Ingrid Bergman (For Whom the Bell Tolls)
Teresa Wright – Shadow of a Doubt
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year that has some very talented actresses who gave very engaging performances but two of them stand out among the rest.
5. Joan Fontaine
4. Ingrid Bergman
3. Jean Arthur
2. Jennifer Jones
1. Greer Garson
5. The Constant Nymph – Really boring costume drama that doesn’t work very well. Fontaine was somehow nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance here even though she is clearly too old to be playing such a young character. The love triangle aspect of the story also seems a bit too strange and fails to be interesting to watch unfold. It’s quite difficult to care about any of the characters or the situations that they find themselves in due to the way that this is presented.
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. 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.
2. Madame Curie – Very enjoyable biography of a woman who was able to change the way the world looks at female scientists. Really enjoyed the way the story builds up and we see the collaborative work with her husband yet also see how she spearheaded the scientific discoveries. Great cast helps make this biopic feel so realistic and Garson and Pidgeon are nice choices for the two leads and both were nominated for Lead Oscars for these roles.
1. The More the Merrier – Starts off amazingly, but tapers off as things move along. Coburn is amazing and deservingly won an Oscar for Best Supporting actor for this role. Loved the way that the early scenes are written because the dialogue and actions of the characters are so much fun to watch as things rapidly move along. I can understand how this film could have been nominated for Best Picture that year, but in the end it’s a fun romantic comedy of the 40’s, but not the kind of film that would have been able to walk away with the big award.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Yes and No! JJ does a really nice job in SfB and its understandable how she could win but GG was slightly better in TMTM
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!