Irene Dunn (I Remember Mama)
Jeanne Crain – Apartment for Peggy
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year where there are 5 great nominees and all give very worthy performances.
5. Ingrid Bergman
4. Irene Dunn
3. Barbara Stanwyck
2. Jane Wyman
1. Olivia de Havilland
5. Joan of Arc – Very interesting version of the epic story of the calling that Joan of Arc had and the repercussions of her choice to lead the French troops during the War with England. Bergman is great in the lead and plays the character quite believably. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of this historic figure. Ferrer also stands out as the French King and he too was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance here. The story unfortunately doesn’t feel as epic as it should and something seems slightly missing along the way.
4. The Snake Pit – Very fascinating look at how mental patients were treated during the 1940’s. The story keep us as disjointed as the main character since we learn about her past as she remembers it slowly but surely. De Havilland is amazing here because we get to see her viewpoint on much of the story and it looks at them from a simple and pure perspective. Supposedly, this film helped change many laws as to how mental patients are treated.
3. Sorry, Wrong Number – Great suspense/noir thriller that allows us to feel the claustrophobia of the character’s story since it mostly takes place in one room. They expertly use flashbacks in order to try and gather more information about the scheduled crime and that also helps raise the level of tension as the story moves along. Stanwyck is great in the lead and was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for her work here since she carries the film entirely from one room. Lancaster is also quite good as Stanwyck’s husband yet doesn’t have enough screen time here.
2. I Remember Mama – Interesting and warm family story that works on numerous levels. The dialogue and situations that the characters find themselves in feel real because they experience so many different emotions through the trials, tribulations and challenges that they must face. The cast is great with Dunne shining throughout as the matriarch of the family. Homolka tho, steals every scene he is in as a rich uncle who tries to help whenever he can. He was quite deserving of an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for this performance. Truly a heartwarming story that gives a clear depiction of life for these immigrants.
1. Johnny Belinda – Wyman and Ayres are both superb here. Loved the way the story unfolds because they manage to give us so much information about the characters, their way of life and how things are run in such a small community. The fact that their are numerous issues discussed only in passing due to many of the censorship laws at the time would normally have caused problems with a film like this, but they do a great job of presenting things in a way that we can fully understand what is going on despite the obvious omissions. Wyman truly deserved her Best Actress Oscar for this role.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yep! Despite being a very competitive year, JW was the best of the crop and was a deserving winner of taking home Gold.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!