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Added by madstalk on 6 Aug 2011 08:56
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Ranking the Best Picture Winners 1920s-1930s

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People who added this item 75 Average listal rating (37 ratings) 5.5 IMDB Rating 6
It starts off with a bang but the rest of the film is one giant racist disappointment. It's a long uninteresting slog.
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People who added this item 59 Average listal rating (20 ratings) 5.6 IMDB Rating 6
I'm guessing this is the ORIGINAL dour English drama. The director Frank Lloyd was born in Scotland - maybe this drag of a film was his intended revenge against those imperialist English. Then it somehow won Best Picture. If you want to see the definition of telegraphing your story watch the scene of a young, madly in love couple salivating over their future together on a giant luxury boat revealed as the Titanic. What do you think their survival chances are?
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People who added this item 84 Average listal rating (44 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 6.2
When one thinks of late 20s in cinematic terms images of large cadres of dancers doing their thing should pop into your head. The Broadway Melody is an embodiment of that malaise.
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People who added this item 102 Average listal rating (52 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 6.8
It starts off pretty well and Ziegfeld remains a mostly fascinating character throughout. The only problem is that the film gets really sidetracked with pointless dance revue scenes and, by the end, feels really empty.
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This is a truly bizarre Best Picture winner. It is unlike anything that won before or since. I guess that makes it unique but I didn't really warm to the hillbilly hoe-down hell depicted here - even if it is the backdrop for a Rome & Julietesque love story. At least the dance scenes in the other Best Picture winners were somewhat choreographed.
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It often plays like a Eurocentric imperialist wet dream but there's some solid adventuring going on here. I would have liked to see more of an examination of the flaws or lack thereof in the deposed Captain Bligh (at one point the film makes him seem like a genuinely awesome captain) but that's more tied to a desire to see Charles Laughton given more chances to actually act.
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People who added this item 182 Average listal rating (85 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.7
The only silent film winner. Much of the film is tepid romantic drama but the airborne dogfight sequences are pretty amazing even by today's standards. There's even a surprising amount of blood and rampant property destruction. Its almost like what you would get if Roland Emmerich directed a silent film.
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People who added this item 138 Average listal rating (58 ratings) 7.2 IMDB Rating 7.3
This is pretty impressive high drama mixed in with some unexpectedly tense courtroom scenes. It really starts off slow but the second half of the film absolutely delivers on the promising story foundation of a military man wrongfully imprisoned. One of the most pleasant surprises of the 30s winners.
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One of the earliest and still finest anti-war films. The camerawork here is absolutely brilliant and the film does a great job of placing you in the despair and chaos of the World War I trenches. I didn't really have much of an emotional attachment to the characters (their wide eyed naivete was really overstated) but this is close to a visual masterpiece.
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People who added this item 242 Average listal rating (136 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 7.6
When people say they don't make films like they used to they're probably talking about Grand Hotel. Featuring a cast studded with a who's who of early Hollywood stars, (I'm guessing they were all slaving under the contract system so they had to show up) including not one but TWO Barrymore's and a Garbo this is Hollywood melodrama at its finest. I'd liken its intersection filled story to Crash or Babel but without the haughty racial messages. Only messages about economic inequality here. It's filled with fine acting and a satisfying story.
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People who added this item 854 Average listal rating (514 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 8.1
It Happened One Night is funny, sweet and utterly timeless. The dialogue snaps, the characters are charming and likeable and the love conquers all story is nothing short of life affirming. If you give any movie on this list a chance it should be this one.
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I've made it my current goal to watch all the Best Picture winning films. Here's my ranking for the victors from 1927-1939

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Comments

Posted: 5 years, 1 month ago at Sep 8 19:17
An interesting series of lists. Plenty I can disagree with, but instead of pointing out which ones, I'll rank the order here:

11.I always found Capra's attempts at comedy to be annoying, and few are as obnoxious as You Can't Take It With You.

10.Cavalcade is a major weepie, and I can't watch this sort of dreck without an adrenaline shot.

9. It Happened One Night: Not as annoying as YCTIWY, but trite and has inspired a formula that plagues an entire army of really bad romance films and narratives.

8. Grand Hotel: One of the earliest star-studded films, it comes off more as being completely bland and uninteresting aside from historical significance.

7. Cimarron: I agree that this is not a particularly good film, but one can easily see the strands of something much better. It is no wonder it wouldn't be for another 59 years before anothe Western won.

6. A Broadway Melody: A relatively harmless little entertainment that was a technical accomplishment in its day. Rated it a star lower than Grand Hotel and Cimarron, but somewhat more enjoyable.

5. The Life of Emile Zola: Interesting little biopic on a man not well remembered today.

4. The Great Ziegfeld: Overlong, but fun.

3. Wings: Essentially the staple Oscar film that set the groundwork for future Oscar competitors across all future categories. A fun late silent film.

2. Mutiny on the Bounty: Not the best film of 1935, but first rate, and frankly, few years give out as many well made Best Picture nominees as 1935 anyways.

1. All Quiet on the Western Front: One of three great anti-war movies (the others being Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket), and every bit deserving of Best Picture.
Posted: 5 years, 1 month ago at Sep 9 6:36
Wow, great comments! Kind of makes me actually want to finally finish my slog through the 80s winners to see how you rank them.

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