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Reconstructing American Historical CinemaFrom Cimarron to Citizen Kane$

J.E. Smyth

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124063

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124063.001.0001

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(p.361) Appendix D American Historical Films to Be Named the National Board of Review’s and Film Daily’s Best Films of the Year

(p.361) Appendix D American Historical Films to Be Named the National Board of Review’s and Film Daily’s Best Films of the Year

Source:
Reconstructing American Historical Cinema
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky

Note the steady waning of critical and box-office accolades for American historical films after 1942. Beginning in 1942 with In Which We Serve, more and more British films dominated the top-ten lists. Italian filmmakers Visconti, de Sica, and Rossellini were also prominent beginning in 1944.

1927

No American historical films made the list. Film Daily’s top five were Beau Geste, The Big Parade, What Price Glory, The Way of All Flesh, and Ben Hur.

1928

No American historical films made the list. Film Daily’s top ten were The Patriot, Sorrell and Son, The Last Command, Four Sons, Street Angel, The Circus, Sunrise, The Crowd, King of Kings, and Sadie Thompson.

1929

Of Film Daily’s top ten, only Gold Diggers of Broadway (entertainment past) and In Old Arizona (first talking western) made the list, at numbers 5 and 7, respectively. Show Boat and The Virginian make the “Roll of Honor.” The other top ten were Disraeli, Broadway Melody, Madame X, Rio Rita, Bulldog Drummond, Cock-eyed World, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, and Hallelujah!

1930

All Quiet on the Western Front was named the top film by both Film Daily and the National Board of Review poll. Abraham Lincoln was number 2 on Film Daily’s list. The only other American period film to make either list was Tol’able David (National Board of Review).

1931

Cimarron became the first American historical film to win top honors from both Film Daily and the National Board of Review. The latter’s “Supplementary Ten” (p.362) included The Public Enemy and Little Caesar. Film Daily’s list mentioned Little Caesar (11), Royal Family of Broadway (14), Alexander Hamilton (16), The Public Enemy (18), Tom Sawyer (30), Huckleberry Finn (38), and Miracle Woman (51).

1932

Greta Garbo’s films led the choices of both Film Daily (Grand Hotel) and the National Board of Review (As You Desire Me), but Scarface made the top ten of both lists (numbers 10 and 7, respectively). The National Board of Review also listed I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang at number 4 (Film Daily included the film in its 1933 tally). Movie Crazy (26), What Price Hollywood? (39), So Big (42), and Mouthpiece (49) also made the Film Daily list.

1933

The British historical drama Cavalcade led Film Daily and came in at number 2 for the National Board of Review. American period films She Done Him Wrong (numbers 7 and 6, respectively) and Little Women (3) made the lists. The Bowery (18), The Power and the Glory (21), The Gold Diggers of 1933 (28), Silver Dollar (30), and Morning Glory (14) won honorable mention from Film Daily.

1934

Viva Villa! made both top-ten lists: number 10 for the National Board of Review, and number 7 for Film Daily. Also on Film Daily’s list were Little Women, David Harum, Judge Priest, and Operator 13.

1935

Film Daily included the following films: Ruggles of Red Gap (6), Naughty Marietta (4), Alice Adams (11), Diamond Jim (27), Steamboat Round the Bend (30), The Barbary Coast (35), The Little Colonel (36), The Farmer Takes a Wife (37), and Mighty Barnum (46). The National Board of Review listed Alice Adams (1) and Ruggles of Red Gap (4).

1936

Film Daily listed The Great Ziegfeld (3), San Francisco (4), Ah, Wilderness (honorable mention; number 12 in 1935), The Petrified Forest (18), Show Boat (20), The Gorgeous Hussy (27), The Prisoner of Shark Island (39), Ramona (46), and The Last of the Mohicans (54). The National Board of Review listed The Prisoner of Shark Island (9).

1937

Film Daily’s choices were Captains Courageous (3), A Star Is Born (5), The Plainsman (honorable mention; number 20 in1936), Maytime (15), Come and Get It (46), Maid of Salem (47), and Slave Ship (49). The National Board of Review chose Captains Courageous (8) and A Star Is Born (9).

1938

Film Daily listed Alexander’s Ragtime Band (3), Boys Town (4), and In Old Chicago (p.363) (6) and gave honorable mention to Jezebel (13), Wells Fargo (15), Of Human Hearts (20), The Buccaneer (21), and The Sisters (26). For the National Board of Review, Of Human Hearts (3) and Jezebel (4) made the list, with Alexander’s Ragtime Band and In Old Chicago listed as top moneymakers.

1939

Film Daily’s list included Stanley and Livingstone (9) and The Old Maid (10); the National Board of Review listed Stagecoach (3), Young Mr. Lincoln (5), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (8), and The Roaring Twenties (9). Film Daily also gave honorable mention to Stagecoach (11), Young Mr. Lincoln (12), Union Pacific (15), Jesse James (21), The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (22), The Story of Alexander Graham Bell (25), Dodge City (32), and Hollywood Cavalcade (34), along with The Roaring Twenties, Real Glory, and Man of Conquest.

1940

Film Daily chose The Grapes of Wrath (2), Abe Lincoln in Illinois (6), and Northwest Passage (8). The National Board of Review chose The Grapes of Wrath (1) and Gone with the Wind (9) and also mentioned Edison the Man (13), Knute Rockne, All American (14), Young Tom Edison (20), The Howards of Virginia (21), Destry Rides Again (23), The Fighting 69th (27), Drums along the Mohawk (30), Brigham Young (34), The Westerner (35), Lillian Russell (37), and Swanee River (53). This year, the National Board of Review began to include three categories based on artistic merit and popular appeal.

1941

The National Board of Review cited Citizen Kane (1) for artistic merit and Sergeant York for popularity with the Motion Pictures Council. One Foot in Heaven and Blossoms in the Dust also made the top-ten popularity polls. Gone with the Wind still headed Film Daily’s list as the best film in circulation in 1941, followed by Sergeant York (2), The Philadelphia Story (3), Citizen Kane (4), and Kitty Foyle (7). The Westerner (39), Western Union (43), Strawberry Blonde (44), Chad Hanna (45), Hudson’s Bay (48), Belle Starr (52), and Arizona (58) were also mentioned.

1942

In Which We Serve and Mrs. Miniver topped the National Board of Review list, which also included Pride of the Yankees and Yankee Doodle Dandy. Film Daily listed Kings Row (3), Pride of the Yankees (5), One Foot in Heaven (7), Reap the Wild Wind (12), The Magnificent Ambersons (24), and The Great Man’s Lady (43).

1943

Only Yankee Doodle Dandy (3) was in Film Daily’s top ten.

1944

Film Daily listed The Adventures of Mark Twain (20) and Buffalo Bill (52). The National Board of Review cited Wilson (6) and Meet Me in St. Louis (7).

(p.364) 1945

The National Board of Review chose The Story of G.I. Joe (4) and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (7). Film Daily listed Wilson (1), A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (2), The Story of G.I. Joe (7), Meet Me in St. Louis (13), The Dolly Sisters (41), Incendiary Blonde (50), and Roughly Speaking (53).

1946

Film Daily’s list included Saratoga Trunk (6), The Jolson Story (19), Harvey Girls (29), My Darling Clementine (47), and The Outlaw (55). The National Board of Review’s best artistic films were Henry V (Great Britain) and Open City (Italy). Clementine (7) and Saratoga Trunk (10) made the most-popular list.

1947

Film Daily listed The Jolson Story (2), Duel in the Sun (18), Mother Wore Tights (21), Sea of Grass (25), and The Perils of Pauline (37).