Monday, July 29, 2019


This is my choice (choices) for Best Picture for the year 1943.  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). 

Mob mentality run amok and yet another Hitchcock!

And the nominees on the entries from every edition of 1001 Movie You Must See Before You Die are...
Meshes of the Afternoon
Fires Were Started
The Man in Grey
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
I Walked with a Zombie
The Seventh Victim
The Ox-Bow Incident
Shadow of a Doubt

And the winner for the Best Picture of 1943 is…Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt

The plot of Alfred Hitchcock'sl suspense classic Shadow of a Doubt really unravels slowly, but I didn’t mind that. The story gets where its going at its own speed and the slow arc heightens the drama. A good cast (led by Joseph Cotton and Teresa Wright), a good story and a pretty decent director too.

And as I often do when I spot them I must point out a great librarian moment. Teresa Wright has got to get hold of a newspaper article from the local public library that may or may not incriminate her Uncle. But the library has just closed! And what does the kindly librarian do? She lets the distraught young lady in and gets down the newspaper in question and gives Teresa three minutes to find the article she is looking for so the plot can continue. A thoughtful professional, I must say.
Let this be a reminder: If you need to use the public library, please make note of library hours and judge your time accordingly. Librarians have lives too!

Shadow of a Doubt

And the Award for Unique and Artistic Picture of 1943 is...The Ox-Bow Incident

The Ox-Bow Incident

I remember back in the days of Poli Sci at good ole watching this film along with a film about the Leo Frank/Mary Phagan criminal case. Both are good examples of mob justice reaching the wrong conclusion.

After Viewing: Another case of a studio head (Zanuck of Fox) making a film that he knew wasn’t going to make a profit simply because he (buoyed by the persistence of director William Wellman) knew it could be memorable film. And he was right in my opinion.

Glamorous leading ladies needed: So much for the glamorous leading ladies of the forties. The two females with any screen time at all in this film are Jane “Ma Joad” Darwell and Margaret “Wicked Witch of the West” Hamilton.

DVD commentator discrepancy: Two commentators on this DVD. One, William Wellman Jr., discusses how rare it is that his father would change any original material when he adapted a book for a film. The other commentator then gives us several examples, including two characters that were morphed into one, of how the senior Wellman did just what is son said he almost never did!

I did give Colonel Blimp and Ossessione some consideration for this category. So it goes.

The Ox-Bow Incident

1 comment:

  1. I would throw in Ossessione for the artistic price. Many movies owe a lot to this one in terms of style, ambience and technique.