Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1952

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Cecil B. DeMille (The Greatest Show on Earth)
John Ford (The Quiet Man)
John Huston (Moulin Rouge)
Joseph L. Mankiewicz (5 Fingers)
Fred Zinnemann (High Noon)

Biggest Snub:

Akira Kurosawa – Rashomon

My Overall Thoughts:

This year has five top directors nominated yet only 3 of them truly created films that were deserving of such a high award for their director. The other two don’t deserve to be in the same room (even if one was the chosen BP winner)

My Rankings:


5. Moulin Rouge
4. The Greatest Show on Earth
3. 5 Fingers
2. John Ford
1. Fred Zinnemann


5. Moulin RougeDoes a nice job depicted how physical ailments can affect the way people think of themselves when they don’t get encouragement from those around them. Ferrer does a pretty impressive job playing a character so short (especially due to his tall statue). The story moves along quite slowly and doesn’t pick up much momentum along the way.
4. The Greatest Show on EarthVery mediocre Best Picture winner that won because of politics and not because it was the best movie of the year.  Truly a disgrace that this beat High Noon (1952)
3. The Quiet ManGreat collaboration between Ford and Wayne that helps showcase the range both of them had. Wayne is not your typical romantic actor, but he easily slips into the lead character here and does more than a decent job opposite O’Hara. Very good story that works on various levels. The landscapes are shot amazingly and it’s not too surprising that Ford went on to win the Oscar for Best Director that year. (His 4th)
2. 5 FingersAmazing story that would seem even more unbelievable if it weren’t true. The suspense and thrills works quite well here as we see how someone who elects to be a spy could act when all he wants is money for his work. Mason is great in the lead and plays his character quite convincingly. The dialogue is great and helps us realize how dangerous such a situation can be. They manage to get the viewer to actually care about the main character despite the fact that he is working against his own government the whole time. Mankiewicz was very deservingly nominated for an Oscar for directing this great and compelling thriller.
1. High NoonGreat intense movie! Story told in almost real time. Great acting by Cooper.A true travesty that this film didn’t win BP or BD this year.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  Ford was an amazing Director and this film once again proved that but Zinneman did a much better job this year with HN and would have won both this and BP if Washington DC politics wouldn’t have gotten involved.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Director – Oscars 1952

  1. The Quiet Man is one of my favorite movies of all time – so yeah – they got it right. High Noon and Moulin Rouge are also terrific, but John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara and Victor McGlaglen IN Ireland – you can’t beat that. Greatest Show on Earth – which won best picture – is a jokew


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