Tuesday, May 05, 2009

1939: Hollywood's Golden Year

Over the next few weeks, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be screening the 10 films nominated for Best Picture of 1939.

The films will be screened at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, which is a beautiful theater I've had the good fortune to visit on several occasions.

The titles:











The screening of GONE WITH THE WIND is already sold out; it will be attended by Ann Rutherford (Carreen O'Hara), Cammie King (Bonnie Blue Butler), Patrick Curtis (Beau Wilkes as a baby), and Mickey Kuhn (older Beau Wilkes).

For more information, including screening dates, click the title of this post for Susan King's article at the Los Angeles Times, or visit the Academy's website.

Regarding this topic, I highly recommend Ted Sennett's book HOLLYWOOD'S GOLDEN YEAR, 1939: A FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. As you can calculate from the title, it was published in 1989.

And here's some good trivia which coincidentally was passed on to me from my dad earlier today: can you name the actor who was in all of these 1939 films? The titles are GONE WITH THE WIND, MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON, STAGECOACH, ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS, and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. He won the Oscar for STAGECOACH.

These days, an actor would be lucky to have just one good film credit to his name in a year's time, let alone five classics.


Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thomas Mitchell?

5:12 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Many years ago LACMA (I think) had the same retrospective. The only movie I made time to see was "The Women." I'd never seen it on the big screen. It was fun to see it with a crowd - even though many people in the audience booed when Little Mary (Virginia Weidler) appeared on screen. Oh well. For me that movie really gets going when the Countess (Mary Boland) showed up.

Oh gosh, now that I think of it this must've been in 1989 as it would've been the 50th anniversary of Hollywood's Golden Year. Also the same year as that book came out. My how time flies.

Laura, I think the answer to you question is Thomas Mitchell.

Thanks so much for your blog.


5:46 AM  
Blogger Nicole Newcomb said...

For the trivia question, is it Thomas Mitchell?

6:53 AM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

That would be that fantastic actor Thomas Mitchell, who deservedly won that Oscar for playing Doc in Stagecoach.
By the way- don't know why I brought this up, other than classic movies and all- caught the TCM premeire of Crime and Punishment starring Peter Lorre the other evening. I've been very impressed with the amount and quality of films that TCM is now able to put into their rotation, due to licensing and other purchasing deals of other libraries that WB/Turner doesn't own. I read a recent interview with Robert Osborne who has nothing but praise for their programming guy who has been working miracles over at TCM and is dedicated to quality and to the films and the fans. We tend to forget about all the people behind the scenes who are just as passionate about these films as we and the "face" of TCM Robert O., are passionate about them.
And thanks for the book tip- that one is hitting my must read list now.

7:40 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Great job, everyone! Since the comments are moderated, everyone guess individually and the answers are all being posted simultaneously.

Ellie, thanks very much for sharing your LACMA memories. I attended countless screenings at the Leo S. Bing Theater in the '70s and '80s. I really enjoyed the museum's curator, Ron Haver, and was so sorry when he passed away. Thanks for visiting here!

I agree, JC, TCM is more amazing all the time. :) I hope you enjoy the book!

Best wishes,

8:59 AM  
Blogger Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

Hollywood's golden year of 1939 will be celebrated on TCM Thursday nights during the month of July--according to their schedule. Most of the usual suspects will be present (GWTW, Oz) but they've also got showings of films like Union Pacific, The Oklahoma Kid, Beau Geste, etc.

9:52 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Sounds like some nice variety in that "1939" schedule coming up on TCM, Ivan. I'll be watching for it! Thanks for the heads up.

Best wishes,

10:02 AM  
Blogger The Siren said...

Thomas Mitchell! my favorite performance of his: in The Long Voyage Home. He's heartbreaking. I love him in Stagecoach, but Long Voyage is a more subtle and fleshed-out performance.

I would really love to see Love Affair in a venue like that.

And I'll confess, I had no idea Ann Rutherford was still with us, bless her! I have a great fondness for the MGM Pride and Prejudice, despite its liberties with Austen, and Rutherford is very cute in the movie.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Siren, I share your liking for the '40s PRIDE AND PREJUDICE -- despite the anachronistic costumes and shortened storyline, it captures the essence of the story beautifully, and I love the cast, including Ann Rutherford. If someone in our family happens to dial-flip past P&P when it's on the TV usually stays there until the movie is over. :)

I haven't yet seen THE LONG VOYAGE HOME -- thanks very much for the recommendation.

So nice to have you stop by!

Best wishes,

12:55 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older