And the Oscar Goes to…An American in Paris

It’s a love story filled with music by George and Ira Gershwin and dance choreographed by Gene Kelly. Along with five other Academy Awards, it won Best Picture of 1951. This is my look at An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

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And the Oscar Goes to…All the King’s Men

It took a while, but we finally reached the end of the 1940s. I’m thankful to say the decade is ending on a good, I might even say fantastic, note. It’s a political drama directed and written by Robert Rossen and starring Broderick Crawford in a role that won him an Oscar for Best Actor. Supposedly based on the life of Louisiana politician Huey Long, All the King’s Men (1949) tells the story of Willie Stark, an idealistic man turned corrupt when he becomes Governor of an unnamed U.S. state. It’s a harsh, hard hitting story that still hits all the right notes, remaining just as relevant as ever. Also nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for John Ireland, Best Supporting Actress for radio veteran but film newcomer Mercedes McCambridge (who ended up taking home the award), and Best Editing for Robert Parrish and Al Clark, this is the Best Picture of 1949.

And the Oscar Goes to…: Gentleman’s Agreement

Gregory Peck’s agent advised the actor not to take the lead role in Gentleman’s Agreement (1947). It was thought that it would ruin Peck’s career, not an unreasonable assumption. The film deals with the prevalent issue of antisemitism in the United States. That was a difficult and controversial topic in the late 1940s, but producer Darryl F. Zanuck made the movie anyway. The film turned out to be a surprise hit with audiences and critics, wining three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Celeste Holm, and Best Director for Elia Kazan. Also, starring Dorothy McGuire and John Garfield, this is Gentleman’s Agreement.