Bette Davis (Of Human Bondage)
Claudette Colbert – Imitation of Life
My Overall Thoughts:
This is a year with 2 very worthy nominees and two lesser worthy ones.
4. Grace Moore
3. Norma Shearer
2. Bette Davis
1. Claudette Colbert
4. One Night of Love – The story is quite bland and it’s hard to truly believe the love story between the leads. Yes, the music is quite good and helps a bit but one could listen to a recording of the classical music and get more out of it than watching this film. The cast also doesn’t add anything to this film. I can understand how this film could be nominated for and win an Oscar for Best Score, but this is far from being a Best Picture nomination IMHO.
3. The Barretts of Wimpole Street – Mediocre film that has some nice scenes but overall doesn’t work as well as it possibly could have. The cast is filled with some great actors and Shearer, March and Laughton all are fine here despite none of them standing out for these performances. The chemistry between the characters is lackluster and too often it doesn’t feel as if they are realistically in love with each other. The dialogue has some fine moments of wit, but overall, this film drags on too much.
2. Of Human Bondage – Such an engaging film that works so well largely due to the performances by Howard and Davis. The story is quite timeless and shows the kind of power that someone can have over a lover that can cause them to make irrational and strange decisions due to this form of “bondage”. The story works really well and says enthralling from start to finish largely due to the way that the characters who feel a duty to be in bondage give us constant hope that they will find the will be break free and move on to a healthier and happy life, yet life and past memories keep getting in the way of that. Davis was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress as a write in candidate and was definitely deserving of that accolade because she truly is superb in this performance.
1. It Happened One Night – Great film that gets so much right along the way. The chemistry between Colbert and Gable works so well the entire time. The dialogue is superbly written and the way that the characters deliver the back and forth works so well the entire time. The characters are extremely memorable and this remains one of the best films of its kind. Capra does an amazing job directing this film. Very deserving of it’s 5 Oscar wins. It remains the only film to have swept the 5 “top” awards without any other nominations.
Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – Absolutely! CC is the best of the nominees and was quite deserving of this win.
Let me know what you think about these films and my rankings!