Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Joseph L. Mankiewicz – The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year where there was a clear winner right from the start. The other 4 nominees do nice jobs here, but still don’t amange to be as powerful as the ultimate winner.
5. Edward Dmytryk
4. Henry Koster
3. George Cukor
2. David Lean
1. Elia Kazan
5. Crossfire – Liked the way that they played out the detective story here because they slowly build up the suspense and information that we can understand how and why the crime came to be committed. Excellent cast that shines despite all of them being early in their careers. Not sure if this really is deserving of a Best Picture Nomination, but the idea of tolerance was an important one to show in the days following World War II and because ending Fascism doesn’t necessarily end hatred.
4. A Double Life – Great premise that shows how life imitates art sometimes in a very disturbing way. Colman deservingly won an Oscar for Best Actor for this role. He plays his character so well because his personality changes so vastly from role to role which helps him give the audience such a realistic look at how an actor can dive into his roles so well. Really liked the way that they merge a film noir story with a tale about the life of an actor.
3. Great Expectations – Great story about how life can be affected by so many factors that we may never even be aware of. Lean does a great job presenting Dicken’s long and detailed novel in a succinct and understandable way. Mills and Guinness are both great here especially since this was the first time that both of them worked with Lean and would continue to work with him for years to come even managing to secure both of these men Oscars for their later work with him.
2. The Bishop’s Wife – Love the tone of this film. It has an aura to it like films in the vain of It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). Grant is great in this and has great chemistry with everyone else included Niven and Young. I can definitely understand how this could be a film nominated for Best Picture, but at the same time don’t really think it had much of a chance to win because of it’s demeanor. I’m extremely glad that I finally got a chance to see this film because it has such an uplifting theme to it.
1. Gentleman’s Agreement– Great movie that tries to tackle a “real world” problem. Expertly done by Kazan. Very deserving of its 3 Oscars including BP and BD.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! EZ does an amazing job putting together this film and manages to take a somewhat simple idea and make it very poignant.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!
Except for The Bishop’s Wife (which I’ve never seen) – some very interesting pictures this year. Two “important” issue films, a superb adaptation of a classic Dicken’s novel – and a very clever script by Ruth Gordon & Garson Kanin to put a murderous spin on Shakespeare. I might’ve had Kazan and Lean in a dad heat, with Cukor a close 2nd and Dymytrk (who I believe was blaclisted shortly after this film was released) an even closer 3rd.
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