In late June of last year I took advantage of some free days to visit my Mother in Virginia for her birthday. It was a fun long weekend that included meals out, a screening of Finding Dory, and an unexpected shared activity when I ran across a puzzle in the book store that was just too good to pass up. It consists of thirty-nine posters from a wide variety of classic films stretching from the silent era of the 1920s into the 1970s. It was an engrossing project to undertake alongside my Mother and we naturally discussed several of the featured movies as we built it. What stunned me a little was that I had actually only seen twenty-six of the thirty-nine films honored. I have vowed to fill these gaps in my knowledge of film and take you along for the ride as I reconstruct the puzzle in question. I’ll re-watch the movies I’ve already seen along with experiencing the ones that are new to me and share my thoughts on each one.
When I set this task for myself, there were obviously some of the included films that I had already seen and there were some others which I had yet to experience. Of the latter group, my anticipation in tackling them has varied for a range of reasons. A movie like For Whom the Bell Tolls comes with its own attached literary and historical interests beyond the content of the actual film. Meanwhile, something like Tarzan the Fearless was an opportunity to consider a character whose wild popularity has mostly dissipated in the intervening years. This time around, the primary interest was in getting an additional look at a legendary film actress: one Great Garbo.
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It’s awards season, and the apex is coming up at the end of the month as the Academy Awards ceremony will be held to reward the best in film for the year. As a part of our Oscars coverage I’m going to ask our readers here at LeBlog to rank the Best Picture winners of each decade starting with the 1930s. I decided to skip the first two years of the awards in the 1920s because I’m wagering not many of us have seen either of those movies…and their existence is mathematically inconvenient. Let me know in the comments section if this decision is seen as blasphemous.
Every couple of days I’ll post a little quick info about each Best Picture winner from the assigned decade and allow everyone here to rank them as they see fit. Once we work our way up to the current day, the top scorers will then be skimmed from the top and presented for one final ranking. Obviously there will be times when many of us will not have seen some of the movies. Don’t let that deter you. Odds are that if you rank the movies you’ve actually seen highly we’ll end up with a list that will stand up to scrutiny. After all…these are all Oscar-winning films!
First up–the 1930s!
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