Please read with comprehension the premise of this project, henceforth called the Movie Project.
Last week when they announced the nominees for the 2013 Academy Awards, I Again felt rueful that I have not watched more movies in my day. I have been to the cinemaplexes only once in the last 10 years and possibly twice in the last 20 and stopped watching movies at home back in the VCR days. ( I have watched Disney and Bubbleguppies, etc. but that doesn’t count.) I just can’t tolerate the intensity of movies…oh, the humanity..! Seriously, it makes me verry uncomfortable to watch violence, sadness, emotional-emotions of any kind. I have never and will never view anything “scary” like halloween or chainsaw stuff. As a result, I have missed many of the cultural references that would make me soo cool with the kids…but it’s not too late to be cool with boomers, is it? This is the line of reasoning that led me to challenge myself to “catch up” by watching all of the Best Movie award winners, starting with 1953, the year I was (humbly) born… (though the Oscar was actually awarded at the 1954 ceremony, which confuses me, but not you, I’m sure).
I began last night with the 1955 winner, released in 1954…get it?
On the Waterfront
Good vs. Evil with all the allegorical metaphorical ideological literary and cinematic support one can provide. I read that the original screenplay had Marlon’s character being brutally murdered in the end and that would have been much more realistic; instead, the last scene gave a hint that Good will overcome evil, but I’m not convinced. The Leonard Bernstein soundtrack gave it a “West Side Story” feel and helped along the romance, some. Overall, kind of depressing with too much gum-chewing.
While this is a likeable little movie, it serves as an example that Best Picture Oscar Winners are not necessarily the Best Pictures. The list of nominees that year were: Love is a Many-Splendored Thing; Mister Roberts; Picnic; The Rose Tattoo. There must have been some politics going on that year because Not Nominated was “East of Eden” , and “Rebel Without a Cause”, plus Ernest Borgnine won Best Actor for it, beating out James Dean (posthumously even), Frank Sinatra, Spencer Tracy, James Cagney..! His acting is good, though, playing a 34-year-old “old maid” who just wants to find another “dog” like himself and finally finds one, but then Mama (in wonderful Italian accent) convinces him he would break her heart, but he finally says yes to love and makes that phone call to the plain jane. I assume they live happily every after; would have made a great tv-series for the whole family. The part of the “doggy” gal was played by Betsy Blair; how would you feel if you were hired for a part just because you were homely? (depends on the pay)
I’m writing this while watching the next up on our list: Around the World in 80 Days… British, so I’m going to have to stop and pay more attention.