Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1947

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Ronald Colman (A Double Life)
John Garfield (Body and Soul)
Gregory Peck (Gentleman’s Agreement)
William Powell (Life with Father)
Michael Redgrave (Mourning Becomes Electra)

Biggest Snub:

Cary Grant – The Bishop’s Wife

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a relatively weak year of nominees and it was quite clear that the frontrunners were both Peck and Colman.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. John Garfield
4. Michael Redgrave
3. William Powell
2. Gregory Peck
1. Ronald Colman


5. Mourning Becomes ElectraRedgrave does a fine job as the heir of a Southern Estate filled with lots of mystery and infighting among the various family members. Russell outshines him and everyone else as the daughter trying to prove that she is the rightful heir.  The story itself feels too much like a soap opera and isn’t as interesting as one would hope. The near 3 hour runtime is way too long and I can understand why they would trim it after the film failed at the box office.
4. Body and SoulGarfield does a nice job as a boxer struggling with keeping himself at the top despite the costs of how fights were won and lost behind the scenes at the time. We get a clear picture of the backroom dealings that many fighters were partake in while attempting to get more and more money from the fights they participate in. The story itself moves along a bit too slowly and hits a few boring points along the way.  It might have been better if it had been a bit shorter.
3. Life with FatherPowell is wonderful in the lead of this film as a father trying to make sure his household is run properly. The dialogue is superbly written and is so witty that you have to play close attention to catch it all. There’s a reason the stage version of this story was the longest running play in history for nearly 30 years.
2. A Double LifeGreat premise that shows how life imitates art sometimes in a very disturbing way. Colman deservingly won an Oscar for Best Actor for this role. He plays his character so well because his personality changes so vastly from role to role which helps him give the audience such a realistic look at how an actor can dive into his roles so well. Really liked the way that they merge a film noir story with a tale about the life of an actor.
1. Gentleman’s AgreementGreat movie that tries to tackle a “real world” problem. Expertly done.Peck is superb in the lead role, but the story itself is what carries the film so well. Definitely was deserving of Best Picture that year.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes!  Colman does an amazing job showing how an actor can get too much into his roles and was the simple choice to take home gold. Peck was great in this very controversial film and was a close second.

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

2 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1947

  1. Agree with you across the board on this one. Screenplay for A Double Life (Oscar nominated as well) was by Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon. On “snubs” – I’d go with Robert Mitchum – excellent in Out of the Past and Charlie Chaplin for monsieur verdoux.

    Liked by 1 person

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