Yesterday’s announcement by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that the The Wizard of Oz will be celebrated at this year’s Oscars was met with widespread enthusiasm. After all, it’s one of Hollywood’s most beloved films, multiple generations have grown up singing its tunes, and it’s celebrating its 75th anniversary.
But The Wizard of Oz wasn’t the only classic movie to come out in 1939. That prolific Hollywood year also boasted Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, John Ford’s Stagecoach, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Ninotchka (“Garbo laughs!”), Gunga Din, William Wyler’s Wuthering Heights (with Laurence Olivier), Dark Victory (with Bette Davis), Destry Rides Again, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Of Mice and Men, and Young Mr. Lincoln (with Henry Fonda). There was also a little movie that was based on an obscure novel called… wait, let me check to make sure I have this right… yes, it’s called Gone With the Wind. Only the biggest, most popular movie of its time. Scarlett O’Hara must be seething at the Oscar slight. READ FULL STORY