Spencer Tracy (Father of the Bride)
Richard Widmark – Panic in the Streets
My Overall Thoughts:
This is another year with 5 really good performances. Tracy and Stewart are both quite good here, but the trio of Holden, Calhern and Ferrer are even better. Still find it ironic that Steve Martin played two of these roles in modern adaptations of Cyrano and Father of the Bride.
4. Spencer Tracy
3. José Ferrer
2. Louis Calhern
1. William Holden
4. Father of the Bride – Seems to lack enough bits of humor to make it more appealing. The premise and acting is very good. Surprised that this movie was one of the 5 Best Picture Nominees that year. Feels slightly dated solely because so much has changed in 60+ years.
3. Cyrano de Bergerac – Very interesting premise that has lulls at certain points. Ferrer is great, but I still believe Steve Martin gave the character much more life in his modern version of the story – Roxanne (1987)
2. The Magnificent Yankee – Great movie that tells so much about a man most of us have heard of, but know nothing about. Calhern is amazing here and I completely understand how he could have won a Distinguished Drama Award for this role and get nominated for the Oscar. Very educational film about the role of jurists in US History.
1. Sunset Blvd. – Such a cleverly written film that keeps us hooked from beginning to end. Holden and Swanson are both superb here and we are constantly surprised by everything they say and do. Love the way that this film deals with how members of Hollywood perceive their contemporaries depending on whether they are on the way up or down. Yet it also shows us how those people perceive themselves in a different position than they might really be. The plot moves along at a great pace and gives us so much to mull over as things move along. Still seems to (sadly) ring true even after 67 years.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Ferrer does a wonderful job in the role and its understandable how he could win, but both Holden and Calhern were more powerful and more deserving of the Oscar for their performances.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!