At long last, the 86th Academy Awards – celebrating the year 2013 in film – have finally arrived. In just a matter of moments, the history books will be updated to include the names of this year’s newly-crowned Oscar winners, who will be enshrined in a very exclusive club, forever.
Ahead of this year’s ceremony, I, SportsGuy515, one-half of Team FORCED PERSPECTIVE, will give my picks for the 10 Best Films of 2013, as well as my predictions for who will win each of the main awards, as well as who SHOULD win, having been able to watch all the nominated films over the past 24-hours at the AMC Best Picture Marathon in New York City.
With that, let’s get on with the show!
The ROAD TO THE OSCARS is winding down…
MOVIE: How the West Was Won
RELEASE DATE: 1962
DIRECTORS: John Ford, Henry Hathaway, George Marshall
SCREENPLAY: James R. Webb
CAST: Carroll Baker, James Stewart, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Debbie Reynolds, John Wayne, Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark, Walter Brennan, Lee J. Cobb, Harry Morgan
Winner: Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen
Winner: Best Film Editing
Winner: Best Sound
Nominated: Best Picture
Nominated: Best Cinematography, Color
Nominated: Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Color
Nominated: Best Costume Design, Color
Nominated: Best Music, Score – Substantially Original
History lesson time: Widescreen, which is the current filming format, wasn’t always the standard. In the 1950s and early 1960s, with the advent of television, movie studios were trying anything to get people into the theaters. New concepts like 3D films came about as did the concept of making the picture bigger… more spectacular. Along came Cinerama (which got its name from “cinema” and “panorama.”) The basic idea was to take three cameras and shoot a film on 35 mm footage and then project onto 3 corresponding curved screen in specially built movie theaters. One of the first films to use this process was How the West Was Won… an epic retelling of America’s migration into the west told in several vignettes starring big stars like James Stewart, Gregory Peck and John Wayne. The film is worth watching purely for the spectacle, but also to appreciate some of the beautiful cinematography of the United States western frontier. It’s a stunning film to behold.
How the West Was Won is available on DVD and Blu-ray, and is available to rent on disc via Netflix. You can digitally rent the film through Amazon, iTunes and YouTube or purchase a digital copy via Amazon or iTunes. If you have an Xfinity subscription, you can also watch it for free via Encore.