Gary Cooper (Sergeant York)
Cary Grant (Penny Serenade)
Walter Huston (The Devil and Daniel Webster)
Robert Montgomery (Here Comes Mr. Jordan)
Orson Welles (Citizen Kane)
Humphrey Bogart – The Maltese Falcon
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a rare year with 5 amazing performances and any of them would truly have been worthy of taking home gold.
5. Cary Grant
4. Walter Huston
3. Robert Montgomery
2. Gary Cooper
1. Orson Welles
5. Sergeant York – Interesting biopic, movie feels missing something and is quite slow moving, but still worth seeing. Cooper is great in the lead.
4. Penny Serenade – Grant and Dunne have great chemistry together as a couple who learn to weather the ups and downs of life as they realize how much they need one another to do everything correctly. The message of the story works really well and even though this was made 77 years ago, the idea remains timeless and would work even if remade today. Grant deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for this role.
3. The Devil and Daniel Webster – Excellent idea that works really well. The story is very timeless and allows us to get an idea of how such a story would work in a more modern world. Great cast helps make this story so interesting. Both Arnold and Huston do wonderful jobs in important supporting roles yet somehow Huston got nominated in the lead for this role.
2. Here Comes Mr. Jordan – Great film that was done way before its time. The ideas of taking over someone else’s body and knowing “heavenly” secrets works extremely well here. Not at all a film that I would have expected to have been made in the 40’s, yet feels like it was done perfectly. Great characters that come to life for us. Superb cast.
1. Citizen Kane – Such a great film that is told so well. Welles really had the flair for making great movies, but his overenthusiastic approach in life didn’t help him recover from the bruises of making this film. Perhaps it’s the best movie by technical standards, but not understanding the technical aspects enough, I am not one to judge this. Very enjoyable narrative and story makes this a definite candidate to be among the best movies ever.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not Really! This was the year that Welles should have taken home gold for his best performance in his storied career. The film is amazing to watch and it is somewhat of a shame that it never got the awards it clearly deserved due largely to Hollywood politics. Cooper is an ok substitute but any of the 5 would have been worthy because all of them are great this year.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!