Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1957


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Marlon Brando (Sayonara)
Anthony Franciosa (A Hatful of Rain)
Alec Guinness (The Bridge on the River Kwai)
Charles Laughton (Witness for the Prosecution)
Anthony Quinn (Wild Is the Wind)

Biggest Snub:

Henry Fonda – 12 Angry Men

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a year where all of the nominees didn’t have much of a chance since the performance by Alec Guinness was so superb that the rest can all just be happy to have been nominated.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Anthony Quinn
4. Anthony Franciosa
3. Marlon Brando
2. Charles Laughton 
1. Alec Guinness

Movies

5. Wild Is the WindReally strange and boring film that doesn’t come across as being very realistic at all. The characters don’t feel as if they really believe that they are in the situations that they are put in. I’m a bit surprised that Quinn was nominated for Best Actor for this role because his character doesn’t have much of an arc that one can really care about.
4. A Hatful of Rain Interesting idea that doesn’t work as well as it could have largely due to the way most of the plot is presented due to the Production Code. The cast is quite good, but they also feel too bound by the code in order to fully express their character’s real opinions about the situation. Franciosa was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for this role and that slightly baffles me since I think Murray gives a more powerful performance as the Korean war veteran.
3. SayonaraVery interesting story that helps shed light on unjust Armed Forces regulations during the Korean War. Great cast especially Buttons and Umeki who both won Oscars for their roles. Despite all this, I can’t say that this movie aged so well.
2. Witness for the ProsecutionLaughton is amazing here as the barrister. Expertly written by Christie because they keep hitting us with more and more surprises as things keep moving. One of the best courtroom dramas ever filmed because it is done so well. Definitely deserved the Best Picture Nomination but it was such a strong year that even an amazing film like this didn’t have much of a chance.
1. The Bridge on the River KwaiAmazing movie that still moves me every time I see it. The story is built so well that we get a clear understanding of the scope of the entire plot and it’s effect on the war effort of both sides. The cast is superb and Lean does a great job moving between the three sides of the overall story while still keeping focus on the overall storyline. The characters are all developed extremely well and we easily understand the motivation of all three main characters and how they wish to further the war effort for themselves in the enormous scope of the ways of war. Iconic music helps this story move in a way most people couldn’t even imagine. Loved how each of the three main characters looks at the idea of imprisonment in different ways and each is a prisoner to their own way of life. Very deserving of it’s 7 Oscars including Best Picture. One of the greatest films ever made IMHO.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely!  Guinness gives one of the best acting performances ever in this film and there was no chance of anyone beating him this year

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1957

  1. I’ve never seen Wild is the Wind, but will take your word on that one and pretty much agree with you across the board. Guiness was marvelous – although you made an interesting point on how well the “three’ stories were told – and then one wonders why Holden wasn’t nominated as well – although he had already won for Stalag 17 in a role that had some of the same colorations as this one. Laughton WAS excellent. As was Brando (as well as James Garner in the same movie). Not sure that I ever agreed however in the twin awards for Buttons and Umeki – although I haven’t seen the movie in a while.

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