Best Screenplay

[10] William Wyler’s portrait of an English family weathering the darkest hours of World War II is a moving drama about hope and persistence. There’s a quiet strength and noble resolve about the characters in this movie that I find utterly disarming. Wyler shows admirable restraint in the direction and storytelling, sidestepping any opportunity to sensationalize the material. One of the greatest scenes in the …

[10] The day before her second wedding, a priggish socialite (Katharine Hepburn) entangles with her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a tabloid journalist (Jimmy Stewart), causing an identity crisis that threatens to derail the ceremony. Does she really want to marry a man who sees her as an infallible goddess? Or does she want someone who will let her put her hair down and love her …

[8] Spencer Tracy won his second (consecutive) Academy Award for his portrayal of Father Flanagan, a man who firmly believed “there are no bad boys.” In the movie and in real life, Flanagan built an educational refuge for homeless and delinquent boys to prove his theory, and the facility still operates today. Mickey Rooney plays the toughest of Flanagan’s kids, a boy whose defiance and …

[9] Somewhere along the way, Hollywood forgot how to make good romantic comedies. Because there are plenty of them to be found in the ’30s and ’40s, with Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night being chief among them. Claudette Colbert plays a rich gal running away from what is essentially an arranged marriage. After she bumps into a reporter played by Clark Gable on a …

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