Ingrid Bergman (Anastasia)
Nancy Kelly (The Bad Seed)
Audrey Hepburn – War and Peace
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 4 very good performances and one that shouldn’t even be on this list. Of the four, they all do fine jobs but one is slightly more powerful a character than the rest.
5. Katharine Hepburn
4. Carroll Baker
3. Deborah Kerr
2. Nancy Kelly
1. Ingrid Bergman
5. The Rainmaker – Pretty silly film that might have worked better if the cast and script were a bit more believable. Hepburn somehow got an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work here despite being much too old for this role. The sets look a bit too fake and the dialogue is very long winded. The best character is the sheriff played by Corey, but he is underused. Lancaster is ok in the role he is given even if the character is completely over the top.
4. Baby Doll – Very interesting film that looks at the relationship between business and love from a unique perspective. The story itself is quite gripping because neither of the two main rivals are that likeable and it hard to try and decide who should win out in the end. This film has a very small main cast, but all four of them do superb jobs here. Malden, Baker, Wallach and Dunnock are each able to create enjoyable and realistic characters. Baker and Dunnock were both nominated for Oscars for their work in this film as Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively. The story garnered much controversy when it came out yet seems quite tame based on today’s standards. The story has some great scenes that are written really well and manage to keep things interesting throughout especially since the plot features lots of ups and downs in the storyline because things change so rapidly along the way.
3. Anastasia – Great story that is enhanced by the amazing performance of Bergman who won an Oscar for Best Actress for her work here. Brynner is also great here since his character arc is also quite intriguing to watch. Hayes steals the show with her few scenes and I’m surprised tat she missed out on award recognition for her work here. The film does a nice job of trying to explore the idea of identity, both how one perceives themselves and how they are perceived by others at the same time. The story is set up as a great mystery where even the characters don’t now themselves what the truth is.
2. The Bad Seed – Great thriller because they are able to keep things quite ambiguous throughout most of the story. This allows for us to try and determine what we think really happened before it is revealed to the audience. The film does an excellent job of showing the kind of anxiety that a parent might have if they end up coming in contact with such a case of suspicions. The characters are fleshed out really well and they are all quite believable as real people dealing with these kind of situations. The cast is superb with Kelly, Heckart and McCormick all receiving Oscar nominations for their work her;, Kelly as Lead Actress and the other two as supporting. The film does a great job showing the fear that a parent would experience when suspicions about their child committing heinous acts might be verbalized. Love the way that they plead with the audience to keep the story a secret.
1. The King and I – Nice musical that has some great tunes. Kerr and Brynner are both great together both in the musical scenes and in the dramatic one because they seem like equals the whole time. The dialogue is great because it gives off the effect of being both dominating and humorous at the same time. Won 5 of it’s 9 Oscar nominations including Actor (Brynner), Sound, Costumes, Musical score and Art Direction. It lost Picture, Director, Actress (Kerr) and Cinematography.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! IB is great in Anastasia and was able to give a more powerful performance than her fellow nominees.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!