I’ve waited a long time (nearly a year!) to write about 1939 as it is widely regarded as the “greatest year in Hollywood history.” I’d also not seen all ten of the nominated films into just recently (thank you very much, TCM and your 31 Days of Oscar!). So after having watched this films it came down to picking one to write about. This was also difficult because Gone With The Wind (the winner that year) is my second favorite film of all time. So this is definitely not an “Oscar got it wrong” post, but instead I decided to go with one of the least talked about films from the year. This has got to be the best adaptation of Steinbeck’s heartbreaking novel of the same name. Everything about the film is pitch-perfect. The film was nominated for four Oscars, but failed to win a single award: Best Sound Recording, Best Original Score, Best Scoring and Best Picture. The other nominees that year were Dark Victory, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, Ninotchka, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights and winner Gone With The Wind.
Jefferson Smith: I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr Paine. All you people don’t know about lost causes. Mr Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them for the only reason any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain, simple rule: Love thy neighbour. In this world full of hatred a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr Paine. I loved you for it, just as my father did. You know that you fight harder for the lost causes. You even die for them. Like a man we both knew, Mr Paine. You think I’m licked. You all think I’m licked. Well, I am not licked! I’ll stay and fight for this lost cause. Even if this room gets filled with lies like these – And the Taylors and all their armies come marching into this place. Somebody will listen to me.