Category: Oscar Profile

Oscar Profile #611: Bruce Dern

Born June 4, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois into a prominent American family, Bruce Dern’s mother was the niece of poet Archibald MacLeish and his father was the son of former Utah Governor and sitting Secretary of War under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George Dern. His godfather was future Presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson.

A lifelong avid runner and track star in high school, Dern tried out for the Olympic Trials in 1956. Studying at the Actors Studio under Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg, he made his Broadway debut in 1958 in Sweet Bird of Youth in support of Paul Newman and Geraldine Page. He made his film debut in 1960 in Wild River in support of Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick, gaining prominence as Bette Davis’ murdered lover in 1964’s Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte.

Married to Marie Dawn Pierce in 1957, they divorced in 1959. Dern married actress Diane Ladd in 1960, the mother of his daughter, actress Laura Dern. He and Dern were divorced in 1969, the year he married third wife Andrea Beckett with whom he has been married ever since.

Dern’s career took off in a big way with his strong supporting roles as a marathon runner in 1969’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and as the cattle thief who kills John Wayne in 1970’s The Cowboys. In 1972, he costarred with Jack Nicholson in The King of Marvin Gardens and in 1974 he co-starred with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow in The Great Gatsby for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe. In 1975 he starred in the hit comedy, Smile, and in 1976 he was one of four stars of Alfred Hitchcock’s last film, Family Plot.

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Oscar Profile #610: Jeremy Irons

Born September 19, 1948 on the Isle of Wight, England to an accountant and his wife, Jeremy Irons is an award-winning British actor. He trained at the Bristol Old Vic where he made his professional stage debut in 1969.

By 1971, Irons firmly established his stage career as John the Baptist opposite David Essex as Jesus in the long-running musical Godspell at the Roundhouse and Wyndham’s Theatre. He made his TV debut in 1971 in an episode of The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes and has seldom been away from the medium since. Briefly married and divorced in 1969, he married Sinead Cusack of the Cusack acting dynasty in 1978. Their sons Samuel (born 1978) and Max (born 1985) have both acted in his films.

Irons made his film debut in 1980 in Nijinsky. His award-winnign performance in TV’s Brideshead Revisited in 1981 established his international reputation. He had his big screen breakout role that same year opposite Meryl Streep in The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

The actor made his Broadway debut opposite Glenn Close in 1984’s The Real Thing for which he won a Tony.

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Oscar Profile #609: Peter Bogdanovich

Born July 30, 1939 in Kingston, New York, the son of a pianist and painter and his wife, Peter Bogdanovich grew up loving movies. From the age of 12 in 1952, he kept a record of every film he saw on index cards complete with reviews and continued to do so until 1970. He saw up to 400 films a year. After graduating from New York’s Collegiate school in 1957, he studied acting at the Stella Adler Conservatory.
In the early 1960s, Bogdanovich was a film programmer at the Museum of Modern Art where he programmed influential retrospectives and wrote monographs for the films of Orson Welles, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang, and Allan Dwan. Before becoming a director himself, he wrote for Esquire, The Saturday Evening Post, and Cahiers du Cinéma as a film critic. He married future film producer and designer Polly Platt in 1962. They moved to Hollywood in 1966 where Bogdanovich went to work for producer-director Roger Corman. Their daughters Antonia and Sashy were born in 1967 and 1970, respectively.

After working for Corman on 1966’s The Wild Angels and 1968’s Targets, he made his own sensational directorial debut with 1971’s The Last Picture Show for which he was heralded as one of the great new directors. He and Platt were divorced during the making of the film. He then entered into an eight-year relationship with Cybill Shepherd, a former model who made her acting debut in the film. Bogdanovich’s professional relationship with Platt, however, continued through his next two highly acclaimed films, 1972’s What’s Up, Doc? and Paper Moon after which she had a highly successful career on her own.

Bogdanovich’s next three films, 1974’s Daisy Miller, 1975’s At Long Last Love, and 1976’s Nickelodeon were critical and commercial failures. 1979’s Saint Jack, however, brought him renewed critical attention. His next film, 1981’s The All Laughed featured a supporting performance by Dorothy Stratton a former Playboy model with whom he had an affair during the making of the film. She was murdered by her ex-husband shortly after completing the film. He married her sister Louise in 1988 when she was 20 and he was 49. They divorced in 2001.

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Oscar Profile #608: Benedict Cumberbatch

Born July 19, 1976 in London, England, Benedict Cumberbatch is the son of actors Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton (born Timothy Carlton Cumberbatch). He is a grandson of submarine commander Henry Carlton Cumberbatch who fought in both World Wars and a great-grandson of diplomat Henry Arnold Cumberbatch, Queen Victoria’s Council General in Turkey and Lebanon.

Cumberbatch began acting while attending prestigious Harrow on an arts scholarship, taking a year off to teach English at a Tibetan monastery in Darjeeling, India. An acclaimed star of stage, screen, and TV, it was his BAFTA nominated portrayal of Stephen Hawking in the 2004 TV film, Hawking, that first brought him worldwide attention. His first significant screen role was in 2006’s Amazing Grace for which he was nominated for a breakthrough award from the London Critics Circle.

A firm believer in the adage that there is no such thing as a small part for an actor, Cumberbatch has alternated between starring and supporting roles ever since. In supporting roles in 2007’s Atonement and 2008’s The Other Boleyn Girl, he achieved his greatest success to date as a modern Sherlock Holmes in the 2010 TV series Sherlock which completed four seasons over an eight-year period, ending in 2017. In-between, he had had major supporting roles in two 2011 Oscar-nominated films, The War Horse and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the 2012 Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave and 2013 film August: Osage County for which both Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were nominated for Oscars.

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Oscar Profile #607: Ernest Borgnine

Born January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut, Ermes Effron Borgnino, known professionally as Ernest Borgnine, was the son of Italian immigrants. His parents separated when he was two years old, and he spent the next four and a half years liiving in Italy with his mother. His parents then reconciled, moving to New Haven, Connecticut where his younger sister was born in 1924.

A sports kid, Borgnine did not grow up with an interest in acting. He joined the U.S. Navy upon graduation from high school in 1935. He left the Navy in 1945 with no idea what he would do with the rest of life. It was his mother who suggested acting which he then studied in Connecticut and Virginia where he made his stage debut in a production of State of the Union. That was followed by a stint as the gentleman caller in The Glass Menagerie. He made his Broadway debut in 1947 as one of the nurses in Harvey. He married first wife Rhoda Kemins in 1949 with whom he had a daughter.

Borgnine made his film debut in 1951’s The Whistle at Eaton Falls. Two years later he made a major impression as the sadistic Sergeant “Fatso” Judson in From Here to Eternity, followed by more memorable villain roles in such films as Johnny Guitar, Vera Cruz, and Bad Day at Black Rock. His change of pace role as the sensitive, warmhearted butcher in 1955’s Marty won him a Best Actor Oscar.

The actor rounded out the decade alternating between villains and sensitive, caring individuals in such varied films as Jubal, The Catered Affair, Three Brave Men, The Vikings, The Badlanders, and Torpedo Run.

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Oscar Profile #606: Lee J. Cobb

Born December 8, 1911 in Bronx, New York, Lee J. Cobb (born Leo Jacoby) was interested in acting from an early age. He ran away from home at 16, joining the Harmonica Rascals with whom he made a short subject in Hollywood in 1929 before returning to New York where he studied accounting at New York University while working as a radio salesman. Still interested in show business, he then returned to Hollywood where he studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Cobb made his Broadway debut in a short-lived 1935 revival of Crime and Punishment but it was in old age makeup as John Garfield’s father in the 1937 production of Golden Boy that made him a name to be reckoned with. He reprised the role in the 1939 film version with William Holden in the title role.

The actor married Yiddish theatre actress Helen Beverley in 1940 with whom he would have two children including actress Julie Cobb. The early 1940s were a busy time for him alternating between such Broadway productions as 1941’s Clash by Night and 1943’s Winged Victory and such films as 1941’s Men of Boys Town, 1943’s The Moon Is Down and The Song of Bernadette, and the 1944 film version of Winged Victory.

The late 1940s proved a prolific period in Cobb’s career as he had major roles in such films as 1946’s Anna and the King of Siam, 1947’s Boomerang! and Captain from Castile, 1948’s Call Northside 777, The Miracle of the Bells, The Luck of the Irish and The Dark Past, and 1949’s Thieves’ Highway. Also in 1949, he starred in Broadway’s Death of a Salesman giving a performance still considered one of the greatest in Broadway history.

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Oscar Profile #605: Robert Wise

Born September 10, 1914 in Winchester, Indiana, Robert Wise was the youngest of three sons of a meatpacker and his wife. An avid moviegoer, he came into the film business through an odd job at RKO Radio Pictures when he was 19.

Initially a protégé to a sound effects editor, he worked in that capacity on such classic films as The Gay Divorcée, Top Hat, and The Informer. He became an assistant film editor on 1939’s The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle and a full editor on the same year’s Bachelor Mother. He followed that with Fifth Avenue Girl, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, My Favorite Wife, Dance, Girl, Dance, Citizen Kane, The Devil and Daniel Webster, and The Magnificent Ambersons.

Filling in for Orson Welles to direct additional scenes on 1942’s The Magnificent Ambersons led to Wise’s promotion to director on RKO’s 1944 classic horror film, The Curse of the Cat People. His work as a director continued with one success after another including such high points as 1945’s The Body Snatcher, 1948’s Blood on the Moon and 1949’s The Set-Up.

At Warner Bros. in 1950, he directed Three Secrets. Moving over to 20th Century-Fox for 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still and The House on Telegraph Hill, he was back at Warner Bros. for 1953’s So Big. He directed 1954’s Executive Suite for which he received his first Directors Guild of America nomination, 1956’s Somebody Up There Likes Me for which he received his second DGA nomination, and 1957’s Until They Sail for MGM.

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Oscar Profile #604: Oscar’s Tenth Decade (2018-2021)

Peter Farrelly’s Green Book won Best Picture of 2018 over Best Director Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, kicking off the decade. Among the other six nominees were Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther and Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman. Not nominated were such films as Damien Chazelle’s First Man and Paul Schrader’s First Reformed.

2019’s Best Picture award went for the first time to a foreign language film, Best Director Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite which also took home the award for Best Foreign Language Film. Among the nine nominees were Sam Mendes’ 1917 and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman but not Fernando Meirelles’ The Two Popes or Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse.

Oscar’s 2020 Best Picture and Director Oscars went to Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland in an eight-film race over such films as Lee Isaac Chung’s Minari and Darius Marder’s Sound of Metal. Among the films not nominated were Regina King’s One Night in Miami… and Kevin Macdonald’s The Mauritanian during the Covid-19 pandemic in which the eligibility period was extended through February 2021.

For 2021’s shortened ten-month eligibility period, Oscar gave its Best Picture award to Sian Heder’s crowd-pleasing CODA while giving its Best Director award to Jane Campion’s vastly superior The The Power of the Dog. Included among the ten nominees were Kenneth Branagh’s Belfast and Ryusuki Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car. Among those not nominated were Fran Kranz’s Mass and Rebecca Hall’s Passing.

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Oscar Profile #603: Oscar’s Ninth Decade (2008-2017)

Best Director Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture of 2008 as Oscar ended its 65-year tradition of five nominees in the category. It won over David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Ron Howard’s Frost/Nixon, Gus Van Sant’s Milk, and Stephen Daldry’s The Reader. Not nominated were such films as John Patrick Shanley’s Doubt, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler.

For the first time since 1944, 2009’s Oscar’s Best Picture slate extended beyond five films. Despite ten nominees, the race was considered to be between just two films, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker which won Best Picture and director over her former husband James Cameron’s Avatar. The extended list of nominees included Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterdsand Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air but not Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon or Jim Sheridan’s Brothers.

Oscar’s 2010 Best Picture and Director Oscars went to Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech in a close race with David Fincher’s The Social Network. Included among the ten nominees were David O. Russell’s The Fighter and Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right but not Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go or Matt Reeves’ Let Me In.

For 2011, Oscar gave its Best picture and Director awards to Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist over Martin Scorsese’s Hugo. Included among the nine nominees were Steven Spielberg’s War Horse and Stephen Daldry’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Clear but not Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation or Xavier Beauvois’ Of Gods and Men.

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Oscar Profile #602: Oscar’s Eighth Decade (1998-2007)

John Madden’s Shakespeare in Love surprisingly won Best Picture of 1998 over Best Director Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan. Also nominated were Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line, Roberto Benigni’s Life Is Beautiful and Shekhar Kapur’s Elizabeth. Not nominated were Bill Condon’s Gods and Monsters, Walter Salles’ Central Station, and Kirk Jones’ Waking Ned Devine.

Best Director Sam Mendes’ American Beauty took the 1999 Best Picture Oscar over M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, Michael Mann’s The Insider, Frank Darabont’s The Green Mile, and Lasse Hallstrom’s The Cider House Rules . Among the remarkable films that were ignored were Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, Neil Jordan’s The End of the Affair, and Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich.

Oscar’s 2000 Best Picture winner was Ridley Scott’s Gladiator which won over Best Director Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic as well as Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich, Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Lasse Hallstrom’s Chocolat. Stephen Daldry’s Billy Elliot, Curtis Hanson’s Wonder Boys, and Edward Yang’s Yi Yi were among those that were left out in the cold.

For 2001, Oscar gave its Best picture and Director awards to Ron Howard’s A Beautiful Mind over Robert Altman’s Gosford Park, Todd Field’s In the Bedroom, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge!. Among the missing were David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, Christopher Nolan’s Memento, and Steven Spielberg’s A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.

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Oscar Profile #601: Oscar’s Seventh Decade (1988-1997)

Best Director Barry Levinson’s Best Picture, Rain Man prevailed over Lawrence Kasdan’s The Accidental Tourist, Stephen Frears’ Dangerous Liaisons, Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning and Mike Nichols’ Working Girl at the 1988 Oscars. Overlooked were Philip Kaufman’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, and Sidney Lumet’s Running on Empty.

Non-nominated Bruce Beresford’s Driving Miss Daisy took the 1989 Best Picture Oscar, while the Best Director award went to Oliver Stone for Born on the Fourth of July. Also in contention were Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society, Phil Alden Robinson’s Field of Dreams, and Jim Sheridan’s My Left Foot . Among those that were ignored were Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape, Steve Cloves’ The Fabulous Baker Boys, and Edward Zwick’s Glory.

Oscar’s 1990 Best Picture winner was Best Director Kevin Costner’s Dances with Wolves which won over Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part III, Penny Marshall’s Awakenings, and Jerry Zucker’s Ghost. Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso, Stephen Frears’ The Grifters, and Barbet Schroeder’s Reversal of Fortune were left out in the cold.

For 1991, Oscar gave its Best picture and Director awards to Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs over Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise’s Beauty and the Beast, Barry Levinson’s Bugsy, Oliver Stone’s JFK, and Barbra Streisand’s The Prince of Tides. Among the missing were Ridley Scott’s Thelma & Louise, Gus Van Sant’s My Own Private Idaho, and Terry Gilliam’s The Fisher King.

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Oscar Profile #600: Oscar’s Sixth Decade (1978-1987)

The Vietnam War was the backdrop for both Best Director Michael Cimino’s Oscar winning Best Picture, The Deer Hunter, and Hal Ashby’s also nominated Coming Home. Other nominees were Alan Parker’s Midnight Express, Paul Mazursky’s An Unmarried Woman and Warren Beatty and Buck Henry’s Heaven Can Wait. Overlooked were Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, Ingmar Bergman’s Autumn Sonata, and Woody Allen’s Interiors.

Oscar’s 1979 lineup included Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Peter Yates’ Breaking Away, Martin Ritt’s Norma Rae, Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz, and Best Director Robert Benton’s Kramer vs. Kramer which won. Among those ignored were Milos Forman’s Hair, Woody Allen’s Manhattan, and Hal Ashby’s Being There.

Oscar’s 1980 Best Picture winner was Best Director Robert Redford’s Ordinary People which won over Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull, David Lynch’s The Elephant Man, Michael Apted’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, and Roman Polanski’s Tess. Lewis John Carlino’s The Great Santini, Jonathan Demme’s Melvin and Howard, and Richard Rush’s The Stunt Man were left out in the Cold.

For 1981, Oscar decided to go with Hugh Hudson’s Chariots of Fire while giving Best Director to Warren Beatty for fellow nominee Reds. Also nominated were Mark Rydell’s On Golden Pond, Louis Malle’s Atlantic City, and Steven Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. Among the missing were Peter Weir’s Gallipoli, Sidney Lumet’s Prince of the City, and Karel Reisz’s The The French Lieutenant’s Woman.

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Oscar Profile #597: Oscar’s Fifth Decade (1968-1977)

Musicals were on the downswing in 1968 but two of them, William Wyler’s film of Funny Girl and Carol Reed’s film of Oliver! , which was a surprise winner for both Best Picture and Best Director, were among Oscar’s five nominees for Best Picture. Joining them in the first Oscar race of the decade were Anthony Harvey’s The Lion in Winter, which had been the expected winner, Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo & Juliet, and Paul Newman’s Rachel, Rachel. Non-nominees included Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Luis Bunuel’s Belle de Jour.

Oscar’s 1969 lineup included Costa-Gavras’ Z, the first foreign language film nominated for Best Picture since Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion 31 years earlier. Also in the running were George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the anticipated winner, two surprise nominees, Charles Jarrot’s Anne of the Thousand Days and Gene Kelly’s Hello, Dolly! , and Best Director John Schlesinger’s Midnight Cowboy, the surprise winner. Among the ignored were Sydney Pollack’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War , and Luchino Visconti’s The Damned.

Oscar’s 1970 Best Picture winner was Best Director Franklin J. Schaffner’s Patton which won over Bob Rafelson’s Five Easy Pieces, Robert Altman’s M*A*S*H, George Seaton’s Airport, and Arthur Hiller’s Love Story. David Lean’s Ryan’s Daughter, Ken Russell’s Women in Love, and Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man were snubbed.

Oscar’s 1971 Best Picture Oscar award went to Best Director William Friedkin’s The French Connection over Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show, Norman Jewison’s Fiddler on the Roof, and Franklin J. Schaffner’s Nicholas and Alexandra. Among the missing were John Schlesinger’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, Joseph Losey’s The Go-Between, and Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Conformist.

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Oscar Profile #597: Oscar’s Fourth Decade (1958-1967)

It was during Oscar’s fourth decade that studio control over the movie business faltered, film distribution changed from single theatre premieres to wider openings, and the Hollywood Production Code saw chinks in it that ended it completely by the end of the decade.

Oscar’s 1958 Best Picture was Best Director Vincente Minnelli’s Gigi, a musical about a French gamine trained to be a courtesan. It won over Moron Da Costa’s Auntie Mame, Richard Brooks’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Stanley Kramer’s The Defiant Ones, and Daniel Mann’s Separate Tables. Left out of contention were Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, John Ford’s The Last Hurrah, and Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil among others.

Oscar’s 1959 Best Picture was Best Director William Wyler’s Ben-Hur over Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder, George Stevens’ The Diary of Anne Frank, Fred Zinnemann’s The Nun’s Story, and Jack Clayton’s Room at the Top. Ignored were such highly regarded films as Billy Wilder’s, Some Like It Hot, Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest , and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s Suddenly, Last Summer.

Oscar’s 1960 Best Picture was Best Director Billy Wilder’s The Apartment over Richard Brooks’ Elmer Gantry, Jack Cardiff’s Sons and Lovers, Fred Zinnemann’s The Sundowners, and John Wayne’s The Alamo. Overlooked were the likes of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, the third year in a row that a Hitchcock masterpiece was snubbed, Stanley Kramer’s Inherit the Wind, and Vincente Minnelli’s Home from the Hill.

Oscar’s 1961 Best Picture Oscar winners Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story over Joshua Logan’s Fanny, Robert Rossen’s The Hustler, Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremberg, and J. Lee Thompson’s The Guns of Navarone. Among those there was no room for were Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, Blake Edwards’ Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Billy Wilder’s One, Two, Three.

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Oscar Profile #597: Oscar’s Third Decade (1948-1957)

Oscar’s 1948 Best Picture was Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, the first time the award went to a non-Hollywood film. The British film won over three Hollywood films, Best Director John Huston’s The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, John Negulesco’s Johnny Belinda, and Anatole Litvak’s The Snake Pit as well as another British film, Powell & Pressburger’s The Red Shoes. Left out of contention were Howard Hawks’ Red River, John Ford’s Fort Apache, and Fred Zinnemann’s The Search.

Oscar’s 1949 Best Picture was Robert Rossen’s All the King’s Men over William Wyler’s The Heiress, Best Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s A Letter to Three Wives and two late World War II films, Henry King’s Twelve O’clock High and William A. Wellman’s Battleground. Ignored were Vittorio De Sica’s honorary foreign language winner, Bicycle Thieves, Clarence Brown’s Intruder in the Dust , and John Ford’s She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.

Oscar’s 1950 Best Picture was Best Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve over Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard, with George Cukor’s Born Yesterday, Vincente Minnelli’s Father of the Bride, and Compton Miller and Andrew Marton’s King Solomon’s Mines also in contention. Overlooked were the likes of Carol Reed’s The Third Man, John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle, and Cukor’s Adam’s Rib among others.

Oscar’s 1951 Best Picture award surprisingly went to Vincente Minnelli’s An American in Paris over Elia Kazan’s A Streetcar Named Desire and Best Director George Stevens’ A Place in the Sun with Mervyn LeRoy’s Quo Vadis and Anatole Litvak’s Decision Before Dawn also nominated. Left out in the cold were John Huston’s The African Queen and Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train.

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