This is the very first film, and the only silent film, to win best Oscar. It beat out some great films like Sunrise, The Last Command, The Crowd, Metropolis but does this make it a bad movie? I don't think so even though the other films, I believe, are better . Wings is is a great film that has some excellent aerial battles. The director, William Wellman, was part of the famous Lafayette Flying Corps so his heart was truly in this film. Wings is about 2 rivals who grew up together and the girl they both end up loving, played by Clara Bow. The boys go to war and become friends especially when a new mate dies soon after they meet him(played by Gary Cooper that catapulted him to stardom). The melodrama is secondary to the war that was very fresh to everyone since it ended only 9 years before. They often show the aerial and land battles in documentaries since so little was filmed during the actual war. This film is worth seeing.
2. HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY-1941
Talk about a big upset that now makes many critics deride this film, unfairly in my book. Why? This is the year of Citizen Kane, arguable the greatest film ever made( I believe it is better than The Godfather). It also is the year of The Maltese Falcon, The Little Foxes, Suspicion, Meet John Doe and The Lady Eve. Does this make How Green Was My Valley a crappy movie? Not in my books and I really like this film. It stars a young Roddy McDowall who is part of this family of miners led by the patriarch, Donald Crisp. The daughter is the beautiful Maureen O’Hara who loves the local preacher played by Walter Pidgeon. Their lives are shown around this the Welsh village that unites families because of the mines. John Ford directed this film with a gentle hand since he loved his heritage and it shows. One has to look at this film on its own not that it beat out all the other films.
3. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY-1953
This film has an all star cast set just before and during the bombing of Pearl Harbour. Burt Lancaster is a Sergeant in the army who is having a lusty affair with Deborah Kerr, the wife of his Captain. You see them famously make out on the beach while the waves crash about them. You have the soldiers in the barracks from the brutal bullet-headed Ernest Borgnine who bullies everyone but especially Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra. The climax of the film is the bombing which was really well done for this time. Once again, this film won over the likes of Shane, Roman Holiday, Stalag 17, The Bandwagon and The Big Heat. This film is excellent even if one thinks it should not have won and should be seen , once again, on its own merit. Frank Sinatra won an Oscar and rebuilt his career from the ashes due to this film.
So which 3 would you choose?
Two war pictures.ReplyDelete
I had to go look at the list. My picks would be LOTR: Return of the King (which was a Best Picture nod for all three movies), Titanic, and Argo, with special mention to Silence of the Lambs, Braveheart, and The Bridge on the River Kwai.
I dislike Titanic except for the special effects but your other choices are great and love LOTR which is popular this week.Delete
I'm with Alex on LOTR: Return of the King. It was the first pic that popped into my head. I have not seen Wings but did enjoy the other two movies you mention. I do agree that Citizen Kane is better and should have one, but then you and I know that the winner of anything is not always the best. Just look at who our current President is.ReplyDelete
LOTR is a big hit this week and love this film trilogy. You are so right about the BP pics and ughhh, they need to take away his, and his kids’ passports away.Delete
One of these days I'll attempt to go back and see all the Best Picture winners. I've only seen half of them, and none of your picks this week.ReplyDelete
Wow, you did well..I would like to do this once too. I should look at the ones I have seen.Delete
Hi Birgit, and Happy New Year to you.ReplyDelete
I too loved How Green was my Valley, always one to have me in tears too. I've never managed to see From Hear to Eternity all the way through and never heard of your fist one, Kate x
I take you didn’t care for From Here To Eternity?? I do love How Green and it brought tears to my eyes too.Delete
Have not seen Wings yet, but the other two I have seen. I recall seeing How Green Was My Valley on our tiny black and white TV when I was still a child and absolutely loving the film even though I didn't totally comprehend everything about it. I have a DVD copy in my collection along with From Here to Eternity.ReplyDelete
I don't hold much stock in Best Picture picks. I often disagree with the winners and can't remember most of them. I did enjoy Green Book from a couple years back. A lot of the winners (I'll admit that I had to go look up the list of all winners because I couldn't think of most of them) don't hold up so well when I think back on them. I've got a lot of the past winners in my film collection.
Next Academy Awards I won't even know about the films in the running. Are there any? I haven't seen a new film in a few years I guess.
Tossing It Out
Glad you have DVD copies of these 2 and I watched both How Green and From Here on my very small B&W TV too. I actually liked Greenbook too and it is based on A true story.Delete
Haven't seen Wings, but I did read about it, as well as a biography of Clara Bow, known as the IT girl. She had fun. ☺ I have seen the other two. How Green Was My Valley sure was an upset win, considering the illustrious competition! My classic movie Oscar pics are Grand Hotel, You Can't Take It With You and All About Eve.ReplyDelete
I love your choices and almost chose You Can’t Take It With You. Since LB Mayor had his hands in the Oscars and he wanted to have all negatives of Citizen Kane burned because he was friends with William Randolph Hearst. Thank God RKO refused. Clara Bow was a real free spirit but had such a tough life. I highly recommend reading the bio of her by Barry Paris.Delete
I didn't know that about Citizen Kane! Thanks, Birgit. I will look for the biography, too.Delete
Haven’t heard of Wings and haven’t seen From here to Eternity apart from THAT scene. I have seen How Green was my Valley - but the valleys are Welsh, Birgit, not Irish! 2021 has not started well but let’s hope it improves rapidly.ReplyDelete
I wrote this quickly and didn’t double check so thank you for the correction and I changed it since. I think it will improve but not fast. I am thinking by November we will see an improvement.Delete
I'm pretty ashamed to admit that I've never heard of Wings and From Here to Eternity before as I've been meaning to watch all the Best Picture nominees and winners.ReplyDelete
Hey, now you can soon begin and we can hear your thoughts.on these films.Delete
From Here to Eternity is my number one pick of all the BP winners! LOVE that film so much, find it endlessly rewatchable and discover new things in it all the time. Sinatra is good but to me he's pretty far down of the MVP list. I'd say that list would run Monty Clift, Burt Lancaster, Donna Reed, Deborah Kerr and then Ol' Blue Eyes.
I was a bit reluctant to watch Wings at first but my girl Clara Bow got me there. I ended up thinking it was marvelous and deserving of the win. Taking into account the age of the film and the restrictions of film at the time it's a real achievement. There were other great films that year but it was only actually competing against 7th Heaven (a decent if unextraordinary film) and The Racket (completely forgettable) so the right choice was made.
How Green Was My Valley is a heart-tugger with some beautiful performances (so glad Donald Crisp-I LOVE him-won) and wonderfully directed but just no to it taking the BP prize. The critical consensus is Citizen Kane but I say Maltese Falcon is where the award belonged.
There are many great choices for the theme but I've used all my favorites for other weeks so I chose to go with the three I think are the worst choices the Academy made.
The Broadway Melody (1929)-It only took two years for the Academy to award the wrong film. Glue-footed musical that came out shortly after sound changed the industry won more out of the novelty of songs being able to be heard on screen than any kind of worth the picture possesses….which ain’t much!
Cimarron (1931)-Stiff as a board adaptation of Edna Ferber’s classic novel of the settling of the Oklahoma Territory. Leaden direction, dull performances (incredibly Richard Dix won Best Actor) and a sluggish pace aren’t compensated by one great land rush sequence. The first Western to win Best Picture (in a year where The Public Enemy, Little Caesar and City Lights weren’t even nominated!) soured the pot and it took another 60 years until Dances with Wolves captured another.
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)-The title says just about all about this insufferable, tedious, tiresome and endlessly bloated adaptation of a Jules Verne adventure dealing with a balloon trip circumnavigating the globe. Stuffed with cameos of stars of the day in either passing bits or meaningless parts it made a mint on release but this is the worst film to ever win Best Picture.
I’m late here but I always look forward to reading your comments and how I wish we could just talk film! Glad you love From Here and I agree with you about all the top acting chops in this film. Donald Crisp( notice I corrected myself) was such a brilliant actor. You are so right about Wings and I Credit William Wellman for some brilliant battles scenes. I still believe Citizen Kane should have won and Gregg Toland should have won as well. Maltese Falcon is a brilliant film. I have not seen any of these films you chose but I love your theme. Broadway Melody was chosen because of sound film and musicals exploded on the screen. I have to see Around the World because I do love the music and I like David Niven. One day I will watch it. I always thought the worst pick ever is The Greatest Show on Earth. I love Jimmy Stewart but that does not mean this film is great. It’s a good yarn even if I never could understand how Cornel Wilde and Charlton Heston could fight over Betty Hutton. This was the year of some great films and they chose this dribble.Delete
I've only seen "How Green Was My Valley" once and thought it a beautiful movie. It deserved whatever awards it got. Same with From Here to Eternity, which I finally saw last year. Lots of explosive emotion in that one.ReplyDelete
I love How Green even though I do believe Citizen Kane should have won. From Here is an excellent film.Delete
Interesting how you picked films that maybe weren't wholly deserving due to the films competed against. I have heard of all of these, but never seen them. At one point I knew the list of all best pic winners, but I've slacked off lately.ReplyDelete
Okay, let me pull up a list and pick the three that I would consider my favorites: It Happened One Night, Gigi, Argo. Although, ask me tomorrow, and I might modify that list.
I thought that would make a good theme since these are great films but there were others that were better..in my eyes. I love your choices and I always liked Gigi.Delete
I have seen all 3 of these. Even the real golden oldie from the 1920's. I'm impressed with that seeing I don't have a big track record. I hope your New Year has started well. Stay safe.ReplyDelete
Wow, that is great that you saw all of these. I had a nice New Year’s and am safe and sound.Delete
I'm only familiar with From Here to Eternity and I believe we watched it only once. Great movie! The silent film while very interesting I don't believe I'd be interested in seeing it but How Green Was My Valley looks good and worth checking out. Thanks for sharing, now I'm off to find it. Have a filmtastic weekend!
How Green is a film, I believe, you will really like.Delete
Needless to say, I've not only NOT seen any of these, but never heard of two of them. One of these days I'll have actually seen one or more, but for now, I'll just appreciate how you describe them so well with humor.ReplyDelete
I would have been knocked over with. Feather if you saw these films but I always love your comments and glad you like my writing.Delete
Oh I LOVE Wings!! Gary Cooper was so dreamy in that film, no wonder he became famous after that :DReplyDelete
I haven't seen the other two, but Montgomery Clift is another handsome classic actor, I should check out From Here to Eternity!
Gary was dreamy and Clara Bow thought so with a famous quip she said about him..."He's hung like a horse and can go all night." Clara was not bashful. Montgomery was almost beautiful but such a sad soul.Delete
I've at least heard of them, but struck out indeed. Lord of The Rings comes to mind.ReplyDelete
the last of the trilogy was everywhere this weekDelete
I've never seen Wings, but love your second and third picks. Now, what are mine? I'm going with Grand Hotel, You Can't Take It With You, and West Side Story.ReplyDelete
I almost chose You Can't Take It With You. Grand Hotel is a fun watch and West Side Story is good even though I giggle at the beginning when tough guys flex their toes. Steven Spielberg is doing a remake of this film.Delete
I always learn something I didn't know when I read what you've written about the films.ReplyDelete
Have you ever thought about teaching film at a community college?
I would love to have discussion about these films but I would need a teacher's degree for this. Thank you for this great compliment.Delete
Thanks for understanding why I am late this week, dear friend!
Wings is one silent film I do not remember studying in my college cinema course, nor do I remember ever having seen it. I admire the enchanting Clara Bow and actor Gary Cooper. The action looks spectacular. Thanks for posting this winner of the first Academy Award for Best Picture.
Mrs. Shady and I watched How Green Was My Valley years ago. I love the commanding acting style of Walter Pidgeon and I also admire Roddy and enjoy his early roles like this one. Both of the above actors are in another film I like entitled Holiday in Mexico starring Jane Powell.
I have also seen From Here To Eternity. I greatly admired Deborah Kerr and I also like Donna Reed and Ernie Borgnine. I was just watching the new episode of the TV series This Is Us which showed archive clips from Airplane!, the zany film that includes a parody of the scene in From Here To Eternity in which lovers passionately embrace on a wave-swept beach.
Thanks again for your recent visits to Shady's Place, dear friend BB, and have a nice weekend!
Hello sweet Shady..so glad to see you here as always and late to reply. I think you would like Wings. I fell for Walter Pidgeon when I saw this movie and he is a Canuck! Oh man...that scene from Airplane is hilarious and I laugh each time. It must have been so tough to do that scene.Delete
I rarely can say I've watched the films you mention, but I do love reading about them, and I've started a list of movies I want to see, and several titles, I've picked up from your blog. Some of these older films are difficult to find though.ReplyDelete
Have a great week,
Yeah, many are difficult to find because, even though they are excellent they are not the ones that are the most watched like Gone With The Wind, Casablanca and Wizard of Oz.Delete
I've never seen Wings. That's cool that Wellman was part of the Flying Corp.ReplyDelete
Be safe. Feel well.
He was and he one the Croix De Guerre(spelling??). He was quite the maverick.Delete
Wasn't Maureen O'Hara one of the best actresses ever?Delete
Hope your day is pain free.