Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 4, 2014 briefs

Tonight's prime time lineup on TCM looks at the movies nominated for Best Director in 1932-33. If you look at lists of Oscar winners in any standard reference source, you'll note that the first couple of years through 1932-33 are listed this way. A factoid that I'm 98% certain I gleaned from watching Robert Osborne on TCM somewhere along the way is that back then, the studios put out their movies in "seasons" that are roughly analogous to TV seasons today or a season on Broadway. The season crossed the calendar year boundary, so it apparetnly would have been logical for the Academy to award the statuettes based on the best films of the season rather than a calendar year. I'd guess it was 1934 that got the year and a half or so of movies crammed into one year of awards.

The other thing you'll notice is that tonight's prime time lineup only has three movies from 1933. That's because through 1934, there were only three nominees in some of the categories like directing and acting. Five nominees wouldn't happen until 1935, which I'd guess had something to do with the Academy's failure to nominate Bete Davis for Of Human Bondage and the write-in campaign for Davis. Apparently, the Acadmey also publicized who finished second and third in those years, at least from the information in the Academy's own awards database.

The half of the day that's still the Fox Movie Channel surprisingly still hasn't been given over to FX Movies, a change I've expected for at least a year and a half. Tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM is another airing of Hangover Square. They still don't have commercials, either, as I was flipping back and forth on Sunday between the lackluster Freckles and one of the sports channels, and Freckles was never interrupted for commercials. It was badly panned-and-scanned, however.

Late last week I was in a discussion someplace else about musicals and how Hollywood by the 60s was mostly bringing Broadway musicals to the big screen rather than having original musicals of its own. I was trying ot find the earliest such example, since this is a practice that I knew went back to the early days of the sound era in Hollywood. (It stands to reason that there were no musicals before the introduction of sound.) In doing a bit of research to try to find out whether 1929's Tanned Legs was originally a Broadway show, I found this article from October 1932 in Hobart Australia (the capital of Tasmania, the island just south of Australia proper) -- it took a good couple of years for some movies to make their way to Australia. Tanned Legs was apparently playing on a double bill at one of Hobart's picture palaces with RKO's Lovin' the Ladies. When I blogged about Lovin' the Ladies, I mentioned there was stuff worth seeing just for the dated kicks; I'd say the same thing about that vintage Australian newspaper.

No comments: