The Golden Year: 5 Classic Films From 1939 (BD)

The Golden Year: 5 Classic Films From 1939 (BD)

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The Golden Year: 5 Classic Films From 1939 (BD)

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1939 was the Golden Year of Cinema - often described as "the greatest year in the history of Hollywood". Hollywood movies produced in Southern California were at the height of their Golden Age and the year 1939 saw the premieres of an outstandingly large number of exceptional motion pictures, many of which become honored as all-time classic films.THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME: With huge sets, rousing action scenes and a versatile throng portraying a medieval Paris of cutthroats, clergy, beggars and nobles, The Hunchback of Notre Dame remains one of Hollywood's all-time grandest spectacles. Charles Laughton endured a daily five-and-a-half hour makeup session to become Quasimodo, Victor Hugo's mocked and vilified anti-hero. The result was one of his best performances -- outsized yet nuanced, heartrending yet inspiring. Maureen O'Hara is the gypsy Esmeralda, whose simple act of pity frees the emotions within Quasimodo. When she is wrongly condemned, he rescues her from hanging, sweeping all of Paris into a fight for justice.DARK VICTORY: Bette Davis' bravura, moving but never morbid performance as Judith Traherne, a dying heiress determined to find happiness in her few remaining months, turns the film into a three-hankie classic. But that success would never have happened if Davis hadn't pestered studio brass to buy Dark Victory's story rights. Jack Warner finally did so skeptically. "Who wants to see a dame go blind?" he asked. Almost everyone, apparently, as Dark Victory was Davis' biggest box-office hit yet and garnered three Academy Awardr nominations for 1939's Best Picture, Best Actress (Davis) and Best Music, Original Score (Max Steiner).DODGE CITY: Wade Hatton (Errol Flynn), a Texas cattle agent, witnesses firsthand the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up. In his first of eight Westerns, Flynn is as able with a six-shooter as he was with a swashbuckler's sword. He confronts lynch mobs, slams outlaws into jail and escapes (along with co-star Olivia de Havilland) from a fiery, locked railroad car. Cheered for Flynn's sagebrush debut, its vivid Technicolor look and spectacular saloon brawl that may have employed every available Hollywood stunt person, Dodge City later gained another distinction when it inspired Mel Brooks' cowboy parody Blazing Saddles.NINOTCHKA: Working from a cleverly barbed script written in part by Billy Wilder, director Ernst Lubitsch knew better than anyone how to marry refinement with sublime wit. "At least twice a day the most dignified human being is ridiculous," he explained about his acclaimed Lubitsch Touch. That's how we see Garbo's love struck Ninotchka: serenely dignified yet endearingly ridiculous. Garbo laughs. So will you. Ninotchka received four 1939 Academy Awardr nominations - Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Garbo), Best Writing - Original Story (Melchior Lengyel), and Best Writing - Screenplay (Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, Billy Wilder).GONE WITH THE WIND: Lauded as one of the American cinema's grandest, most ambitious and spectacular pieces of filmmaking, Gone with the Wind was helmed by Victor Fleming in 1939, the same year as the director's The Wizard of Oz. Producer David O. Selznick's mammoth achievement and still history's all-time domestic box-office champion ($1.6 billion) captured ten 1939 Academy Awardsr including: Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel, the first Oscarr awarded to an African-American actor.WBHE Presents 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year: Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, this informative documentary contains film clips and insights about this unprecedented year in films.

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1939 was the Golden Year of Cinema - often described as "the greatest year in the history of Hollywood". Hollywood movies produced in Southern California were at the height of their Golden Age and the year 1939 saw the premieres of an outstandingly large number of exceptional motion pictures, many of which become honored as all-time classic films.THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME: With huge sets, rousing action scenes and a versatile throng portraying a medieval Paris of cutthroats, clergy, beggars and nobles, The Hunchback of Notre Dame remains one of Hollywood's all-time grandest spectacles. Charles Laughton endured a daily five-and-a-half hour makeup session to become Quasimodo, Victor Hugo's mocked and vilified anti-hero. The result was one of his best performances -- outsized yet nuanced, heartrending yet inspiring. Maureen O'Hara is the gypsy Esmeralda, whose simple act of pity frees the emotions within Quasimodo. When she is wrongly condemned, he rescues her from hanging, sweeping all of Paris into a fight for justice.DARK VICTORY: Bette Davis' bravura, moving but never morbid performance as Judith Traherne, a dying heiress determined to find happiness in her few remaining months, turns the film into a three-hankie classic. But that success would never have happened if Davis hadn't pestered studio brass to buy Dark Victory's story rights. Jack Warner finally did so skeptically. "Who wants to see a dame go blind?" he asked. Almost everyone, apparently, as Dark Victory was Davis' biggest box-office hit yet and garnered three Academy Awardr nominations for 1939's Best Picture, Best Actress (Davis) and Best Music, Original Score (Max Steiner).DODGE CITY: Wade Hatton (Errol Flynn), a Texas cattle agent, witnesses firsthand the brutal lawlessness of Dodge City and takes the job of sheriff to clean the town up. In his first of eight Westerns, Flynn is as able with a six-shooter as he was with a swashbuckler's sword. He confronts lynch mobs, slams outlaws into jail and escapes (along with co-star Olivia de Havilland) from a fiery, locked railroad car. Cheered for Flynn's sagebrush debut, its vivid Technicolor look and spectacular saloon brawl that may have employed every available Hollywood stunt person, Dodge City later gained another distinction when it inspired Mel Brooks' cowboy parody Blazing Saddles.NINOTCHKA: Working from a cleverly barbed script written in part by Billy Wilder, director Ernst Lubitsch knew better than anyone how to marry refinement with sublime wit. "At least twice a day the most dignified human being is ridiculous," he explained about his acclaimed Lubitsch Touch. That's how we see Garbo's love struck Ninotchka: serenely dignified yet endearingly ridiculous. Garbo laughs. So will you. Ninotchka received four 1939 Academy Awardr nominations - Best Picture, Best Actress in a Leading Role (Garbo), Best Writing - Original Story (Melchior Lengyel), and Best Writing - Screenplay (Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, Billy Wilder).GONE WITH THE WIND: Lauded as one of the American cinema's grandest, most ambitious and spectacular pieces of filmmaking, Gone with the Wind was helmed by Victor Fleming in 1939, the same year as the director's The Wizard of Oz. Producer David O. Selznick's mammoth achievement and still history's all-time domestic box-office champion ($1.6 billion) captured ten 1939 Academy Awardsr including: Best Picture, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress for Hattie McDaniel, the first Oscarr awarded to an African-American actor.WBHE Presents 1939: Hollywood's Greatest Year: Narrated by Kenneth Branagh, this informative documentary contains film clips and insights about this unprecedented year in films.


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