Monday, October 13, 2014

1933--The Year in Review

A helluva annum. Biopics, monster movies, sophisticate comedy, musicals, and black film all take a huge leap forward this year. Yet, for me, this one film by these brotherly geniuses, these absurd masters of the stage who learned equally to master the screen...well, this film became the go-to wackjob that spoofs war and politics and other heady subjects so brilliantly that it would remain relevant, really, always. I love all Marx Brothers movies, at least up until the mid- to late-40s. But this is THE one. The big ape, the chilly queen, the gluttonous king, the nostalgic Frenchman, the hopeful dancers and the wiseacre social scenesters all remain attractive...but none can best these four nutballs. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are in no way reflective of the choices made by the Oscars.

PICTURE: DUCK SOUP (US, Leo McCarey) (2nd: King Kong (US, Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack), followed by: Zero for Conduct (France, Jean Vigo), Queen Christina (US, Rouben Mamoulian), 42nd Street (US, Lloyd Bacon and Busby Berkeley), Dinner at Eight (US, George Cukor), Design for Living (US, Ernst Lubischt), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (Germany, Fritz Lang), Sons of the Desert (US, William A. Seiter), She Done Him Wrong (US, Lowell Sherman), The Private Life of Henry VIII (UK, Alexander Korda); Hallelujah, I'm a Bum! (US, Lewis Milestone),The Emperor Jones (US, Dudley Murphy), Lady for a Day (US, Frank Capra), The Invisible Man (US, James Whale), The Mystery of the Wax Museum (US, Michael Curtiz))

ACTOR: Charles Laughton, THE PRIVATE LIFE OF HENRY VIII (2nd: Groucho Marx, Duck Soup, followed by: Paul Robeson, The Emperor Jones; Werner Baxter, 42nd Street; Fredric March, Design for Living; Al Jolson, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!; Gary Cooper, Design for Living; Otto Wernicke, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse; Lionel Atwill, The Mystery of the Wax Museum

ACTRESS: Greta Garbo, QUEEN CHRISTINA (2nd: Mae West, She Done Him Wrong, followed by: Miriam Hopkins, Design for Living; Katherine Hepburn, Morning Glory; Barbara Stanwyck, The Bitter Tea of General Yen; May Robson, Lady for a Day; Janet Gaynor, State Fair; Fay Wray, King Kong; Ruby Keeler, 42nd Street)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: John Barrymore, DINNER AT EIGHT (2nd: Chico Marx, Duck Soup, followed by: Adolph Menjou, Morning Glory; Frank Morgan, Hallelujah, I'm a Bum!; Frank McHugh, The Mystery of the Wax Museum; Ned Sparks, 42nd Street; Eugene Pallette, The Kennel Murder Case) 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Marie Dressler, DINNER AT EIGHT (2nd: Jean Harlow, Dinner at Eight, followed by: Margaret Dumont, Duck Soup; Una O'Connor, The Invisible Man; Joan Blondell, Footlight Parade; Spring Byington, Little Women; Ginger Rogers, 42nd Street)

DIRECTOR: Jean Vigo, ZERO FOR CONDUCT (2nd: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, King Kong, followed by: Rouben Mamoulian, Queen Christina; Leo McCarey, Duck Soup; George Cukor, Dinner at Eight; Lloyd Bacon and Busby Berkeley, 42nd Street)

SCREENPLAY: Burt Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin, DUCK SOUP (2nd: Frances Marion, Herman J. Mackiewicz and Donald Ogden Stuart, Dinner at Eight, followed by: Jean Vigo, Zero for Conduct; Ben Hecht, Design for Living; Rian James and James Seymour, 42nd Street; Norbert Jacques, Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse; Mae West, Harvey Thew and John Bright, She Done Him Wrong)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: ZERO FOR CONDUCT (Jean Vigo) (2nd: The Fatal Glass of Beer (Clyde Bruckman (WC Fields)), followed by: A Bundle of Blues (Fred Waller (Duke Ellington)); The Pharmacist (Arthur Ripley (WC Fields));  Busy Bodies (Lloyd French (Laurel and Hardy)), The Barber Shop (Arthur Ripley WC Fields)); The Kid from Borneo (Robert F. McGowan (Little Rascals))

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: POPEYE THE SAILOR (Dave Fleischer) (2nd: The Three Little Pigs (Walt Disney and Burt Gillet), followed by Night on Bald Mountain (Alexander Alexeieff and Claire Parker); The Old Man of the Mountain (Dave Fleischer); Carmen (Lotte Reiniger))

CINEMATOGRAPHY: William H. Daniels, QUEEN CHRISTINA (2nd: Boris Kaufman, Zero for Conduct, followed by: William H. Daniels, Dinner at Eight; Karl Vash and Fritz Arno Wagner, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse; Sol Polito, 42nd Street; Joseph Walker, The Bitter Tea of General Yen; George Barnes, Footlight Parade)

ART DIRECTION: DINNER AT EIGHT, Queen Christina, Little Women, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse, Footlight Parade

COSTUME DESIGN: QUEEN CHRISTINA, Duck Soup, Dinner at Eight, She Done Him Wrong, The Private Life of Henry VIII


MAKEUP: THE MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM, Queen Christina, The Bitter Tea of General Yen

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