Best Screenplay 1927/28

1927/28 through 1997

What were the best Original and Adapted screenplays of 1927/28? (Vote for 1 of each)

The Circus (Charles Chaplin) - Original (nullified by Special Award)
The Last Command (Lajos Biro) - Original
No votes
Underworld (Ben Hecht) - Original
Glorious Betsy (Anthony Coldeway) - Adapted
No votes
The Jazz Singer (Alfred Cohn) - Adapted
No votes
7th Heaven (Benjamin Glazer) -Adapted
Total votes: 10

The Original BJ
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Re: Best Screenplay 1927/28

Postby The Original BJ » Thu May 04, 2017 3:28 pm

Doing the polls in this order has me looking more fondly on this group than I might have -- after sitting through a good number of clunky early talkies from the '30's, I found myself relieved to be back in the silent era, with movies that are quite a bit more engaging.

Which isn't to say that the Original lineup is anything sublime -- The Crowd would have easily gotten my vote over any of the actual nominees -- but movies from filmmakers of note usually tend to be worthy in some way, even if they're second-tier.

I'd probably rank the winner, Underworld, the least impressive, though von Sternberg's touch with the visuals certainly makes the movie a far more stylish affair than something like The Racket, another silent crime drama from this year. But the plot is definitely on the thin side -- much of it feels like a padded two-reeler -- and the energy of the visuals and cuts (especially in the last half hour) propel it along more than the narrative.

The Last Command is definitely an idiosyncratic mix of tones, blending a comic send-up of Hollywood with a tragic look at the Russian Revolution's effect on one general. Throughout the film, I had no idea where the story was going, so I have to tip my hat to a plot that didn't feel like the same old thing. And yet, I can't say I found the movie terribly deep -- its concluding line ("He was a great man") would have had to be preceded by richer material to feel fully earned, in my opinion.

The Circus wouldn't be near the top of my list of Chaplin efforts -- it lacks the emotion of City Lights, the invention of Modern Times, the cynicism of Monsieur Verdoux. And I'll take the point that it works best as a collection of set pieces -- with the lion and the tight rope walk the most memorable -- rather than a cohesive story. But it's easily my favorite movie of this bunch, with a lot of laughs, and a pleasingly bittersweet ending. The Tramp gets my vote over the von Sternberg dramas.

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Best Screenplay 1927/28

Postby Big Magilla » Wed May 03, 2017 12:14 pm

We come to the end of this look backwards at the screenwriting awards.

In the first year there was also a category for title writing. Since it's doubtful that anyone alive has seen all the nominees, we won't vote on it, but for the record the nominees were:

Joseph Farnum for Telling the World; The Fair Co-Ed and Laugh, Clown Laugh
Gerald Duffy for The Private Life of Helen of Troy
George Marion, Jr. for Oh Kay!

Farnum won.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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