Best Picture Nominees: 1938

The darkest point before the storm of World War II. Germany invaded Austria and proclaimed a new Germany-Austria union. Britain, France and Italy agreed to let Germany divide Czechoslovakia ("peace in our time"). The Nazis destroyed Jewish shops, homes and synagogues in the "Kristallnacht" riots. And amidst the fear of war and invasion, on the night before Halloween, Orson Welles created a panic with his adaptation of "The War of the Worlds."

For more information about 1938, see The Learning Network's Fact Monster.

You Can't Take It With You (Frank Capra)
Won Best Picture
Alice Sycamore (Jean Arthur), the only normal person from a zany family, falls in love with her boss, Tony Kirby (James Stewart), but the relation breaks up, when during a dinner at her home, the house is raided by the police, and everyone is arrested on suspicion of anarchism.

The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir)
Nominated Best Picture
IMDB Highest Rated
From France, Jean Renoir's story of two French officers captured in World War I. Captain De Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) is an aristocrat, while Lieutenant Marechal (Jean Gabin) was a mechanic in civilian life. They meet other prisoners from various backgrounds, suchh as Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio), son of wealthy Jewish bankers. They are separated from Rosenthal before managing to escape. A few months later, they meet again in a fortress commanded by the aristocrat Van Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim). One of the few foreign films nominated for Best Picture by the Academy.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz and William Keighley)
Nominated Best Picture
Solonor's Pick
One of the greatest action pictures of all time and is the film that made Flynn a definite star. In it, Sir Robin of Locksley (Errol Flynn), defender of downtrodden Saxons, runs afoul of Norman authority and is forced to turn outlaw. With his band of Merry Men, he robs from the rich, gives to the poor and still has time to woo the lovely Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland), foil the cruel Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Basil Rathbone), and keep the nefarious Prince John (Claude Rains) off the throne.

Pygmalion (Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard)
Nominated Best Picture
From the play by George Bernard Shaw (who also helped write the screenplay), this is the story of snobbish and intellectual Professor of languages, Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) who makes a bet with his friend that he can take a London flower seller, Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller), from the gutters and pass her off as a society lady. However he soon discovers that this involves dealing with a human being with ideas of her own. Years later, this became the basis for My Fair Lady.


The Citadel (King Vidor)
Nominated Best Picture
Andrew Manson (Robert Donat), a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his attempts to prove its cause are thwarted, he moves to London. His new practice does badly. But when a friend shows him how to make a lucrative practice from rich hypochondriacs, it will take a great shock to show him what the truth of being a doctor really is.

Jezebel (William Wyler)
Nominated Best Picture
Angry with her fiance, Julie Marsden (Bette Davis) intends to embarrass Preston Dillard (Henry Fonda) at the Olympus Ball, a major New Orleans social event at which their engagement is to be announced. Unmarried women customarily wear a white gown; she will wear red. The trick backfires and the engagement is broken. Three years later Preston arrives at Julie's plantation with his wife Amy (Margaret Lindsay). During a yellow fever epidemic, Preston is stricken and Julie arrives to nurse him.

Boys Town (Norman Taurog)
Nominated Best Picture
Against all odds, Father Flanagan (Spencer Tracy) starts Boys Town after hearing a convict's story. Whitey Marsh (Mickey Rooney) comes there. He runs away but, hungry, returns. He runs away again but, when friend Pee Wee (Bobs Watson) is hit by a car, returns. He runs away and joins his brother's gang. Flanagan and the boys capture the crooks and the reward saves the town.

Alexander's Ragtime Band (Henry King)
Nominated Best Picture
A nostalgic musical comedy set in the days of vaudeville on Broadway. The film follows the ups and downs of Alexander's Ragtime Band led by Roger Grant (Tyrone Power) with lead young singer Stella Kirby (Alice Faye), and later with powerful vocalist Jerry Allen (Ethel Merman). Roger fights for the love of Stella over a period of about 25 years with songwriter Charlie Dwyer (Don Ameche). This film includes 26 Irving Berlin songs, including "I'm Marching Along with Time," "My Walking Stick," and "Now It Can Be Told."


Four Daughters (Michael Curtiz)
Nominated Best Picture
Musician Adam Lemp (Claude Rains) and his four equally musical daughters, Emma (Gale Page), Ann (Priscilla Lane), Kay (Rosemary Lane), and Thea (Lola Lane), live happily together. Each daughter has an upstanding young man for whom she cares. However, the arrival of a cynical, slovenly young composer named Mickey Borden (John Garfield) turns the household upside-down and romantic and tragic complications ensue.


Test Pilot (Victor Fleming)
Nominated Best Picture
Jim (Clark Gable) is a test pilot. His wife Ann (Myrna Loy) and best friend Gunner (Spencer Tracy) try their best to keep him sober, but he crashes a plane and Gunner is killed. It's a 1930's Top Gun!

Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks)
This is one of the fastest paced and funniest of the screwball comedies. David Huxley (Cary Grant) is waiting to get a bone he needs for his museum collection. Through a series of strange circumstances, he meets Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), and the duo have a series of misadventures which include a leopard called Baby.

The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock)
Travellers on a trans-European train are delayed for a night due to bad weather in an unnamed country. The passengers cram into the small village hotel where socialite Iris Henderson (Margaret Lockwood) meets an old governess called Miss Froy (Dame May Whitty). Shortly after the journey restarts, Miss Froy disappears.

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Best Picture: 1938
What is the Best Picture of 1938?

You Can't Take It With You
The Grand Illusion
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Citadel
Boys Town
Alexander's Ragtime Band
Four Daughters
Test Pilot
Bringing Up Baby
The Lady Vanishes

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1937 <- Main Menu -> 1939

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