Best Picture of 1941
Nominees: "Blossoms in the Dust," "Citizen Kane," "Here Comes Mr. Jordan," "Hold Back the Dawn," "How Green Was My Valley," "The Little Foxes," "The Maltese Falcon," "One Foot in Heaven," "Sergeant York," "Suspicion"
And the award went to: "How Green Was My Valley," John Ford’s chronicle of the struggles of a working-class Welsh family from a humble coal-mining town.
But it should've been: "Citizen Kane." Come on! Frequently referenced as the greatest movie of all time, Orson Welles' acute journey into the life and psychology of fractured newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane revolutionized cinema. Welles upends narrative conventions, telling a story through flashbacks and utilizing innovative camera angles, among many breakthroughs. But "Valley"—with its themes of family, perseverance and working-class values—felt more connected to an American heartland in the throes of World War II. How could a media baron grappling with the ills of wealth and privilege compete?