Robert Osborne on 31 Days of Oscar®
It's the 19th time in TCM's 20 year history that we've held this kind of super Oscar® marathon, where every feature, every movie short, every cartoon and documentary has at least one Academy Award® nomination to its credit, or it has gone a step further and actually been knighted with the golden boy statuette.
This year's awards, given by voting members of Hollywood's famed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will be handed out for the 86th time on March 2, telecast live on ABC-TV. TCM will lead up to it every day, with 341 glorious examples of Oscar's® fabled past--and what a lineup we have, including 31 winners of the Academy's Best Picture prize, 31 samples of work that won Oscars ® for their director and 96 winners of the acting awards.
And what adds extra spice, interest and pizzazz this time around is the way we're presenting them: every night in primetime we'll have a complete set of nominees from a specific year and category, so you can make your own judgments as to whether or not the Academy voters made the right choice. For example, we start our festival on February 1 by showing all 10 of the nominated Best Picture competitors for 1939, the year many feel delivered more great films within a 12-month period than any other in history. That means, within one 24-hour batch, we'll be delivering Gone With the Wind; The Wizard of Oz; Wuthering Heights; Stagecoach; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Ninotchka; Of Mice and Men; Love Affair; Dark Victory and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
It continues that way all month long. More examples: on February 14, we'll be screening all five of the films with the 1955 Best Actor nominees; on February 28, it'll be all five of the best actor contenders for 1943; on March 2, you can watch all 12 (!) of the 1935 Best Picture nominees--plus various other A.A. marathons throughout the month.
We'll also have a wealth of TCM premieres, including the delightful The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) with Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison; two Brando vehicles we've never shown before, Desiree (1954) and The Young Lions (1958); the celebrated Danish film Babette's Feast (1987); Roman Polanski's Tess (1979) as well as a brand-new documentary called And the Oscar® Goes to... (2014), all about you-know-who.
Overall, we're offering more great films in a single month than perhaps have been available at any other time or place before. Excuse me if I say with pride, our cup runneth over, and we hope you'll be able to join us as often as possible during these unparalleled "31 Days of Oscar®." It wouldn't be the same without you.
by Robert Osborne