Author Archives: Jessie

About Jessie

I work in the Chester County Library System in Pennsylvania.

Academy Award Omissions

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is instrumental in restoring and archiving films, but many times its voting members have missed the boat on nominating or awarding films that have become classics and/or were cutting edge.  Also, many a director and performer now viewed as icons received little recognition via wins or nominations.  Emanuel Levy, a chronicler of the Academy, wrote that In Hollywood’s heyday, “The major studios always had the resources and facilities to carry out sophisticated and effective campaigns on behalf of their movies…Not to be forgotten is that the Academy began its existence as a guild-busting company union manipulated by the biggest studio, MGM.”  Furthermore, “For two decades, the Academy was controlled by the big studios, with nominations dominated by a few powerful cliques within the studios.”

Examples of oversights and omissions through the years:

Major stars who never won a Best Actress or Actor Award:  Deborah Kerr (6 nominations—and should have had a 7th for The Innocents), Cary Grant (2 nominations; rumor has it his freelance success perturbed the studios), Peter O’Toole (8 nominations), Richard Burton (7 nominations), Barbara Stanwyck (4 nominations), Rosalind Russell (4 nominations), Kirk Douglas (3 nominations).  To absolve the Academy of some blame it should be remembered that in the past competition was incredibly stiff.  How else can we explain Burton and O’Toole, for instance, never winning, Richard Widmark’s sole nomination coming for his first screen appearance in 1947’s Kiss of Death, and Glenn Ford never being nominated.

Fredric March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) and Wallace Beery (The Champ) tied for Best Actor of 1932.  Because they were within 3 votes of each other, the tie was “legal.”  Nevertheless, rumor persists that MGM, which produced The Champ, used its leverage to make this category a tie.

King Kong (1933) received no nominations.  (Special Effects wasn’t yet a category.)citizen kane

Alfred Hitchcock received 5 Best Director nominations but never won.  Vertigo (1958), now deemed one of the all-time greatest American films, sometimes given pride of place, was not nominated.

Citizen Kane (1941) did not win Best Picture.  How Green Was My Valley did.  Levy  observed, “There is no doubt that Citizen Kanes cinematic merits were not sufficiently recognized at the time,…its innovations were revolutionary, well ahead of their time.”

James Stewart didn’t win for his tour-de-force performance in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), but the following year took home the statuette for The Philadelphia Story (1940).  It seems as if Academy voters were atoning for an oversight.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s majestic score for Kings Row (1942) was not nominated even though there were 18 nominations in that category!

John Wayne was not nominated for Red River (1948) or The Searchers (1956).  Nor were those classic westerns nominated.

James Cagney did not receive a nomination for his mesmerizing mom-fixated psychopathic bank robber in White Heat (1949).singing-in-the-rain

Singin’ in the Rain (1952) did not win Best Picture, probably because An American in Paris, another MGM musical, had done so in 1951.  Singin’ is now generally regarded as the greatest Hollywood musical.

Robert Mitchum was not nominated for his super-disturbing, sociopathic preacher man Harry Powell in The Night of the Hunter (1955).  Academy Award-winning actor Charles Laughton directed the movie but it was not a success and he never took the director’s seat again.

Elizabeth Taylor did not win Best Actress for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958).  That honor went to Susan Hayward for I Want To Live!  Two years later Taylor won for Butterfield 8, a distinctly lesser film than Cat.  It is assumed that Taylor’s health problems and the death of husband Mike Todd had something to do with this.

In perhaps the biggest oversight ever, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) was not nominated for Best Picture, and the Academy took heat for the omission.  Variety extracted from The Portland Oregonian its critic’s complaint that the awards “are blatantly commercial awards given to con yokels into believing that some kind of final word has been delivered on the relative quality of a movie….They defy artistic expression and reflect the waning dinosaur groans of a movie generation sinking into senility and richly deserved oblivion…2001 was obviously too new and too advanced for the rank and file.”

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) won a slew of awards but Manhunter (1986) is essentially the same story and won nothing.  Tom Noonan’s crazed Dollarhyde is as horrifying as Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter.

Martin Scorsese won Best Director and Best Film for The Departed (2006) a worthy movie but not in the same league with his Taxi Driver (1976) or Raging Bull (1980).inception

Christopher Nolan did not receive a Best Director nomination for Inception (2010), which essentially doomed that film from winning Best Picture.

It may have been Ossie Davis who declared that the awards extravaganza was overblown but who didn’t want to be a part of it?


By Kim


Fredrik, Nathalie.  Hollywood and the Academy Awards.  1970.

Holston, Kim.  Movie Roadshows:  A History and Filmography of Reserved-Seat Limited Showings, 1911-1973.  2013.

Levy, Emanuel.  Oscar Fever:  The History and Politics of the Academy Awards.  2001.

Leave a comment

Filed under Academy Awards, Movies, Oscars

New Releases

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Pitch Perfect 3
Chasing Life
Day the Dinosaurs Died
Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking

TV Shows
Archer season 8

Seasons Change by Scotty McCreery
I’ll Be Your Girl by The Decemberists
Love, Simon Original Motion Picture Soundtrack by Various
17th Avenue Revival by The Oak Ridge Boys
Stone Temple Pilots by Stone Temple Pilots
Snoop Dogg Presents Bible of Love by Snoop Dogg

The Bishop’s Pawn by Steve Berry
Every Note Played by Lisa Genova
Duel to the Death by J. A. Jance
Accidental Heroes by Danielle Steel
The Disappeared by C. J. Box
The Punishment She Deserves by Elizabeth George

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

New Releases

Justice League
Call Me by Your Name
The Disaster Artist
The Shape of Water
I, Tonya
44 Pages
Bible Hunters
Let There be Light

TV Shows
Major Crimes season 6
Knightfall season 1
Fear the Walking Dead season 3
The Good Fight season 1
The Handmaid’s Tale season 1

Musicboth sides the sky
Both Sides of the Sky by Jimi Hendrix
American Utopia by David Byrne
Tearing at the Seams by Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
White is Relic/Irrealis Mood by Of Montreal
Firepower by Judas Priest
Outsider by Three Days Grace

The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian
Caribbean Rim by Randy Wayne White
The Rising Sea by Clive Cussler & Graham Brown

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

New Releases

Thor: Ragnarok
Lady Bird
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Wonder Wheel
The Breadwinner
BPM (Beats Per Minute)
49 Pulses
47 Below
Titanic’s Tragic Twin: The Britannic Disaster
NFL Super Bowl 52 Champions
Blue Planet II
A Song for You: The Austin City Limits Story
More Art Upstairs

TV Series
Newton’s Law: season 1
Curb Your Enthusiasm season 9

Everything Was Beautiful, and Nothing Hurt by Moby
All Nerve by The Breeders
Glorious Day: Hymns of Faith by Casting Crowns
Whistle Down the Wind by Joan Baez
Black Times by Seun Kuti & Egypt 80
A Productive Cough by Titus Andronicus
World Beyond by Erasure
Superorganism by Superorganism

The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
The Third Victim by Phillip Margolin
I’ll be Your Blue Sky by Marisa De Los Santos

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

New Releases

Moviesmurder on the orient express
Murder on the Orient Express
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Let There be Light
Darkest Hour
Just Getting Started
5 Doctors
Colors of Heaven
Polluting Paradise

TV Series
MacGyver season 1
Rebecka Martinsson series 1

Musicone people one world
Surrounded by Michael W. Smith
Nation of Two by Vance Joy
Special Reserve by Big Smo
One People One World by Femi Kuti
Plunge by Fever Ray
Cry No More by Danielle Nicole
Red Lights by Milestones

The Hush by John Hart
The Deceivers by Alex Berenson
Raspberry Danish Murder by Joanne Fluke
Hello Stranger by Lisa Kleypas

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

Robert Mitchum: The Best Year of His Cinematic Life

After The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), Robert Mitchum, that most laid-back of movie stars (Baby, I Don’t Care is the title of Lee Server’s terrific biography) and soon the exemplar of “cool,” began coming into his own.  The stars aligned in 1947 and Mitchum had the best year of his film career.  Coincidentally, Pursued, Crossfire and Out of the Past were true representatives of film noir or featured noir elements.      pursued

With a limited release in March (general release in September) Pursued has been called Hollywood’s first “adult” or “psychological western.”  Traumatized as a child when from hiding he witnessed his father gunned down, Jeb Rand (Mitchum) grows to manhood in the home of Mrs. Callum (Judith Anderson), who has secrets she will not reveal despite Jeb’s frequent requests and nightmares.  Eventually, Jeb, the last surviving member of the Rand family, learns that he has a nemesis determined to see him in the ground.

Film aficionados know Crossfire as “the movie of the 3 Roberts”:  Young, Mitchum and Ryan.  This Edward Dmytryk-directed item was released in August.  Mitchum was a war veteran assisting Robert Young’s detective solve the case of a murdered Jewish-American.  Anti-Semitism was at the film’s core and it beat the similarly-themed (without the murder) Gentleman’s Agreement to theater screens.  Despite a Best Picture Academy Award nomination for Crossfire, Gentleman’s Agreement won the statuette. out of the past

Out of the Past (December) is now considered one of the half dozen greatest examples of film noir. Trying to forget his sketchy past, Jeff Bailey (Mitchum) runs a filling station in the boondocks.  Whit (Kirk Douglas), a former confederate, hires him to find his missing paramour Kathy (Jane Greer), and against his better judgment Jeff agrees to undertake the search.  Kathy was once his girl.  He knows this might go south and he’s right.  Kathy is one of noir’s seminal femme fatales.

For much of his career Mitchum was vastly underrated, but he would have key films in his future, including Angel Face (1953), The Night of the Hunter (1955), and Cape Fear (1962).  The National Board of Review awarded him its best actor award for his two 1960 films, Home from the Hill and The Sundowners.  Nevertheless, for packing a lot into one year, 1947 was the best year of Robert Mitchum’s cinematic life.


Server, Lee.  Robert Mitchum:  “Baby, I Don’t Care.”  2001.

Marill, Alvin H.  Robert Mitchum on the Screen.  1978.

By Kim

Leave a comment

Filed under Movies

New Releases

Moviesdaddy's home 2
Same Kind of Different as Me
Daddy’s Home 2
The Star
The Girl Without Hands
In Search of Israeli Cuisine
Blood of the Vikings: Last of the Vikings
Black Code
What Lies Upstream

TV Series
Midnight, Texas season one

By the Way, I Forgive You by Brandi Carlile
What a Time to be Alive by Superchunk
How to Solve Our Human Problems by Belle and Sebastian
See You Around by I’m With Her
A Million Lights by Michael W. Smith
Paranoia by Lee Dewyzedown the river unto the sea
The Strife of Love in a Dream by Miracle

Fifty Fifty by James Patterson & Candice Fox
Death of an Honest Man by M. C. Beaton
Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley
Sunburn by Laura Lippman
Educated by Tara Westover

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, TV

New Releases

Roman J. Israel, Esq.
Do it Like an Hombre
Don’t Call Me Son
Line 41
Fidel Castro
Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape

TV Shows
Broad City season four
Mystery Science Theater 3000 volume VII
The Deuce the complete first season
The Sinner season one
Doctor Who Twice Upon a Time
Animal Kingdom the complete second season

Brighter Wounds by Son Lux
Always Ascending by Franz Ferdinand
Sleepwalkers by Brian Fallon
Black Panther the Album Soundtrack by various artists

Audiobookssurprise me
Night Moves by Jonathan Kellerman
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Poison by John Lescroart
White Houses by Amy Bloom
Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

New Releases

Moviesonly the brave
Only the Brave
All I See is You
A Bad Moms Christmas
Walking Out
Tom of Finland
Who Put the Klan into Ku Klux Klan
Why Are We Fat?
Revive Us 2
The Gilded Age
The Presidents Collection
Designing Dogs
The Very Best of Victor Borge
The Arctic Expedition: A Historic Journey to Find the Truth
The Pearltaboo
Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton

TV Series
Homeland season six
The Kids in the Hall the complete collection

Walk Between Worlds by Simple Minds
Here Come the Runts by Awolnation
Arkansas by John Oates & The Good Road Band
One Drop of Truth by the Wood Brothers
Here’s to You by Montgomery Gentry
Man of the Woods by Justin Timberlake
Blood by Rhyelook for me

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Look for Me by Lisa Gardner
The Gate Keeper by Charles Todd
A Death in Live Oak by James Grippando
Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV

New Releases

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Tyler Perry’s Boo 2! A Madea Halloween
The Square
Last Flag Flying

TV Series
Victoria season 2
Ray Donovan season 5
East West 101 season 1

The Snake King by Rick Springfield
Wow Gospel 2018 by various
Freedom’s Goblin by Ty Segall
Black Coffee by Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa
Homecoming: Live From Ireland by Celtic Woman
Damage Already Done by Depaul

The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place by Alan Bradley
Still Me by Jojo Moyes
Dark in Death by J. D. Robb

Leave a comment

Filed under Audiobooks, Movies, Music, New Releases, TV