Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1945

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Michael Chekhov (Spellbound)
John Dall (The Corn Is Green)
James Dunn (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn)
Robert Mitchum (Story of G.I. Joe)
J. Carroll Naish (A Medal for Benny)

Biggest Snub:

Henry Travers – The Bells of St. Mary’s

My Overall Thoughts:

This was a pretty average year for nominees and none of them really stand out as being that much more powerful of a performance than the others and just about any of them could have won.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actor

5. J. Carroll Naish (Not Yet Seen)

4. John Dall 
3. Michael Chekhov
2. Robert Mitchum
1. James Dunn


5. A Medal for Benny  (Not Yet Seen)

4. The Corn Is GreenPretty mediocre film that doesn’t manage to work as well as one would hope. The cast is fine and even though this should feel like a very inspiring story, it fails to make things as interesting as is needed.  Lorring and Dall were both nominated for Oscars for their performances in supporting roles but they also feel pretty weak.  Even with Davis in the lead role, this film is quite lacking because it moves along at such a slow pace and isn’t engaging enough. The story might have been much more relatable when it came out but now it just doesn’t manage to resonate at all.
3. SpellboundBergman and Peck are both great here, but the best character is by far Dr. Brulov played by Michael Chekhov who is written so well. Love the idea that someone with amnesia trying to decipher what he did and who he is while be chased by the authorities. Hitchcock keeps the suspense going throughout and you don’t really know what’s gonna happen as it moves along.
2. A Tree Grows in BrooklynInteresting premise that comes across as quite realistic especially given the different temperaments of the parents. McGuire and Dunn are superb as the parents and we get to see how their differing paths of parenting affect the way their children grow up and perceive their world. Dunn won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in this film and was quite deserving because it’s so easy to feel the love he has for his family which will let him do all he can for them despite his own personal hardships. We get a nice look at how life was like for the poor during that time period. Garner really stands out in the role of the young child who’s life is shaped by the way her parents raise her.
1. Story of G.I. JoeDoes a great job showing the various men who fought for America (and the world’s) freedom during World War II.  The story helps develop the very diverse kind of men given this task and how each is affected differently when reflecting on why they were there and how they fought.  This films shows the way that camaraderie played in as a major factor in helping these men get through the bloody days of battle because they knew that they needed to depend on one another in order to make it out in the end. Meredith is great in the lead because he looks the part of a war correspondent who needed to keep up with the soldiers during their travels yet also had the intelligence to write stories about their experiences along the way. Mitchum is great as the commander of the unit that he is following and deservingly received his sole career Oscar nomination for his performance here which solidified him as a box office star.  This film does a great job showing why it was necessary for these men to travel so far to fight for freedom and is a great memorial for those that paid the ultimate price for doing so as well as a way to show support for those who were lucky enough to make it home.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep!  Dunn was  by far the best of the nominees this year, even if none of them are spectacular.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1945

  1. Agree here. Dunn was heartbreaking as the alcoholic father. For Mitchum, a shame not that he didn’t win, but that he was never even nominated again after this – not for Crossfire or Out of the Past or Night of The Hunter of Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison(!!!) or The Sundowners or Cape Fear or Two For The Seesaw. He was an “actor’s actor”. Made it look easy. Smooth. One of my personal favorites.


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