The year 1950 was a great one for movies and was especially notable for the release of two landmark films that remain culturally relevant and immensely entertaining 70 years later.
By Jeff Pfeiffer, ReMIND Magazine
All About Eve hit theaters in the fall of 1950 with a brilliantly presented and performed tale of offstage drama and backstabbing in the world of Broadway. The film earned a previously unheard-of 14 Oscar nominations, a record it held singly for 47 years. It’s the only movie in Oscar history to receive four female acting nominations: Bette Davis and Anne Baxter for Best Actress, and Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter for Best Supporting Actress. While none of the women won, the film took home six statuettes on Oscar night, including Best Picture. This iconic movie was one of the first 50 films selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry.
While All About Eve is one of the best movies made about Broadway, an earlier 1950 release — Billy Wilder’s dark-humored drama Sunset Boulevard — remains one of the best movies made about Hollywood. Its mesmerizing tale is told through an out-of-work screenwriter’s (William Holden) entry into the strange world of Norma Desmond, one of the most memorable characters in cinema history. Norma is a once-popular, but now largely forgotten, silent movie actress (unforgettably portrayed by Oscar nominee Gloria Swanson, herself a one-time star of the silent screen) who lives hidden away both in an old mansion and in her delusions of fame. Sunset Boulevard won three of the 11 Oscars for which it was nominated. Like All About Eve, it is a part of the National Film Registry, and both films continue to be enjoyable, influential and highly quotable after seven decades.
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