Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1941

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Bette Davis (The Little Foxes)
Joan Fontaine (Suspicion)
Greer Garson (Blossoms in the Dust)
Olivia de Havilland (Hold Back the Dawn)
Barbara Stanwyck (Ball of Fire)

Biggest Snub:

Barbara Stanwyck – The Lady Eve

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 4 great performances and one fine one but as talented as all of these women are, one manages to outshine the rest.

My Rankings:


5. Bette Davis
4. Olivia de Havilland
3. Barbara Stanwyck
2. Greer Garson
1. Joan Fontaine


5. The Little FoxesNot a very interesting film. The characters leave much to be desired and there are too many scenes that creep along. The finale finally gives us something interesting to watch, but it is too little, too late for that. Davis is fine here in the title role. Nominated for 9 Oscars that year, but didn’t manage to win any of them.
4. Hold Back the DawnInteresting story that has been redone so many times before and after this film was made. The characters are quite good and despite it all being pretty predictable what will happen, it generally works. Boyer, deHavilland and Goddard are all interesting eventhough they all play very stereotypical characters.
3. Blossoms in the DustGreat biopic that discusses the often overlooked topic of adoption and shows how one woman was able to make a change in the way things were seen in both the eyes of the law and the eyes of people seeking legitimacy of children. Garson is superb in the lead role.
2. SuspicionHitchcock does a wonderful job of keeping us in suspense the whole time and constantly making us try and guess what is truth and what is not. Grant and Fontaine are both great as the leads because they can both appear as innocent and sinister quite easily. Fontaine deservingly won a Best Actress Oscar for this role. This film explores the idea of trust in a very interesting way.
1. Ball of FireGreat concept that works really well. Stanwyck and Cooper have amazing chemistry together and despite their characters being so different, they still manage to make it flow. The 7 professors add some nice comic relief and was amused to hear that they correspond to the Seven Dwarves. This film may seem like an American version of Pygmalion yet they make things work in different ways than in that story. This is actually more like it was the original idea for Beauty and the Geek because on paper this shouldn’t work at all. The cleverness of the characters help to move the story along quite well. This is a great screwball comedy because of the unique way that it deals with the characters. Filled with lots of energy throughout.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely!  Fontaine is superb in Suspicion and truly gave a more powerful performance than the rest of the nominees despite their talent and the roles they get to play.

Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!

Let me Know what you think!!

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