Tuesday, September 9, 2014

1931 -- The Year in Review

Up against the great Fritz Lang's indelible masterpiece and James Whale's equally enduring horror groundbreaker, nothing could possibly upend Charles Chaplin's singular comedy-drama. Its quality, on every level, is undeniable, even in such a landmark year. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are in no way reflective of the choices made by the Oscars.

PICTURE: CITY LIGHTS (Charles Chaplin, US)
(2nd: M (Fritz Lang, Germany), followed by:
Frankenstein (James Whale, US)
The Criminal Code (Howard Hawks, US)
Street Scene (King Vidor, US)
The Public Enemy (William A.Wellman, US)
Little Caesar (Mervyn LeRoy, US)
Madchen in Uniform (Leontine Sagan, Germany)
Monkey Business (Norman Z. McLeod, US)
Le Million (Rene Clair, France)
Platinum Blonde (Frank Capra, US)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Rouben Mamoulian, US)
The Champ (King Vidor, US)
Dracula (Tod Browning, US)

ACTOR: Charles Chaplin, CITY LIGHTS (2nd: Peter Lorre, M, followed by: Boris Karloff, Frankenstein; Colin Clive, Frankenstein; James Cagney, The Public Enemy; Groucho Marx, Monkey Business; Edward G. Robinson, Little Caesar; Frederic March, Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Wallace Beery, The Champ; Bela Lugosi, Dracula; John Barrymore, Svengali)

ACTRESS: Sylvia Sidney, STREET SCENE (2nd: Jean Harlow, Platinum Blonde, followed by: Helen Hayes, The Sin of Madelin Claudet; Hertha Thiele, Mädchen in Uniform; Dorothea Wieck, Mädchen in Uniform; Virginia Cherrill, City Lights; Irene Dunne, Cimarron)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Dwight Frye, DRACULA (2nd: Harry Myers, City Lights, followed by: Jackie Cooper, The Champ; Edward Van Sloan, Frankenstein; Dwight Frye, Frankenstein; Paul Olivier, Le Million)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Miriam Hopkins, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE (2nd: Marian Marsh, Svengali, followed by: Sylvia Sydney, An American Tragedy; Joan Blondell, Night Nurse; Estelle Taylor, Cimarron)

DIRECTOR: Charles Chaplin, CITY LIGHTS (2nd: Fritz Lang, M, followed by: James Whale, Frankenstein; Howard Hawks, The Criminal Code; King Vidor, Street Scene; William A. Wellman, The Public Enemy; Leontine Sagan, Madchen in Uniform)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Thea Von Harbou and Fritz Lang, M (2nd: Charles Chaplin, City Lights, followed by: S.J. Perelman, Will B. Johnstone, and Arthur Sheekman, Monkey Business; Seaton I. Miller and Fred Niblo, Jr., The Criminal Code; Christa Winsloe and Frederick Dammann, Madchen in Uniform; Kubec Glasmon, John Bright and Harvey Thew, The Public Enemy; Rene Clair, Georges Barr, and Marcel Gillemaud, Le Million)

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED): BIMBO'S INITIATION (Dave Fleischer, US) (2nd: Dizzy Red Riding Hood (Dave Fleischer, US), followed by: The Ugly Duckling (Wilfred Jackson, US))

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION): DOGS IS DOGS (Robert F. McGowan, US) (2nd: Autumn Fire (Herman G. Weinberg, US), followed by: Flunky, Work Hard (Naruse Mikio, Japan); Come Clean (James W. Horne, US); Laughing Gravy (James W. Horne, US))

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Tony Gaudio, LITTLE CAESAR (2nd: Fritz Arno Wagner, M, followed by: Karl Freund, Dracula; Reimar Kuntze and Franz Weihmayr, Madchen in Uniform; Karl Struss, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde)

ART DIRECTION: FRANKENSTEIN, Platinum Blonde, Cimarron, Little Caesar

COSTUME DESIGN: CIMARRON, Platinum Blonde, Dracula, Frankenstein 

FILM EDITING: CITY LIGHTS, M, The Criminal Code, The Public Enemy

SOUND: M, The Criminal Code, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Frankenstein

MAKEUP: FRANKENSTEIN, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Champ