Posts Tagged ‘best director’

The Quiet Man

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Released - August, 1952  The Quiet Man The Quiet Man

Directed By - John Ford

Starring – John Wayne (Sean Thornton), Maureen O’Hara (Mary Kate Danaher), Barry Fitzgerald (Michaleen Oge Flynn), Ward Bond (Father Peter Lonergan), Victor McLaglen (Squire ‘Red’ Will Danaher).

Description – Action…Excitement…Romance…Fill the Screen!

Irish-American Sean Thornton travels from his home in Pittsburgh to Ireland to reclaim his family’s farm. Sean had just outbid bullying landowner ‘Red’ Will Danaher who had wanted the Thornton land which is adjacent to his.

While Sean and ‘Red’ don’t mix well, ‘Red’s’ beautiful sister Mary Kate has captured Sean’s eye and his heart. Will Danaher refuses to sanction a wedding between the two until tricked into believing that a rich widow wanted to marry him, but only if his sister was out of the house.

Will learns of the trick on his sisters wedding day and refuses to turn over her full dowry. While the dowry means little to Sean, it is very important to Mary Kate as it represents her identity, independence, and pride.

The lack of importance Sean places on the dowry causes Mary Kate to believe his is a coward for not standing up to her brother and she plans on forcing him to confront Will by threatening to leave him. However, there is more than meets the eye in Sean’s apparent lack of interest in the dowry; he is hiding a dark secret.

NOTABLE: This film won two Academy Awards; Best Director (John Ford), and Best Cinematography, Color. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Victor McLaglen), Best Writing, Screenplay, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Color, and Best Sound, Recording.

This motion picture represented a change of pace for the duo of John Ford and John Wayne. Previously, the pair were noted for action pictures and westerns.

The Quiet Man was the only film to receive a Best Picture nomination for Republic Pictures, known for low-budget B-movies.

Mrs. Miniver

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Released – June, 1942  Mrs. Miniver Mrs. Miniver

Directed By - William Wyler

Starring- Greer Garson (Mrs. Miniver), Walter Pidgeon (Clem Miniver), Teresa Wright (Carol Beldon), Dame May Whitty (Lady Beldon), Reginald Owen (Foley).

Description- “Mrs. Miniver” is more than a picture – it’s dramatic. It’s tender. It’s human. It’s real.

The sentimental story of Mrs. Kay Miniver and her family in the early days of World War II. As the war looms closer to their homefront, the middle-classed Miniver family attempts to cope with the inevitable consequences of war.

Mr. Miniver is a successful English architect. There are three children in the Miniver family; youngsters Toby and Judy, and oldest child Vin who is away at university. While visiting home, Vin meets and falls in love with Carol, the daughter of Lady Beldon.

During a dinner, Vin proposes to Carol and she accepts. Shortly after their marriage the war closes in. Vin joins the Royal Air Force as a pilot, his father Clem assists in the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Trying to live as normal a life as possible under the impending circumstances the family enters a flower show with a rose named after Mrs. Miniver and wins. After the show  Kay and Carol drive Vin back to his air base just as the bombing begins.

As they return home the horror’s of war become all too real with tragedy just ahead.

NOTABLE: This film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, winning six; Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Greer Garson), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Teresa Wright), Best Director (William Wyler), Best Writing, Screenplay, and Best Cinematography, Black and White.

The character of Mrs. Miniver is based on Jan Struther’s fictional English housewife who appeared in a series of newspaper columns.

The films popularity exceeded all expectations and was the top box office attraction of 1942.

Winston Churchill was quoted as having said that this film had done more for the war effort than a flotilla of destroyers.

Actress Greer Garson would later marry Richard Ney who played her son in the movie.

Norma Shearer was offered and refused the role of Mrs. Miniver. Greer Garson also did not want the role, but was contractually obligated to take it, ending up with an Oscar.

At the completion of the film, Director William Wyler joined the Army and was stationed overseas when he won his Oscar.

Personal Comment: This film was intended as a propaganda film in the same way as the film The 49th Parallel, and is one of the best of its kind ever produced. It was hoped that this type of film would encourage America to enter World War II.

Take note of the very powerful sermon delivered by the vicar in the damaged church at the conclusion of the film. The sermon made such an impact that President Roosevelt used it as a morale builder and also as a basis of the text in leaflets that were printed in various languages and dropped over enemy and occupied territory.

A Place In The Sun

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Released – August, 1951  A Place in the Sun A Place In The Sun

Directed By - George Stevens

Starring – Montgomery Clift (George Eastman), Elizabeth Taylor (Angela Vickers), Shelley Winters (Alice Tripp), Anne Revere (Hannah Eastman).

Description – One Of The Great Love Stories Of All Time!

Adapted from Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 novel ‘An American Tragedy,’  this is the story of industrialist Charles Eastman’s nephew George and his entanglement with two women and murder.

After taking a job at his wealthy uncle’s factory, George Eastman begins to date fellow employee Alice Tripp who works on the assembly line. As their dating continues, Alice becomes pregnant and hopes to marry George.

Around the same time, George gets his first exposure to high society where he meets the beautiful and sophisticated Angela Vickers. George is immediately infatuated with Angela and begins to lose interest in Alice.

Alice threatens to tell Angela of their affair unless George agrees to marry her. While out on a boat with George, Alice is killed in what appears to be a boating accident. Or, was it murder?

NOTABLE: In 1991 this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

This motion picture won six Academy Awards; Best Director (George Stevens), Best Writing, Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Music, and Best Costume Design. It was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Montgomery Clift), and Best Actress in a Leading Role (Shelley Winters).

Although Technicolor filming was becoming increasingly popular, Director George Stevens felt the storyline and overall tone of this movie would be more appropriate filmed in black and white.

How Green Was My Valley

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Released – October, 1941  How Green Was My Valley How Green Was My Valley

Directed By - John Ford

Starring - Walter Pidgeon (Mr. Gruffydd), Maureen O’Hara (Angharad Morgan), Anna Lee (Bronwyn), Donald Crisp (Gwylim Morgan), Roddy McDowall (Huw Morgan).

Description – A classic drama that tells the story of the Morgan family through the eyes of its youngest member Huw Morgan. The Morgan’s are a tightly knit Welsh family living in the South Whales mining town of Cwm Rhondda.

Huw Morgan, now a middle-aged, recalls the struggles faced by his family as a result of an impending coal miner strike and the disasterous economic results that would follow. The family loyalties, their faith, and the aftermath of a changing society provide the background for one of greatest family dramas ever produced.

NOTABLE: In 1990 this film was selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry.

The motion picture won five Academy Awards including Best Picture (topping Citizen Kane, Sergeant York, and The Maltese Falcon), Best Director (John Ford), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Donald Crisp), Best Art Direction-Interior Direction, and Best Cinematography. The film was also nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Sara Allgood), Best Writing, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture, and Best Sound, Recording.

World War II prevented this film from being produced on location. Director John Ford used the Santa Monica Mountains to create an authentic Welsh village based on the real villages of Cerrig Ceinnen and Clyddach-cum Tawe.

Academy Award Notes 1920’s

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Academy Award Academy Award Notes 1920s

1928 & 1929

Best Film - Broadway Melody
Best Director - Frank Lloyd (The Divine Lady)
Best Actor - Warner Baxter (In Old Arizona)
Best Actress - Mary Pickford (Coquette)