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30th Academy Awards - 1958
Bridge Over the River Kwai
30th Academy Awards
What a year! Each of the thirty years of Academy Awards has offered a stellar selection of films and 1958 is no exception. Is there anyone out there who hasn't whistled, at least once, the theme from "The Bridge Over the River Kwai"? What about "April Love"? Surely a tune we Baby Boomers are more than familiar with. Then there's Tammy? Can't you just hear "Tammy's in love" running through your brain?
It wasn't just the music though, the movies are still being played and appreciated by audiences the world over. This was the year Samuel Goldwyn won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and presenters ranged from June Allyson to Paul Newman.
The Awards were again held at the RKO Pantages Theatre, in Hollywood, California and were hosted by Bob Hope along with Rosalind Russell David Niven James Stewart Jack Lemmon Donald Duck (voice of Clarence Nash , by premade animation). What a night that must've been.
Let's take a look at some of the splendid movies of 1957. (Awards are for movies released in the prior year.)
Bridge Over the River Kwai
What an undertaking this movie was. A British-American film based on a French novel! Not a true story but it did rely on the building of the Burma Railway for its factual basis. The movie was filmed in Celyon, which is now known as Sri Lanka. Wikipedia says it is considered one of the greatest movies of all time. It seems war movies, when well done, climb the ladder of success and stay at the top.
Set in WWII this is about a prisoner of war camp set up by the Japanese in Burma. History, and other movies, tell us the Japanese liked to make use of their prisoners. In this camp the prisoners are forced to work on the construction of a railway bridge over the River Kwai. Tension arises between the Japanese Commandant, played by Seusse Hayakawa, and the senior British Officer, Lt. Colonel Nicholson played by Alec Guinness. Colonel Nicholson reminds Colonel Saito that officers do not perform manual labor per the Geneva Convention. Naturally, Colonel Saito has no regard for this provision.
The soldiers decide to sabotage the work they are doing while Saito realizes he needs cooperation. If he does not get the bridge built, by Japanese honor, he will be forced to commit honorable suicide. He decides to release the officers from work. When Nicholson sees the shoddy work the men have been performing he is abhorred. He orders a proper bridge to be designed and built.
If you've ever read any of my Academy Award or movie series you know I don't give away the farm. I want you to watch the movie and enjoy the splendid performances by Hayakawa, Guinness, Peter Williams, William Holden and the rest of the wonderful cast.
This movie won seven Academy Awards:
- Best Picture
- Best Director
- Best Actor
- Best Writing
- Best Music
- Best Film Editing
- Best Cinematography.
It was also nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. If you haven't seen this movie, now's the time.
Bridge Over the River Kwai Theme
Academy Award Nominations
Bridge on the River Kwai
Alec Guiness - Bridge Over River Kwai
Joanne Woodward - Three Faces of Eve
Marlon Brando - Sayonara
Deborah Kerr - Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison
Anthony Franciosa - Hatful of Rain
Anna Magnani - Wild is the Wind
Witness for the Prosecution
Charles Laughton - Witness for the Prosectuion
Elizabeth Taylor - Raintree Country
Twelve Angry Men
Anthony Quinn - Wild is the Wind
Lana Turner - Peyton Place
The Three Faces of Eve
Movies based on true stories always add extra interest. This movie was based on the life of Chris Costner Sizemore, also known as Eve White. She suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorde or as most layman would know it, multiple personality disorder. Though this was the first movie to deal with this disorder it was certainly not the last. You may be familiar with some of the others;
- Raising Cain
- Fight Club
- Me, Myself and Irene
- Secret Widow
To name a few. But, let's get back to "The Three Faces of Eve".
Eve is a wife and mother who suffers from terrible headaches and blackouts. When she finally goes to visit a psychiatrist, a different personality emerges while she is talking to him. From here the movie shows the psychiatrist, Dr. Luther, played by Lee J. Cobb trying to help Eve while dealing with her other personalities. Eve is played by Joanne Woodward who won an Academy Award for Best Actress for this part.
Of course the main twist is none of Eve's three separate personalities are aware of the other. Her "other two" personalities differ greatly from the quiet and retiring Eve.
Movies.tvguide.com writes about this movie, " It's an interesting psychological tale that is not without humor, much of which is supplied by the witty narration of Alistair Cooke." Mentalhealthamerica.net writes, "Despite being tied to its time, the movie handles the illness with intelligence and sympathy."
Certainly different from most Hollywood fare this is a film worth watching.
The Three Faces of Eve
Lana Turner in Peyton Place
Would you watch Peyton Place, if you haven't seen it already?
While not an Academy Award winner this movie was nominated for nine Academy Awards and was the second highest grossing film of 1958. Why would I choose this movie? Let's take a look...what town doesn't have it's secrets? What town doesn't have it's scandals? Well, Peyton Place does and though it is a bit like a soap opera it was a hit movie.
Sex, secrets, and scandals, all in the little town of Peyton Place. Who's the town drunk, the one who commits rape? Who was illegitimate? Who's swimming naked in the lake? Do you get the gist of this small town and it's citizens? "Harper Valley PTA" in the movies.
Stars like Lana Turner, Hope Lang, Lloyd Nolan, Arthur Kennedy, and Russ Tamblyn add a bit of glamour to the myriad of plots woven into this movie. Do you get the feeling I'm not telling you enough? Well I will tell you the murder trial at the end of the movie is a tell all trial. All the deep dark secrets of this little New Hampshire town are revealed.
This film caused quite a stir when it was released, take a look and see what you think, you might be surprised.
Peyton Place Trailer
More Movies of 1957
Don't limit yourself to the Academy Awards movies. There are many other really good movies from 1957 that the Academy chose not to select or were just outnumbered. Movies like;
- Paths of Glory
- 3:10 to Yuma
- An Affair to Remember
- Funny Face
- Old Yeller
- A Farewell to Arms
- Gunfight at the OK Corral
I think you get the idea. I hope you've enjoyed this hub but more so I hope you enjoy these movies. Please leave a comment and let us know what your favorite movie is for 1957.
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