Sunday, October 3, 2010

Movie Geek Gets an Idea

Hello, I am a San Francisco dwelling lifelong movie geek, with a special fondness for films from what is often referred to as "the golden age of Hollywood", which generally means from the mid 1930's (when the production code ruling what could and could not be shown in films was strictly enforced) to the 1960's (when said code was replaced by the rating system that endures with only a few changes to this day). About a year ago, while perusing a list of all the films to ever win the Academy Award for best picture, I realized that I had seen the vast majority of them.  This is more rare in a person than you might think!(Honestly, how many people have even heard of the film CIMARRON?  Hmmm?).  Yes, it turns out over the years that the big award has often gone to a film that almost immediately falls into obscurity (it can happen to actors too, right, F Murray Abraham?).  So, I decided to watch every best picture winner ever, mainly to satisfy my own curiosity and impress/annoy  people at parties. I should mention, I am not a person who watches each Oscar broadcast breathlessly awaiting each big award, indeed, I often skip the broadcast altogether, although the results never fail to interest me.  I like the idea of the Oscars (which I see as celebrating films as an art form instead of just a way of making money for studios) more than what they often feel like (a bunch of rich and famous people massaging each other's egos).  Anyway, back to my quest: I thought tracking all the films down would be a snap, what with TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES, NETFLIX  and the Internet. I turned out to be mistaken in that regard, but with patience and perseverance, I managed to accomplish my goal.  (The toughest nut to crack turned out to be CALVALCADE from 1933, which required buying a VHS copy for around thirty bucks on our old friend Ebay.)  Having reached this milestone I decided it might be interesting to share my accumulated knowledge with the world by posting an essay on each movie in chronological order, ending each essay with the all important question, "Did they get it right?". (And I should mention that I'll have some spoilers in my essays, so you know).

So let's begin with the first, and for many years the only, silent film to ever take the golden boy....WINGS


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