Alastair Sim – A Christmas Carol
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a year with 5 very powerful performances. Kennedy, Brando and Clift give the best portrayals of the 5, but not by far.
5. Fredric March
4. Humphrey Bogart
3. Montgomery Clift
2. Marlon Brando
1. Arthur Kennedy
5. Death of a Salesman – Not really among my favorite stories and this version is not as good as the ones featuring Dustin Hoffman or Brian Dennehy, but despite this, March does a very good job here. The story drags along in my opinion and despite it being hailed as one of the greatest plays ever written, I just couldn’t find a way to connect to it at all. The theme of trying to achieve the American Dream is still presented quite well. There is always a incorrect perception that money and fame will make someone happier and the debate will go on as to whether that statement is right or wrong.
4. A Place in the Sun – Really liked the way that this films story plays out. Great performances by Clift, Taylor and Winters. Really does a great job discussing the moralities of thoughts vs. actions. Enjoyed the way that a film made during the era of censorship of movies was able to still give us a genuine feeling love story that defies many of the issues that weren’t discussed so openly at the time.
3. A Streetcar Named Desire – Great performances, excellent script by Tennessee Williams’ award winning play.
2. The African Queen – Great film where both Hepburn and Bogart excel in their roles. Loved the subtlety of it all. Great cinematography of the wilds of Africa that shows Huston’s expertise in creating a full scope story for us to enjoy both technically and visually. Bogart deservingly won a Best Actor Oscar for this film and this is one of his best roles IMHO. The behind the scenes issues of this movie are tales that are wondrous to hear and an account of it is featured in Eastwood’s White Heart Black Hunter.
1. Bright Victory – Amazing film about disabilities and also racial tolerance at the same time. Kennedy gives the performance of his career and it feel quite genuine and works so well. The story is a great one that has been copied many times over with various disabilities and diseases over the years, but this is a spectacular depiction of learning to live with a disability and finding a way to try and make a difference in the world.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not Really! Bogart was at his best here, but it seems as if he won more on sentimental favor instead being the best performance of the year. This was Kennedy’s best leading role and his was the very best among the 5 nominees.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!