Monthly Archives: October 2011
This film was advertised as “100% All-Talking” and its tagline was “You Hear What You See While Enjoying In Old Arizona.” This film was a real game-changer in several aspects. It was the first major studio western to use sound technology and the first talkie to be filmed outdoors. They filmed it in Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park in Utah and the San Fernando Mission and the Mojave Desert. I’ve got several beautiful shots from it that I will share later on. Also, Raoul Walsh was supposed to direct and star in this film, but a jackrabbit jumped through a windshield of a vehicle he was driving, Walsh lost an eye and had to abandon the project. I always wanted to know why Walsh wore an eye-patch. A jackrabbit in the eye is kind of fantastic. I wonder if those Monty Python boys knew about that? In Old Arizona was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one: Best Writing, Best Cinematography, Best Actor Warner Baxter (won), Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were: Alibi, The Hollywood Revue of 1929, The Patriot (this Ernst Lubitsch film is considered a lost film) and winner The Broadway Melody. I must point out, however, that at this ceremony, the 2nd ever, there were no official nominees announced, just the winners. Research by AMPAS has resulted in an unofficial list of nominees based on records of which films were evaluated by the judges. It’s also the only year where no movie won more than one Oscar.
So many films on this list that I’ve yet to see, but definitely want to. Hopefully we’ll see a little bit of an overlap between these nominations and the Oscars. Mostly I’m thinking for Steve McQueen, Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan, though Shame‘s NC-17 rating may still be a hurdle the film’ll need to overcome stateside. I’d also like to see a Best Actor nomination for Gary Oldman. I still haven’t seen Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but boy is he overdue. He’s never even been nominated! That’s a travesty that must be remedied soon.
The winners are decided by an independent jury comprised of people from within the British film industry. This year’s jury includes: Josh Appignanesi (Director / Writer), Lucy Bevan (Casting Director), Edith Bowman (Broadcaster), Mike Goodridge (Editor), Ed Hogg (Actor), Neil Lamont (Art Director), Mary McCartney (Photographer), Molly Nyman (Composer), Debs Paterson (Director / Writer), Tracey Seaward (Producer), Charles Steel (Producer), David Thewlis (Actor), Ruth Wilson (Actress) and Justine Wright (Editor). The winners be announced on December 4th. Full list of nominees after the cut.
Girl Scout: Is this made from real lemons?
Girl Scout: I only like all-natural foods and beverages, organically grown, with no preservatives. Are you sure they’re real lemons?
Girl Scout: Well, I’ll tell you what. I’ll buy a cup if you buy a box of my delicious Girl Scout cookies. Do we have a deal?
Wednesday: Are they made from real Girl Scouts?
I first saw The Thin Man late on a Saturday night on PBS when I was in high school. I caught it from the very beginning (rare when you’re flipping through the channels!) and I fell in love. That PBS station then showed the film’s sequels every subsequent Saturday. It was a magical six weeks. I still wish I owned The Thin Man DVD collection. William Powell and Myrna Loy made 14 films together including 1936’s Libeled Lady with Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow. Powell and Loy have some of the best on-screen chemistry ever captured on film (hence their being paired together so many times), but nothing beats the work they did together as Nick and Nora Charles in The Thin Man. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards, though it didn’t win any: Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor William Powell, Best Director and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Cleopatra, Flirtation Walk, The Gay Divorcee, Here Comes the Navy, The House of Rothschild, Imitation of Life, One Night of Love, Viva Villa!, The White Parade and winner It Happened One Night. As you can see, there were TWELVE Best Picture nominees. Oddly enough, there were only three Best Actor nominees that year, four Best Actress nominees (Bette Davis was the fourth, a write-in) and three Best Director nominees (Van Dyke, Victor Schertzinger for One Night of Love and winner Frank Capra for It Happened One Night).