Did They Get it Right? – Best Actress – Oscars 1931

Here are the five nominees: (Winner in Bold)

Marlene Dietrich (Morocco)
Marie Dressler (Min and Bill)
Irene Dunn (Cimarron)
Ann Harding (Holiday)
Norma Shearer (A Free Soul)

Biggest Snub:

Sally Eilers – Bad Girl

My Overall Thoughts:

From 1935 and backwards, many of the nominated films are really difficult (if not impossible) to find, so many of these years will have numerous “holes” in my knowledge of the nominees. I realize that it limits my scope, but something are out of EVEN my control.

Two of the 3 of the nominees that I’ve seen their work do nice jobs with these roles and were deserving of their nominations.

My Rankings:


  • Marie Dressler (Not Seen Yet)
  • Ann Harding (Not Seen Yet)

3. Irene Dunn
2. Marlene Dietrich
1. Norma Shearer

  • Holiday (Not Seen Yet)
  • Min and Bill (Not Seen Yet)

3. CimarronPretty boring and drawn out movie. Stay away unless you have trouble sleeping.
2. MoroccoInteresting idea that was probably much more appreciated when it came out than it can be now. The characters aren’t developed well enough and that makes the viewer care even less as to what will happen to them. Dietrich and Cooper are quite good here together and they have nice chemistry in all of their scenes. Menjou is also great as the millionaire who is also search for love and companionship. The landscape shots are quite exotic looking and make us truly believe that this was filmed on location in Africa instead of right outside of LA which is part of the reason why director Von Sternberg probably got a Best Director nomination for this film at the Oscars. The story is fine, but doesn’t manage to do anything out of the ordinary love story as presented.
1. A Free SoulInteresting film that deals with a great story that is quite layered and not something that one would expect to see during the era of film. Barrymore is superb in the lead and was quite deserving of winner a Best Actor Oscar for this role. They deal with some great issues throughout that include alcoholism, justice, young love and of course a child doing something to rebel against the wishes of her parents. Great courtroom scenes help make this film quite memorable.

Do I agree with the Oscar winner? – No clue!  Since I haven’t yet seen the eventual winner, it’s quite difficult to compare. NS does the best job of the three nominees that I’ve seen so far.

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

Let me Know what you think!!

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