Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Remember yesterday's quiz question? Musicals that won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in addition to Fiorello!, A Chorus Line, and Of Thee I sing? The answers are: South Pacific, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Sunday in the Park with George, and Rent.

Kind of intriguing don't you think to consider why these musicals get singled out and why, say, Oklahoma, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, West Side Story, Gypsy, and Company don't. Ah, the vagaries of awards. The worthiest entries often get ignored and the momentarily okay get all the glory. Of course, many worthy projects do receive proper appreciation, but there are some striking omissions. Citizen Kane is my favorite overlooked film. Here are some of my other overlooked favorites in a variety of fields:

Nobel Prize for Literature: Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Hardy, Elizabeth Bishop, Philip Roth

Oscar for Best Film: Wizard of Oz, Grapes of Wrath, Double Indemnity, Sunset Boulevard

Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama: Glass Menagerie, The Crucible, History Boys

Athlete of the Year: Lou Gehrig, Hank Aaron, Jimmy Brown, Gail Sayers

Car of the Year: Chevy Nova, AMC Pushbutton Transmission Rambler, AMC Gremlin


  1. Yeah, well there was tough competition for the Oscar in those days. Wizard of Oz and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington lost to Gone With the Wind in 1939, Grapes of Wrath and Philadelphia Story lost to Rebecca in 1940, Sunset Boulevard lost to All About Eve in 1950. And .. Double Indemnity lost to Going My Way in 1944. Never underestimate Der Bingle.

  2. No question about it, John, Bing was always a formidable opponent. And, of course, you are right to point out, particularly in the case of Wizard of Oz, as great as it was, that it couldn't possibly have come out on top going up against the likes of GWTW. But Rebecca over Grapes or PS, puleeeeez!