Ronald Reagan – Kings Row
My Overall Thoughts:
This is another year where two of the nominees are amazing while the other three don’t give powerful enough performances.
5. Frank Morgan
4. William Bendix
3. Henry Travers
2. Van Heflin
1. Walter Huston
5. Tortilla Flat – Pretty silly idea that doesn’t work very well at all. The story isn’t as dark and deeply emotional as it should be and instead comes across as seeming quite much like a farce. Hard to believe Tracy in this film as an immigrant farmer and it’s quite difficult to believe the way the story actually unfolds here. Morgan was somehow nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for this film and even though he might have been a great actor, his performance here is quite lacking and is far from being among his best work.
4. Johnny Eager – Interesting idea that has be done and re-done so many times over the years that this story doesn’t quite manage to stand out among them all. Taylor and Turner are both fine in the leads but Heflin steals every scene he is in and remains the most memorable thing in the film. He deservingly won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here. Some of the coincidences in the plot seem a bit too cliched and that also hurts the enjoyment of this story a bit.
3. Mrs. Miniver – Slightly slow moving depiction of WWII from the home front which was surprisingly filmed in the middle of the war.
2. Wake Island – Really enjoyed the way this was done because it showed so much patriotism. The characters are all typical soldier caricatures but they still manage to effectively get our sympathy. The brutality of the Japanese enemy is shown here quite blatantly and I can understand how this film could get nominated for Best Picture namely due to its depiction of the horrors of war.
1. Yankee Doodle Dandy – Amazing film that I can’t believe I never saw or even heard much about it beforehand besides it being a musical. It does a wonderful job touching upon so many important and life changing events of the life of this pioneer. The musical numbers are wonderful and not having been exposed to Cagney’s dancing and singing abilities beforehand, I was quite impressed with the final product. Two hours is not really long enough to fully encompass all of the events of his life properly, but they still leave us with enough about this wonderful life. Can’t wait to see it again!
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! Heflin was a deserving winner because he gives such a great performance here, but I still think that WH gave an even better one in YDD which was slightly more deserving.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!