81 Days With Oscar And Me

Every Academy Award-Winning Movie, Back to Back, Starting With the First

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The Rules

Why movies?

Because I absolutely love them! I love to watch them, talk about them, analyze them, and – hopefully, one day – write them.

I couldn’t think of a better way to immerse myself in movies than to choose the best movies Hollywood has to offer, from the very first one in 1927 (Wings) to the most recent one in 2008 (Slumdog Millionaire).

I want to know everything I can possibly know about Oscar-winning movies, within the time frame I set out for myself. What kinds of things do I want to know? Things like this:

1. What are the trends (if any) over the years and decades?
2. Which genres (comedy, drama, mystery, thriller, musical) have won the most times?
3. Which studios have won the most Oscars?
4. Which directors have won the most Oscars?
5. Which actors have won the most Oscars?
6. Do the movies hold up? Can they be watched repeatedly?
7. What is the soundtrack like – contemporary songs? Original music? A combination?
8. How is the acting? The direction? The cinematography?

And, because I’m learning the craft of screenwriting..
9. How has screenwriting changed since the first Oscar-winning movie?
10 How have scenes changed?
11. How has dialog changed?
12. How has scene length changed?
13. Which screenwriters have won the most Oscars?

And, because I want to place these movies in historical context…
14. How much of what was going on in society at the time is evident in the movies?
15. What social trends/mores are depicted in the movies?
16. When did movies begin “swearing”?
17. When did movies begin “sexing”? (You know what I’m talkin’ about.)
18. Who were the actors in these movies? What were their lives like?
19. What was Hollywood like at the time of each movie?

And, because my mind works in really, really mysterious ways…
20. What is the average number of words in each title?
21. How many movies are titled with just one word? Two words?
22. Which movie title is the longest?
23. Do any of the movies break the fourth wall? If so, how many?

Because I could tumble down the rabbit hole and get totally lost exploring my questions, I decided to create three simple rules to limit me:

1. I must watch each day’s movie at least once. I can watch each movie – during the day on which it is scheduled – as many times as I wish. But once is the minimum.

2. I can only watch these movies. During my 81 Days With Oscar project, I can watch no other movie or television show. Not on DVD. Not at the theater. My entire focus must be on these 81 Oscar-winning movies.

3. Research is imited to two hours per day. I can explore any aspect of each day’s movie that strikes my fancy. But I am limited to two hours per day in which to do so.

Incidentally, if you wish to get in touch with me – and I’m not sure why you’d want to – you can do so via e-mail: bill (at) 81DaysWithOscarAndMe (dot) com. Replace the (at) with @ and (dot) with . and you’re good to go.

Last Word: All photos/images/video clips on this web site are in compliance with the principles of Fair Use. They are used to illustrate reviews, research, opinions, and exploration of these 81 Oscar-winning movies. The photos and images are very low-resolution and smaller in size than commercially available. The video clips are readily available on YouTube or MySpace. This web site exists to encourage readers to buy the books and movies discussed, not pirate them. In short, no copyright violations are intended. Oscar® and Academy Awards® and Oscar® design mark are the trademarks and service marks and the Oscar© statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This site is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.