It’s been a few months, so it feels like time to hand out some more awards. 1939 is generally considered one of the greatest film years ever. The Hollywood studio system was at its peak and the French, British, Soviet, Italian and Japanese film industries were yet to be entirely devastated by war. I don’t know that it’s my favorite year, 1932 and 1937 might even be the best years of the 1930s. I do think that eventually 2012 will be remembered among the great years in movie history.
Here are my fake awards for 1939. In the Endy Awards Index you can find entries for 2011193219641957 and 1994, as well as posts for the awards I made several years ago. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .

Best Picture:

1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
2. Only Angels Have Wings
3. The Rules of the Game
4. Stagecoach
5. Young Mr. Lincoln

Best Director:

1. John Ford, Stagecoach
2. Howard Hawks, Only Angels Have Wings
3. Kenji Mizoguchi, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
4. Jean Renoir, The Rules of the Game
5. John Ford, Young mr. Lincoln

I don’t think that any director has ever had a better year than John Ford did in 1939, but Renoir made one of the very best films of all-time this year.

Best Actor:

1. Clark Gable, Gone with the Wind
2. Robert Donat, Goodbye Mr. Chips
3. James Stewart, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
4. Cary Grant, Only Angels Have Wings
5. Henry Fonda, Young Mr. Lincoln

My favorite performance from the greatest actor in movie history gets the win here, against a very strong field. Donat won the Oscar, with Stewart getting the make-up prize the next year for The Philadelphia Story. His co-star in that film, Cary Grant, would probably be my pick that year instead, on the strength of His Girl Friday. Although, Stewart was also in my favorite film from 1940, The Shop Around the Corner. We’ll see what happens when I get around to giving out those awards.

Best Actress:

1. Claudette Colbert, Midnight
2. Bette Davis, Dark Victory
3. Greta Garbo, Ninotchka
4. Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz
5. Vivien Leigh, Gone with the Wind

Supporting Actor:

1. Harry Carey, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
2. Marcel Dalio, The Rules of the Game
3. Jean Renoir, The Rules of the Game
4. Thomas Mitchell, Stagecoach
5. John Wayne, Stagecoach

If John Ford had the best director year ever in 1939, Thomas Mitchell may have had the best year for a supporting actor. Standout performances in five great movies (Stagecoach, Only Angels Have Wings, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone with the Wind & The Hunchback of Notre Dame)? Can anyone top that? Tough to leave out Claude Rains in Mr. Smith and Humphrey Bogart in The Roaring Twenties here. I suspect they’ll be getting some Endy-love in the 1940s.

Supporting Actress:

1. Jean Arthur, Only Angels Have Wings
2. Olivia DeHaviland, Gone with the Wind
3. Marjorie Main, The Women
4. Maureen O’Hara, The Hunchback of Notre Dame
5. Maria Ouspenskaya, Love Affair

Original Screenplay:

1. Jacques Viot & Jacques Prévert, Le jour se lève
2. Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder, Midnight
3. Sidney Buchman, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
4. Jean Renoir & Carl Koch, The Rules of the Game
5. Lamar Trotti, Young Mr. Lincoln

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Joel Sayre & Fred Guiol, Gunga Din
2. Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder & Walter Reisch, Ninotchka
3. Jules Furthman, Only Angels Have Wings
4. Dudley Nichols, Stagecoach
5. Matsutarô Kawaguchi & Yoshikata Yoda, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums

Impressive for Brackett & Wilder getting nominated in both screenplay categories. They didn’t win (tough to beat out two of the most perfect screenplays in film history), but I expect we’ll be seeing more of these guys.

Non-English Language Film:

1. The Rules of the Game
2. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
3. Le jour se lève

Unseen Film:

1. Each Dawn I Die (William Keighley)
2. Sincerity (Mikio Naruse)
3. The Spy in Black (Michael Powell)
4. St. Louis Blues (Raoul Walsh)
5. Union Pacific (Cecil B. DeMille)

I’m actually surprised there aren’t more of these, especially with my having seen only three non-English language films. But looking through imdb’s database, these were the best I could come up with. There’s another Naruse from this year, but Sincerity sounded better.

Film Editing:

1. Only Angels Have Wings
2. The Roaring Twenties
3. The Rules of the Game
4. Stagecoach
5. The Wizard of Oz

Cinematography:

1. Ernest Haller, Gone with the Wind
2. Philippe Agostini, André Bac & Albert Viguier, Le jour se lève
3. Jean-Paul Alphen, Jean Bachelet, Jacques Lemare & Alain Renoir, The Rules of the Game
4. Bert Glennon, Stagecoach
5. Yozô Fuji & Shigeto Miki, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums

Original Score:

1. Gone with the Wind
3. Le jour se lève
5. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums
2. The Wizard of Oz
4. Young Mr. Lincoln

Adapted Score:

1. Babes in Arms
2. The Rules of the Game
3. Stagecoach

Original Song:

1. “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”, The Wizard of Oz
2. “Good Morning”, Babes in Arms
3. “If I Only Had a Brain”, The Wizard of Oz
4. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz
5. “We’re Off to See the Wizard”, The Wizard of Oz

These soundtrack awards are pretty much no-brainers. Or if I only had a brainers.

Art Direction:

1. Drums Along the Mohawk
2. Gone with the Wind
3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
4. The Rules of the Game
5. The Wizard of Oz

Costume Design:

1. Gone with the Wind
2. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
3. The Rules of the Game
4. The Wizard of Oz
5. Young Mr. Lincoln

Make-up:

1. Goodbye, Mr. Chips
2. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
3. The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
4. The Wizard of Oz
5. Young Mr. Lincoln

Sound Mixing:

1. Gone with the Wind
2. Gunga Din
3. Only Angels Have Wings
4. Stagecoach
5. The Wizard of Oz

Sound Editing:

1. Beau Geste
2. Gone With the Wind
3. Gunga Din
4. Only Angels Have Wings
5. Stagecoach

Visual Effects:

1. Gone with the Wind
2. Only Angels Have Wings
3. The Wizard of Oz

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