Although 1939 is considered the "golden year" of classic Hollywood, 1938 was a banner year for enduring movies, as well, and 2013 marks the 75th anniversary of these great films. Here are a few of the most influential movies marking their 75th anniversaries this year.
BringingUp Baby Howard Hawks directs Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in this beloved screwball comedy about a madcap heiress and the leopard who helps her entangle a handsome paleontologist. Although it failed to earn a single Oscar nomination in 1939, "Bringing Up Baby" has become a true standard of the comedy genre. Who can resist Hepburn, Grant, and a supporting cast that includes Charlie Ruggles, Barry Fitzgerald, and May Robson?
YouCan't Take It with You The Best Picture winner in 1939 would be this sentimental comedy from Frank Capra, which stars Jean Arthur, Jimmy Stewart, and Lionel Barrymore as the leads in another cast packed with treasures. Spring Byington was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the matriarch of the eccentric Sycamore clan, and the movie earned seven nominations in all, with a win for Capra's direction joining the Best Picture award.
Jezebel Bette Davis beats Vivien Leigh to the Civil War ball by a year with this costume melodrama from director William Wyler. Along with Davis, who won Best Actress for her role, the film stars Henry Fonda, George Brent, and Fay Bainter (who won for Best Supporting Actress), while Max Steiner provides the Oscar-nominated score.
Pygmalion This English adaptation of the play by George Bernard Shaw features Wendy Hiller and Leslie Howard as the Cockney flower girl and her difficult mentor, with direction by Anthony Asquith. Both Hiller and Howard earned Oscar nominations for their parts, and the movie also scored a Best Picture nod, but its only win was for Best Screenplay. Wilfrid Lawson gives a terrific performance as Eliza Doolittle's opportunistic father, Alfred.