These Great Movies Won No Hollywood Awards: A Film-Lover's Guide to the Best of the Rest
A most interesting book, These Great Movies Won No Hollywood Awards details 142 marvelous films that thrilled audiences and critics, with a special supplement on director Henry Hathaway and his movies. JHR was the first critic to make people aware of Hathaway's importance. At first, only the French critics agreed with John, but now Hathaway is recognized as one of the great masters of the cinema. More
An interesting and unusual title for a book, "These Great Movies Won No Hollywood Awards" is nonetheless a great new entry in the John Howard Reid series. 142 movies are covered in this volume, with the special added attraction of two articles about director Henry Hathaway and his movies. John was the first critic to make people aware of Hathaway's importance. At first, only the French critics agreed with John, but eventually reviewers worldwide came to the party. Hathaway is now recognized as one of the great masters of the cinema. As for the films reviewed in this volume, they include Affair in Trinidad, Beau James, Betty in Blunderland, Bitter Rice, The Blue Veil, The Bohemian Girl, The Browning Version, Carrie, Dancing Lady, Destry, Detective Story, Footlight Parade, Mr Denning Drives North, My Wild Irish Rose, On Moonlight Bay, Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, Phone Call from a Stranger, The Prisoner of Zenda, Queen Christina, She Done Him Wrong, De Mille's first version of The Ten Commandments, Wee Willie Winkie, Woman of Affairs, A Yank at Oxford, You Can't Cheat an Honest Man and scores of others. Why are these films so important? "Affair in Trinidad" was Rita Hayworth's big comeback film after a four-year absence from the screen. Although it was a huge boxoffice success, the movie was panned by the critics. As Hayworth, who produced the movie herself, said later, "It wasn't really a movie. It was a culmination of compromises made by everyone from the gateman at Columbia right up to Harry Cohn himself." At least Rita had a typical role and didn't disappoint her fans. Bob Hope, however, lost a great deal of his own money on his production, "Beau James", in which he cast himself in a straight part, rather than a comedy role. In Reid's opinion, Hope's effort was "one of his best performances ever!" But most picture-goers avoided the movie. Fortunately, few people would disagree with Reid's next inclusion, "Betty in Blunderland" which is widely regarded as the best Betty Boop of all time! Next up is "Bitter Rice", a sensational international success which made Silvana Mangano and Vittorio Gassman household words. M-G-M even offered both stars Hollywood contracts. Gassman accepted and was soon cast opposite Elizabeth Taylor. Another super-popular movie, "The Blue Veil", earned a Golden Globe award for Jane Wyman. Less fortunate and far less publicized was Thelma Todd, whose last role in "The Bohemian Girl" was heavily butchered by the studio. She was reduced to 9th billing in the hope that no-one would notice her. True, she has a song, but it's dubbed! In all, a fascinating book! Either overlooked or outvoted, here is a survey of famous movies that failed to shine in the bright lights of Hollywood awards: Despite their enormous appeal to general moviegoers, both Errol Flynn's "Four's a Crowd" and "Footsteps in the Dark" failed to ignite a single spark among award committees. Admittedly, these are not Flynn's most well-remembered roles, which makes it harder to understand why director William Wyler's acclaimed "Detective Story" (it figured on the Ten Best lists of every critic in the country) also won no Hollywood awards at all. Nor did "Footlight Parade", although James Cagney's bravura performance was one of the factors that made this Busby Berkeley musical even more popular when first released (number 8 at U.S. ticket windows) than it is today. Critical acclaim and contemporary popularity also failed to help Fritz Lang's "Metropolis". Or "On Moonlight Bay" (such a huge success for Doris Day, it inspired a sequel), "Poor Little Rich Girl" (boxoffice giant Shirley Temple joined by Alice Faye and Jack Haley), "Queen Christina" (the legendary Garbo's best film), "Rhythm on the Range" (only western outing for Bing Crosby in his salad days), "Rhythm on the River" (Crosby again), "She Done Him Wrong" (Mae West's smash hit with both hat-tossing critics and adoring public), "Storm Warning" (Doris Day in her first dramatic role).
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