Charles Coburn (The More the Merrier)
Claude Rains (Casablanca)
Charles Coburn – Heaven Can Wait
My Overall Thoughts:
This is another year with 5 great nominees. Two of them stand out the most and either of them would have been a very worthy winner.
5. Akim Tamiroff
4. Charles Bickford
3. J. Carrol Naish
2. Claude Rains
1. Charles Coburn
5. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Cooper and Bergman have nice chemistry together but some of the scenes are a bit too melodramatic. The ideas presented here about patriotism, loyalty and love all come across really well. I’ve never read the novel this is based on, so I’m not sure how good of an adaptation this is. The action scenes work well and I really liked the way that eventhough things seem a bit predictable, they keep the story moving at a nice pace allowing the characters to grow on us as we slowly learn more and more about their lives.
4. The Song of Bernadette – Great tale that truly puts forth a question that deals solely with faith. The characters choose to believe or disbelieve based on their own experiences along with their hopes and dreams. Jones is great in the title role and truly deserved her Best Actress Oscar for this role because she plays the part so beautifully. It was fascinating seeing how and why different characters chose to follow their beliefs and how some changed along the way. The story drags on a bit too much and might have been even better had it been trimmed a bit.
3. The More the Merrier – Starts off amazingly, but tapers off as things move along. Coburn is amazing and deservingly won an Oscar for Best Supporting actor for this role. Loved the way that the early scenes are written because the dialogue and actions of the characters are so much fun to watch as things rapidly move along. I can understand how this film could have been nominated for Best Picture that year, but in the end it’s a fun romantic comedy of the 40’s, but not the kind of film that would have been able to walk away with the big award.
2. Sahara – Excellent film that shows an unusual situation during a war that comes across quite poignantly as to how Hellish war can be. Excellent cast that headlines Bogart showing once again why he was such a star at the time. Love the way that the story moves along and it gives the viewer so much to think about long after the credits roll. The film does a great job showing the various nationalities that were fighting in Africa at the time and how they needed to find a way to work together despite their obvious rivalries and suspicions. Naish was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Italian.
1. Casablanca – Blane is an amazing anti-hero character who has a great dilemma and arc that works so well because most people can relate or at least understand his motivations. The story is truly timeless and the intrigue and mystery along the way helps keep things interesting. The cast is superb with Bogart, Bergman, Heinreid and rains all perfectly cast in these roles. The story moves along at a great pace and by the end, we can completely understand the true motivations of everyone. One of the best films ever written.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! Coburn was an amazing actor and he does wonders with his performance in TMTM. I think that CR was the only one who even had a chance of beating him, but even with Casablanca winning BP< it couldn’t help him also take the win.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!