Bette Davis (All About Eve)
Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday)
Jane Wyman – Stage Fright
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 5 outstanding performances that are all worthy of taking home Gold for their work.
5. Eleanor Parker
4. Anne Baxter
3. Bette Davis
2. Gloria Swanson
1. Judy Holliday
4. Caged – Great look at how the prison system of the time worked especially when dealing with female prisoners., The film does a great job looking at how the system on the one hand tries to rehabilitate yet on the other, the prison become use to the institutionalized lifestyle which causes the idea to become cyclical in their lives. Parker is superb in the lead role and makes us believe her character’s petty life of crime yet being institutionalized transforms her. She was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance here. Emerson was also nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for her work as a sadistic guard.
3. Born Yesterday – What a wonderful premise that works so well here. Crawford, Holden and Holliday are all superb here and it’s so much fun watching them interact. The script and dialogue are quite engaging and the lines are so witty that it pays to pay close attention or you may miss some great ones. Holliday deservingly took home an Oscar for her performance here as a seemingly ignorant woman who transforms herself into something completely different.
2. All About Eve – Excellently written by Mankiewicz! The actors all are superb and it’s a thrill watching them deliver his lines. Says so much about the movie industry and fame.
1. Sunset Blvd. – Such a cleverly written film that keeps us hooked from beginning to end. Holden and Swanson are both superb here and we are constantly surprised by everything they say and do. Love the way that this film deals with how members of Hollywood perceive their contemporaries depending on whether they are on the way up or down. Yet it also shows us how those people perceive themselves in a different position than they might really be. The plot moves along at a great pace and gives us so much to mull over as things move along. Still seems to (sadly) ring true even after nearly 70 years.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! In a very competitive year with 5 amazing performances, Holliday still somehow manages to stand out among them.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!