Wednesday, February 21, 2007

31 days of Oscar: day 21

This month, Turner Classic Movies celebrates movies and the Academy Awards by presenting 31 Days of Oscar. Each Day from Feb.1 through March 3, a different category of the awards will be the theme of the day; featuring films that were nominated or won in that category. The Shelf will be joining in the celebration by giving you our Oscar pick of the Day!

Today's category is Best Sound - Nominees and Winners (part two) . Here's today's schedule (all times are EST):

6:00 AM So This is Washington (’43)
7:30 AM Dodsworth (’36)
9:30 AM Lost Horizon (’37)
11:45 AM Green Dolphin Street (’47)
2:15 PM T-Men (’47)
4:00 PM The Bells of St. Mary’s (’45)
6:15 PM Vivacious Lady (’37)
8:00 PM Three Smart Girls (’37)
9:30 PM That Touch of Mink (’62)
11:15 PM Ball of Fire (’41)
1:15 AM Batman Forever (’95)
3:30 AM Backdraft (’91)

And our Oscar pick goes to... The Bells of St. Mary’s! The films with priests or nuns as heroes are yet another genre that has perhaps gone the way of the dodo. I'm afraid Pat O'Brien wouldn't get much work if he were alive today. I also doubt if anyone's agent would even let them think about doing a film like Boy's Town. What a shame, but this is the world we live in, or rather, that we have made for ourselves. The Bells of St. Mary's is actually a very warm, gentle and funny film, and the kind of "faith" film (if there is such a thing) that is sorely absent in Hollywood today. The cynacism and politically correct leftist Hollywood could never even begin to try and make a film like this. The characters are, in addition to being religious, are genuine and believe in what they do. They are presented as good, sincere people and the kids and parents they are trying to help are regular people with problems, who want to do the right thing in the end. Faith and compassion and a few humorous hijinx make postive changes. All without the legal system or government intervention, or movie stars telling them how to live. Who woulda thunk it? Do yourself a favor, kick off your shoes and check it out, and remember a time when such things were possible.

The Bells of St. Mary's was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, Best Actor for Bing Crosby, Best Actress for Ingrid Bergman and Best Director for Leo McCarey. The film won the Oscar for Best Sound. You can watch the film today on TCM, or you can order the DVD through the usual online retailers and the TCM shop. The film is available as a single disc release.

For more information on TCM's 31 Days of Oscar, visit the Turner Classic Movies website.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Just remember, if you're ever in trouble, just dial O for O'Malley!

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