Wednesday, February 28, 2007

31 days of Oscar: day 28

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 Original Screenplay - Nominees and Winners (part one). Here's today's schedule (all times are EST):

6:00 AM Citizen Kane (’41)
8:15 AM Princess O’Rourke (’43)
10:00 AM The Goddess (’58)
12:00 PM Never On Sunday (’60)
1:45 PM Monsieur Verdoux (’47)
4:00 PM The Great Dictator (’40)
6:00 PM In Which We Serve (’42)
8:00 PM The Train (’64)
10:30 PM Absence of Malice (’81)
12:30 AM The China Syndrome (’79)
2:45 AM Chinatown (’74)
5:00 AM The Conversation (’74)

It would seem that we would pick Citizen Kane, one of the greatest films of all time. Normally we would, but let's do something a little different - and pick an excellent film from an equally great filmmaker- Charlie Chaplin. And our Oscar pick goes to... The Great Dictator! This famous film uses one of the strongest political and social means of commentary that exists: satire. And to great effect. Chaplin spoofs and deflates Hitler to great effect.

The Great Dictator was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, but did not win. 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 two- disc Special Edition release, or as part of the Charlie Chaplin Collection Gift Set.

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.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfill that promise. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfill that promise. Let us fight to free the world!

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