture nomination IMHO.
2. The Thin ManPowell and Loy are great together and their banter makes this film so much fun. The mystery is done quite well and they do an amazing job keeping us guessing the whole way through.
1. It Happened One NightGreat film that gets so much right along the way. The chemistry between Colbert and Gable works so well the entire time. The dialogue is superbly written and the way that the characters deliver the back and forth works so well the entire time. The characters are extremely memorable and this remains one of the best films of its kind. Capra does an amazing job directing this film. Very deserving of it’s 5 Oscar wins. It remains the only film to have swept the 5 “top” awards without any other nominations.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  Capra does a wonderful job with IHON and clearly is the best of the trio of nominees.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1934

  1. Two other films took the Top 5 since (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Silence of the Lambs), so that bit can’t really be narrowed down since there were far less categories back in 1934.


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