Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1958


Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Richard Brooks (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)
Stanley Kramer (The Defiant Ones)
Vincente Minnelli (Gigi)
Mark Robson (The Inn of the Sixth Happiness)
Robert Wise (I Want to Live!)

Biggest Snub:

Alfred Hitchcock – Vertigo

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a pretty lackluster year and all 5 nominees are just ok. Any could have won because there really wasn’t one who stands out among them as being the very best.

My Rankings:

Directing

5. Vincente Minnelli 
4. Stanley Kramer 
3. Robert Wise
2. Mark Robson 
1. Richard Brooks

Movies

5. GigiVery boring and not entertaining at all, still don’t understand how it won 9 Oscars.
4. The Defiant OnesGroundbreaking movie for its time that just didn’t resonate enough for me now. Curtis and Poitier were great working off one another but too much seemed strained in their acting. I liked the Quantum Leap episode that used this idea much better and was more effective for me.
3. I Want to Live!Interesting idea that works quite well especially given the time frame when this takes place. Hayward is amazing in this role and was quite deserving of an Oscar for Best Actress that year even if there was very strong competition with Russell for her performance in Auntie Mame (1958).  The film gives a unique perspective on the events presented and we get a clear picture of her side of the story even if there is still some doubt as to the veracity of it all.
2. The Inn of the Sixth HappinessInteresting premise that works as an inspirational biography of a woman who made such a difference. Bergman is great in the lead and manage to show the persistence of her character in achieving all that she can. Robson does a great job directing this film and was a deserving nominee for best Director at the Oscars for his work on this film. As with most Hollywood biographies, they take many liberties with the true aspects of the story yet still manage to retain the overall essence of the kind of inspirational and education soul that Aylward truly was.
1. Cat on a Hot Tin RoofAmazing dialogue-driven film that keeps us entranced from beginning to end. Excellent performances by Newman, Ives and Taylor. Loved the way that they were still able to convey what they were not allowed to say because of the HPC. The conversation by the characters seem quite genuine and you actually can imagine them as being so real.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Not at all!  I can understand how the Academy can be enthralled by a musical, but this one isn’t even close to being among the best. Any of the other 5 nominees would have been a better choice even if none give us such an aspiring work this year.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1958

  1. Almost in lockstep his go round. The “snub” of Hitchcock for VERTIGO is mind-boggling – not only because he was not nominated at all – and went on to NEVER win a competitive Oscar – but there are those who think that Vertigo is among his masterworks and in some critical circles – it is considered among the best films OF ALL TIME. It recently took over the #1 slot in one prestigious critics’ poll of the best 100 films ever made – from perrenial chart topper Citizen Kane.The fact that he was not even nominated is absurd. Had he been – he would have (should have) WON.

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