1942 in Review

Other Notable Films from 1942

Bambi: Not an initial financial or critical success probably because people weren’t expecting such a dramatic movie from Disney, today it’s considered one of the studio’s greatest achievements with one of the most famous scenes in cinema history.

Road to Morocco: Probably the most famous of the Bob Hope/Bing Crosby/Dorothy Lamour Road to… movies, and is on the AFI 100 Laughs list at #78.

Cat People: This Jacques Tourneur/Val Lewton collaboration was considered merely another horror movie in its time, but its stature as an understated, tension-based horror film has grown considerably in the succeeding years to the point that it’s one of the few horror movies on the National Film Registry

Woman of the Year: Named to the AFI 100 Laughs and 100 Passions lists and stars Tracy & Hepburn and won Best Original Screenplay Oscar; that it was not nominated for Best Picture may seem strange, especially considering there were 10 nominees. However, up until 1957, Best Story and Best Original Screenplay were two separate categories, so it happened more often than you would think up until the mid 1970’s. Since 1973, only Melvin and Howard (1980), Thelma & Louise (1991), Talk to Her (2002), and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2005) have had that happen. As for Adapted Screenplay, since 1929 only The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Sling Blade (1996), and Gods and Monsters (1998) have been winners without a BP nomination.

To Be or Not to Be: One of Ernst Lubitsch’s last great movies and it has Robert Stack from Unsolved Mysteries and Airplane! On the AFI 100 Laughs list and the National Film Registry.

1942 in Review

Random Harvest: B+

The Pied Piper: B+

The Magnificent Ambersons: B+

Mrs. Miniver: B (Won Best Picture)

Kings Row: B

Yankee Doodle Dandy: B-

Talk of the Town: C+

49th Parallel: C-

Pride of the Yankees: D+

Wake Island: D+

1942 is a step down from the years that preceded it, mainly because there weren’t any real standout movies and the Best Picture winner was just good instead of anything great. It’s hard to say exactly when we’ll get another really great slate of BP nominees again for a whole year vs. just a handful of really great movies sprinkled in with a bunch of good to mediocre stuff on an annual basis.

1943 is our last 10-nominee year until 2009 which makes my job much, much easier. 1943 includes: one of the most famous films ever made; the last Ernst Lubitsch BP nominee; the last Greer Garson BP nominee; films starring legends Bette Davis and Henry Fonda; Ingrid Bergman and Gary Cooper in a Technicolor epic; Noel Coward Starring in, Writing and Directing a movie; a film that had 12 nominations and the most wins but didn’t get Best Picture and has mostly been forgotten; and The More the Merrier.


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