Victor McLaglen (The Quiet Man)
Lionel Barrymore – Lone Star
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year where the majority of the performances nominated aren’t really that amazing. One of them stands out more than the others and he had the best chance.
5. Arthur Hunnicutt
4. Victor McLaglen
3. Richard Burton
2. Jack Palance
1. Anthony Quinn
5. The Big Sky – Interesting story about friendship among traders and explorers in the attempt to expand westward in the early 1800’s. The cast is ok, but none of them really stick out among the others. Cunningham was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here as one of the main character’s uncle who helps them along their journey. Even Douglas doesn’t manage to do anything that would make this film more interesting or groundbreaking.
4. My Cousin Rachel – Intriguing story that works largely due to the great performances by Burton and deHavilland. They manage to keep things flowing throughout and the way that the story unfolds keeps changing directions which helps make things more mysterious and gripping at the same time. Much of what happens is left ambiguous which allows for the viewer to constantly try to guess what is the truth just as the main character himself must do. Burton was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this role.
3. Viva Zapata! – Nice idea about the cyclical nature of power and corruption that would work better if someone else had the lead role. Brando is a great actor, but even he can’t make us believe that he is a Mexican. Quinn, on the other hand is great as his brother and right hand man and deservingly won an Oscar for his role. The message of the film still (unfortunately) rings true even after so many years.
2. Sudden Fear – Great premise that works quite well the whole way through. The cast is great and they allow us to really feel for the various ways that the characters act. Crawford is superb in the lead and we can easily understand her paranoia especially once she begins to see things in a different light. Palance is also great as her husband and he is able to play the character as both the lovable husband and the scary one. The story moves at a nice pace but a few scenes drag along a bit too much and would have worked better if they were shorter. Palance and Crawford were both nominated for Oscars as Best Supporting Actor and Best Actress for their performances.
1. The Quiet Man – Great 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)
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! Quinn is by far the best of the nominees here and it’s no real surprise that he won with this performance.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!