With the end of Cannes 2019, here’s looking back at Palme d’Or winners down the years

Posted on May 30, 2019

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Now that Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite has won the Palme d’Or, let’s look back down the years and see if we can settle on the one Palme d’Or winner to beat all others. Let’s exclude the most recent winners like Shoplifters, The Square and I, Daniel Blake. They’re too new. It’s too soon to know how they will age. And aging is something inevitable in the movies, too. Take Delbert Mann’s Marty (1955), which won both the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Palme d’Or. Trivia note: The only other film to accomplish this double-win is Billy Wilder’s The Lost Weekend. Though when this film won, in 1946, the topmost award at Cannes was called Grand Prix du Festival International du Film. It’s only in 1955 that this name was changed to Palme d’Or, and Marty was the first winner. (The award went back to being called Grand Prix from 1964 to 1974, and thereon, it’s been the Palme d’Or.)

Marty is a simple love story about simple, ordinary folks: a butcher (Ernest Borgnine) and schoolteacher (Betsy Blair). Today, you’d call it an underdog romance. There’s a cultural context to it, sure. Look at the other romances that came out the same year. The Seven Year Itch had Tom Ewell and Marilyn Monroe. To Catch a Thief had Cary Grant and Grace Kelly and the French Riviera setting. Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing, set in Hong Kong, had Jennifer Jones and William Holden. Summertime was set in Venice, and it had Rossano Brazzi and Katharine Hepburn and David Lean’s talent for spectacle. In the midst of all this, Marty stood out for being an unassuming tale about unassuming people. Cannes called it “a charming story”.

Continued at the link above.

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