Sessue Hayakawa (The Bridge on the River Kwai)
Lee J. Cobb – 12 Angry Men
My Overall Thoughts:
This is another year with some great nominees but two of them stand out the most as being the most powerful of the list.
5. Russ Tamblyn
4. Vittorio De Sica
3. Arthur Kennedy
2. Red Buttons
1. Sessue Hayakawa
4. A Farewell to Arms – Really boring film that doesn’t manage to find a way to stay interesting at all. The chemistry between Hudson and Jones is terrible and it’s quite difficult to actually believe that they are suppose to be madly in love with one another. De Sica is the one standout in this film and deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this performance. The run time is way too long and even with an extra hour, they don’t come any where close to being as interesting as the previous version of this film from 1932 managed in just 90 minutes.
3. Sayonara – Very interesting story that helps shed light on unjust Armed Forces regulations during the Korean War. Great cast especially Buttons and Umeki who both won Oscars for their roles. Despite all this, I can’t say that this movie aged so well.
2. Peyton Place – Great character study of how small town life is similar to big town life yet harder to keep secrets when everyone knows each other. The characters are all developed extremely well and we easily can relate to all of them and to their predicaments. Tame by today’s standards yet extremely scandalous when it was made.
1. The Bridge on the River Kwai – Amazing movie that still moves me every time I see it. The story is built so well that we get a clear understanding of the scope of the entire plot and it’s effect on the war effort of both sides. The cast is superb and Lean does a great job moving between the three sides of the overall story while still keeping focus on the overall storyline. The characters are all developed extremely well and we easily understand the motivation of all three main characters and how they wish to further the war effort for themselves in the enormous scope of the ways of war. Iconic music helps this story move in a way most people couldn’t even imagine. Loved how each of the three main characters looks at the idea of imprisonment in different ways and each is a prisoner to their own way of life. Very deserving of it’s 7 Oscars including Best Picture. One of the greatest films ever made IMHO.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! RB was great in Sayonara, but SH was superb in BotRK and probably should have taken home the Oscar for hos amazing performance as a sadistic prison camp commander who must find ways to motivate his prisoners and still get his job done.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!