Cedric Hardwicke – Wilson
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year which actually has 5 outstanding performances nominated in this category and any of them would truly be worthy of winning.
5. Claude Rains
4. Hume Cronyn
3. Clifton Webb
2. Monty Woolley
1. Barry Fitzgerald
5. Going My Way – Fun and enjoyable film, but not necessarily Best Picture material. The sequel that came out the following year is much better and more poignant a story. Crosby is quite good in the lead, but Fitzgerald steals every scene he is in and deservingly won Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars despite also being nominated for Best Actor (the sole time this happened in history). Music is done well, but still not the best film of the year.
4. The Seventh Cross – Nice depiction of the way that the Nazi’s dealt with native Germans before they started on the rest of Europe. The story feels a bit tame based on what we know now, yet at the time, it probably was quite shocking. Tracy is a perfectly subtle in the lead which works quite well. The supporting cast is also great with Tandy and Cronyn standing out among them all. Cronyn was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role. The theme about the goodness of man and that even small gestures of help can snowball into a much larger form of assistance comes across very poignantly the whole way through.
3. Laura – Very interesting whodunit that is filled with great twists and turns along the way. Preminger manages to keep things interesting and intriguing the entire time as he constantly raises the stakes of the storyline. He was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Director for this film. Excellent cast led by Andrews with Webb, Price, Anderson and Tierney all helping keep things thrilling the whole way through.
2. Mr. Skeffington – Very interesting premise that works quite well. Davis is great in the lead but she is outshone by Rains every step of the way. Both were nominated for Oscars for their performances, yet neither was able to win. The story moves along at a great pace and we get a clear idea of the things that drive each of the characters. The script is written exceptionally well and there are some great lines spoken in the dialogue which allude to various scandalous actions of characters. They do a great job of dealing with religious issues, namely that Skeffington is a Jew and we see the prejudice some characters have wit that fact and how the world itself dealt with those issues at those times.
1. Since You Went Away – Amazing film that takes a complex subject and makes it so heartwarming. The mixing and matching of numerous parallel storylines works extremely well and it helps make it all seem so realistic. The multi-generational look at how people perceive war is done superbly. The cast is great and despite multiple characters and storylines, this film is so easy to follow as things move forward. Still shocked that this film only got one Oscar win of its 9 nominations (for dramatic musical score) and it is so much better than the eventual winner, Going My Way (1944).
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! In a rare year that all 5 performances were spectacular, it’s hard to declare one of them better than the rest and any could have walked away with an Oscar for their work on these films , but that being said, BF was still a good choice.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!