Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1974

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Ingrid Bergman (Murder on the Orient Express)
Valentina Cortese (Day for Night)
Diane Ladd (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore)
Madeline Kahn (Blazing Saddles)
Talia Shire (The Godfather: Part II)

Biggest Snub:

Jennifer Jones – The Towering Inferno

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 5 outstanding performances and each of them do a nice job with the roles they are given.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actress

5. Talia Shire
4. Diane Ladd
3. Ingrid Bergman
2. Valentina Cortese
1. Madeline Kahn


5. Murder on the Orient ExpressVery cleverly written murder mystery that works well on screen, but feels that it would be even better on paper.. Amazing cast of actors playing some very eccentric characters. Finney was a strange choice as the lead, but they could have done much worse.
4. Alice Doesn’t Live Here AnymoreGreat cast. Interesting story and characters that was the basis for a hit tv sitcom. Not your typical Scorsese fair but still has a young Harvey Keitel showing how scary he can really be. Burstyn is great here in the title role and definitely deserved her Oscar for this performance.
3. Day for NightGreat idea that works despite it being a bit odd. The fact that Truffaut cast himself in the lead was a great idea since he is quite familiar with the way things actually work.  We are given an inside look at how difficult the life of a director can be while making a film because of the fact that he must deal with so much in order to find a way to accomplish his task. Truffaut was deservingly nominated for Best Director for this film but there was little chance of him outdoing Coppola for The Godfather Part II (1974).
2. Blazing SaddlesHilariously done by Brooks. He gets so much perfect here and this film is an amazing parody of the genre of Westerns. Cast is superb as always with Brooks himself playing some form of incompetent official. The jokes are quite racy for its time and I doubt that they would be used like that today if they were to make it only now. One of Brooks’ best films that is still funny today as I’m sure it was back when it was made 43 years ago.
1. The Godfather: Part IIGreat movie. Not as good as the first one, but much better than the third one.  Amazing performances and a story that really moves along expertly.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  IB was pretty good in MOTOE, but it feels more like a career award than for her work here per se.  Both MK and VC played characters that stand out more and are more impactful, but it’s still hard to fault them for choosing IB in the end.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1974

  1. First… Jennifer Jones? Not enough that Fred Astaire got an nomination. It was Towering Inferno after all. An all-star extravaganza. Not the kind of movie that generates Oscars. OJ Simpson was in it for crying out loud (and Steve McQueen fought for higher billing than Paul Newman – because he was jealous of him his entire career). That being said – some good performances in this category. Kahn stole the show in Blazing Saddles – but comedy is tough to win in the acting categories. As for Bergman – in THAT All-Star cast – she stuck out (in a good way). Your comment about it being a “career award” was ridiculous. This one was earned. She was already a 2 time Oscar winner (both in the Lead Actress category) – so no way the Academy felt as if they owed her anything.


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