The early Oscar years of Capra, Gable and more

This is the second part of a multi-part series on the Academy Award best picture winners, reviewed chronologically.

 

“Cavalcade,” 1932-1933, directed by Frank Lloyd

Before this writer first watched “Cavalcade,” he had no idea what a great film this is. When it was released, it was regarded as a highly innovative film. In the late 20th century, a critic called it, “A truly remarkable film.” Adapted from Noel Coward’s London stage play, the film is richly textured with nostalgic and atmospheric elements along with an anti-war message. The movie is a story of two families from the eve of the 20th century until the 1930s and how their way of life changes.

Cavalcade

 

“It Happened One Night,” 1934, directed by Frank Capra

This comedy was the first of Frank Capra’s films to win the Oscar for best film. It also features the first of several movies starring Clark Gable that won the best picture. What really makes this film work is the chemistry between Claudette Colbert, starring as an heiress running away to avoid a marriage, and Gable, a newspaper reporter running after a story.

Claudette Colbert shows Clark Gable in “It Happened One Night” her successful hitch-hiking technique.

“Mutiny on the Bounty,” 1935, directed by Frank Lloyd

This was director Frank Lloyd’s second best picture Oscar honor and the second consecutive movie starring Clark Gable that won the honor.The story regards a mutiny against tyrannical Capt.Bligh, played by Charles Laughton, and a mutiny led by Fletcher Christian, Gable’s role. It is the best of the multiple version of the story.

Capt. Bligh and Fletcher Christian confer.

“Great Ziegfeld,” 1936, directed by Robert Z. Leonard

This bio-pic about the colorful showman Florenz Ziegfeld is an immensely entertaining movie despite the downturn Ziegfeld faces. The outstanding cast includes William Powell, Myrna Loy, Fannie Brice, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan and Ray Bolger.

“The Life of Emile Zola,” 1936, directed by William Dieterle

You could call this powerful film a bio-pic, but it’s much more than that. The New York Times critic in 1937 wrote, “Rich, dignified, honest and strong, it is at once the finest historical film ever made and the greatest screen biography.” The movie focuses on French writer Emile Zola’s crying out against the injustice that caused Capt. Dreyfus to be exiled. Paul Muni stars as Zola.

 

Emile Zola, played by Paul Muni, takes the stand in a French courtroom.
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Author: rhtellerofstories

A longtime journalist, Ronald Hawkins is now turning his attention with the creation of this website to new worlds. Join him as the explorations begins. Invite him to give presentations on science fiction, the Beatles, history, movies, and more or hire him to write, take pictures, conduct interviews and more. He is also available as a writer, interviewer. photographer and videographer.

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