My Overall Thoughts:
I think the fact that Huston won Best Director here says so much. Of the 5 nominees, Treasure was the grittiest and the one with the best message between them all and still remains poignant so many years later.
This year saw Hamlet as one of the best adaptations of Shakespeare up until then, but it still isn’t the best ever since.
- 5. – The Red Shoes – Interesting premise that just didn’t work for me because of its reliance too much on the metaphor of a ballet. Found most of this film to be extremely boring to watch and just wanted it to end.
- 4. – Hamlet – Found this really boring even though I knew the story from back when I was in high school. I still like Branagh version much better.
- 3. – The Snake Pit – Very interesting look at how mental patients were treated during the 1940’s. The story keep us as disjointed as the main character since we learn about her past as she remembers it slowly but surely. De Havilland is amazing here because we get to see her viewpoint on much of the story and it looks at them from a simple and pure perspective. Supposedly, this film helped change many laws as to how mental patients are treated.
- 2. – Johnny Belinda – Wyman and Ayres are both superb here. Loved the way the story unfolds because they manage to give us so much information about the characters, their way of life and how things are run in such a small community. The fact that their are numerous issues discussed only in passing due to many of the censorship laws at the time would normally have caused problems with a film like this, but they do a great job of presenting things in a way that we can fully understand what is going on despite the obvious omissions. Wyman truly deserved her Best Actress Oscar for this role.
- 1. – The Treasure of Sierra Madre – Such an amazing film because it works on so many different levels. The characters are all perfect because we get different archetypes of men seeking fortune and each of the 4 Americans we meet act so differently while trying to achieve their own personal goal of riches. The acting is superb with Huston obviously standing out as the best of them. He deservingly won a Best Supporting Oscar for this role and remains the sole winner to have won in a film directed by his own son. The themes depicted here are so profound and it says so much about how different people react in certain situations.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not at all! I think they gave it to Sir Larry for his groundbreaking adaptation because they could. I think 3 of the other 4 nominees would have been better choices.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!