Oscar History

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William Holden in Picnic

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Complete the Sentence on This Wet Afternoon

"The last old movie I saw was __________________ which I watched because ________________________ and it was ________________ ."


I'll start: The last old movie I saw was Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) which I watched because Kim Stanley was Oscar nominated in a supercalifragilistic Best Actress year and the film was stagey but good... only I kept wishing Hitchcock had directed it to amp up both the perversity and the tension. I would totally endorse a remake for one of today's finest actresses because Myra Savage was one crazy bitch.

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Reader Comments (56)

The last old movie that I watched was Morning Glory because Katharine Hepburn won an Oscar for it and it was boring. It was stagey and none of the characters were that interesting. I'm still wondering why she won for it.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterErik

The last old movie I saw was Carnival of Souls which I watched because I'm working on a manuscript that requires a refresher in the film's score and it was as haunting as I remembered it.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobert G

The last film I saw Mirror Mirror because I love Julia Roberts and see all her movies no matter how bad it is and it was bad, really bad, for sure, because Singh doesn't know how to tame his excess. If you're not a genius like Baz Luhrmann or Coppola your excess won't be genius. It'll be unbearable. Not every director can go big with over the top visuals and stuff. It is not for everyone. Julia was ok in it. She is always superfun to watch, but after her excellent performance in Eat Pray Love (nomination worthy, IMO) I was expecting more substance, not exactly this project, and not only regular coasting on charisma. Let's wait for August Osage County...

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

The last old (ish) movie I saw was Barry Lyndon which I watched because I was visiting my 78-year-old mother, and she loves English costume dramas, and we were looking for something to watch together. It was amazing. It works as both a movie you can enjoy as a traditional period piece based on a classic novel and also as a movie about the seventies. The music and cinematography is pretty stunning, and even though Ryan O'Neil and Marisa Barenson (sp?) don't make anyone's list of greatest actors ever, I bought into their performances and got completely swept up in the story. The final dual scene is so heart-stopping, and even though the movie is deliberately slow in its pacing, I found it incredibly captivating. I am really under this movie's spell right now and think of it as one of my favorite Kubrick movies, maybe one of my favorite movies ever.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentertimothy

The last old movie I saw was Earthquake (1974 does that qualify as old?) which I watched because I found it while channel surfing and I LOVE disaster porn and it was absolutely fantastic! I especially enjoyed Victoria Principal.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRick

The last old movie I watched was Goldiggers of 1933 because it is a musical directed by Busby Berkeley and starring Ginger Rogers & Joan Blondell among others. And I thought it was absolutely terrific and not just because of the musical numbers, rather because it was very progressive politically and in fact probably couldn't be made today. The big number was something like "Remember The Forgotten Man." Amazing. Plus it had neon violins. ;-)

The last old movie I saw was His Kind of Woman (1951) which I watched because I had the song "Five Little Miles from San Berdoo" stuck in my head and Jane Russell sings it in the movie. It was broadly entertaining, funny in places, Mitchum is Mitchum whilst Vincent Price steals every scene he's in.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNick G

The last old film I saw was Taxi Driver, because I'd (remarkably) never seen it before, and it's a very peculiar film. Watching Scorsese learn who he is as a director, but with a great deal of confidence. Excellent character study. Brilliant performance by De Niro. The climax is breathtaking. The allusion to the idea that this kind of 'avenging angel' exists everywhere is interesting. I found myself more intrigued by it and admiring it rather than love. It's not an easy film to feel that towards. I think the thing that I enjoyed most was that, even though you spent nearly every frame of the film with him, you can leave Bickle and still have no true sense who he is. It's far too easy to classify him as a hero, villain, or anti-hero. That would require a kind of camaraderie that doesn't exist. We want to understand him, but we won't. He exists outside our world. If anything, it's a ghost story of a man who died in war, and now he's making his way through Hell to get to the other side.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

The last old movie I saw was Bonjour Tristesse which I watched because Film Forum was showing a restored version of it and it was utterly g*ddamn glorious. Seriously, I adore this movie so much, it's so gorgeous to look at and so movie-sophisticated and the problems-of-the-wealthy-and-beautiful plot NEVER gets old, especially when you've got David Niven, Deborah Kerr, and Jean Seberg bringing their all. In the drop-dead stunning south of France.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAR

The last old movie I saw was "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead which I watched because since "Boardwalk Empire", I've been obsessed with Aleksa Palladino and it was a terrific swan song for Sidney Lumet.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

The last old movie I saw was THE DIVIDE which I watched because I like a good end of the world/survivors turn against each other/everything goes to hell movie as much as the next guy and it was a little more fucked up and sexually aggressive than I was expecting, but not ultimately all that great - but it does have Milo Ventimiglia prancing about in his tightie whities for a good half hour or so, and he looks really good even while suffering from radiation sickness, so it's not all bad.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

"The last old movie I saw was "For Whom the Bell Tolls," which I watched because Katina Paxinou won Best Supporting Actress for 1943 and I only have 1 more winner in that category that I need to see (Gale Sondergaard in "Anthony Adverse,") and it was a great performance in a beautiful film. I had almost forgotten what an inspiring story it was."

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

By old you mean three months, right?

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

The last old movie I saw was Bigger Than Life which I watched because I've been reading about Nicholas Ray and figured it was time to see more of his work (I'd previously only known him for Rebel Without a Cause) and it was excellent/batshit crazy. I seriously loved it, the color, the camera angles, the melodrama of it all...it was great. If there were one thing I would change about it, it would be the same thing that bugged Mr. Ray: the fact that they named the drug that makes James Mason's character go crazy - nobody's afraid of Cortisone these days. But that's really a minor complaint, I think that if you watch it you can appreciate the fact that it wasn't cortisone as we know it today, so it doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the film.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

The last old movie I watched was Marty.
I watched it because I wanted to see Borgnine's Oscar winning performance.
It was an Oscar worth performance.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark

The last old movie I saw was Citizen Kane, which I rewatched last night because my stepdad had never seen it, and it was as great as I remembered. Ultimately the film pretty much deserves its rep for influencing the language of film as much as it has, and I think the success it has structurally is significant because not only has the structure been reused and remodeled so many times- but few have done it as successfully as Kane. Considering all the "best film ever" lists conversations that have been bouncing around the Internet because of the new sight & sound poll I guess this is a good time to voice a bit of an objection to the seeming necessity to include Citizen Kane. I sai earlier that it pretty much deserves its rep because I do think it seems a little ridiculous that the film is treated as a prerequisite for a list to be respectable. It's hardly flawless. I don't actually think Welles went to great enough lengths to show Kane's influence over society with the papers, merely using a lot of clever dialogue to explain Kane's understanding of the potential to control what others think and then saying that he achieved it. The only real mention of him actually exerting such power involved the Spanish war, which came up in passing. Otherwise, he couldnt combat the love nest scandal and he couldn't convince anyone his wife was a good singer. Also why do many dissolves where simpler cuts would work better?

Just playing devils advocate though, I think it is a wonderful and historic film.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCasey Fiore

The last old movie I saw was Payback (1999), which I watched because it came on when I was hanging out at my neighbors' with the enormous flat screen. We both realized that it's our favorite Mel Gibson film (actually, one of the only ones I can stand) and it was still great. Love that movie. And I can't believe I'm calling a '90s movie "old."

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

The last old movie I saw was 'Drums Along the Mohawk' and I watched it because 'it was made in 1939 and stars one of the greatest actresses EVER' and it was 'pretty effing fantastic'!!!

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

The last old movie I saw was Billy Wilder's "Sabrina" which I watched because I needed beauty and wit and it was absolutely marvelous.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

The last old movie I saw was 'The Innocents' which I watched because I heard great things about Deborah Kerr in it. And it was truly one of her finest performances, second only to 'Black Narcissus' (of the ones I've seen her in, that is).

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

By the way, great to read you watched 'Séance on a Wet Afternoon'.

What terrific and underseen Best Actress nominated performance is next? 'The Whisperers'? 'The Shop in Main Street'?

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

I'm head over heels in love with Kim Stanley's performance in Séance on a Wet Afternoon (I'd have to be to think she deserved the win over Anne Bancroft in The Pumpkin Eater). Her final scene gave me goosebumps, and Richard Attenborough was also superb.

The last old movie I saw was Waterloo Bridge, because I adore Vivien Leigh's Oscar roles and wanted to see her other work. Not only do I think she deserved a third trophy in a fantastic Best Actress year, I could make a case for the film being the year's best.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

The last old movie I saw was I Confess, because I'm selecting some DVDs to give away (snif, snif). I would never give Monty away, even if it's not Hitchcock's best (I almost hated Anne Baxter performance in that movie), but my copy isn't right, and has some problems at the end (it gets frozen and it won't continue). For beauty admirers, and particularly for Montgomery Clift admirers, there's a scene where he is soaking wet in military uniform...

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

@MrW help me getting Nathaniel to see Gena Rowlands' work!

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

The last old movie I saw was Irma La Douce which I watched because I'm trying to watch all the nominees for Best Actress and MacLaine was nominated for this performance, and it was extremely disapointing, too long but sometimes quite charming and entertaining. Overall I think it should have focused more on Irma herself and not on Jack Lemmon's character.
Next nominees: Rachel Roberts in This Sporting Life and Natalie Wood in Love with the Proper Stranger.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterca

The last old (scary that it's considered old since it was released in my lifetime) movie I watched was Cool Hand Luke. I had never seen it and I try to see Oscar winning perfs whenever possible. George Kennedy was very good and Newman, as usual was phenomenal. Such an underrated actor because he made it seem so effortless! His scene with Jo Van Fleet as his mother was a master class in subtle, heartbreaking work.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

The last old movie I saw was Gentlemen Prefer Blondes because my boyfriend and I wanted to check out some Marilyn Monroe before seeing My Week with Marilyn. It was lively... and actually not terribly memorable at all.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDusty

The last old movie I saw was Gilda because it was for a class on the films of Howard Hawks (even thought it's not directed by Howard Hawks... strange days) and it was pretty enjoyable, but the only real thought to have coming away from it was GADZOOKS is Rita Hayworth stunning.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrady

Dennis: I agree about George Kennedy. But I don't know if the Academy should have nominated him. Partially because he is pretty much unarguably co-lead in it (his role is really only the tiniest bit smaller than Newman's), and partially because they were insane to not nominate Strother Martin, who actually WAS a supporting performance and also amazing. (He probably deserved it a lot more than Cassavetes. I say probably for 3 reasons: First, it's implicitly a bit of an insult to nominate a director who, based on the knowledge of the time, only takes these acting jobs to raise money to direct his films for an Acting Oscar. (He wouldn't act in one of his own until Husbands, released 2 years after the nomination announcement.) It might not have been what he really wanted to be known for at the time, so why give him such honours over actors who might appreciate it more? Secondly, the laconic monstrousness of, "What we've got here is...failure to communicate." Seriously? Actors weren't giving that #1 votes? And my third reason I say probably is because I haven't seen The Dirty Dozen. He might actually be very good, but I wouldn't know. But the other two reasons alone should have been enough to dissuade the nomination.) Beyond those, my reason for them to not nominate George Kennedy is "If you don't feel comfortable nominating both the lead actors IN Lead Actor, don't nominate one of them at all." I am comfortable with nominating multiple leads of the same gender from the same film (I nominate all the leads of The Misfits, for example), but I'm not the Academy.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

The last old movie I saw was Annie Hall which I watched because it was one of the films we watched in my Hollywood Cinema class and it was brilliant. I had started at home by myself a few years back and wasn't into it for some reason (I thought it was boring??), but gosh...what a damn good movie.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPhilip

The last old film I saw was (and, by the way, this is counting movies older than myself as "old") was Videodrome. A terrifying, mostly psychological, horror film.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

The last old movie I saw was Summertime which I watched because the power was out and it was BEAUTIFUL! Katharine Hepburn is mesmerizing and perfectly cast as a lonely woman in the City of Bridges. David Lean was a master.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris

The last old movie I saw was The Awful Truth which I watched because the weather was rainy and depressing and I didn't want to go outside and it was joyful and totally cheered me up Tonight, since it's raining again, I'm going to watch Arsenic and Old Lace. Hopefully it'll have a similar effect!

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSVG

The last old movie I watched was The Lady Eve starring one of my favorite actresses, Barbara Stanwyck. I revisited this film again recently because Barry Livingston (who played the middle brother in My Three Sons) was a guest on the Dinner Party podcast and listed William Demarest as one of his favorite character actors. I had forgotten that the delightful old curmudgeon Uncle Charley had a great part in the classic rom-com.

FYI--next time, please define "old". Except, well, I guess for some viewers, Annie Hall or Taxi Driver could be considered old, if it was filmed before they were born... Ouch. Now I really feel older than dirt.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPam

I am blind. I really could read "old" in your post. I think the last movie I saw was The Prince and The Showgirl, and I watched it to compare Monroe and Williams, and sorry Williams, but you were absolutely miscast.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Could not read

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

The last old movie I saw was The Heiress (1949) which I watched because it was on sale for $7.00 (AUD) and I wanted to see de Havilland's Oscar winning turn and it (the film) was really really good, as was Monty Clift.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh

Wow, two people saw Kate recently? I'm so happy because so did I.


May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew K.

Brady -- all caps GADZOOKS is really the only appropriate reaction, I agree. Rita Hayworth ♥

Everyone -- i'm so happy to read so many great movies in these comments: The Awful Truth & The Lady Eve (only two of the funniest movies ever made), Taxi Driver (brill),

MrW -- thanks for the reminder that I still need to see that one. I've been on record about not really getting the Kerr fuss but the last two I saw I really thought she was good in (Sundowners & Narcissus)

May 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The last old movie I saw was THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS, which I watched because it was the monthly meeting of our local noir film society (http://bighousefilm.com), and it was not bad (I've never been a big fan of Peter Lorre, but I like Sydney Greenstreet, and whilst it was a bit slow in the first half, the excitement picked up in the second). It was definitely better than the first film we had on that particular double bill - MR. ARKADIN/CONFIDENTIAL REPORT, which is the largest black mark on the great career of Orson Welles.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWellington Sludge

"The last old movie I saw was What's Up, Doc? with Streisand & Ryn O'Neal which I watched because my friends wanted a comedy to balance out The Hours on our monthly Saturday DVD Diva night!! It was the perfect antidote to those very depressed lesbians. And bonus for me I got to check it out for the first.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMurtada

"The last old movie I saw was The Most Dangerous Game (actually I'm watching it right now) which I watched because I am a child of the 70s and 80s and remmber how almost every TV drama back then had at least one episode based around the story (A-Team, Hart to Hart, etc.)and it was, well pretty stagy and silly, but Leslie Banks is fabulous.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine

The last old movie I saw was Playtime (1967) which I watched because I've been meaning to see it for years and it was available on Hulu. It was fantastic! Tati's attention to detail is simply amazing. A masterpiece!

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

The last old movie I watched was Carlos Saura's Blood Wedding, part of his flamenco trilogy. I watched it because I loved Cria Cuervos and I love movies about dance. It's kind of the Vanya on 42nd Street of dance movies, since it's essentially a dress rehearsal of Blood Wedding with a brief intro of the performers at the beginning. It's still totally cinematic though, the camera is very much alive and works beautifully with the dancing on screen. Really enjoyed it, excited about seeing the other parts of the trilogy, Carmen and El Amor Brujo.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSeeking Amy

"The last old movie I saw was The Man I Love which I watched because I adore Ida Lupino, I just found it on DVD and it was brilliant!" It was as great as I remember, noirish but funny too. Ida was full of all kinds of snap and when she bitch slapped a crazed man and took his gun while dressed in an evening gown and jewels I died a little and that part of me went to movie heaven!

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

The last old movie I saw was Un Chien Andalou which I watched because it was in my 1001 Movies To See Before You Die book and it was interesting, but extremely weird.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

The last old movie I watched was How To Steal a Million (dir. William Wyler) with Audrey Hepburn, Peter O'Toole, and Hugh Griffith. Hepburn and O'Toole are so utterly charming - it's like it's a lost art to be so apparently effortlessly delightful. Although perhaps Wyler's noted skill with actors is also in play here. And the 1960s Givenchy outfits are very cool.

May 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradri

...What terrific and underseen Best Actress nominated performance is next? 'The Whisperers'? 'The Shop in Main Street'?

Mr W, love the mention of "The Whisperers," especially since it was directed by Bryan Forbes, who also directed Kim Stanley in "Seance on a Wet Afternoon," and Lelsey Caron in "The L Shaped Room."

All three nominated for Best Actress in B&W British "kitchen sink" dramas from the 1960's, one of my favorite genres !

Also thought Ida Kaminska was deserving in "The Shop on Main Street," but Liz rightfully won that one.

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

The last old movie I watched was Rocco and His Brothers because my French teacher recommended it to me. She had a thing for Italy. It was pretty good, but the point I got from it didn't need to take three hours. I liked Nino Rota's music and Katina Paxinou and Renato Salvatori were very good.

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSean T.

seeking amy -- "the vanya on 42nd street of dance movies" might be the most convincing Rent This Now tagline I've yet heard. I must look into it.

May 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R
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