Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1931

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Lionel Barrymore (A Free Soul)
Jackie Cooper (Skippy)
Richard Dix (Cimarron)
Fredric March (The Royal Family of Broadway)
Adolphe Menjou (The Front Page)

Biggest Snub:

Charlie Chaplin – City Lights

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year that I only saw three of the nominees (harder and harder finding copies of some of these films.) Barry more is quite good here and  Menjou was better than Dix.  If I ever find a way to see the others, maybe I’ll get a better understanding of the choices here.

My Rankings:

Acting Performances

5. Jackie Cooper (Not Yet Seen)
4. Fredric March (Not Yet Seen)
3. Richard Dix
2. Adolphe Menjou
1. Lionel Barrymore


5. Skippy (Not Yet Seen)
4. The Royal Family of Broadway (Not Yet Seen)
3. CimarronPretty boring and drawn out movie. Stay away unless you have trouble sleeping.
2. The Front PageFun screwball comedy that shows the power of the press when a crime happens. Menjou and O’Brien are fun to watch as they deliver the rapidfire dialogue that is spot on!
1. A Free Soul Interesting film that deals with a great story that is quite layered and not something that one would expect to see during the era of film. Barrymore is superb in the lead and was quite deserving of winner a Best Actor Oscar for this role. They deal with some great issues throughout that include alcoholism, justice, young love and of course a child doing something to rebel against the wishes of her parents. Great courtroom scenes help make this film quite memorable.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep!  LB is great in AFS and the fact that neither of the other two films that I have seen stand out in any way makes him my choice to win.

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

5 thoughts on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1931

  1. I’ve seen literally 1000s of movies – and never seen any of these. Have heard of them though. Question: when you finish with the actors – do you start with Best actress in 2017 and work backwards there as well?

    Liked by 1 person

    • very tempted, but I think I’m gonna take a month or two off in order to catch up on some of the films I missed in the categories and then start again, perhaps with director. As of last count, i still have 70 movies with a best director nom that i haven’t yet seen, 97 best supporting actor films, 126 best sup actress films and a whopping 202 best actress films.

      That doesn’t necessarily mean that I have 495 films to see but due to overlap between the categories, I still have lots of films to catch up on.

      Hope that u’ve been enjoying this series (I know I have).

      As I’m written this, uve got me thinking that maybe I should continue right away. which would u prefer to see first? director or best support actor, both seem feasible at this stage to not have too many films to catch up on especially since the first 31 days of each only require me to still see 14 – director or 30 b. supporting actor which are both pieces of cake for me 🙂


  2. Tough call. I tend to think that if a film wins best picture – most of the time – it should win best director as well. After all, it didn’t make itself. And the supporting categories are always difficult because there are so many great supporting performances in so many films – often times – multiples from the same movie – so that one should spark a huge debate, Best Film might be the easier way to go. The Academy has made some huge mistakes there. I’d say – take a breather – then maybe go with Director. At least that way, maybe we can make up for some of the egregious mistakes made and get Hitchcock an Oscar or 3.

    Liked by 1 person

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