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Posts Tagged ‘clark gable’

3. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Other Nominated Films:
Dark Victory, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, Wuthering Heights

One movie won 10 Academy Awards, holding the record for most wins until 1959.  One movie is the longest film on my list, standing at a whopping 234 minutes. And one movie is the highest-grossing film of all time*.  These honors belong to the one, the only, Gone with the Wind. Although incredibly racist at times, Gone with the Wind tells an amazing story of love, loss and war so eloquently that you forget you’re watching a movie — you become so completely immersed in the film that you feel as if you are there.  I remember the first time I watched it.  I received the film from Netflix; normally every movie comes in one sleeve…not this one. Gone with the Wind came with two DVDs just for the movie itself…I was terrified, thinking it would be a daunting task. But, I went on to watch it with a few friends and I absolutely loved it. We did take an intermission though…far too long. Anywho! I will admit…I feel extremely intimidated writing about Gone with the Wind — it’s such a big movie that it’s hard even just describing the plot.  I will do my best though!  The story begins on the eve of the Civil War at Tara, a Georgia cotton plantation owned by Gerald O’Hara (Thomas Mitchell).  O’Hara’s exceptionally pretty daughter, Scarlett (Vivien Leigh), is flirting with the Tarleton brothers, Brent (Fred Crane) and Stuart (George Reeves). They are talking about the likelihood of war breaking out between the North and the South — a topic Scarlett finds extremely boring.  To keep Scarlett amused, the brothers start talking about the next ball, and then share a secret with Scarlett: Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard) is going to marry his cousin Melanie Hamilton (Olivia de Havilland).  Unaware that Scarlett is secretly in love with Ashley, the brothers go on to say that the engagement announcement will take place the next day at a barbecue on Ashley’s plantation, Twelve Oaks.  It is at the barbecue when we’re first introduced to Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). Rhett isn’t exactly popular amongst the party guests…he was turned out of West Point, disowned by his Charleston family, and he openly states that the South would have no chance against the North in the upcoming war. As the girls are taking their mid-afternoon naps, Scarlett sneaks away to the library to be alone with Ashley and confess her love to him.  Ashley says that he feels the same towards Scarlett, but claims that he and Melanie are more compatible. Scarlett accuses Ashley of misleading her and slaps Ashley. Ashley leaves the room, and Scarlett throws a vase at the wall in anger.  Rhett Butler suddenly pops up from the couch where he’d been resting, and reveals that he overheard the entire conversation. Scarlett is furious.  As Scarlett leaves the library, the barbecue is disrupted by some very important news: the war has begun. The men rush to enlist and the ladies all…well…they wake up from their naps (wish there was something more dramatic to add here).  As Scarlett watches Ashley kiss Melanie goodbye, Melanie’s brother Charles (Rand Brooks), who Scarlett flirted with earlier that day, asks Scarlett to marry him. Angry that Ashley rejected her, Scarlett accepts despite that fact that she does not love Charles.  They are married before he leaves to fight.  If I remember correctly, I believe I have summarized the first 20-30 minutes of the movie. It’s more than I expected to tell, but then there’s so much more to watch if you haven’t seen the movie yet. Alright, give me a few moments to catch my breath.

Okay I’m back. Gone with the Wind is such a good movie, and there’s so much I could talk about! I could talk about the wonderful acting, the fantastic script, the mesmerizing music, the beautiful scenery…but I won’t go into all of that. If you’ve seen the movie…you know all of this. So I’ll just tell you the impact the film has had on the movie industry. Gone with the Wind is one of the highest ranked movies on numerous American Film Institute Top 100 Lists: #4 in 100 Movies, #2 in 100 Passions, #1, #31, and #59 in Movie Quotes (I’ll post all three below), #2 in Film Scores, #43 in Cheers, and #4 in Epic Films. Gone with the Wind was the first film to receive more than five Oscars. On March 22, 2011, ABC aired a television special: Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time — Gone with the Wind ranked #1 for Greatest On-Screen Kiss, #1 for Greatest Line, #3 for Greatest Film Character (Scarlett O’Hara), and #1 for Best Film beating out The Wizard of Oz, The Godfather, E.T. and my #1 film on this list. I’m going to be completely honest now, I’m wiped out. I know that there’s so much more I could say about Gone with the Wind, but I think you’ll understand if I just say: Gone with the Wind will always be one of the greatest films to ever hit the big screen.

Nominated for 13 Oscars, Winner of 8
Honorary Award – William Cameron Menzies – For outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone with the Wind
Technical Achievement Award – R.D. Musgrave – For pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment in the production Gone with the Wind
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Vivien Leigh (WON)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Hattie McDaniel (WON) [Became the first African American to be nominated for and win an Oscar]
Best Art Direction – Lyle R. Wheeler (WON)
Best Cinematography, Color – Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan (WON)
Best Director – Victor Fleming (WON)
Best Film Editing – Hal C. Kern, James E. Newcom (WON)
Best Picture – Selznick International Pictures (WON)
Best Writing, Screenplay – Sidney Howard (WON)
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Clark Gable
Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Olivia de Havilland
Best Effects, Special Effects – Jack Cosgrove (photographic), Fred Albin (sound), Arthur Johns (sound)
Best Music, Original Score – Max Steiner
Best Sound, Recording – Thomas T. Moulton (Samuel Goldwyn SSD)

(#1) Rhett Butler: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
(#31) Scarlett: After all… tomorrow is another day!
(#59) Scarlett: As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.

* — Source: http://boxofficemojo.com/alltime/adjusted.htm

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10. It Happened One Night (1934)

Other Nominated Films:
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, The Thin Man, Viva Villa!, The White Parade

After reviewing 32 movies, we’re finally down to the Top 10. What better way to begin the Top 10 than with the Frank Capra classic, It Happened One Night. It Happened One Night is one of the best romantic comedies ever to hit the Silver Screen, and one of the last romantic comedies to be filmed before the enforcement of the Hays Code in 1934. It Happened One Night features Claudette Colbert as spoiled heiress, Ellen Andrews, who runs away from her father (Walter Connolly) because he wants to annul her brand-new marriage to gold digger aviator King Westley (Jameson Thomas).  Ellie attempts to reach New York City to meet up with husband Westley, and, on the way, crosses paths with Peter Warne (Clark Gable), an out-of-work street-wise newspaper reporter.  Peter discovers Ellie’s true identity and, seeing this as a golden opportunity to get his job back, Peter tells Ellie that he will get her to Westley in exchange for her exclusive story.  Along the way, Peter teaches Ellie a few “facts” of life, such as how to properly dunk a donut, how to hitch hike correctly (Peter actually learns something from Ellie here instead!), and how to give someone a proper piggyback ride. Also, along the way, we meet some fabulous character actors, including Roscoe Karns who plays Oscar Shapeley (“Shapeley’s the name, and that’s the way I like ’em”) and Alan Hale Sr. who plays Danker (singing “Young people in LOVE are very seldom hungry…”). The historical context of It Happened One Night is also something to note. It Happened One Night was released in 1934, in the midst of The Great Depression – and although the movie is not about the Depression, the Depression’s impact on the story is prevalent. Ellie has to pawn her wristwatch to buy her clothes, Peter and Ellie spend the night in a cheap autocamp (sharing a room and rationing food), a lady bus passenger faints from hunger, Peter and Ellie are hungry and have no money left to buy food or pay for their lodging…And yet, among all of this hardship, Ellie finds true love and happiness! It is interesting to note that several actors and actresses turned down the lead roles, and Gable and Colbert were also reluctant and quite weary about participating. It has even been said that, after filming was complete, Colbert complained to her friend, “I just finished the worst picture in the world.” That being said, there is a bit of a ‘story’ behind Claudette Colbert winning Best Actress for her role as Ellie. Colbert was so certain that she wasn’t going to win the award, she decided to take a cross-country railroad trip. When she won the award, studio chief Harry Cohn sent someone to drag her off the train (which luckily hadn’t left the station yet) to take her to the awards ceremony. It Happened One Night would go on to win all the Academy Awards it was nominated for, and would become the first film ever to win the “Big Five” (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Writing; this would happen only twice afterwards (to date).

 

Nominated and Won 5 Oscars
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Clark Gable
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Claudette Colbert
Best Director – Frank Capra
Best Picture – Columbia
Best Writing, Adaptation – Robert Riskin

Peter Warne: Behold the walls of Jericho! Uh, maybe not as thick as the ones that Joshua blew down with his trumpet, but a lot safer. You see, uh, I have no trumpet.

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22. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)

Other Nominated Films:
Alice Adams, Broadway Melody of 1936, Captain Blood, David Copperfield, The Informer, The Lives of a Bengal Lancer, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Les Misérables, Naughty Marietta, Ruggles of Red Gap, Top Hat

It was a few years ago when I first watched Mutiny on the Bounty and I still remember the experience as if it was yesterday. In fact, it’s one of the films that got me interested in Classic films.  Mutiny on the Bounty is a magnificent and thrilling film that chronicles the real-life mutiny aboard the HMS Bounty and its aftermath. It features powerful performances by its three stars: Charles Laughton as the sadistic Captain Bligh, Clark Gable as the rebellious Fletcher Christian, and Franchot Tone as the humane Midshipman Byam. Interestingly, all three actors were nominated for the Best Actor Oscar, but lost to Victor McLaglen for his role in The Informer (the only nominee not from Mutiny on the Bounty). This helped spark the subsequent creation of the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. To date, Mutiny on the Bounty is the last film to win Best Picture without winning in any other category. It is also interesting to note that James Cagney, David Niven and Dick Haymes had uncredited roles as Extras in the film. Producer Irving Thalberg may have had an ulterior motive when casting both Gable and Laughton in the same film.  It’s been said that, Thalberg purposely cast Laughton, who was overtly gay, against Gable, a notorious homophobe, in the hopes that some ‘real life’ tension between the two actors would create an even more powerful and authentic on-screen intensity. Stacking the deck even further, it is also said that Thalberg thought Gable would be intimidated working with Laughton who was a classically trained British actor, and that Laughton believed that he, himself, should have been nominated in 1935 for his performance in The Barretts of Wimpole Street rather than Gable who won Best Actor for It Happened One Night.

Nominated for 8 Oscars, Winner of 1
Best Picture – M-G-M (WON)
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Clark Gable
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Charles Laughton
Best Actor in a Leading Role – Franchot Tone
Best Director – Frank Lloyd
Best Film Editing – Margaret Booth
Best Music, Score – Nat W. Finston (head of department)
Best Writing, Screenplay – Jules Furthman, Talbot Jennings, Carey Wilson

Lt. Fletcher Christian: When you’re back in England with the fleet again, you’ll hear the hue and cry against me. From now on they’ll spell mutiny with my name.

(more…)

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