Paulette Goddard – The Great Dictator
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 4 very good performances nominated and one that is somewhat of a head scratcher.
5. Marjorie Rambeau
4. Judith Anderson
3. Barbara O’Neil
2. Ruth Hussey
1. Jane Darwell
5. Primrose Path – Terrible film that doesn’t work on any level. The story isn’t enjoyable at all and even with Rogers and McCrea headlining this film, it doesn’t make things any more interesting. The plot moves along quite slowly and their attempt to portray such a story with the censors and Hayes Code was a big mistake since the kind of things alluded to here just don’t seem realistic enough. Rambeau was somehow nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here. Loved seeing Travers in this film, but he’ll still always be Clarence from It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) and none of his other roles are able to change that viewpoint for me at least.
4. All This, and Heaven Too – Davis is quite good here, but the story itself drags a bit too much and the slow pace of it all makes one lose interest along the way. The premise itself is quite timeless tho and the fact that it is somewhat based on truth makes for a compelling idea yet it unfortunately needs to be edited down a bit in order to be even more interesting. Was nominated for three Oscars that year, Picture, Supporting Actress and Cinematography but didn’t win any of them.
3. The Philadelphia Story – Interesting rom-com from the 40’s, but very dated. Great cast.
2. Rebecca – Interesting psychological thriller when Hitchcock was still warming up. Nice cast and Hitchcockian twists galore. Seems a bit dated now tho.
1. The Grapes of Wrath – Excellent film that shows the true difficulties of families during the Depression who faced even more hardship when they moved along to “supposedly” better situations. Fonda is superb in the title role and is helped by some great supporting performances, most notably Jane Darwell as his mother. Ford knew how to create the right atmosphere for such a film and kept things feeling as realistic as possible as we follow the Joad family’s journey across the country.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! JD was a nice choice, but any of the nominees besides MR would have been worthy winners.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!