José Ferrer (Joan of Arc)
Edward G. Robinson – Key Largo
My Overall Thoughts:
This was a year with 4 pretty good nominees and one superb one who was amazing and had quite a lead on the others.
5. Charles Bickford
4. José Ferrer
3. Cecil Kellaway
2. Oskar Homolka
1. Walter Huston
5. Joan of Arc – Very interesting version of the epic story of the calling that Joan of Arc had and the repercussions of her choice to lead the French troops during the War with England. Bergman is great in the lead and plays the character quite believably. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of this historic figure. Ferrer also stands out as the French King and he too was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here. The story unfortunately doesn’t feel as epic as it should and something seems slightly missing along the way.
4. The Luck of the Irish – Fun premise that works as a modern day fairy tale. The story moves along at a nice pace and stays interesting throughout. Powers, Baxter and Cobb all do fine jobs here with their characters. But it’s Kellaway who is perfectly cast as the servant who may or may not be a Leprechaun and steals every scene he is in because it all flows so well. His performance is what stands out in this film and it gives it all a very magical feel which is exactly what it’s meant to do. The themes are presented well and we get a clear picture about the various moral and ethical issues that keep coming up which force the characters to show their true selves throughout.
3. I Remember Mama – Interesting and warm family story that works on numerous levels. The dialogue and situations that the characters find themselves in feel real because they experience so many different emotions through the trials, tribulations and challenges that they must face. The cast is great with Dunne shining throughout as the matriarch of the family. Homolka tho, steals every scene he is in as a rich uncle who tries to help whenever he can. He was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for this performance. Truly a heartwarming story that gives a clear depiction of life for these immigrants.
2. Johnny Belinda – Wyman and Ayres are both superb here. Loved the way the story unfolds because they manage to give us so much information about the characters, their way of life and how things are run in such a small community. The fact that their are numerous issues discussed only in passing due to many of the censorship laws at the time would normally have caused problems with a film like this, but they do a great job of presenting things in a way that we can fully understand what is going on despite the obvious omissions. Wyman truly deserved her Best Actress Oscar for this role.
1. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre – Such an amazing film because it works on so many different levels. The characters are all perfect because we get different archetypes of men seeking fortune and each of the 4 Americans we meet act so differently while trying to achieve their own personal goal of riches. The acting is superb with Huston obviously standing out as the best of them. He deservingly won a Best Supporting Oscar for this role and remains the sole winner to have won in a film directed by his own son. The themes depicted here are so profound and it says so much about how different people react in certain situations.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! WH was superb in his role in ToSM and none of the other nominees come even close to giving such a great and memorable performance.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!