Richard Widmark (Kiss of Death)
David Niven – The Bishop’s Wife
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 solid performances and any of them could have walked away with the win because none really stand out among the others.
5. Charles Bickford
4. Thomas Gomez
3. Robert Ryan
2. Richard Widmark
1. Edmund Gwenn
5. The Farmer’s Daughter –Interesting idea that probably wouldn’t work very well today but due to the standards of the world at the time comes across quite well. Young deservingly won an Oscar for her performance here because she was able to show such a great character arc over the course of the story. Cotton and Barrymore are also quite intriguing here in very important roles. Politics was a whole different game back in the 40’s than it is now and that aspect also wouldn’t translate as well due to the various changes over the past 70 years.
4. 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.
3. Kiss of Death – Works quite well given the obvious restraint of the time when presenting such a story. The cast is great and Mature probably was never better than he was in this role. Widmark is quite menacing in the role of the villain here and was able to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here. The story seems predictable, but the various twists and turns along the way help set it apart from many other films of the genre.
2. Ride the Pink Horse – Great premise that works quite well since the character isn’t an action hero or a superhero but just an ordinary man trying to find a way to avenge his best friends death. Montgomery is great in this role and makes it quite easy to sympathize with his situation. Gomez does a great job in a supporting role and was quite deserving of his Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his performance. The story moves along at a great pace and is constantly in motion which helps keep things feeling both thrilling and realistic the whole way through.
1. Miracle on 34th Street – Inspirational holiday movie that truly is a classic. Gwenn is great and truly deserved his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role. It sparks hope can be watched over and over.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! EG was a good choice for the win, but truly any of them would have been worthy of taking home Gold in this category.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!