- May 31, 1999
- Castaic, CA
- Real Name
- Jonathan Burk
Cavalcade at the Academy Theater.
Night five in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences screenings of Best Picture winners was Cavalcade, winner of the oscar for the 17 months of August '32- December '33. There were ten nominations instead of the usual five.
The night started with curtain music "42nd Street" by Ruby Keeler. After the music, Randy Haberkamp (the producer of the series) introduced the program.
This print of Cavalcade was one of five films in this series to be recently restored by Fox. Later on, we will be treated to fully restored presentations of How Green Was My Valley, All About Eve, The Sound of Music and Patton (with the last two to be presented in 70mm with 6-track sound). The restoration on Cavalcade included piecing together cut footage from many different sources, as different parts of the US and the world would edit the film to fit local sensibilities. The print we saw tonight was the most "complete" print that had been screened in years, and the first public screening of the Academy's restored print.
Before the main feature, we were shown the Academy Award winner for Best Animated Short: Walt Disney's The Three Little Pigs. Having seen the recent Silly Symphonies DVD, I wondered if they would show us the true original version, with the offensive Jewish stereotype. And wouldn't you know it, they did! The host gave a disclaimer at the front of the cartoon, giving some history about how popular it was, and how much the song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf" meant to the country at the time. He then mentioned how the Jewish caricature had been changed after World War 2, to reflect changes in society's sensitivities. There cartoon itself was in great shape, with fantastic color (and sound), and it was like seeing it for the first time. I'm glad they changed the Wolf's disguise from the Jewish peddler to the fuller brush man; it was really bad and definitely distracted from the otherwise light nature of the cartoon.
Then followed a trailer for next week's film, It Happened One Night.
As for Cavalcade itself, I found it to be rather uneven and boring. It tells the story of an upperclass family in London from 1899 to 1933, touching on major world events along the way. A son and his wife honeymoon on a steamship; after a long discourse on how much they love each other and that they could die happy that night, it's revealed they're on the Titanic! The other son goes to fight World War I, which he expects won't take longer than 3 or 4 months! It was all very momentous, with some great model work for some of the bigger sequences. But I wouldn't mind if I never sat through it again.