Snubbed Films

Oscar’s Best

Just so you don’t get the idea that “the Academy” is flawless, here is a list of some great films which weren’t nominated for a single Oscar in ANY category which I think are worth seeing … to name just SEVENTY:

  • Anna Karenina (1935)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
  • Beat the Devil (1954) – John Huston directed cult classic starring Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, and Peter Lorre among others
  • The Big Heat (1953) - Director Fritz Lang’s crime thriller starring Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, and Lee Marvin (among others)
  • The Big Sleep (1946) - the best of the Bogart & Bacall collaborations? Bogart as Phillip Marlowe
  • Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  • Brute Force (1947)
  • Command Decision (1948)
  • The Dawn Patrol (1938)
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
  • Destry Rides Again (1939)
  • Dinner at Eight (1933)
  • Dirty Harry (1971)
  • D.O.A. (1950)
  • Dracula (1931)
  • Duck Soup (1933) – a Marx Brothers classic (the last one with Zeppo), perhaps their best, has Groucho playing Rufus T. Firefly, the new president of Freedonia, so appointed by the richest woman (played by Margaret Dumont, of course) in the small country. He declares war on a large neighboring country, that of Louis Calhern and spy Raquel Torres (looking an awful lot like Dolores del Rio). Many of the gags and/or lines are classics which have survived and become part of our culture. Directed by Leo McCarey, the film was added to the National Film Registry in 1990. #85 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies list; #5 on AFI’s 100 Funniest Movies list.
  • Edge of Darkness (1943)
  • Escape (1940)
  • A Face in the Crowd (1957) - you won’t believe how great an actor Andy Griffith is in this
  • Fail-Safe (1964) - a film which was unfortunately overshadowed by a spoof, with a similar plot, by Stanley Kubrick, that same year
  • Force of Evil (1948) - another great John Garfield film
  • Fort Apache (1948)
  • Frankenstein (1931)
  • The Front Page (1974)
  • Gaslight (1940) - every bit as good as the American remake?
  • Gentleman Jim (1942)
  • Gilda (1946) - this film has more going for it than the fact that it was the B&W film being shown in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) … it has Rita Hayworth!
  • High Sierra (1941)
  • His Girl Friday (1940)
  • I Love You Again (1940)
  • In a Lonely Place (1950) - excellent Nicholas Ray film starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame which offers a glimpse behind the scenes in Hollywood
  • In This Our Life (1942)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) – this is a sci-fi film which holds up today, who can forget the ending with Kevin McCarthy! Directed by Don Siegel, it was added to the National Film Registry in 1994.
  • The Invisible Man (1933) – only a great voice like that of Claude Rains could have made this one the classic that it is. It also has Gloria Stuart (you know, the old woman in 1997′s Best Picture Titanic). Also with Una O’Connor, and directed by James Whale.
  • Johnny Guitar (1954) – another cult classic, also by Nicholas Ray, with memorable performances by Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden and Mercedes McCambridge
  • The Killing (1956) - a very early Kubrick, also with Sterling Hayden, hardly an unknown anymore now that it’s in imdb’s top 200
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets (1948) - one of the greatest single performances in film, (now Sir) Alec Guiness in EIGHT roles
  • King Kong (1933)
  • The Lady From Shanghai (1948)
  • The Lady Vanishes (1938) - not very well known Hitchcock, fabulous as usual though
  • Lonely are the Brave (1962) - Kirk Douglas plays “the last cowboy” who’s not quite up to speed with “modern” ways; pursued by the law (Walter Matthau)
  • Love Me Tonight (1932)
  • The Major and the Minor (1942)
  • The Male Animal (1942)
  • The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956) – I’m sure Hollywood didn’t know what to make of this unusual, nonlinear film, but it’s a good one nonetheless.  It did win director and screenplay writer Nunnally Johnson a special award at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • The Misfits (1961) – Clark Gable’s and Marilyn Monroe’s last film; Gable’s exhausting effort onscreen, wrestling with horses, and off (putting up with Monroe’s “antics”) probably contributed to Gable’s fatal heart attack. John Huston directs this story written by one of Monroe’s husbands (Arthur Miller). A modern western, about this dying way of life really, also features a post-”auto accident” Montgomery Clift, a terrifically cynical (as always) Thelma Ritter, and Eli Wallach.
  • Modern Times (1936) – Charlie Chaplin goes against the grain by making a silent film, with sound effects, many years after the advent of “talkies”. The movie is an allegory about how man has become too dependent and/or obsessed with machines and technology, in general, as the tramp struggles to survive in “modern times”. Paulette Goddard plays the girl in this one. The skating scene in the department store is unforgettable. #81 on AFI’s 100 Greatest Movies list; #33 on AFI’s 100 Funniest Movies list.
  • The Mortal Storm (1940)
  • My Darling Clementine (1946)
  • The Night of the Hunter (1955) - Robert Mitchum is chilling as evil “preacher”; special treat – see Lillian Gish!
  • Nothing Sacred (1937) - William Wellman’s above average screwball comedy starring Carole Lombard
  • Once Upon a Time in the West (1969) – awesome Sergio Leone film, a master at using facial expressions to tell his story; bonus – see Henry Fonda as the bad guy!
  • Out of the Past (1947) - excellent film noir which was later butchered in a remake titledAgainst All Odds; stars Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum
  • The Palm Beach Story (1942) - one of several great Preston Sturges films
  • Paths of Glory (1957)
  • The Plainsman (1936)
  • Point Blank (1967) - Lee Marvin/Angie Dickinson film later redone as Payback (1999)by Mel Gibson
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) - I had to double check to see that the Academy did in fact ignore this film noir classic. Hard to believe. Stunning performance by one of the great tough guy actors, John Garfield, and an incredibly sexy performance by Lana Turner
  • Queen Christina (1933) - underrated (if possible) Garbo picture also starring her silent film partner John Gilbert in one of his few “talkie” successes
  • Rio Bravo (1959)
  • The Roaring Twenties (1939) - Director Raoul Walsh tells the story of three WWI army buddies (James Cagney & Humphrey Bogart are two of them) who return to experience the boom and then bust of that famous decade
  • Scaramouche (1952)
  • The Searchers (1956)
  • The Secret Garden (1949)
  • The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  • State of the Union (1948) – Frank Capra’s tale of an industrialist, played by Spencer Tracy, who is convinced to run for President and the conflicts between him, his wife (played by Katharine Hepburn), and the political machine (run in part by Angela Lansbury’s character) which threatens his integrity and his marriage
  • Sullivan’s Travels (1941) - another fine Preston Sturges film starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake, about disillusionment and Hollywood
  • Sweet Smell of Success (1957) - not exactly obscure, but certainly a must see. Burt Lancaster in a rare bad guy role and Tony Curtis’s best acting on film
  • The Taking of the Pelham One Two Three (1974)
  • They Drive By Night (1940) – another Raoul Walsh film, this one stars George Raft, Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart and a very sexy Ida Lupino (Bogart’s co-star in High Sierra). It’s superior to the original, Bordertown (1935) with Paul Muni and Bette Davis, which is also worth seeing
  • They Live By Night (1949)
  • They Won’t Forget (1937) - Claude Rains’ standout performance in this telling of the Leo Frank trail
  • The 39 Steps (1935)
  • This Gun for Hire (1942) – Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake (love her!)
  • To Have and Have Not (1944) - the first Bogey and Bacall film
  • Touch Of Evil (1958)
  • Trouble in Paradise (1932) - Ernst Lubitsch film starring many prolific actors from the 30′s; featuring Miriam Hopkins & Herbert Marshall, in his best career role
  • Winchester ’73 (1950) - of course it’s great, it’s a Western starring James Stewart that was directed by Anthony Mann
  • The Wind (1928) - just saw this Lillian Gish classic on TCM
  • The Women (1939) - a film even a guy can love though there are ZERO male actors in it! Directed by George Cukor (of course!), it features many of the great dames of the 30′s: Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford (in an especially “catty” role), Crystal Allen, Rosalind Russell, Paulette Goddard, and Joan Fontaine

I think I saw just about every one of these on TCM too!!!

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