The 18th Academy Awards Ceremony in 1946

Academy Awards and 1946

I'm hooked. Each time I write about the Academy Awards I tell myself this is the last one and then I find myself writing yet another. Each time I start a new one I am amazed at the movies of that year. Talent and care with the craft are exhibited in each and every one.

Before looking at the Awards let's take a look at 1946. There were housing shortages following the war but that didn't stop the beginning of the baby boom. Houses, when available, were selling for $5,600. The average wage was $2,500.

The dark film noir really came into it's own and took on the horrors of war and the difficulties so many faced after the war, from hard-boiled detective novels and monotone narrative to its dark visual style. Consumers were willing to spend hard earned money to go the movies making 1946 a peak year for attendance at the movies. Remember there was no television or computers to turn to. This year was still part of "the Golden Age of Hollywood".

The War is over! It ended in August of 1945. Finally Hollywood is free to return to glamour at the Awards Ceremony. The Oscar statuette was no longer made of plaster, now they were gilded bronze. The ceremony was again held at Grauman's Chinese and Jimmy Stewart and Bob Hope were co-hosts. To celebrate there were searchlights in the sky welcoming the guests. Broadcast on local radio and worldwide by WABC, a night to hear who won!

So without further ado let us see who won the Oscars in 1946 for movies that played in 1945 and rest assured there are some great movies here.

Ray Milland in Lost Weekend

Source

Lost Weekend

During the forties film noir was popular with both producers and audiences as proven by this film. "Lost Weekend" won not only Best Picture but Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay. Based on a novel this movie was nominated for seven awards and won four.

The story of an alcoholic writer and his machinations to keep drinking. The movie begins with his brother and girlfriend who think he's been on the wagon for ten days so leave him alone to go see a concert. The writer's name is Don and he is played expertly by Ray Milland. After his brother and girlfriend leave, Don looks for hidden booze. Not finding any he cons the cleaning lady out of money and goes to a bar and gets drunk. Through cancelled appointments and trying to hide his alcoholism he believes he is two different people; "Don the writer" and "Don the drunk". Things get so bad he tries to pawn his typewriter, steals a woman's purse and winds up in a hospital detox.

Through all of this his girlfriend, Helen, played by Jane Wymann, believes in him. Ray Milland plays a very convincing alcoholic; he is cunning, deceitful, remorseful, and desperate. We follow him as he sinks deeper and deeper into his "lost weekend". Dark and foreboding but certainly as an Academy Award winner a film worth watching.

The Lost Weekend

Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce

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Mildred Pierce

"Mildred Pierce" was nominated for six Academy Awards and though it only won one, Best Actress for Joan Crawford's performance, this film has become one of the true classics. Yet another film noir, with the narrative by Mildred Pierce herself. A tortured mother with a spoiled and ungrateful daughter.

The film opens with Mildred's second husband being shot and saying her name. Her first husband confesses to the crime and then Mildred tells her story. Mildred had two daughters and when she divorced her first husband for cheating, she had custody of them. Right from the beginning the youngest daughter, Vida, is spoiled and demanding and Mildred is determined to give her what she wants. Vida is embarrassed by her mother's job as a waitress. As the film proceeds, Mildred's older daughter gets pneumonia and dies. Mildred then buys a restaurant to help her deal with her grief.

Her restaurant business is so successful it turns into several restaurants in a chain. Still not satisfied with her mother's demeaning position in life, Vida continues to want more and more. Mildred marries a Monte Beragon who was formerly wealthy but still has position, she doesn't love him but thinks it will help Vida think better of her. Monte, meanwhile, doesn't work and has no ambitions. If anything Monte drags the successful Mildred down.

As the movie progresses we find that Vida wants Mildred's husband. She doesn't think Mildred is good enough for him and she can give him more. Who killed Monte? Was it really Mildred's first husband? Was it Mildred? You really don't think I'm going to tell you do you?

It is said this film is responsible for Joan Crawford's stardom. Though she didn't attend the Academy Awards, claiming she had pneumonia, others claimed she was afraid she wouldn't win. Either way, she did win and now you have to watch this great film to see who really murdered Monte!

Recipient
Award
Movie
James Dunn
Best Supporting Actor
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Anne Revere
Best Supporting Actress
National Velvet
Richard Schweizer
Best Original Screenplay
Marie-Louise
Charles G. Booth
Best Story
The House on 92nd Street
Miklos Rosza
Best Dramatic or Comedy Score
Spellbound
Georgie Stoll
Best Musical Score
Anchors Aweigh
Dunn and RKO
Best Sound Recording
The Bells of St. Mary's
Harry Stradling
Best Cinematography, Black and White
The Picture of Dorian Grey
Leon Shamroy
Best Cinematography, Color
Leave Her to Heaven
Robert J. Kern
Best Film Editing
National Velvet

A Young Mickey Rooney

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National Velvet

This film won two Academy Awards as noted in the table above. I just had to write about! Who doesn't love a movie with Elizabeth Taylor, especially a young Elizabeth Taylor? Her very first starring role though her fifth film at eleven years old, oh yes, she played a twelve year old! Of course Taylor plays Velvet and Mickey Rooney plays a jockey named Mi Taylor.

Velvet wins her horse Pirate, calls him Pie and decides to enter him in what else? The Grand National. The story of the young girl's determination as well as the mysterious Mi's background and true parentage. There is actually more accent on Mi than Velvet, but Elizabeth steals every scene she's in.

A feel good film you'll have to watch to find out the results of the race which are very surprising.

Ingrid Bergman as Sister Mary Benjamin

Source

Other 1946 Nominees

The Bells of St. Mary - After the previous year's success with "Going My Way" this film was an attempt to cash in on success, and a very successful attempt. Bing Crosby again plays Father O'Malley, but this time his rivalry is with a lovely nun played by Ingrid Bergman. They're both trying to keep the local Catholic school from being closed down. Drama is added when Sr. Benjamin becomes ill. The inclusion of a touching Christmas scene has made this a Christmas Classic.

Of course there are problems trying to secure a new building, problems with students, and disagreements between Father O'Malley and Sister Benjamin. Religious or no, this is a heartwarming story.

Spellbound - What's an Academy Award Ceremony without a thriller? Especially a psychological mystery thriller directed by Alfred Hitchock. Need I say more? With Ingrid Bergman as Dr. Constance Peterson and Gregory Peck as Dr. Anthony Edwardes/John Ballantyne, you know you're in for a treat. What is strange about Dr. Edwardes? Is the real Dr. Edwardes dead or alive? Who keeps turning the wheel that turns out to be a revolver? You won't want to miss this one.

Anchors Aweigh - Time for a musical comedy? This one's a classic for sure, starring Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly, you know this one's going to be good. Two sailors with a four day leave in Hollywood, watch it and see what you think.

The Picture of Dorian Grey - From film noir, to mystery thriller, to musical comedy, what's next? How about a horror thriller? Hurd Hatfield as Dorian Grey and George Sanders as Sir Henry Wotton. A good looking young man's decline as he wishes his picture could age instead of him.

So many more, like "The Story of G.I. Joe", "The Keys to the Kingdom", "Dillinger", "Objective, Burma", "A Song to Remember", and more still. Can you pick a favorite? How many have you seen? More importantly how many do you want to see?

I hope you've enjoyed yet another journey to the Academy Awards and the wonderful pictures they've helped to make classics. Please leave your comments or share your stories.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

Spellbound

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Comments 28 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I was never taught by a nun that looked like Ingrid Bergman. Just sayin'

If I had I might have intentionally flunked a couple grades.

This better not be the last of this series. I love this series!!!!! Keep them coming my friend.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

These hubs are so exciting. Begging you not to quit.

Joan Crawford is always great whenever I saw her movies.


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

Another great one and such a fun series. I need to watch Mildred Pierce...that daughter looks like the child from hell! Looking forward to the next one.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Wonderful Mary! We just recently watched Anchors Aweigh, a great old movie. I vaguely remember seeing Lost Weekend, but did not see Mildred Pierce. I don't recall seeing Spellbound, would like to do so.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Now I am confused. I recalled that one of my all time favorites won a Oscars in 1946, seven in fact, and read in one place that Frederic March won Best Actor, and in another that Ray Milland won.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Ray Milland was outstanding as the drunk in Lost Weekend, and Joan Crawford was murderously menacing in Mildred Pierce. Loved both those movies. And Anchors Aweigh with Gene Kelly and Sinatra was one of my favorite musicals with lots of singing and dancing.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Mary, they really do not make movies like they used to, and it seems that acting is no longer for its pure craft.....one is more a looker and an action star. Thanks for sharing!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this. The Bells of St. Mary's... I don't know how many countless times we watched that.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Bill, my aunt (a nun) actually had a friend who was as pretty as Ingrid Bergman! Well, I was considering doing one or two more so I guess I will.

WND, I think I love these as much as everyone else so there will be more.

Sheri, you are so right. Every time I see that movie I want to strangle her!

Actually xstatic Frederic March won in 1947 for the movie in 1946, that's where the confusion comes in. Spellbound was good, throughout you weren't really sure what was happening.

drbj you've described the movies perfectly.

Definitely Michelle. Acting is no longer the criteria for a good movie.

Oh Mhatter, me too! I love it, schmaltz and all.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Very interesting insight to the old movies.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you DDE.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Wow another great hub Mary;keep them coming!!Voted up.

Eddy.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

How nice to open this hub and see a photo of my first dream crush from afar…Gregory Peck. {Sigh.} I don’t think anyone has or will usurp what this legend brought to the screen. Can you imagine anyone else playing Atticus Finch? I haven’t seen ‘Spellbound,’ but will give this film a look whenever it becomes available…and it includes Bergman…perfect.

I’m so pleased you are continuing with this series. I enjoy how you weave the social impact of the times with the nominated films and Oscar festivities. Imagine a house selling for $5,600.

“Mildred Piece” was filmed after Crawford was let go from MGM – wasn’t it? Way to go, Joan.

Excellent hub, Mary.


kohuether profile image

kohuether 3 years ago from New Hampshire

Love this! It might be fun to see some of those movies. I didn't even realize A Tree Grows in Brooklyn WAS a movie. I loved that novel.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Eddy, I can guarantee at least two more.

Oh, Genna, I'm so glad I picked your favorite! Yes, it was filmed after she was let go after 18 years with MGM. It was filmed by Warner Brothers. Glad you enjoy my added trivia.

Katherine, we are always learning ;)


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

I find a vicarious thrill watching old movies. I'm fascinated with Hitchcock movies.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Yes Vinaya, Hitchock had a way of keeping us spellbound no matter which of his movies we were watching!


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

We are hooked also Mary so no turning back now. This is really a great idea that you have going here so keep them coming. great job. Voted up, sharing, etc...


PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

Hi,

My mother loved the old movies in black and white and she would have enjoyed your hub very much.

Thanks for sharing this with us it was great.

Bobbi Purvis


pramodgokhale profile image

pramodgokhale 3 years ago from Pune( India)

1946 just after the end of world war , again visiting Oscar and films and starring like Gregoire Peck, Ingrid Bergman , horror film pioneer Alfred Hitchcock . Really it was a cream. Still i see Hollywood films in B & W

My fair lady, It happened one night, Roman Holiday. Gregoire Peck is my favorite and his film Mackennas Gold DVD is in my collection.

You presented this material in concise , i appreciate.

thank you for recollections.

pramod gokhale


MG Singh profile image

MG Singh 3 years ago from Singapore

Old is gold. Wonderful post


iguidenetwork profile image

iguidenetwork 3 years ago from Austin, TX

I've loved The Lost Weekend, and I've watched that many times and still loving it! I'll try to find more of the classic films. Thanks for sharing. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

bdegiulio I don't think I can turn back...I'm having too much fun ;) I'll keep 'em coming as long as people like you keep reading. I really appreciate your being always being here!

You are most welcome Bobbi and thank YOU for reading and sharing.

Pramod, you've mentioned some great films as well. I am glad you enjoyed and hope you will read others here too.

"Old is gold" nicely put MG Singh

iguidenetwork, certainly finding a favorite classic helps lead to more. I hope you find more to watch and enjoy. You are welcome.


mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

Movie goers now a days just don't know what a GOOD movie is. Everyone is so used to watching this trash they call movies, now!

I've seen everyone of these movies. Ingrid B. was always a favorite of mine, so was Joan Crawford.

Voted UP and shared.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 3 years ago from United States

A quite interesting review and reminders of some of the greats. Especially meaningful, due to the year that I was born. whonu


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Well Mary I think you can tell I agree ;) Ingrid Bergman was such a lady and in spite of appearing so delicate, a wonderful, versatile actress.

Ah, whonu, you have me by one year!


Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Mary,

Vintage classic movies this series of yours which I adore! Great to see a few of my favorite Oscar winners here in your mentioned plus a few movies like National Velvet, who doesn't enjoy Liz?? I love Black & White movies and my all time favorite actress is Bette Davis, not a classical beauty but what an actress. Thanks Mary for another in your powerful series and to reiterate Bill, don't stop this series! Votes and Shared on!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you Suzie. I'm so glad you're enjoying my series. I must admit it is one of my passions and Bette Davis was a versatile, talented actress! Thanks for the votes and share.

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