The Map: And the winner is ...
On the eve on the Oscars, rewinds seven decades of Best Film winners in search of the landmark movies and locations
Saturday 20 March 1999
1960s Austria (The Sound of Music) The hills of Austria still play host to thousands of tourists eager to re-create Roger and Hammerstein's 1965 musical. Amadeus (1984) reinforced Vienna's highbrow status even though it was filmed in Prague: the Czech capital looked more like 18th- century Vienna than the modern Austrian capital. The decade, which bade farewell to old Hollywood musicals, is framed by two deceptively serious films. (1960s Best Film winners: The Apartment (1960), set in New York; West Side Story (1961), New York; Lawrence of Arabia (1962), London/Jordan; Tom Jones (1963), England; My Fair Lady (1964), England; The Sound of Music (1965); A Man For All Seasons (1966), England; In the Heat of the Night (1967), Mississippi; Oliver! (1968), England; Midnight Cowboy (1969), New York)
1970s Vietnam (The Deer Hunter) Cimino's 1978 Vietnam film finally kicked the notion of US patriotism in the teeth in a decade which saw the cynical, in-your-face cinema of several young mavericks. (1970s Best Film winners: Patton (1970), set in Africa/Sicily; The French Connection (1971), New York; The Godfather (1972), New York; The Sting (1973), Chicago; The Godfather Part II (1974), New York; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Oregon; Rocky (1976), Philadelphia; Annie Hall (1977), New York; The Deer Hunter (1978); Kramer vs Kramer (1979), New York)
1980s England (Chariots of Fire) This 1981 winner looked back to the stereotypical starched-collar portrayal of England. It was an image which went as far back as 1933 with Noel Coward's Cavalcade which chronicled 30 years of a well-to-do British family, taking its players from the Boer War to the First World War. Elsewhere in the Reagan years, Hollywood provided a mixed bag of historical epics and exploitative dramas. (1980s Best Film winners: Ordinary People (1980), set in Chicago; Chariots of Fire (1981); Gandhi (1982), India/South Africa; Terms of Endearment (1983), Texas; Amadeus (1984), Austria; Out of Africa (1985), Kenya; Platoon (1986), Vietnam; The Last Emperor (1987), China; Rainman (1988), Cincinnati/Las Vegas; Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Atlanta)
1990s Poland (Schindler's List) Set in Krakow, Spielberg's tour de force put the medieval Jewish quarter of Kazimierz on the map, starting so-called "Schindler Tourism". The portrayal of a concentration camp is more graphic than this year's Best Film and Best Foreign Language Film nominee, Life Is Beautiful (1998). (1990s Best Film winners: Dances With Wolves (1990), set in South Dakota; The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Pittsburgh; Unforgiven (1992), Kansas; Schindler's List (1993); Forrest Gump (1994), Georgia; Braveheart (1995), Scotland; The English Patient (1996), Africa/Italy; Titanic (1997), Atlantic)
1950s Italy (Ben-Hur) Ancient Rome played host to Ben-Hur, with wooden chariots, wooden acting and a distinctly unwooden watch worn by one of the charioteers. The English Patient (1996) and Patton (1970) revisited 20th-century wartime Italy: Tuscany and Sicily respectively. Once again, the Fifties showed the Oscars steering their way between the grand and tragic - From Here to Eternity - and the vacuous, The Greatest Show on Earth. (1950s Best Film winners: All About Eve (1950), set in New York; An American in Paris (1951), France; The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), Florida; From Here to Eternity (1953), Hawaii; On the Waterfront (1954), New York; Marty (1955), New York; Around the World in 80 Days (1956), global; The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), Burma; Gigi (1958), France; Ben-Hur, 1959)
1940s Morroco (Casablanca) Africa is no stranger to winners, the 1943 classic with Bogart and Bergman being the most famous. As with Kenya in Out of Africa (1984) and the northern deserts in The English Patient (1996), doomed romance is the theme. Elsewhere in the 1940s, earnest drama such as the ensemble, The Best Years of Our Lives, was in evidence. (1940s Best Film winners: Rebecca (1940), set in England; How Green Was My Valley (1941), Wales; Mrs Miniver (1942), England; Casablanca (1943); Going My Way (1944), New York; The Lost Weekend (1945), New York; The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Midwest; Gentleman's Agreement (1947), New York; Hamlet (1948), Denmark; All the King's Men (1949), New York)
1930s Germany (Grand Hotel) Greta Garbo drawled her most famous line, "I want to be alone", in this MGM star vehicle from 1932. It was based on Berlin's Hotel Adlon, recently rebuilt as a homage to the city's glamorous past. Still in Germany, at the other extreme, All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) chronicled the tragic fate of a troop of Germans in the First World War. (1930s Best Film winners: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930); Cimarron (1931), set in Oklahoma; Grand Hotel (1932); Calvacade (1933), England, Africa; It Happened One Night (1934), Miami to New York; Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Pacific Ocean; The Life of Emile Zola (1937), France/Devil's Island; The Great Ziegfeld (1936), New York; You Can't Take It With You (1938), New York; Gone With the Wind (1939), Atlanta)
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