My wife and I for whatever reason decided we start 2012 off with the films of 1947.
We didn't limit ourselves to the best picture nominees, but instead tried to soak up some additional film from 1947, including It Happened on Fifth and Out of the Past.
The best picture nominees for the 1948 ceremony for the films of 1947 feature a unique mix of films that certainly paint a picture of the times. You have the light hearted contemporary Christmas films, The Bishop's Wife and Miracle on 34th Street which present a unique contemporary picture. In many sense, creating a snap shot of values and a time of returning to post-war financial security and visions for growth.
Then, mix in the well done film version of Great Expectations for a splash of period film.
Finally, you get the two different social issues films - one the dark low budget RKO film Crossfire which deals with the idea of hate of a certain type of person (in this case, Jewish) being the reason why someone might commit a crime.
This film's inclusion serves as a unique compliment to the Oscar winning film Gentleman's Agreement. Gentleman's Agreement stars Gregory Peck as a reporter who pretends he's Jewish to experience first hand what anti-semitism truly feels like. This social message film by Elia Kazan ends up being a piece of history later with some of the House Un-American Activities Committee going after many people involved in the film, increasing the film's "historical" value, beyond it's best picture win.
That being said, of all these films, I find myself really enjoying them all, with the exception of Crossfire which is frankly just a little hard to enjoy, as the films "gritty style" is in a genre that has developed significantly over the decades, and even for films of it's time in the same category, I find many films to have a stronger story. My favorite part of Crossfire is the way that the credits and various cover art just always looks a little funny with all three male leads being named Robert (Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan).
Frankly, I loved the 1947 film series at our home, and thank that this collection of films from the year.
Film still from the film Gentleman's Agreement from Film Foodie.