Wednesday, July 17, 2019


This is my choice (choices) for Best Picture for the year 1936.  My criteria is that I can only use films that are on the 1001 list. To make it a little easier on myself, I am using the rules of the first Academy Award and name a winner for Best Picture (won by Wings for 1927-1928) and Best and Unique and Artistic Picture (won by Sunrise from 1927-1928). 

And the nominees on the entries from every edition of 1001 Movie You Must See Before You Die are...
A Day in the Country
Modern Times
Swing Time
My Man Godfrey
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
Things to Come
The Story of a Cheat

And the winner for the Best Picture of 1936 is…My Man Godfrey

My Man Godfrey

I first saw this during the first film class I was in during my Freshman year at West Georgia College. Good ole Mrs. Alexander. I remember enjoying this film all those years ago, but for some reason, I think I won’t like it as much this go round. Sorry, Mrs. A.

But when I saw it, I was wrong. I liked it even more this time! It is fun, witty, well paced, well acted and socially relevant. Carole Lombard and William Powell were both perfect in the leads. It officially regains its crown as my favorite screwball comedy. Shouldn’t have doubted you Mrs. A.

DVD note: On most DVD's, I'll usually skip anything labeled blooper reel. But a blooper reel from a 1936 film with Carole Lombard saying, "Ah, Shit!" after a flubbed line is definitely worth checking out.

My Man Godfrey

And the Award for Unique and Artistic Picture of 1936 is...Modern Times

Modern Times

Modern Times is probably my all-time favorite of the Chaplin films. Chaplin was about the only one with the power and skill to still make silent films in 1936, and this film was a tremendous achievement. Charlie's scene (above) that is an exercise to get the workers to eat lunch more efficiently is a classic, as well as his assembly line stunts.

I also liked the ebb and flow of this character continually getting into trouble, going to jail and then getting out before repeating the process.

There's also something about Chaplin's blindfolded skating and almost falling that I've always liked.

And Modern Times also finds the perfect woman counterpart for the little tramp in Paulette Goddard.

Modern Times


  1. As much as My Man Godfrey is a good choice, I would pick Dodsworth. It is rare to come across an intelligent movie that treats it's audience as adults an remain entertaining. This remains one of the pleasant surprises on the List. Cannot disagree with Modern Times.

  2. I would have definitely chosen Dodsworth over the actual winner from that year, The Great Ziegfeld.