Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)
Roland Young (Topper)
Adolphe Menjou – A Star is Born
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with five nice performances, but one is so powerful that none of the others really stood a chance
5. Roland Young
4. Thomas Mitchell
3. Ralph Bellamy
2. H.B. Warner
1. Joseph Schildkraut
5. The Hurricane – Interesting idea that is dragged along too much. Ford knows how to make epics, but this film is far from being one. In some ways this feels like an updated Tarzan story which hurts any real impact it might have. The cast is quite talented but they aren’t give enough to do. Mitchell was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here even though he doesn’t manage to stand out enough in the role. The special effects used for the hurricane itself are quite advanced for its time and looks wondrous to watch but that is the sole highlight of this film.
4. Topper – Interesting idea that just doesn’t work as well as one would hope. Grant is great (as always) in the lead, but his character is a bit too eccentric to care about. The antics that these ghosts play are ok and unfortunately this films story isn’t inspiring enough. Young was nominated for an Oscar for est Supporting Actor for his performance here even though, his role is far from being a standout one. Overall this film is just average and doesn’t manage to age very well over 80 years.
3. The Awful Truth – Really fun screwball comedy that works on so many levels. Grant and Dunne have great back and forth chemistry that is hilarious to watch unfold. Bellamy is great in a role of a character who is there just for the laughs but takes himself so seriously. The antics that both of these characters play in order to ruin the other’s budding relationships are quite clever and works so well.
2. The Life of Emile Zola – Great early courtroom drama. Based on a true story. Very deserving of BP and Best Supporting Actor for Schildkraut as Dreyfus.
1. Lost Horizon – Great idea about what people believe to be possible vs the reality of things. Love the way that this film touches upon so many different aspects of life and despite people wanting to find a perfect place to live, there truly is no place that is completely perfect. The story does have some holes in it, but it remains interesting and intriguing the entire time. I wonder how a remake of this idea would work nowadays. Capra does a wonderful job directing this film and gives us such an intelligent story the reflects the main theme he always tried to explore and that is the good nature of people even in situations which are beyond their control.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! JS was superb in LoEZ and none of the others come anywhere close.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!