Donna Reed – The Human Comedy
My Overall Thoughts:
This is another year with 5 very good performances and any of them could have won.
5. Gladys Cooper
4. Anne Revere
3. Katina Paxinou
2. Paulette Goddard
1. Lucile Watson
4. For Whom the Bell Tolls – Cooper and Bergman have nice chemistry together but some of the scenes are a bit too melodramatic. The ideas presented here about patriotism, loyalty and love all come across really well. I’ve never read the novel this is based on, so I’m not sure how good of an adaptation this is. The action scenes work well and I really liked the way that eventhough things seem a bit predictable, they keep the story moving at a nice pace allowing the characters to grow on us as we slowly learn more and more about their lives.
3. So Proudly We Hail! – Very interesting film that manages to get us into the mindset of women who did this kind of war in the war zones of World War II as well as other wars. The cast is great and they achieve the goal of giving us some great side stories of these characters which helps in the development of each of them. Colbert obviously stands out in the lead role, but Lake and Goddard are also great here. Reeves, Tufts and Abel all play caricatures of soldiers on the front yet still are able to get the point across. The carnage in this film is quite tame, but they allude to much more throughout and are able to make us feel as if we are right there with them in the midst of this bloody and dangerous war. Goddard was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here.
2. The Song of Bernadette – Great tale that truly puts forth a question that deals solely with faith. The characters choose to believe or disbelieve based on their own experiences along with their hopes and dreams. Jones is great in the title role and truly deserved her Best Actress Oscar for this role because she plays the part so beautifully. It was fascinating seeing how and why different characters chose to follow their beliefs and how some changed along the way. The story drags on a bit too much and might have been even better had it been trimmed a bit.
1. Watch on the Rhine – Such a fascinating story that gets more intriguing as things move along, The cast is perfect with everyone giving a great performance, but the best is clearly Lucas who won an Oscar and Globe for this role. The dialogue is quite gripping and the fact that this film (and the play it was based on) were made during the war years says so much about how things were viewed at that time.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! KP was quite good in FWTBT, but there were better choices this year.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!