Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actor – Oscars 1938

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Walter Brennan (Kentucky)
John Garfield (Four Daughters)
Gene Lockhart (Algiers)
Robert Morley (Marie Antoinette)
Basil Rathbone (If I Were King)

Biggest Snub:

Lionel Barrymore – You Can’t Take it With You or Basil Rathbone in The Adventures of Robin Hood

My Overall Thoughts:

This is another year with two excellent performances nominated with 3 others that are good, but don’t come close to being as powerful.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actor

5. John Garfield
4. Robert Morley
3. Gene Lockhart
2. Basil Rathbone
1. Walter Brennan


5. Four DaughtersThis film is really soap opera-py and I found it to be quite tedious in its storytelling. The plot is razor thin and the characters are all too similar to differentiate well enough. The few musical numbers are nice to listen to and help make this film bearable. Yet another Best Picture nominee that I think doesn’t deserve to be in the company of so many other great films.
4. AlgiersInteresting idea of showing how a man can trap himself in a claustrophobic situation and has to deal with things as the world closes in on him. The chemistry between Boyer and LeMarr is quite good and it’s quite understandable how this story helped influence the idea for Casablanca (1942) just a few years later. Boyer deservingly was nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars for this role, yet it was a strong year and he had little chance of beating Tracy.
3. Marie AntoinetteInteresting take on the story of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. Shearer is great in the lead and was quite deserving of her Oscar nomination for Best Actress for this performance. They do a great job showing the way that her life evolved and we get to also see how much happened in her search for true love. This is truly an epic production even if it’s not perfect. The rest of the cast is quite good too and Morley definitely stands out as her husband who is quite shy around here even if he knows that she is the way for him to eventually have an heir for the throne.
2. KentuckyInteresting story that feels somewhat like an updated Shakespearean story yet is injected with fresh ideas. The characters are all great to watch and the cast helps make them all come to life Brennan is amazing in a supporting role and was quite deserving of receiving his second Oscar for Supporting Actor. The idea to have the story start with the Civil War and then culminate with the Kentucky Derby helps make it feel quite genuine and realistic.
1. If I Were KingVery intriguing premise that works on numerous levels. Colman is great in the lead and shows how prolific an actor he can be with this kind of role. Rathbone tho steals every scene he is in and deservingly was nominated for an Oscar for his work a the French King. The story is a great tale about giving opportunities to the seemingly disadvantaged and see how they envision what changes in government policy need to be made in order to make a difference.  Surprised that this film hasn’t yet been remade after 8 decades because it is still a relevant theme for today’s world.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep!  WB is once again proves how great a supporting actor he can be in this role becoming the very first winner of two Oscars for acting. BR is also great this year both in IIWK and in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and was a close second.

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

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