Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1953

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Marlon Brando (Julius Caesar)
Richard Burton (The Robe)
Montgomery Clift (From Here to Eternity)
William Holden (Stalag 17)
Burt Lancaster (From Here to Eternity)

Biggest Snub:

Alan Ladd – Shane

My Overall Thoughts:

Another powerful year with 5 really good performances.  In the end it came down to Holden and Brando.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Montgomery Clift 
4. Richard Burton
3. Burt Lancaster 
2. Marlon Brando 
1. William Holden


4. The RobeOne of the first (of many) films dealing with the crucifixion of Jesus and its repercussions on the Romans who were affected by it. The story doesn’t feel as groundbreaking now as it probably was then. Isn’t as thrilling as it probably could be but the message of the film is still quite clear. Burton, Simmons, Mature and Rennie are all good here, but none of them really stand out.
3. From Here to EternityInteresting drama that shows the complexity of life in the Army prior to the outbreak of WWII. It moves quite slowly at the beginning, but has some great scenes.
2. Julius CaesarExcellent Shakespeare adaptation to the screen. Works really well showing how the politics of those days are not too far away from the ways of the modern world. Shakespeare has some very poignant lines of dialogue in this film that truly are timeless. The cast is spectacular and surprisingly Brando does a wonderful job as a Shakespearean actor despite his tendency to mumble his lines in most films.
1. Stalag 17Amazing movie that tells a great and compelling story and also manages to get us to laugh during situations that are usually only reserved for very serious dramatic storylines. Holden is excellent here and deservingly won an Oscar for his role. Definitely among the best POW themed movies. 

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely!  Holden plays such a powerful role in a pseudo-comedy that is quite poignant in its underlying message that is still resonates so clearly even after 65 years.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1953

  1. I’ve never been sure on this one. As good as Holden is (and he’s terrific) – I always leaned toward Lancaster and Clift in ETERNITY – both because it’s a better movie (especially taking into account the restrictions of the time in telling this story from the novel on screen) – and their characters (for me) have a bit more depth to them. Holden working with Wilder is always a winner. It may have been a matter of a split vote (2 actors/1 movie) although I would have gone with Clift – who had a far more cpmplex role. Burton and Clift never won Oscars. The other 3 did.

    Liked by 1 person

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