Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1960

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Glynis Johns (The Sundowners)
Shirley Jones (Elmer Gantry)
Shirley Knight (The Dark at the Top of the Stairs)
Janet Leigh (Psycho)
Mary Ure (Sons and Lovers)

Biggest Snub:

Donna Anderson – Inherit the Wind

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 3 powerful nominees along with two other pretty good ones.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actress

5. Mary Ure
4. Glynis Johns
3. Shirley Knight
2. Janet Leigh
1. Shirley Jones


5. Sons and LoversVery slow moving drama that is more of a psychological study than an interesting story. The acting is great with Howard and Stockwell both giving great performances. Film loses some of its impact due to lack of narration that would probably help explain more what is actually happening in the heads of the characters.
4. The SundownersMitchum, Kerr and Ustinov are all fine here, but none of them give a breakout performance here. The story is bland and not much happens in order to try and keep things interesting the whole time. Not quite sure how this film got nominated for Best Picture that year.
3. Elmer Gantry Interesting movie based on a controversial award winning novel. Lancaster is amazing as the title character. Nice supporting cast.
2. The Dark at the Top of the StairsExcellent film that works on so many levels. This film is based on a play of the same name written by William Inge and it is so enjoyable to watch because the characters are all developed quite well and the story makes us care so much about them along the way. The dialogue is superbly written and they find a way to deal with some very adult issues by using euphemisms and other forms of word play due to the needs to get past the censors of the time. The cast is amazing here and Preston is the perfect choice for the lead role an he can easily sympathize with all that he is going through. The supporting cast is also quite talented with Maguire, Arden, Landsbury, Knight and Kinsolving all giving great performances here. Knight was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here as the troubled daughter who yearns to find a way to start dating and find the right man for herself.
1. PsychoCan’t believe it took so long for me to finally see this film. Perkins is perfectly creepy as Bates, but knowing the ending hurts this one a bit. Thoroughly enjoyed the whodunit throughout and the clues left for us along the way like breadcrumbs. Can’t say this was scary, but definitely thrilling the whole way through. One of Hitchcock’s best for sure.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No!  SJ is quite good in EG and was deserving of this award, but JL or SK are both just as effective and could have also been worthy winners.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1960

  1. Shirley Jones probably gives the best performance here (He rammed the love of God into me). She hoped it would change her career, but like Donna Reed in From Here to Eternity, they returned her to good girl roles. Glynis Johns is fun, but, yes, The Sundowners hasn’t aged well. The movie in many ways is different than the book. The ending goes soft and inspiring where the book never lost its cynicism.


Let me Know what you think!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.