Nominees that didn’t make it:
N/A. The Patriot-lost
4. In Old Arizona-odiously hokey
3. Broadway Melody-awful on the ears
2. Hollywood Revue-this was eligible?
1. Alibi-pretty awful but looks nice in parts
For Twitter length reviews click here
19. The Letter
Not exactly good, but interesting. Wyler improved it.
Favorite Moment: The shooting.
18. White Shadows in the South Seas
Not remotely progressive but it looks very pretty even with the standard adventure narrative.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
17. House on Trubnaya
Starts off funny but then just gets incoherent.
Favorite Moment: The duck chase.
Way too long and too dependent on intertitles, but Lang was so good at the visual side of things that I don’t care much.
Favorite Moment: The opening scenes.
15. Weary River
A massive improvement on all the BP noms (this got a Director nod) but that doesn’t mean much. Barthelmess is great both in silence and sound portions, though.
Favorite Moment: The titular song.
Obscenely long but justifies it with great bank visuals. Helm cements status as true great.
Favorite Moment: Brigitte Helm’s seduction.
13. Finis Terrae
I think this could’ve been a truly great sound film in how gorgeous it is combined with nothing really resembling a plot.
Favorite Moment: The bottle breaks.
12. The Wedding March
Both too long and too short, but the cast impresses and the sadness underneath such pretty images is well considered.
Favorite Moment: Ending.
11. Show People
I have a huge weakness for films in this genre, I only wish the sound had been utilized more effectively. Love the Davies performance, though, and the history behind it all makes the cameos much more fun. (This film using Chaplin for a cameo feels like a deliciously dark precedent for Keaton in Sunset Blvd.)
Favorite Moment: The faces.
For my Top 10 of 1928/29 click here.
BEST ACTING (Finalists in bold)
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actor):
N/A. Lewis Stone, The Patriot-lost
N/A. Paul Muni, The Valiant-unavailable to me right now
3. Warner Baxter, In Old Arizona-annoying as fuck
2. George Bancroft, Thunderbolt-grumbles and mumbles
Nominees that didn’t make it (Actress):
N/A. Betty Compson, The Barker-off to UCLA!
5. Ruth Chatterton, Madame X-really forces her voice
4. Mary Pickford, Coquette-at least it’s campy
3. Corinne Griffith, The Divine Lady-a boring sound AND silent performance
Pierre Alcover, L’Argent
George Bancroft, Docks of New York
Richard Barthelmess, Weary River
Lars Hanson, The Wind
Buster Keaton, The Cameraman
Fredric March, Wild Party
Chester Morris, Alibi-passable, but has the appropriate smarm
Erich von Stroheim, Wedding March
Clara Bow, Wild Party
Betty Compson, Docks of New York
Marion Davies, Show People
Jeanne Eagels, The Letter-draws on addiction, to her benefit
Maria Falconetti, Passion of Joan of Arc
Lillian Gish, The Wind
Bessie Love, Broadway Melody-the only real person in a mediocrity of caricature
Gloria Swanson, Queen Kelly
Anna May Wong, Piccadilly
Alfred Abel, L’Argent
Antonin Artaud, Passion of Joan of Arc
Clyde Cook, Docks of New York
Montagu Love, The Wind
Max Schreck, Nosferatu
Eugene Silvain, Passion of Joan of Arc
Gustav von Seyffertitz, Docks of New York
Olga Baclanova, Docks of New York
Dorothy Cumming, The Wind
Marie Glory, L’Argent
Gilda Gray, Piccadilly
Brigitte Helm, L’Argent
Shirley O’Hara, Wild Party
Seena Owen, Queen Kelly
Zasu Pitts, Wedding March