Friday, March 02, 2007

31 days of Oscar: day 30

For 31 days, 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 Adapted Screenplay - Nominees and Winners . Here's today's schedule (all times are EST):

6:30 AM Lady for a Day (’33)
8:30 AM Sounder (’72)
10:30 AM Breaker Morant (’80)
12:30 PM Sayonara (’57)
3:00 PM Sense and Sensibility (’95)
5:30 PM In Cold Blood (’67)
8:00 PM The Elephant Man (’80)
10:15 PM Awakenings (’90)
12:30 AM Stand by Me (’86)
2:15 AM The Silence of the Lambs (’91)
4:30 AM Quiz Show (’94)

And our Oscar pick goes to... Quiz Show ! This is probably the only "modern classic" you'll see among our picks, and it is well deserved. This is perhaps my favorite Redford-directed movie. Based on the quiz show scandals of the 1950s, Ralph Finnes and Jon Turtutto star as opponents, Charles Van Doren and Herb Stempel (respectively) on a popular television quiz show, Twenty-One. Van Doren is educated, handsome and comes from a distinguished family. Stempel is the opposite- arrogant and paranoid, but he shares one trait - he is very intelligent. Producers of the show latch on to Van Doren as the star of the show and ensure that he wins against Stempel, who accuses the show of a fix. Congressional investigator Dick Goodwin (played by Rob Morrow) investigates the claim, and his findings will ebrupt in a national scandal. The performances and directing are solid, and the screenplay is exception, making it a truly enjoyable film: a real modern-day "classic", if you will. Morrow is exceptional good as Goodwin, and also co-produces the film. Goodwin is the author of the book Remembering America, on which the movie is based.

Quiz Show was nominated for 4 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, 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 single disc release, and is long overdue for the 2 disc special edition treatment.

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.

Sixty-four thousand dollars for a question, I hope they are asking you the meaning of life.

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