It’s that time of year again, when most of Hollywood is preening itself for one of the most important film awards in the industry. The 86th Academy Awards is being hosted by Ellen DeGeneres this Sunday, 2nd March, and already the international press is awash with predictions on everything form who is going to win, and what they will wear, to whether Jennifer Lawrence will trip over and fall or do something equally goofy (the general consensuses is, of course she will and viewers will love her all the more for it).
In preparation for this most glitzy of events, I thought I’d take a look back at the illustrious history of the Oscars, picking out some of the best movies to have won the covetable award, and finding out where you can buy a vintage movie poster in homage.
Bob Fosse’s portrayal of a decadent cabaret club in 1931 Germany won him a whopping eight Academy Awards. Starring Liza Minnelli as Sally Bowles, a bohemian singer and performer, this musical shows the seedy underbelly of Berlin during the last days of the Weimar Republic. With Germany suffering the effects of the Great Depression, the power of the Hitler and the Nazis rapidly increases, affecting the lives of all strata of society. Featuring catchy show tunes and lively dancing, this film is both thought-provoking and hugely entertaining.
My Fair Lady (1964)
Audrey Hepburn, the epitome of charm and grace, plays Eliza Doolittle, a cockney flower girl who is transformed to pass as a duchess in Edwardian high society. This 1960s musical film adaption of George Bernard Shaw’s stage play Pygmalion, also won eight Academy Award including the prestigious Academy Award for Best Picture. A remake is reportedly in the pipeline, with Carey Mulligan rumoured to play the role of Eliza Doolittle. It’s going to be tough act to follow for Mulligan, but we will wait with eager anticipation.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
This epic Civil War romance brought us a such quotable gems as “frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” and this brilliant spiel by the dashing Rhett Butler (Clarke Gable); “No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”
Unashamedly sentimental and dramatic, the film relays the up-down relationship between manipulative Scarlett O’Hara (Vivienne Leigh) and fiery Rhett Butler. Even now, 75 years since its release it remains a breathtaking piece of cinema – and is still the highest grossing film in film history when sales are adjusted for inflation.
By the time of the 16th Academy Awards in 1944, the Second World War had been raging globally for four and a half years, and had become a fact of every- day life. The Oscar ceremony that year was held for the first time in a public venue, and free passes were handed out to men and women in uniform.
It is unsurprising then that six out of the ten movies nominated for Best Picture were about war. Most of these six were dramas, a couple are humorous, but Casablanca, a romance, won the golden statue. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the film is about sacrifice, virtue and love. Like Gone With the Wind, this classic tale remains iconic to this day, thanks in part to the many memorable lines spoken by Bogart. Who can forget; “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine,” and “we’ll always have Paris.”
What is your favourite film? I would love to know in the comments below.
I’m off next week for a quick break before we put V&OAK Magazine to print. Remember, if you’d like to pre-order your copy of the glossiest vintage magazine on the market, you can do so right here.
Thanks for reading, and see you in a couple of weeks!
Anastasia Grabova from V&OAK (www.vandoak.com)