Thursday, October 21, 2010

Battle of The Oscar Stars: Best Picture 1949

Twenty Best Picture winners down...A LOT to go.

For some reason I have been cranking through these puppies like the wind this week. It helps a lot, with yet another shout out to Netflix, when one movie (Hamlet) in the last five was available to stream instantly. This enthusiasm has not always been there (at one point I avoided a movie for two weeks before finally giving in) on this mission, so I will take it while it lasts.

All that came to mind when I saw the title of the next winner, was the reputation that had been following it around over recent years when a "terrible" remake was released in 2006. This updated version of All The Kings Men (starring a cast of my favorites including; Penn, Winlset, Ruffalo, Clarkson, and Law) had been on my list of movies I was looking forward to seeing that year.

Lets just say, I ended up never seeing it (maybe because of the critical massacre). Though, it is perpetually in my Queue, and movie watching is really a matter of ones own opinion. I mean, how bad can it really be? Gigli bad? I think not. This at least has a Pulitzer Prize winning book as source material.

With all of this in mind I was really curious to finally catch All The Kings Men, even if it had to be the 1949 version that was crammed full of Oscar glory. 

In a world full of nothing but political corruptness, an honest, wholesome, small-town man, Willie Stark (played by Broderick Crawford in a Oscar winning performance), throws himself into politics because he wants to help the everyday family. He means well, but as he succeeds he succumbs to evil just like everyone else.

Really, I couldn't have watched this movie at a more perfect time. All I could think was how topical the issues that arise in the movie are still in this world, especially among all the midterm election insanity. Reminding me of a mix of the hero political figures found in the amazing Milk and the punchy storytelling of Citizen Kane, All The Kings Men turns out to be a movie I enjoyed watching and would entirely recommend.

It all starts with an enthralling story and Robert Penn Warren really knew what he was writing about back in 1946. The story just sticks with you.

Now I just have to catch the remake to see how they could have messed it up. I will be going in with an open mind. Knowing myself, I will more than likely love it.

Next Up: I have finally arrived at a classic that has already been watched by me a million times; All About Eve.

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