Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1939

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Bette Davis (Dark Victory)
Irene Dunne (Love Affair)
Greer Garson (Goodbye, Mr. Chips)
Greta Garbo (Ninotchka)
Vivien Leigh (Gone with the Wind)

Biggest Snub:

Judy Garland – The Wizard of Oz

My Overall Thoughts:

This is a year with 4 great nominees and one who is a bit of an odd choice.  The race was down to to two of them.

My Rankings:


5. Greta Garbo
4. Irene Dunne
3. Greer Garson
2. Vivien Leigh
1. Bette Davis


5. NinotchkaNot your typical screwball comedy of the 30’s because its extremely political and tries to inadvertently show the problems of communism in a light hearted way. Some of the communist lifestyle jokes will make you chuckle but the story as a whole is quite weak. Garbo isn’t at her best as a comedienne and she and Douglas lack real onscreen chemistry together.
4. Love AffairThis is a film that was remade a few times in the 60+ years after it was made.  It is highly referenced in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) which basically tells the entire story.  The love affair between these characters doesn’t seem as realistic as some other versions of this film seem to show and it’s hard to fully believe it.  The premise itself is a great one but this time, they just don’t managed to present it well enough.  I’ll weigh in on the other versions if and when I ever see them.
3. Dark VictoryDavis is great in this role because we can feel her debating her options the whole time. The story works really well and gives us a an intriguing look at this kind of situation. They balance the medical and social aspects of the story nice and accurately and it is easy to believe much of what happens here. This film’s premise is quite timeless and could be applied to a modern story also which helps make it even more fascinating to watch.
2. Goodbye, Mr. ChipsDonat is superb here and really deserved his Best Actor award for playing the title character. This film has inspired so many others ever since in the way they tell a life story in the right way. Still remains one of the best films about the life and rewards of teaching.
1. Gone with the WindBrilliant but over-long film. Understandable why so many love this movie. Very deserving of its 8 Oscar wins. 

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – yes and No!  I can understand how VL could win for her role in GWTW, yet I believe her win was more related to the fact that the film on a whole did extremely well at the Oscars that year. BD is much more compelling and powerful in DV and probably was a slightly more deserving winner.

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

Let me Know what you think!!

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