Saturday, February 20, 2016

Announcing the new Magnolia South Classic Film Awards!

I'm a classic film buff. I have a favorite genre, but I'll watch almost anything. The one thing I can't get myself to really watch, and I need to try and try again, are Westerns. I'm just not a classic Western film fan (yet).

Before I go on, let me announce what I consider to be classic film. It's true that there are what some call "modern classics" such as films in the 70s or 80s. In fact, some will even add the 90s and 00s to that too. For me, the end date is 1959. When 1960 begins, I feel that the golden era of film is (mostly) over, with only a few exceptions. It's clear that television made a huge impact on film making. There just wasn't the depth of substance they used to have. All the stories had been told. All the firsts were finished. The only thing that seemed landmarks were new techniques, or allowances (like nudity). Otherwise, it had been done already. For this reason, the films I will usually talk about will be in my favorite eras: the 1930s and 1940s but there will be exceptions. I won't rule out the 50s or even 60s, but they have to be spectacular!
Pre 1930 does have some serious art work there. It's just that it was in its infancy. It wasn't yet well defined. It was overacting because sound was unavailable (for the most part). You see major changes when sound arrive then another major jump when back-lighting arrives. After that there was color. It was a big deal to those who didn't have it at the time and vibrant was the new black. Still, it just felt like it lost something when it made the switch. The art wasn't as dramatic.

Now that we have my feelings on that out of the way, I must declare that I have tried to branch out and watch a variety. My favorite genre is noir. I love noir. Noir makes the world go around. You'll see that reflected in my awards. You see, I just love the suspense you feel, the shock at the audacity of the bad guys, the black and white films and their shadows, everything. There is nothing not to love about it, but there is much more besides noir out there that are still amazing.

There are amazing dances, amazing songs, amazing one-liners and funnies, amazing sexuality, amazing visuals, amazing glamour and so many amazings that you can't shake a stick at them. I will often review films I watch and give my full and honest opinions, but then there will be one list I will come back to and frequently edit. My list of awards I give films, characters, actors, directors or whomever else I care to list.

I'll try to avoid what everyone else deems interesting too because many times those are actually overrated. However there are times where they are truly warranted and I won't leave them out just because so many already see it. The list may start short, but will grow. As I think of things, I'll add them here.

One thing I probably won't add are message movies. I'm not saying they're not great (though the modern ones I hate) but it seems in bad taste. For example, to parody The Grapes of Wrath seems a dirty business. I'm not saying I won't use any, it's just that it depends on how I feel about it. Yep, my list, my rules.

I'll provide links as I find them for moments I've mentioned here. If the links become broken please post a comment and if you can find a new one to replace it I'd be much appreciative.

One final word.... there may be spoilers so view with caution. In any case, my awards are special and I think very accurate. Enjoy!

Actors and Actresses
  • Best actor in history - Humphrey Bogart
  • Best actress in history - Katharine Hepburn
  • Best dancing couple - Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers
  • Cutest actress - Ginger Rogers
  • Best crooning voice - Bing Crosby
  • Best dancer (male) - Fred Astaire
  • Best tiny actress that that could kick your ass - Bette Davis (video).
  • Most underrated squeaky actress - Jean Arthur (fan montage video without voices)
  • Best boy next door actor - James Stewart (video).
  • Most nervous acting almost all the time actress - Ingrid Bergman
  • Most nervous acting almost all the time actor - Peter Lorre (video).
  • Best actor who is a terribly English 'ol boy, but plays a great German too - George Sanders (video).
  • Funniest actress to almost get murdered in a noir - Lucille Ball
  • Funniest and best worst Nazi impressionist - Jack Benny (video)
  • Best actress who you'd want to be your best friend - Eve Arden
  • Best most troubled actress in the history of Hollywood - Marilyn Monroe
  • Cutest funny but always angry acting actress - Una O'Connor
  • Most beautiful woman in film history - Hedy Lamarr (video)
  • Best overall color film in history -  Gone with the Wind
  • Best overall black and white film in history -  Citizen Kane
  • Best anti-Nazi film in history -  Casablanca (note that I will never consider this a romantic movie; it's a suspense film, for me)
  • Most tragic but romantic film -  Waterloo Bridge
  • Most risque film of the 1930s - Tie:  A Farewell to Arms (video) and Men in White.
  • Best comedy that no one has ever heard of -  Rafter Romance (video).
  • Most crazy people in a single house movie -  You Can't Take it with You (video).
  • Best film where its own remake was considered best when it really wasn't -  Holiday Inn (video).
  • Cutest case of mistaken identity film -  My Man Godfrey
  • Best worst case of mistaken identity film - North by Northwest.
  • Best film whose plot still makes absolutely no sense -  The Big Sleep 
  • Funniest opposites attract film - It Happened One Night 
  • Most witty love quadrangle - The Philadelphia Story 
  • Best murder over flea-market statue movie - The Maltese Falcon
  • Best director who is still the 'Master of Suspense' - Alfred Hitchcock
  • Best director of Americana film making who wasn't born an American - Frank Capra
  • Best producer who steals wives and interferes with direction - David O. Selznick
  • Best German speaking noir and comedy director and who doesn't have a German sounding name - Billy Wilder
  • Best German speaking noir and sci-fi director - Fritz Lang
  • Best German speaking noir and controversial director - Otto Preminger
  • Best directors who act and have deep voices - Tie: Orson Welles and John Huston
  • Best epic director who likes making long movies - Cecil B. DeMille
  • Best director of mostly westerns but sometimes other things - John Ford
  • Best director who directs just about any genre - Howard Hawks
Character types
  • Best femme fatale - Phyllis Detrichson (Double Indemnity) (video).
  • Best bitch - Veda Pierce (Mildred Pierce) (video).
  • Worst daughter in history -  Veda Pierce (Mildred Pierce) (video).
  • Best spoiled brat - Scarlet O'Hara (Gone With the Wind) (video).
  • Creepiest and most insane maid ever - Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca) (montage fan video).
  • Best worst side picking maid ever - Nancy (Gaslight) (part of a fan montage video).
  • Funniest murder solving couple in the world - Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man series of films) (montage fan video).
  • Most regal villain that you'd want to marry because you could never believe him to be a real villain - Stephen Fisher (Foreign Correspondent)
  • Best worst dinner party planner - Brandon (Rope) (video).
  • Weirdest acting patsy ever - Wilmer Cook (The Maltese Falcon)
  • Best worst motel picker - Marion Crane (Psycho) (video).
  • Best defense lawyer with incredible tactics - Arthur Keats (The Postman Always Rings Twice)
  • Best evil angry local magnate - Mr. Potter (It's a Wonderful Life)
  • Dumbest Nazi ever in a film - Col. Ehrhardt (To Be or Not to Be) (video).
  • Worst and  most unfriendly neighbor - Lars Thorwald (Rear Window) (video).
  • Most annoying person ever, who a lot of people like, but I hate - Holly Golightly (Breakfast at Tiffany's) (video)
  • Best Santa - Kris Kringle (Miracle on 34th Street) (video)
  • Most charming spy you'll ever meet - Dickie Randall a.k.a Gus Bennett (Night Train to Munich) (video).
  • Best worst Nazi mother-in-law - Madame Anna Sebastian (Notorious) (video).
  • Best Nazi brown-noser but who changes allegiances with the wind - Captain Louis Renault (Casablanca) (video).
  • Worst uncle and namesake ever - Uncle Charlie Oakley (Shadow of a Doubt) (fan montage video).
  • Most charming country bumpkin hero - Alvin York (Sgt. York) (video
  • Most blamed for everything man - Capt. Schultz (To Be or Not to Be)
  • Best family film creatures that will give children nightmares - The flying monkeys (The Wizard of Oz)
  • Cutest serial killers in the history of the world - Abby and Martha Brewster (Arsenic and Old Lace) (video).
  • Best worst secret keeper - Philip (Rope) (video).
  • Best bookstore clerk for men - Acme proprietress (The Big Sleep) (video)
  • Hottest couple scene - The waterfall scene in Platinum Blonde.
  • Best plot twist - The "Rosebud" revelation in Citizen Kane.
  • Best train passing by moment - Standing on the platform in Phantom Lady.
  • Best couples dance - Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers "Cheek to Cheek" in Top Hat (video).
  • Most patriotic (but not American) moment - The duel of the anthems in Casablanca (video).
  • Creepiest eyes glittering with satisfaction moment - When Phyllis Detrichson drives her husband to the train station in Double Indemnity (video).
  • Best bare breast flash - When Kitty (Jean Harlow) tosses off pieces of her flouncy night gown in preparation for the doctor's first visit (onscreen) in Dinner at Eight.
  • Most humiliating moment in film history - Gaye Dawn's song  in Key Largo (video).
  • Best rant on 'death by suicide' statistics - Barton Keyes in Mr. Norton's office in Double Indemnity (video).
  • Best drunken vengeful strip tease - Gilda's dance in Gilda (video).
  • Best singing of a song ever - "Blue Skies" in The Jazz Singer (video).
  • Best airplane chasing a person scene - Crop dusting plane chasing Roger Thornhill in North by Northwest (video).
  • Second best couples dance - Fred and Ginger "Let's Face the Music and Dance" in Follow the Fleet (video).
  • Funniest murder discussion along with best nod to a book author scene - On the porch discussion between Herbie Hawkins and Henry Travers in Shadow of a Doubt.
  • Sweetest scene with a monster and a blind man - In the cabin in Frankenstein.
  • Best and longest corruption rant ever - Jefferson Smith's filibuster scene in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (video).
  • Best cameo - Cecil B. DeMille in Sunset Boulevard (video). 
  • Best cameos (plural) - Alfred Hitchcock.... in all of them (video).
  • Best drum solo in film - Cliff's drum solo in Phantom Lady (video).
  • Best first 'analogous' scene in history - Eve Herman's broken pearl necklace in Ekstase (video).
General Production
  • Best footstep sound effects - The first few minutes of film (The Asphalt Jungle)
  • Best use of fake blinds - Double Indemnity (video).
  • Most interesting design of futuristic machinery - the machine that Freder operates in Metropolis (video).
  • Best effort to make an amusement park creepy - Strangers on a Train (video).
  • Best use of talking over each other - His Girl Friday (video).
  • Best use of a portrait painting - Laura (video).
  • Best most dangerous plane landing - Only Angels Have Wings (video)
  • Best use of the word "baby" - Double Indemnity (video)
Worst in great films
  • Worst English accent in a great movie - Walter Pigeon (Man Hunt) (video).
  • Most contrived found evidence ever in a great movie - the purse (Ivy).

I've noticed that some of what I write is being copied to other sites. Keep in mind that this is a copyright violation and I have no problems exercising that right for prosecution. For those not sure, simply compare post dates and if they're missing a post date, then call that into question.

No comments: