Saturday, September 5, 2015

1947--The Year in Review

This is one of the drowsiest years in all of film history, and in so being, I found it difficult to muster up any enthusiasm for one title. But I did have to hand it to Chaplin for tackling a difficult subject with such vigor, and for willingly making himself onscreen into the ladykiller he seemed to be offscreen (and for doing so at a time when he was most hated by Hollywood). Miracle on 34th Street is still the most beloved movie of the year, and certainly one of the few Christmas movies that can be viewed confidently when it ISN'T Christmastime. This has a lot to do with the film's lively screenplay and two great supporting performances from Edmund Gwynn and the young Natalie Wood. I love the look of Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past, but I feel the film is somewhat talky and dull (I can never get through it without falling asleep--and that's not something I say often with noir films; still, there's a lot of terrific elements to it). Same thing goes for Powell and Pressberger's Black Narcissus--brilliant looking, but lethargic (though Deborah Kerr is mesmerizing throughout). Maybe the most surprising movie of the year is the noir classic Nightmare Alley, a B-movie done in A-movie style featuring Tyrone Power at his best. The Oscars' choice, Elia Kazan's Gentleman's Agreement, is barely notable outside of Celeste Holm's smart support. At least the short films are still magnificent, with Tex Avery delivering one of his stone-cold masterpieces in King Size Canary. All in all, though, not one of my favorite annums. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 

PICTURE: MONSIEUR VERDOUX (US, Charles Chaplin) (2nd: Miracle on 34th Street (US, George Seaton), followed by: Nightmare Alley (US, Edmund Goulding); Black Narcissus (UK, Michael Powell); Brute Force (US, Jules Dassin); Out of the Past (US, Jacques Tourneur); Body and Soul (US, Robert Rossen); T-Men (US, Anthony Mann); Crossfire (US, Edward Dmytryk); The Lady from Shanghai (US, Orson Welles); Ride the Pink Horse (US, Robert Montgomery); Odd Man Out (UK, Carol Reed); They Made Me a Fugitive (US, Alberto Cavalcanti); Kiss of Death (US, Henry Hathaway); The Ghost and Mrs Muir (US, Joseph L. Mankiewicz); Pursued (US, Raoul Walsh); They Won’t Believe Me (US, Irving Pichel); Boomerang (US, Elia Kazan); Life With Father (US, Michael Curtiz); The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer (US, Irving Reis); The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (US, Norman Z. McLeod) 

ACTOR: Charles Chaplin, MONSIEUR VERDOUX (2nd: John Garfield, Body and Soul, followed by: William Powell, Life With Father; Tyrone Power, Nightmare Alley; Robert Mitchum, Out of the Past; Robert Young, They Won't Believe Me)

ACTRESS: Deborah Kerr, BLACK NARCISSUS (2nd: Loretta Young, The Farmer’s Daughter, followed by: Claire Trevor, Born to Kill; Joan Crawford, Possessed; Gene Tierney, The Ghost and Mrs Muir)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Edmund Gwenn, MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (2nd: Richard Widmark, Kiss of Death, followed by: Robert Ryan, Crossfire; Hume Cronyn, Brute Force; Thomas Gomez, Ride The Pink Horse; Kirk Douglas, Out of the Past)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Celeste Holm, GENTLEMAN'S AGREEMENT (2nd: Marjorie Main, The Egg and I; followed by: Gloria Grahame, Crossfire; Colleen Gray, Nightmare Alley, Natalie Wood, Miracle on 34th Street; Ethel Barrymore, The Paradine Case) 

DIRECTOR:  Charles Chaplin, MONSIEUR VERDOUX (2nd: Michael Powell, Black Narcissus, followed by: Jacques Tourneur, Out of the Past; George Seaton, Miracle on 34th Street; Edmund Goulding, Nightmare Alley; Jules Dassin, Brute Force)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: George Seaton and Valentine Davies, MIRACLE ON 34th STREET (2nd: Charles Chaplin and Orson Welles, Monsieur Verdoux, followed by: F.L. Green and R.C. Sherriff, Odd Man Out; Michael Powell and Emeric Pressberger, Black Narcissus; Abraham Polonsky, Body and Soul)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Jules Furthman, NIGHTMARE ALLEY (2nd: Geoffrey Homes, Out of the Past, followed by: John Paxton, Crossfire; Richard Murphy, Boomerang; Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer, Ride the Pink Horse)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: LA TEMPESTAIRE (France, Jean Epstein) (2nd: Brideless Groom (Edward Bernds; The Three Stooges), followed by: People of the Po Valley (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); The Cage (Sidney Peterson))

ANIMATED SHORT FILM: KING SIZE CANARY (Tex Avery) (2nd: Motion Painting Number 1 (Oskar Fischinger), followed by: Tweetie Pie (Friz Freleng; Sylvester and Tweetie Pie); A Hare Grows in Manhattan (Friz Freling; Bugs Bunny); Birth of a Notion (Robert McKimson; Daffy Duck)
Chip an' Dale (Jack Hannah; Donald Duck))

BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Nicholas Musuraca, OUT OF THE PAST (2nd: John Alton, T-Men, followed by: James Wong Howe, Body and Soul; Lee Garmes, Nightmare Alley; Charles Lang Jr, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir)

COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jack Cardiff, BLACK NARCISSUS (2nd: Charles Clarke and Arthur E. Arling, Captain from Castile, followed by: Leon Shamroy, Forever Amber) 

BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: NIGHTMARE ALLEY, Monsiuer Verdoux, Out of the Past, Gentleman's Agreement, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

COLOR ART DIRECTION: BLACK NARCISSUS, Life with Father, Mother Wore Tights 

 BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: MONSIEUR VERDOUX, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, Out of the Past, A Double Life


FILM EDITING: BODY AND SOUL, Brute Force, Out of the Past, T-Men, The Lady from Shanghai

SOUND: T-MEN, Body and Soul, Green Dolphin Street, The Bishop's Wife, Brute Force

ORIGINAL SCORE: Alfred Newman, CAPTAIN FROM CASTILE (2nd: Franz Waxman, Possessed, followed by: Miklós Rózsa, Brute Force; Hugo Friedhofer, The Bishop’s Wife; Roy Webb, Out of the Past)

ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Alfred Newman, MOTHER WORE TIGHTS (2nd: Ray Heindorf and Max Steiner, My Wild Irish Rose, followed by: Robert Emmett Dolan, Road to Rio)

ORIGINAL SONG: "Time After Time" from IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN (Music by Jule Styne, lyrics by Sammy Cahn) (2nd: "Golden Earrings" from Golden Earrings (Music and lyrics by Jay Livingston, Ray Evans and Victor Young); "Chiquita Banana" from This Time For Keeps (Music by Leonard Mackenzie, lyrics by Garth Montgomery); "A Gal in Calico" from The Time, The Place and The Girl (Music by Arthur Schwartz, lyrics by Leo Robin)

1 comment:

Sam Juliano said...

Amazing post here Dean!! Well, I do like OUT OF THE PAST far more than you do, and I also regard BLACK NARCISSUS as a masterpiece, but I think you have collared it here with MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET MONSIEUR VERDOUX and some others. Not the greatest year, but still some excellent films.