Natalie Wood – Miracle on 34th Street
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 solid nominees in this category, but two of them were outstanding and surprisingly didn’t cancel each other out with their performances being in the same film.
5. Ethel Barrymore
4. Gloria Grahame
3. Marjorie Main
2. Anne Revere
1. Celeste Holm
4. The Paradine Case – Very mediocre Hitchcock film that isn’t nearly as powerful as most of his films at that particular time were. Amazing cast feel limited by the way that the story is framed which is quite a shame. Not even close to being one of Hitchcock’s best films and even the courtroom scenes are too boring.
3. The Egg and I – Mediocre film that works slightly better due to the fact that it’s based on truth. The story itself is quite tame yet it manages to stay interesting throughout the entire film even with a few strange missteps along the way. Colbert and McMurray are both great actors yet they seem quite mismatched here and their characters have very little chemistry together. The standouts in this film tho are not either of the leads but rather two supporting characters who ended up getting their own series of films in the decade to follow – Ma and Pa Kettle. Main was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work in that role and helps keep the tone of the story at the same level throughout.
2. Crossfire – Liked the way that they played out the detective story here because they slowly build up the suspense and information that we can understand how and why the crime came to be committed. Excellent cast that shines despite all of them being early in their careers. Not sure if this really is deserving of a Best Picture Nomination, but the idea of tolerance was an important one to show in the days following World War II and because ending Fascism doesn’t necessarily end hatred.
1. Gentleman’s Agreement – Great movie that tries to tackle a “real world” problem. Expertly done. Very deserving of it’s Oscar wins including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Most Definitely! CH was great in GA and was able to give the most powerful performance of the 5 nominees.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!