Thursday, October 21, 2010

1939 - A Year in Film

Having just watched Love Affair, I have now seen all ten best picture nominees from 1939. The year belonged to Gone with the Wind which brought home ten Oscars (including two honorary) and was nominated for five more. When adjusting for inflation, it is still the highest grossing film of all-time.

This was a year stacked with movie vegetables. Everyone has, of course, seen The Wizard of Oz. This was also the year Mr. Smith (the incomparable Jimmy Stewart) went to Washington and students said goodbye to Mr. Chips.

Gone with the Wind wasn't the only literary classic to be adapted in 1939. Of Mice and Men with Burgess Meredith and Wuthering Heights with Laurence Olivier were also released.

Others you might not have heard of still showcased stars you undoubtedly have. Dark Victory starred Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart. John Wayne starred in Stagecoach. Ninotchka featured Greta Garbo.

And how's this for a best actor competition: Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, James Stewart, Laurence Olivier, and Robert Donat. Donat, who you likely haven't heard of, was the winner for playing Mr. Chips.

Here's the complete list of 1939 winners and nominees:
Keep in mind it says 1940 as that's when the ceremony took place, just like they do today.

I also just realized I had miscounted both the total number of all-time nominees and the number I had seen. The count in the upper right is now correct.

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