The 22nd Academy Awards in 1950
Academy Awards Background Information
As in all years past, the Academy Awards of 1950 were for the films released the year before, in this case 1949. What made the 22nd Academy Awards unique was this was the last year that all five categories were in black and white. This Awards Ceremony was held at the RKO Pantage Theatre, located at Hollywood and Vine, in March of 1950. The Academy Awards Ceremonies were held at the Pantage from 1949 through 1959.
It might be interesting to note that movies up to this point were still running under two hours. Some were only one hour and thirty minutes long.
Paul Douglas, a well known actor, was host to the 1950 Awards. The Awards were narrated by Eve Arden, Ronald Reagan, and Walter Winchell. Now that's an impressive line up!
A special award was given by Ginger Rogers to her long time dance partner, Fred Astaire “…for his unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures.” I don't think anyone can argue with that. Astaire's dancing was graceful yet full of life and he made it look so easy.
Louisiana Governor Huey Long
Best Motion Picture - All The King's Men
This is the story of Willie Stark. After teaching himself law, Willie Stark decides to go into politics. His innocence and fight for the people seems to disappear as he becomes a corrupt politician. There are several relationships highlighted in this story including Stark's relationship with his journalist friend, who loses faith in Stark along the way, Stark's relationship with his journalist's friend's girlfriend, Stark's relationship with his secretary, and others.
Even as Stark becomes corrupt, his journalist friend, Jack Burden sticks by him. Stark's secretary, Anne, is in love with him and wants Stark to leave his wife but Stark is too busy having quick affairs with other women. Oh, there's more, Stark's son is injured in an automobile accident and is saved by his assistant's brother, a surgeon, and Stark's altercation with Judge Stanton (Anne's uncle). When Stark tries to make the Judge look bad, the Judge commits suicide.
Definitely not a sunny day picture but it also won Best Actor for Broderick Crawford and Best Supporting Actress for Mercedes McCambridge. It had four other nominations. Lastly, it was based on the life of deceased Louisiana Governor Huey Long. Certainly a film to check out for it's acting quality.
Willie Stark's Speech
A Letter to Three Wives
Best Screenplay and Best Director Awards went to this movie about a letter sent to three wives from a woman, Addie Ross, telling them she has run off with one of their husbands, but not telling them which one. Any movie fan knows what comes next, flashbacks looking at all three marriages.
The first wife, Debbie, played by Jeanne Crain, was a Navy WAVE when she met her socialite husband. She's always been insecure in his social circle. Especially so when she finds out everyone thought Brad, her husband, would marry Addie, beautiful and sophisticated, but also the town flirt.
Next is Rita, played by Ann Southern, who writes for radio soap operas. Her husband is a schoolteacher and has trouble dealing with her making more money than he does. Last is Lora Mae Hollingsway, played by Linda Darnell. Lora Mae grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and married her older employer, Porter. Theirs is a rocky start as Porter says he doesn't want to get married but he loves her and finally proposes.
Though Addie shows up throughout the movie taunting and making each bride nervous and insecure, she is only shown once in the film, from behind. While there is some humor in this movie it is certainly not a comedy but more of a romantic drama. It is a movie that makes three women look at their lives and marriages, honestly. In it's way it is a gripping movie leading you on so that you want to know more and want to know which husband left with Addie.
Twelve O'Clock High
1949 Nominees That Didn't Win
- Sands of Iwo Jima
- Come to the Stable
- Jolson Sings Again
- The Stratton Story
- White Heat
- It Happens Every Spring
- On the Town
- Madame Bovary
- Little Women
- The Barkleys of Broadway
Other 1949 Award Winners
The Heiress - This film won a Best Actress Award for Olivia de Haviland. A sad and twisted love story. A plain, shy, rich woman, falls in love with a handsome young man and so begins the twists in this plot. Catherine is madly in love with Morris, played by Montgomery Clift, and her unhinged father, played by Ralph Richardson, tries to convince her that Morris is a fortune hunter. Catherine will not believe him. Her father says he will disinherit her if she marries Morris. Just before they plan to elope she tells Morris that her father is going to disinherit her but she doesn't care.
The night of their elopement comes but Morris does not. As years pass her father dies leaving her all his money. Morris returns eyeing the money again. I will leave the film to you without ruining the ending.
Twelve O'Clock High - This movie won Best Supporting Actor for Dean Jagger. Another flashback film taking us back to 1942 and a fictional RAF base. Daylight bombing raids over Germany, an incompetent Commander, a new General, four missions in four days, I think you get the picture. The ravages of War on men in combat and how a new General realizes the men and their lives are important to him.
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon - This movie won Best Cinematography. A war movie of a different type, the U.S. Cavalry and the Cheyenne and Arapaho together with the possibility of a new Indian War after Custer's Last Stand. Starring John Wayne and Victor McLaglen. Need I say more? Definitely one to see if you are a John Wayne fan as it was one of his favorite roles.
Mighty Joe Young - This movie won Best Visual Effects. I have to admit when I was a kid this was one of my favorite movies. Who couldn't love an over-sized gorilla that was a girl's pet? Of course there's a love story and all the problems faced when Joe is brought back to America away from his home in Africa. His rampage when tormented but its followed by him saving an orphaned girl from a burning building.
There are lots of films here to keep you watching, from the winners, to the nominees to the losers. Losers of Academy Awards perhaps but not losers for movie goers.
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