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Oscar History

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Vintage '43

Let's soak in some 1943 since the Smackdown is but one week ago. Here's a look into what was hot hot hot that year in many fields and categories for context...

This is the Army (1943)

Great Big Box Office Hits 

  1. For Whom the Bell Tolls
  2. This is the Army
  3. The Song of Bernadette
  4. Thousands Cheer
  5. Star Spangled Rhythm
  6. Casablanca
  7. Air Force
  8. Destination Tokyo
  9. A Guy Named Joe
  10. Coney Island

Oscar's Best Picture List  

  • Casablanca ★ (8 noms, 3 wins)
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (9 noms, 1 win)
  • Heaven Can Wait (3 noms)
  • The Human Comedy (5 noms, 1 win)
  • In Which We Serve (2 noms)
  • Madame Curie (7 noms)
  • The More the Merrier (6 noms, 1 win)
  • The Ox-Bow Incident (1 nomination, yes, Best Picture only)
  • Song of Bernadette (12 noms, 4 wins)
  • Watch on the Rhine (4 noms, 1 win)

Films that Endured in Some Way That Did Not Win Oscars / Weren't Box Office Smashes
Stormy Weather, Girl Crazy, Alfred Hitchcock's Shadow of a Doubt, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Preston Sturges The Miracle of Morgan's Creek,  Lassie Come Home, Vincente Minnelli's Cabin in the Sky, Luchino Visconti's Ossessione, and Carl Theodor Dreyer's Day of Wrath

Nathaniel's Favs
I still have a lot left to see to make a best of 1943 list but my favorite pictures from that year are (to date at least): Casablanca, Presenting Lily Mars, Shadow of a Doubt, and The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.

Magazine Covers for Context
In 1943 the front page subjects were World War II, pin-up girl/actresses (especially Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth), and Ingrid Bergman in For Whom the Bell Tolls.

click to enlarge

Mix Tapes (Hits of '43)
"Why Don't You Do Right?" Benny Goodman with Peggy Lee, "As Time Goes By" Rudy Vallee, "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" Judy Garland, "Stormy Weather" Lena Horne, "That Old Black Magic" Glenn Miller,  

Other Arts
The Little Prince, Johnny Tremaine, The Fountainhead, were all published. The Pulitzer went to Dragon's Teeth by Upton Sinclair (novel) and The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder (play). The musicals Oklahoma! and Carmen Jones opened on Broadway. In 1943 Jackson Pollock began work on one of his key paintings "Mural" for Peggy Guggenheim. In comic books, Wonder Woman's arch-nemesis Cheetah made her debut and the butler Alfred was added to the Batman mythology.  

Vintage '43  - Happy 75th to All
Oscar nominees or winners denoted by asterisks
ACTORS: Klaus Maria Brandauer*, Chevy Chase, Blythe Danner, Catherine Deneuve*, Robert De Niro*, Conchata Ferrell, Gil Gerard, Sharon Gless, Veronica Hamel, Elizabeth Hartman*, Edward Herrmann, Wai Ching Ho, Lauren Hutton, Ben Kingsley*, Malcolm McDowell, Martin Mull, Michael Palin, Valerie Perrine*, Joe Pesci*, Lynn Redgrave*, Hanna Schygulla, Wallace Shawn, Sam Shepard*, Sharon Tate, Holland Taylor, Joan Van Ark,  Hervé Villechaize, Christopher Walken*, JT Walsh, and Tuesday Weld*.

DIRECTORS: Roy Andersson, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Martin Campbell, David Cronenberg, Jan de Bont, Richard Eyre, Tobe Hooper, Mike Leigh*, Terrence Malick*, Penny Marshall, Michael Mann, Alan Rudolph, and André Téchiné.

BEHIND THE SCENES: Steven Bochco (tv writer/creator), Jerry Bruckheimer (producer), Dante Ferretti* (production designer), J Roy Helland* (makeup artist), Walter Murch* (sound), Gabriella Pescucci* (costume design), Michael Phillips* (producer),  Aggie Guerard Rodgers* (costume design), Bruce Joel Rubin* (screenwriter), Eduardo Serra* (cinematography), Dante Spinotti* (cinematography), and Vangelis* (composer).

MUSICIANS/SINGERS: Toni Basil, Jim Croce, John Denver, Fabian, George Harrison, Julio Iglesias, Mick Jagger, Janis Joplin, Barry Manilow, Christine McVie, Joni Mitchell, Anita Morris, Randy Newman*, Keith Richards, Bobby Sherman, Ronnie Spector, Leslie Uggams, and Roger Waters

OTHER CELEBRITIES: David Geffen (producer), Bobbie Fischer (chess pro), Billie Jean King (tennis champ), Geraldo Rivera (tv personality), Joe Namath (football star), Edie Sedgwick (celebutante), and Zouzou (celebutante).

Showtune to Go
It was a big year for 26 year-old  Lena Horne who had 5 (!) films released including the historic Cabin in the Sky and as the headliner of Stormy Weather

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Reader Comments (8)

2 more suggestions.Don't forget 1) the outrageous The Gang's All Here - Busby Berkeley, Carmen Miranda, and sheer bliss; and 2) Lady of Burlesque. The latter has what may be Barbara Stanwyck's best performance ever. Ever! She really conveys the lowdown fun ambience of burlesque clubs, even while wearing several layers of clothing! They could censor her outfits, but not her delvery of songs like "Take It Off the E String, Play It on the G String".
And Stormy Weather is so so so underrated. It's not just a novelty musical with an all-black cast. It's a magnificent musical by any standards and should be on anyone's short list of the best musicals of all time. And since I count Miracle of Morgan's Creek as a 1944 movie, I would say Stormy Weather is my favorite movie of 1943. Period.

July 20, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

I'm currently trying to watch some 1943 films in preparation for the Smackdown. I do find it a bit of struggle to watch a lot of these films as most are concerned with the war. Obviously, I need to remember was this was the worldwide event on most people's mind at the time,

From what I've seen so far my faves are Shadow of a Doubt, Cabin in the Sky, Day of Wrath & The More the Merrier. I also think that Ida Lupino's work in The Hard Way was criminally overlooked in comparison to every best actress nominee. What a terribly underwhelming category. Odd how the second smackdown of the summer features a disappointing actress lineup. I would've been happier with a lineup include Lupino, Wright, Waters, Movin (Day of Wrath) and the already nominated Arthur.

I look forward to this smackdown because while the list of nominees are boring I enjoy when the film experience revisits classic Hollywood where stars like Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, and Ida Lupino were at their peak.

July 20, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEoin Daly

1. Casablanca
2. The More the Merrier
3. Heaven Can Wait
4. The Ox-Bow Incident
5. Shadow of a Doubt

July 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

Love these posts!! The magazine covers are beautiful in a way that modern ones just can’t (or more aptly won’t) compete with.

The list of performers born that year is a bit sobering when you see names like Bobby Sherman, Fabian and Tuesday Weld on there. In my mind’s eye they are perpetually young. Also a bit surprising to realize that Catherine Deneuve and Holland Taylor are the same age as Wallace Shawn!

This year was a good one for film both serious and fluffy. My many favorites:

Best Foot Forward
Cry Havoc
Day of Wrath
Flesh and Fantasy
Forever and a Day
The Gang’s All Here
Happy Go Lucky
The Hard Way
Heaven Can Wait
Hello, Frisco Hello
Hers To Hold
His Butler’s Sister
Johnny Come Lately
No Time for Love
Old Acquaintance
The Ox-Bow Incident
Shadow of a Doubt
So Proudly We Hail
Thank Your Lucky Stars
This Land is Mine
Watch on the Rhine
What a Woman!

July 21, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

The Miracle o Morgan Creek was released in 1944, not 1943...Preston Sturges at his peak!!

July 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

Ooh! Is "Why Don't You Do Right?" The song that Jessica Rabbit sings in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

July 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Movies for adults.

July 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Fillis

During the era of the great studios it was common an actor with more than one film in the 10 top-grossing films list. 1943 is the Ingrid Bergman Year. No one better to explain the size of the phenomenon the actress became, than her partner in one of her best films and greatest hits in the period, Notorious(1946), Cary Grant:

"I think the Academy (Awards) ought to set aside a special award for Ingrid Bergman every year whether she makes a picture or not." (Ingrid Bergman - My Story, 1989)

"There are only seven movie stars in the world whose name alone will induce American bankers to lend money for movie productions, and the only woman on the list is Ingrid Bergman." (IMDB)

July 21, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSamuel

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