Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1939

I may have mentioned once before that in this year's 31 Days of Oscar, TCM is showing Best Picture nominees every evening, and showcasing an actual Best Picture winner at 10:00 PM ET. This weekend, TCM is going one step further, by showing all ten of the Best Picture nominees from 1939 back-to-back, starting with Dark Victory at 8:15 AM this morning. It's mildly surprising for a few reasons. First, The Wizard of Oz is one of the nominees, getting the 8:00 PM time slot. TCM shouldn't have too much difficulty getting the movie, but it seems as though The Wizard of Oz normally only airs around the Fourth of July holiday. Why that should be a tradition, I don't know. But it doesn't seem to show up all that often the rest of the year. Second is that Gone With the Wind gets the 10:00 PM slot. It seems that almost every time Gone With the Wind airs, it gets the 8:00 PM slot, since it's a four-hour movie.

Third, I don't think Fox had any of the Best Picture nominees. That's mildly surprising; you might think that something like The Story of Alexander Graham Bell or Drums Along the Mohawk might be better than, say, Love Affair. The lack of a Paramount movie might be a bit more surprising, but looking through the list of 1939 movies, I'm more surprised at how few movies Paramount released in 1939. Even Hal Roach Studios got a Best Picture nominee with Of Mice and Men.

Less surprising is that the Best Picture nominees of 1939 will probably be remembered long after most of the Best Picture nominees of the past few years.

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