Monday, November 9, 2009

The Nominees For Best Director Of 1930-31

This is probably the richest crop of Katie nominees for best director you'll see for a long while—the three greatest directors of the era each producing the best movie of his career, all within a four month span.

Charles Chaplin (City Lights)

René Clair (Le Million)

Fritz Lang (M)

In fact, 1931 was a good year for directors all the way around: Tod Browning (Dracula), William A. Wellman (The Public Enemy) and James Whale (Frankenstein) (more about him in 1931-32) also served up what were arguably their best movies. Maybe there was something in the water.

(Oh, and what do I think was the best year for directors ever? It happened fifty years ago in 1959 when six of the greatest directors of all time—Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Yasujiro Ozu, Francois Truffaut, Billy Wilder and William Wyler—produced what may well have been the best movies of their careers, Rio Bravo, North By Northwest, Floating Weeds, The 400 Blows, Some Like It Hot and Ben-Hur, respectively. Not to mention that Ingmar Bergman's 1957 film Wild Strawberries was released in the United States in 1959. And there was also Anatomy of a Murder, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Pillow Talk, Imitation of Life, Black Orpheus and Ballad of a Soldier, possibly the best movies ever from their directors. Even Ed Wood, God bless him, gave us Plan 9 From Outer Space. And I haven't even mentioned Oscar winners Room at the Top and The Diary Of Anne Frank. Good year to be a movie goer.)

15 comments:

mister muleboy said...

hey -- don't forget that Frank Langella graduated from Syracuse in 1959 . . . .




what do you mean you didn't know that frank langella graduated from Syracuse in 1959?

Mythical Monkey said...

I did not know that.

I did know that the 1959 Syracuse Orangemen won the mythical college football national championship. Went 11-0. Ernie Davis scored two touchdowns in the Cotton Bowl to beat Texas 23-14. I think that's the game Hollywood memorialized in the movie The Express -- I say I think it was; I never saw the movie.

Did you know Ernie Davis was the first black Heisman Trophy winner? Or that he was drafted by the Washington Redskins, at that time the last holdout segregated team in the NFL? That when George Preston Marshall bought the Redskins, he convinced his fellow owners to institute a "color-line" like the one major league baseball had and vowed never to let a black play for him? And that he only relented when the D.C. city government threatened to revoke the lease on D.C. Stadium (aka RFK)? That the Redskins drafted Davis, then traded him to the Cleveland Browns for Bobby Mitchell? And that Ernie Davis contracted leukemia and died without ever playing a down in the NFL?

And that all of this is relevant to a movie blog because George Preston Marshall dated silent film legend Louise Brooks in the 1920s and 1930s? That in fact he was the guy she left Hollywood to be with when William A. Wellman offered her the Jean Harlow role in The Public Enemy, a part that might have been Brooksie's comeback role after she had made Pandora's Box in Germany, but instead marked her last, missed chance?

And that thus, we have Frank Langella to blame for Louise Brooks's short film career?

And now you know the rest of the story ...

Mz. Louise Brooks said...

And that thus, we have Frank Langella to blame for Louise Brooks's short film career?


Frank had nothing to do with it, dear.

It was a young shopkeeper near Union Station in Washington. Named Heloise.

She was divine. . . .

Mattson Tomlin said...

lang, lang, lang!

Nasim said...

Yes i know that Ernie Davis was the first black Heisman Trophy winner.
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zahir said...

all of this is relevant to a movie blog because George Preston Marshall dated silent film legend Louise Brooks in the 1920s and 1930s? That in fact he was the guy she left Hollywood to be with when William A. Wellman offered her the Jean Harlow role in The Public Enemy,

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Juliette said...

I'm a Chaplin fan - so he was my personal winner. Interesting you can't swim, you seem to be keeping afloat here.

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checking said...

I'm a Chaplin fan - so he was my personal winner. Interesting you can't swim, you seem to be keeping afloat here.saga hair

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Velvet Remi said...

i wish that i would have a compilation of those movies. i am starting to do my research now. thanks for that informative post. great site.

Philip Sumpter said...

Alfred Hitchcock was certainly one of my favorites. How he made the movie "The Birds" (not quite sure of the exact title) starring Carry Grant, both frightening and captivating was beyond me. I also remember his TV series... The Alfred Hitchcock Show.

Gosh... That was a long time ago!

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