*Best picture for 1959 was Beh-Hur, starring Charlton Heston, who was the best actor winner of the year. Heston played the part of Moses in this Biblical film. The best part was the chariot race! The rumor was someone died while racing.
Other movies nominated for the year include:
Anatomy of a Murder, starring Jimmy Stewart, (nominated).James Stewart plays a fly by the seat of your pants lawyer who hopes to win freedom for his client by using as his defense the argument of "irresistible impulse". Words like semen and panties were taboo words in 1959.
The Diary of Anne Frank This is the autobiographical drama of a young Dutch Jewish girl hiding from the invading Nazis during World War II. Anne and her family share a claustrophobic attic with another family. Tension is often unbearable, as the people hiding know that their discovery by the enemy could lead to almost certain death at the hands of their captors. They also must contend with the Dutch Gestapo or "Green Police," who will turn them over to the Nazis if discovered. Dutch nationals risk their lives by hiding the family for two years. Shelley Winters is nominated for supporting actress. Many of us read this book before the movie came out.
The Nun's Story Audrey Hepburn plays the nun who is sent as a nurse to the Belgian Congo, an assignment she'd been hoping for, Sister Luke is disappointed to learn that she will not be ministering to the natives but to European patients. Through the example of no-nonsense chief surgeon , the nun sheds her idealism and becomes a diligent worker -- so much so that she contracts tuberculosis. Upon the outbreak of World War II, Sister Luke tries to honor the edicts of her order and not take sides, but this becomes impossible when her father is killed by the Nazis. Realizing that she cannot remain true to her vows, Sister Luke leaves the order and returns to "civilian" life. Based on a true story. Hepburn was nominated for best actress.
Room at the Top Is a British film starring Lawrence Harvey who climbs the social ladder and falls in love with the bosses daughter. The girl is sent away and while she is gone, he links up with someone else. Later, the two get back together after he is beaten up by thugs.
Some Like it Hot, where Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis dress as women and tour with a all girls band to hide from gangsters after they saw a crime. Lemmon was nominated.
Pillow Talk with Doris Day nominated as best actress. PLOT: Interior decorator Jan Morrow and composer Brad Allen share a phone line. Brad keeps the line occupied all day talking to his girlfriends, which annoys Jan terribly and animosity between them builds up. They however have never met and when by chance Brad sees Jan, he decides to add her to his list of conquests. Knowing however how she feels about him, he poses as an innocent Texan country boy named Rex Stetson to win her, a plan which seems to work.
Imitation of Life, starring Susan Kohner and Sandra Dee. This is a remake of the movie of 1934. A widow with a daughter hires a black woman, also a widow with a daughter. The black daughter passes for white.
Suddenly, Last Summer employed Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor, both nominated for awards. It is one of many Tennessee Williams plays turned film. The film features Catherine Holly (Taylor), a young woman who seems to go insane after her cousin Sebastian dies on a trip to Europe under mysterious circumstances. Sebastian's mother, Violet Venable (Hepburn), tries to cloud the truth about her son's homosexuality and his death, as she wants him to be remembered as a great artist. She threatens to lobotomize Catherine for her incoherent utterances relating to Sebastian's demise. Finally, under the influence of a truth serum, Catherine tells the gruesome story of Sebastian's death by cannibalism at the hand of local boys whose sexual favors he sought.
What about other films like:
Blue Angel a strict and humorless schoolmaster who is shocked when he discovers the boys in his class have been spending their time at a sleazy cabaret called The Blue Angel, where an entertainer named Lola (Dietrich) keeps the men in thrall and sells suggestive postcards of herself. Rath goes to the club in hopes of catching his students and giving them a severe dressing-down, but he instead finds himself entranced by the carefree atmosphere of the club, and is struck by Lola's earthy, sensual beauty. Renake from 1930
Blue Denim with Carl Lynley. Arthur Bartley and Janet Willard are fairly typical 1950s teenagers. Their lives are turned upside down however when Janet becomes pregnant
The Hangin’ Tree (Remember Marty Robbins song?)
Character study of a Doctor who saves a local criminal from a mob who are trying to hang him, but then tries to control the life of the young man...
I came to town to search for gold
And I brought with me a memory
And I seem to hear the night wind cry
,"Go hang your dreams on the hangin' tree
Your dreams of love that could never be
Hang your faded dreams on the hangin' tree!"
North by Northwest starring Cary Grant. A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. Mystery/Thriller by Alfred Hitchcock. Also stars Eva Saint Marie.
Old Trunks is amazed at how long some of these actor/actresses have been in films. Aren't you?