Bing Crosby (The Bells of St. Mary’s)
Gene Kelly (Anchors Aweigh)
Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend)
Gregory Peck (The Keys of the Kingdom)
Cornel Wilde (A Song to Remember)
Edward G. Robinson – Scarlet Street
My Overall Thoughts:
This was another fine year with 3 of the 5 nominees having a strong chance of winning. Crosby is the only actor to ever be nominated in subsequent years for the same role. Peck showed how great he can be in one of his first starring roles and Millard took on the heavy task of needing to play a role that portrays a disease that wasn’t normally presented onscreen during those days and was quite controversial.
5. Cornel Wilde
4. Gene Kelly
3. Bing Crosby
2. Gregory Peck
1. Ray Milland
5. A Song to Remember – Pretty boring biography that presents some nice music (it is Chopin!). Muni is the standout here and it’s a big surprising that he wasn’t nominated even in the supporting actor category for his role. Still not sure how and why Wilde got a nomination at the Oscars for Best Actor along with 5 other nominations in technical categories for this film. There are many more biopics that are much more interesting than this one and this was a chore to get through.
4. Anchors Aweigh – Interesting film that has a super thin plot but is fun because of the jokes and music. Kelly and Sinatra are great together. Typical musical that was able to win an Oscar for it’s score. Choreography of the dance number is nice to watch, but again, there isn’t much story here. Not sold that this is Best Picture worthy, but based on when it came out, I can understand how it could have been considered that way back then.
3. The Lost Weekend – Truly a movie ahead of it’s time since the subject matter wasn’t truly a topic people discussed in public at the time. Milland is excellent in the lead and was quite deserving of his Oscar for this performance.
2. The Keys of the Kingdom – Great story that gives so much insight into the life of a missionary in a foreign country that much deal with much more than he expects. Peck is superb in the lead role here and was very deserving of his Oscar nomination for this performance. The supporting cast is also great with Mitchell and Gwenn as the stand outs among the very talented cast.
1. The Bells of St. Mary’s – Very enjoyable film that takes a simple story and keeps it interesting the entire time. The characters are all great and they keep surprising us the entire time. Crosby is notable as the first actor to receive multiple Oscar nominations for the same character and this film also has the honor of being the very first sequel to ever get a nomination for Best Picture. This is probably the most enjoyable of the 5 nominees that year.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! Milland is great in a role that seems quite ahead of its time since issues like alcoholism weren’t presented so expressly at that time.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!