Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Best Pictures Oscar Winners

In the past week by happenstance I have watched a couple of Best Picture Oscar winners: Wings and Gentleman's Agreement. Then I took a look at the whole list to make a count of how many I've seen.

My best friend Lady Chardonnay has made a point of watching every Oscar-winning Best Picture. She will need to correct me if I'm wrong but I'll bet she has seen every one of them by now with the exception of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. (The flaw is that she probably should watch the first two movies in the series first, and friends? She just doesn't wanna!)

Some facts:
  • There have been 86 Best Pictures.
    • I have seen 47 of them for a total of 54.7%. Pitiful.
    • I have one more recorded on my DVR (All Quiet on the Western Front).
  • CPA Boy's totals were 23 out of 86 but he has a 24th on his DVR ready to watch soon.
  • Going by decades, here are the totals watched:
    • 1920s/30s:6
    • 1940s: 7
    • 1950s: 8
    • 1960s: 5
    • 1970s: 4
    • 1980s: 6
    • 1990s: 5
    • 2000s: 3
    • 2010s: 3 (out of a possible 4)
    • I obviously prefer the earlier films!
I have seen all of these, listed in chronological order:
  • Wings
  • Cavalcade
  • Grand Hotel
  • It Happened One Night
  • You Can't Take it With You
  • Gone with the Wind
  • Rebecca
  • How Green Was My Valley
  • Mrs. Miniver
  • Casablanca
  • Going My Way
  • The Best Years of Our Lives
  • Gentleman's Agreement
  • All About Eve
  • An American in Paris
  • The Greatest Show on Earth
    • Not a great movie (except for James Stewart's performance and clown Emmett Kelly) but I love it anyway.
  • From Here to Eternity
  • On the Waterfront
  • Around the World in 80 Days
    • I saw this a s a kid so I probably didn't recognize any of the celebrity cameos. All I remember is Cantinflas. I will try to rewatch this one at some point.
  • Gigi
  • Ben-Hur
    • I read today that they are thinking about remaking this with Tom Hiddleston (whether this happens remain speculative for now). I'd like that. Ben-Hur from 1959 was a remake of an earlier 1925 silent version so it's not surprising that it's on the remake list yet again.
  • West Side Story
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • My Fair Lady
  • The Sound of Music
    • I saw this for the first time on a field trip in 5th or 6th grade in 1973. I don't know the name of the theater but it was one of the old-fashioned movie palaces in downtown New Orleans. I even remember the preview for "Camelot"!
  • Midnight Cowboy
  • The Sting
  • Rocky
  • Annie Hall
  • Kramer vs. Kramer
    • I read the book first. My brother Everest had already read it and told me not to skip ahead and read the last line, which explicitly told you how the story ended. (Maybe Ev had only read the last line, not the whole book?)
  • Ordinary People
  • Chariots of Fire
  • Terms of Endearment
  • Amadeus
  • Rain Man
  • Driving Miss Daisy
  • Dances with Wolves
    • I didn't like this movie. I found it dull.The only scene that stuck with me is the one where Kevin Costner's character comes upon the slaughtered buffalo.
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Forrest Gump
  • Titanic
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Gladiator
  • Chicago
  • Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    • I love this movie and try to rewatch the whole series every year or two.
  • The King's Speech
  • The Artist
  • Argo
Here are ones I haven't watched, also in chronological order. The ones with the asterisk in front means I hope to watch them someday:
  • *The Broadway Melody
  • *All Quiet on the Western Front
    • This is on the DVR to watch soon.
  • *Cimarron
    • I've seen the last 10 minutes of it.
  • *Mutiny on the Bounty
  • *The Great Ziegfeld
  • *The Life of Emile Zola
    • Not excited about this one. Does anyone know who Emile Zola was anymore? I sure don't.
  • *The Lost Weekend
    • A good double feature with The Days of Wine & Roses?
  • Hamlet
    • I watched the first half hour a couple of years ago. So, so boring.
  • *All the King's Men
  • *Marty
  • *The Bridge on the River Kwai
    • I wonder things like, What if it were called The Bridge on the Kwai River? Because I never say things like "I was born a few blocks from the River Mississippi."
  • *The Apartment
  • *Tom Jones
  • *A Man for All Seasons
  • In the Heat of the Night
  • Oliver!
  • Patton
  • The French Connection
  • *The Godfather
  • *The Godfather Part II
  • *One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Gandhi
  • Out of Africa
  • Platoon
  • The Last Emperor
  • Unforgiven
  • *Schindler's List
  • Braveheart
  • The English Patient
    • Gotta say, that episode of "Seinfeld" where the characters diss this movie has made an impact. Not a shred of interest in watching it except for maybe Colin Firth.
  • American Beauty
  • A Beautiful Mind
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Crash
  • The Departed
  • No Country for Old Men
  • *Slumdog Millionaire
  • The Hurt Locker
  • 12 Years a Slave
There are some egregious omissions in my general film-watching history. I really need to watch both of The Godfather movies.

Unlike Lady Chardonnay I don't plan to see them all. And in some cases I have no DESIRE to watch some of them. I will just say no to these:
  • In the Heat of the Night
  • Oliver!
    • No!
    • I saw the last 20 minutes a few months back. That was enough.
  • The French Connection
    • I've seen the car chase scene a bunch of times. That's enough for me.
  • The Deer Hunter
  • Hamlet
    • Will never be not boring. I'm not a big Olivier fan but I do love Jean Simmons. I watched enough to see some of her Ophelia. My job is done here.
  • Patton
  • Platoon
    • Bleah. I've seen a part of it.
  • Gandhi
  • Out of Africa
    • I'm ambivalent. It IS Meryl Streep and Robert Reford after all!
  • The Last Emperor
  • Unforgiven
  • Braveheart
    • I used to love Mel Gibson. Times and tastes change.
  • The English Patient
    • All I can see is Elaine Benes in "Seinfeld" writhing with boredom and saying "Die, already" to the English Patient on the screen. Didn't she really want to see "Sack Lunch" instead?!
  • American Beauty
    • Definitely ambivalent about this. Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening? Hard to ignore and yet it seems depressing. 
    • This is the one CPA Boy has recorded.
  • A Beautiful Mind
    • Love Geoffrey Rush so maybe? Ambivalent here too.
  • Million Dollar Baby
    • Hilary Swank and boxing? Double no.
  • Crash
    • My interest is expressed as follows: Meh.
  • The Departed
    • I could not tell you a single thing about this movie! Who's in it? I got nothing.
  • No Country for Old Men
    • Cormac McCarthy, writer of depressing fiction. Ugh.
  • The Hurt Locker
    • Jeremy Renner is a fine, fine specimen of mankind but no.
  • 12 Years a Slave
    • Would much rather read the source material, which I have on my Kindle, than watch the movie.
That leaves a bunch to catch, mostly films before the 1970s. I will start with the one on the DVR: All Quiet on the Western Front.Thank goodness for Turner Classic Movies!

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