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The Envelope – Ep. #21 – Hamlet

On this episode, we discuss the twenty-first Best Picture Winner: “HAMLET.” "Hamlet" is Director Laurence Olivier's adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy that follows the Danish prince, Hamlet, who seeks vengeance when his uncle usurps the throne by killing his father and marrying his mother. The film stars Laurence Olivier as Prince of Denmark Hamlet, Basil Sydney as Claudius - The King, Eileen Herlie as Gertrude - The Queen, Norman Wooland as Horatio, Felix Aylmer as Polonius, Terence...


The Envelope – Ep. #20 – Gentleman’s Agreement

On this episode, we discuss the twentieth Best Picture Winner: “GENTLEMAN’S AGREEMENT.” “Gentleman’s Agreement” follows journalist Phil Green as he moves to New York City and takes on a high-profile magazine assignment about anti-Semitism. In order to truly view things from an empathetic perspective, he pretends to be Jewish and begins to experience many forms of bigotry, both firsthand and through a Jewish friend, Dave Goldman. Phil soon falls in love with beautiful Kathy Lacy, but their...


The Envelope – Ep. #19 – The Best Years Of Our Lives

On this episode, we discuss the nineteenth Best Picture Winner: “THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES.” “The Best Years Of Our Lives” follows three World War II veterans (Fred, Al, and Homer) who return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed. Fred, a war hero, is unable to compete with more highly skilled workers and has to return to his low-wage soda clerk job. Bank executive Al gets into trouble for offering favorable loans to veterans....


The Envelope – Ep. #18 – The Lost Weekend

On this episode, we discuss the eighteenth Best Picture Winner: “THE LOST WEEKEND.” "The Lost Weekend" follows writer & chronic alcoholic Don Birnam. Sober for only a few days, Don is supposed to be spending the weekend with his brother, Wick, but, eager for a drink, Don convinces his girlfriend to take Wick out to a show. Don, meanwhile, heads to his local bar and misses the train out of town. After recounting to the bartender how he developed a drinking problem, Don goes on a weekend-long...


The Envelope – Ep. #17 – Going My Way

On this episode, we discuss the seventeenth Best Picture Winner: “GOING MY WAY.” "Going My Way" follows Father Charles O'Malley, an easy-going, golf-playing young priest whose entry into a tough neighborhood parish in midtown Manhattan is viewed with skepticism from all quarters, especially the aging Father Fitzgibbon. While dealing with some unfinished business from his former life in the form of an old flame who now sings at the Metropolitan Opera, Father O'Malley inspires the youth of...


The Envelope – Ep. #16 – Casablanca

On this episode, we discuss the sixteenth Best Picture Winner: “CASABLANCA.” Set during World War II, "Casablanca" focuses on an American expatriate turned nightclub owner, Rick Blaine, who discovers his old flame Ilsa has come to Casablanca with her new husband, Victor Laszlo, who is a Czech Resistance leader with Germans on his tail. Rick must now decide whether or not to help the couple escape from the Vichy-controlled city to continue their fight against the Nazis. Directed by Michael...


The Envelope – Ep. #15 – Mrs. Miniver

On this episode, we discuss the fifteenth Best Picture Winner: “MRS. MINIVER.” Told in a series of dramatic vignettes, "Mrs. Miniver" follows a middle-class English family learning to cope with war. The family, headed by the lovely & gracious matriarch Mrs. Miniver, endures the departure of the father for the beaches at Dunkirk, the discovery of a wounded Nazi pilot, the death of the daughter-in-law in an air raid, and the son joining the Royal Air Force. Directed by William Wyler, the film...


The Envelope – Ep. #14 – How Green Was My Valley

On this episode, we discuss the fourteenth Best Picture Winner: “HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY.” "How Green Was My Valley" follows Huw Morgan, the academically inclined youngest son in a proud family of Welsh coal miners, who witnesses the tumultuous events of his young life during a period of rapid social change. At the dawn of the 20th century, a miners' strike divides the Morgans: the sons of the family demand improvements, while the father doesn't want to rock the boat. Meanwhile, Huw's...


The Envelope – Ep. #13 – Rebecca

On this episode, we discuss the thirteenth Best Picture Winner: “REBECCA.” "Rebecca" follows a young woman who marries a fascinating widower only to find out that she must live in the shadow of his former wife, Rebecca. The new Mrs. de Winter must come to grips with the terrible secret of her handsome, cold husband, Max De Winter, while also dealing with the jealous, obsessed Mrs. Danvers, the housekeeper, who will not accept her as the mistress of the house. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock,...


The Envelope – Ep. #12 – Gone with the Wind

On this episode, we discuss the twelfth Best Picture Winner: “GONE WITH THE WIND.” "Gone with the Wind" is an epic Civil War drama that focuses on the life of petulant southern belle Scarlett O'Hara. Starting with her idyllic life on a sprawling plantation, the film traces her survival through the tragic history of the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction, and her tangled love affairs with Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler. Directed by Victor Fleming, the film stars Vivien Leigh as...


The Envelope – Ep. #11 – You Can’t Take It With You

On this episode, we are discussing the eleventh Best Picture Winner: “You Can’t Take It With You.” In the film, "You Can't Take It With You," sweet-natured Alice Sycamore falls for a big-wig banker's son named Tony Kirby. But when she invites her snooty prospective in-laws to dinner to give their blessing for the marriage, Alice's peculiar extended family -- including philosophical grandfather Martin Vanderhof, hapless fledgling ballerina sister Essie and fireworks enthusiast father, Paul...


The Envelope - Ep. #10 – The Life of Emile Zola

On this episode, we are discussing the tenth Best Picture Winner: “The Life of Emile Zola.” After struggling to establish himself, author Emile Zola wins success writing about the unsavory side of Paris and settles into a comfortable upper-class life. However, Zola's complacency is shaken when Jewish officer Alfred Dreyfus is wrongfully imprisoned for being a spy. Realizing that Dreyfus is an innocent victim of anti-Semitism, Zola boldly pens a newspaper article exposing the truth, is...


The Envelope - Ep. #9 – The Great Ziegfeld

On this episode, we are discussing the ninth Best Picture Winner: “The Great Ziegfeld.” "The Great Ziegfeld" is a biopic that follows the rise of Florenz Ziegfeld, a theater producer who became renowned during the 1920s for his lavish stage productions. Starting out by promoting individual performers, Ziegfeld established revues featuring dozens of women, shows that developed into his famous Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. His appreciation of women is also apparent off-stage, leading to a...


The Envelope - Ep. #8 – Mutiny on the Bounty

On this episode, we are discussing the eighth Best Picture Winner: “Mutiny on the Bounty.” “Mutiny on the Bounty” follows William Bligh, the cruel captain of the HMS Bounty, a ship bound for Tahiti. When the crew-members finally tire of his abuse, Fletcher Christian leads a mutiny, resulting in Bligh’s unceremonious removal from the ship. While Christian and the remaining crew sail on to Tahiti, Bligh becomes intent on exacting revenge, and he targets Roger Byam, a sailor who had actually...


The Envelope - Ep. #7 – It Happened One Night

On this episode, we are discussing the seventh Best Picture Winner: “It Happened One Night.” "It Happened One Night" follows spoiled heiress Ellie Andrews who impetuously married a man named King Westley, leading her tycoon father to spirit her away on his yacht. After jumping ship, Ellie falls in with cynical newspaper reporter Peter Warne, who offers to help her reunite with her new husband in exchange for an exclusive story. But during their travels, the reporter finds himself falling...


The Envelope - Ep. #6 – Cavalcade

On this episode, we are discussing the sixth Best Picture Winner: “Cavalcade.” "Cavalcade" follows Upper-crust Londoners Robert & Jane Marryot, and their working-class counterparts, Alfred & Ellen Bridges, as they experience life's many triumphs and tragedies from the Boer War at the dawn of the 20th century up to 1930s. Queen Victoria's death and the sinking of the Titanic etch deep scars on both families, but the outbreak of World War I and its dramatic aftermath proves to be the greatest...


The Envelope - Ep. #5 – Grand Hotel

On this episode, we are discussing the fifth Best Picture Winner: “Grand Hotel.” "Grand Hotel" is a lavish adaptation of the successful Broadway play of the same name. At a luxurious Berlin hotel between World War 1 & World War 2, the once-wealthy Baron Felix von Gaigern supports himself as a thief and a gambler. One night, the Baron romances one of his marks, the aging ballerina Grusinskaya, and teams with a dying accountant, Otto Kringelein, against his former boss, crooked industrialist...


The Envelope - Ep. #4 - Cimarron

On this episode, we are discussing the fourth Best Picture Winner: “Cimarron.” Set in 1889, “CIMARRON” follows adventurous lawyer and newspaper editor Yancey Cravat who convinces his wife, Sabra, to join him in the rush to populate Osage, Oklahoma. After they begin to settle into the community, Yancey leaves to go further west. Alone, Sabra inherits his editorial duties and struggles to bring civilization to the rough frontier town. Over a tumultuous 40 years, the couple are repeatedly...


The Envelope - Ep. #3 - All Quiet on the Western Front

On this episode, we are discussing the third Best Picture Winner: “All Quiet on the Western Front.” “ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT” follows a young soldier who faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I. Based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel of the same name, the film was directed by Lewis Milestone, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Arnold Lucy and Ben Alexander. Here on The Envelope, we will be discussing & reviewing every Best Picture...


The Envelope - Ep. #2 - The Broadway Melody

On this episode, we are discussing the second Best Picture Winner: “The Broadway Melody.” “The Broadway Melody” follows a pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit who try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt. Written by Norman Houston & James Gleason from a story by Edmund Goulding, and directed by Harry Beaumont, the film stars Anita Page, Charles King and Bessie Love. Bessie Love was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her...