Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1958

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Peggy Cass (Auntie Mame)
Wendy Hiller (Separate Tables)
Martha Hyer (Some Came Running)
Maureen Stapleton (Lonelyhearts)
Cara Williams (The Defiant Ones)

Biggest Snub:

Barbara Bel GeddesVertigo

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 5 good performances but none really stand out among them all that would produce a frontrunner.

My Rankings:

Supporting Actress

5. Maureen Stapleton
4. Martha Hyer
3. Peggy Cass
2. Cara Williams
1. Wendy Hiller


5. Separate TablesGreat dialogue, interesting characters. Niven and Hiller both won Oscars for their roles. Connection between stories is weak.
4. LonelyheartsVery interesting idea that shows how things were perceived in the 50’s with regard to love and relationships. This film does a great job looking at the complicated ways that people lived their lives and the added hurdle of presenting issues that the censors wouldn’t allow for at the time says a lot for things here. The cast is great and Harvey once again shines in the lead. The movie has some great conversations throughout but the best one is Ryan’s diatribe comparing reporting the news and the Ten Commandments. Stapleton was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in this film as a lonely housewife seeking help from an advice column.
3. The Defiant OnesGroundbreaking movie for its time that just didn’t resonate enough for me now. Curtis and Poitier were great working off one another but too much seemed strained in their acting. I liked the Quantum Leap episode that used this idea much better and was more effective for me.
2. Some Came RunningGreat story that works on numerous levels. The cast is superb and each of them give amazing performances in the roles of these complex characters. The story seems quite realistic and allows the characters to feel so genuine that it helps make the viewer connect even more with the story as it unfolds in directions that one doesn’t necessarily expect. Hyer, MacLaine and Kennedy were all nominated for Oscars for their performances.
1. Auntie MameExtremely fun film that proved how great and actress Russell was. The dialogue is crisp, witty and engaging. Loved how the tone between comedy and drama kept switching giving us a story that is more universal. The character of Auntie Mame is so refreshing to watch and it’s a shame that Russell didn’t get a deserved Academy Award for Best Actress for this superb role.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – I guess so!  None of these performances are spectacular and any of them could have conceivably won.

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

One thought on “Did They Get it Right? – Best Supporting Actress – Oscars 1958

  1. Yes, poor Barbara Bel Gedes. And Hermione Gingold in Gigi. The choice of Hiller is fine, but of these films, Auntie Mame is the one watched over and over again today (though I keep wanting everyone to burst into song) and Cass is great. On stage, Separate Tables is two one acts in which the same actor played both the David Niven and Burt Lancaster role and same actress played the Deborah Kerr and Rita Hayworth role; the rest of the cast is the same. So you’re right. The connection in the movie is tenuous. Originally, the Niven character was to be gay, but it was against the censorship role to have a gay character on the stage at the time (exempting private membership theaters), so the writer changed him to a fetishist of women’s underwear. I find Some Came Running almost unwatchable today.

    Liked by 1 person

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