Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rethinking The Best Director Nominations For 1932-33

As he frequently does, Erik Beck (of the Boston Becks) got me to thinking, this time about the director nom- inations for 1932-33. There were some names that got left off the list that in nearly any other year would have made it easily—Mervyn LeRoy, James Whale, Frank Capra, and others. And you know how I hate to leave anybody out.

Well, there is precedent from the Academy itself for a solution. At the very first Oscars, there were two prizes for best director—one for best director of a drama, one for best director of a comedy. How about, on a one time only basis, two best director trophies? We could throw Whale (The Invisible Man and The Old Dark House), LeRoy (I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang and Gold Diggers Of 1933), Capra (The Bitter Tea Of General Yen) and one other name into the drama category with Cooper and Schoedsack (King Kong); and Cukor, Lubitsch, McCarey, Renoir and one other name into the comedy category.

Or are there just too goshdarn many Katie Awards already? You're not going to hurt my feelings.

Any thoughts on the other potential nominees? If you need some suggestions, how about:

Lloyd Bacon (42nd Street and Footlight Parade) (musical/comedy)

* Carl Theodor Dreyer (Vampyr) (drama)

Victor Fleming (Red Dust and Bombshell) (drama or comedy)

Alexander Korda (The Private Life Of Henry VIII) (drama) (sort of)

* Fritz Lang (The Testament Of Dr. Mabuse) (drama)

Rouben Mamoulian (Love Me Tonight and Queen Christina) (comedy or drama)

Max Oph├╝ls (Liebelei) (drama)

Jean Vigo (Zero For Conduct) (comedy)

... or anybody else who had a picture released between August 1, 1932 and December 31, 1933. [*—previous winner]

Think about it for a couple of days, leave a comment, speak your mind. I wasn't planning to post my essay on the best director of 1932-33 until the end of the week anyway.



As I said in my previous comment, the incorporation of LeRoy is well-deserved

Erik Beck said...

I remember when the Golden Satellite Awards first began and they split not only Picture, Actor and Actress, but also the Supporting awards. On my own years, I do both. I do a top 5 for all the Oscar categories. Then I also do a Drama / Comedy split for Picture, Director, all 4 acting and both Screenplay awards. After all, for years the WGA split between genres. In fact, until the late 60's, they only distinguished between genres and not between Adapted or Original.

Because I stick to Oscar eligibility, my Best Director - Drama is Fritz Lang for M, which finally got a US release in 33. My Best Director - Comedy is Capra for Lady for a Day.

Mythical Monkey said...

Yeah, if I were going by Oscar eligibility, it would be Fritz Lang's M in a cakewalk. What ultimately decided me on year of initial release was Ozu's Tokyo Story -- it came out in Japan in 1953 and in America in 1972 which just seemed too far removed from the context that inspired it.

Not to mention The Godfather owns 1972 ...

Anonymous said...

thats a pretty line up! I think for director its between George Cukor (Dinner at Eight) Ernst Lub (Trouble in Paradise)

Mythical Monkey said...

Just between you and me, Zoe, I'm leaning heavily toward Ernst Lubitsch -- but don't let anybody know, it's a surprise.