Thursday, February 21, 2013

My list of film Noir's that I wished would have won an Oscar.

Sunset Boulevard was the only film noir to win a Oscar.
Classic film Noirs, usually did not win "Best Picture" mostly because they were considered "B" movies. With the exception of one of my favorite films, Sunset Boulevard.. which was the only film noir to win a Oscar. I thought it would be fun to share my list of film Noirs (in no particular order) that I wished would have won an Oscar:

The 17th Academy Awards was the first time broadcast nationally on the ABC Radio network, from Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood, California. This is the first year that the Best Picture category was limited to 5 pictures.

Double Indemnity was nominated for seven Academy Awards but did not win any. It is often called the film noir having set the film noir standard .

Please click here to view movie review.

The 13th Academy Awards honored American film achievements of 1940. This was the first year that sealed envelopes were used to keep secret the names of the winners which led to the saying: "May I have the Envelope, please."

The accounting firm of Price Waterhouse was hired to count the ballots, after the voting results leaked out in 1939 by the Los Angeles Times.

The Letter(1940), was nominated for seven Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (James Stephenson), Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Max Steiner's musical score, but did not win any.

Please click here to read past movie review.

The 14th Academy Awards honored American film achievements of 1941 and was held in the Biltmore Bowl at the Biltmore Hotel.

The Maltese Falcon(1941), was John Huston's directorial debut and received three nominations, but no Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Sydney Greenstreet in his talkie film debut), and Best Adapted Screenplay..

The 18th Academy Awards was the first ceremony after World War II. As a result, the ceremony was more about the glamour than before the war. Plaster statuettes that had been given out during the war years were replaced with bronze statuettes with gold plating.

Joan Crawford did not show up, claiming she had pneumonia although, some believe it was because she was sure she would not win the Academy Award for Best Actress for Mildred Pierce. As it turned out she did win,(the only actor to win for a film noir performance) and the award was delivered to her while still in bed.

Another favorite at the 17th Academy Awards was my favorite film noir of all time, Leave Her to Heaven(1945), which made over $5,000,000 and was Fox's highest-grossing picture of the 1940s.

Leave Her to Heaven(1945), won the Academy Award Oscar for.. Best Cinematography/Color, Leon Shamroy 1946.

Please click here for past movie review.

The 21st Academy Awards were held March 24, 1949 at the The Academy Theater, Hollywood, California. Claire Trevor won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Gaye Dawn in the film Key Largo(1948).

Please click here for past movie review.

Another choice the 17th Academy Awards, Otto Preminger was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director but lost to Leo McCarey for Going My Way.

Clifton Webb was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor but lost to Barry Fitzgerald in Going My Way.

Jay Dratler, Samuel Hoffenstein, and Elizabeth Reinhardt were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay but lost to Frank Butler and Frank Cavett for Going My Way.

Lyle R. Wheeler, Leland Fuller, and Thomas Little were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Black-and-White Art Direction and Interior Decoration but lost to Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari, Paul Huldschinsky, and Edwin B. Willis for Gaslight.

At the 16th Academy Awards, in 1944, with Jack Benny as host, the first Oscar ceremony held at a large public venue, Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Free passes were given out to men and women in uniform. The more theatrical celebration makes it a forerunner of the Oscar telecast.

The serial cartoon Tom and Jerry won their first Oscar this year for The Yankee Doodle Mouse after two failed nominations in a row. They will end up winning another six Oscars including three in a row for the next three years and racked a total of 13 nominations.

For the first time, supporting actors and actresses took home full-size statuettes, instead of smaller-sized awards mounted on a plaque.

 Shadow of Doubt, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story, but lost to The Human Comedy.

Sunset Boulevard received 11 Academy Award nominations and won three Academy Awards. Sunset Boulevard's eleven nominations were passed only by the fourteen received by All About Eve, which won six awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.


Filmmaker Billy Wilder ("Some Like It Hot," "The Apartment," "Stalag 17," "Sunset Blvd.") receiving the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his outstanding body of work - 60th Annual Academy Awards in 1988. Presented by Jack Lemmon.

Please click here for past movie review.


  1. What a fun and informative post, Dawn! I love so many of your "wish they'd won an Oscar" choices.

    "Sunset Boulevard" is among my top 5 movies of all-time, so I am with you there.

    Ah, "Double Indemnity"...such a terrific film, and such an amazing performance from Fred MacMurray. And to think he didn't even receive a nomination for his work in that.

    "The Letter" was the film which introduced me to the sensational Bette Davis. I thought she was totally fantastic, so I sought out more of her works. She very quickly became my #1 gal. I will always have a fondness for that movie.

    Great post!!

  2. I think the Academy over the years has shown a bias against certain genres. I still can't believe Joseph Cotten was not nominated for "Shadow of a Doubt" -- it is an eerie and stunning performance of a sociopath. And I read in Mary Astor's autobigraphy that she was shocked to have been nominated and won her Oscar for "The Great Lie" rather than "The Maltese Falcon." Good topic to highlight!

  3. "The Letter," "Laura," "Leave Her to Heaven," "Shadow of a Doubt," "The Maltese Falcon," "Mildred Pierce" all great favorites. For some time now "The Letter" has been my favorite Bette Davis performance (and, possibly, film). That it was shut-out at the Oscars just stuns me. One of the best of the best films of the golden era. "Sunset Blvd." may have benefited from being made a few years later than the others (though it certainly was Oscar-worthy). I've always thought Joan Crawford feigning pneumonia on Oscar night (photographed in bed in full make-up, I believe) was a hoot. Wasn't she the living definition of "drama queen"?

  4. LOL.. I think she was more than a drama queen. She knew how to get what she wanted..

  5. I am so annoyed by this list. Well, not your list per se, but the fact that these utterly fabulous movies weren't more recognized at Oscar time.

  6. silverscreenings, I understand and feel the same way.


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