This is a great year, especially for film noir. While this post is a little later than usual, I have managed to make images for 12 categories. I'll update the ones in text later. Note: You can click on the images to enlarge them.
I still need to see films like Los Olvidados, Stromboli, Rio Grande, Les Enfants Terribles, Devil's Doorway, Stars in My Crown, The Mumekata Sisters, Broken Arrow, Annie Get Your Gun, Wagon Master, Stage Fright, Bitter Rice, The Flame and the Arrow, A Life of Her Own, D.O.A., Mystery Street, The Black Rose, Captain Carey, U.S.A., The Miniver Story, To Joy, Scandal, The Blue Lamp, and The West Point Story.
BEST ART DIRECTION:
Samson and Delilah
BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Samson and Delilah*
Cyrano de Bergerac*
Samson and Delilah
BEST SOUND (MIXING AND EDITING):
Night and the City
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
Samson and Delilah
The iconic year where two of the best movies Hollywood ever turned out went head to head. What really makes it tough is that there were so many other quality films to consider, except Harvey which I've always found a piece of junk whose praise mystifies me.ReplyDelete
All About Eve-Winner
The Asphalt Jungle
The Breaking Point
In a Lonely Place
This was quite difficult despite the fact that I ended up agreeing with the academy's winner. Lonely Place, Jungle and Sunset Blvd. are diamond hard examinations of what damaged souls can do to each other and Breaking Point the best adaptation of a Hemingway story I've ever seen, closely followed by The Macomber Affair. But Eve is so full of brilliant dialog played out by expert performers in marvelously constructed scenes it trumps them all.
Michael Curtiz-The Breaking Point
John Huston-The Asphalt Jungle
Joseph Mankiewicz-All About Eve-Winner
Nicholas Ray-In a Lonely Place
Billy Wilder-Sunset Blvd.
An almost impossible choice as all categories were this year. I was close to going with Wilder for the outstanding shepherding of his dark tale of thrown away people but Mankiewicz's deft mixing of the dramatic and the sparkling appealed to me slightly more.
Humphrey Bogart-In a Lonely Place
John Garfield-The Breaking Point-Winner
William Holden-Sunset Blvd.
Richard Widmark-No Way Out
Funny when I started this year I thought only best actress would give me pause but it's turned out to be tough in all categories. Bogart and Holden's damaged writers, O'Brien's doomed man and Widmark's fearlessly venal bigot are all portraits that can't be duplicated but Garfield's conflicted captain who's run out of chances is perhaps the best work that phenomenally talented actor ever did.
Other worthy work: Marlon Brando-The Men, Louis Calhern-The Magnificent Yankee, Vincent Price-The Baron of Arizona, Spencer Tracy-Father of the Bride, Clifton Webb-For Heaven's Sake and Richard Widmark-Panic in the Streets
Peggy Cummings-Gun Crazy
Bette Davis-All About Eve-Winner
Barbara Stanwyck-The Furies
Gloria Swanson-Sunset Blvd.
So much exceptional work in one year it was almost impossible to get it down to five although honestly the contest is really only between two performances, Davis and Swanson. As to the others: Cummings, Stanwyck and Parker could easily have been winners in another year. I love Swanson's larger than life work as the delusional Norma Desmond but it is SO BIG that at certain points it becomes exhausting. So I went with Davis's Margo Channing, also ocassionally big but with more shading and a more varied outlook.
Other worthy work: Anne Baxter-All About Eve, Spring Byington-Louisa, Claudette Colbert-Three Came Home, Joan Crawford-The Damned Don't Cry, Jean Hagen-The Asphalt Jungle, Judy Holliday-Born Yesterday, Betty Hutton-Annie Get Your Gun, Jean Simmons-So Long at the Fair, Barbara Stanwyck-No Man of Her Own and Jane Wyman-The Glass Menagerie
Glad to see Cummins and Stanwyck (both just missed my top 5) make the cut in Best Actress, and I do love All About Eve. Davis was my winner for a long time, but I switched back to Swanson after I watched some of the film again. I really must see The Breaking Point!Delete
Lyle Bettger-No Man of Her Own
Louis Calhern-The Asphalt Jungle
Sam Jaffe-The Asphalt Jungle
George Sanders-All About Eve-Winner
Erich von Stroheim-Sunset Blvd.
Bettger is another of those wonderful character actors who never received their due and in No Man he is memorable as a louse who causes no end of trouble in both of Stanwyck's lives. Jungle is full of award worthy work but Calhern and Jaffe stood out the most for me and von Stroheim's tragic Max is a brilliant creation and my runner-up to the prize. But I agree with the academy again in their selection of Sanders's vivid work as Addison DeWitt, he manages the feat of having a kinetic chemistry with every actor he shares a scene with.
Other worthy work: Edmund Gwenn-For Heaven's Sake, Juano Hernandez-The Breaking Point, Walter Huston-The Furies and Jack Palance-Panic in the Streets
Linda Darnell-No Way Out
Gloria Grahame-In a Lonely Place
Celeste Holm-All About Eve-Winner
Patricia Neal-The Breaking Point
The women's categories were both the hardest to winnow down to five and then choose a winner from that quintet. Linda's work of the gradually enlightened widow in the dark world of No Way Out is finely judged as is Gloria's conflicted love interest in Lonely Place. Hope Emerson is terrifically menacing as the unscrupulous matron in Caged and Patricia Neal's playing of the tough, lonely prostitute fits right in with the tense air of Breaking Point, she's almost matched by Phyllis Thaxter as Garfield's wife who I hated to leave out. Neal is my runner up but Celeste Holm and her tinkling piano laugh are my winners, true she has the best defined character but she know exactly what notes to play to get the most out of Karen.
Other worthy work: Jeff Donnell-In a Lonely Place, Ann Dvorak-A Life of Her Own, Elizabeth Taylor-Father of the Bride and Phyllis Thaxter-The Breaking Point
Jaffe and Grahame just missed my lineups. Emerson is great in Caged, though I'd nominate Moorehead over her.Delete
I have so much more to see from this year, but I'm pretty much torn between the few I have seen in just about every category. Sunset or Eve? Sunset or Harvey? Harvey or Eve? UGH!!! LOL, I've seen more than three, but those are my top three in just about every category right now.ReplyDelete
Yeah, some of these categories are tough. I switched back to Swanson in Best Actress, but Davis is equally deserving. Harvey is a wonderful little film. Stewart is perfect, and Hull is such a delight!Delete
I see you gave both Davis and Baxter nods for lead in All About Eve. Interesting. I think Davis and Swanson are a coin flip for who should win, though. That said, I'd go Rashomon for Best Pic, easy. Great post, as always.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Wendell. It really is a coin toss. I used to give Davis the win, probably because I hadn't given her a win for another film. Since I now give Davis a win for Now, Voyager, I decided to reward Swanson's iconic performance, but it's a paper-thin margin. I can't argue with giving Best Picture to Rashomon, by the way. It's a remarkable film.Delete
Oh man, a tough, tough call here. Sunset or Rashomon. I think Rashomon would take it for me, but they're both flawless films. Love that Cinderella found its way in!ReplyDelete
Rashomon is a masterpiece, so no argument from me. Glad to hear you're still a Cinderella fan!Delete
1950 produced quite a few classics, Sunset Blvd, All About Eve,Asphalt Jungle, Harvey, Rahomon, and even Cinderella! Only a couple I would add from 1950: Winchester '73 (Anthony Mann), & The Gunfighter (Henry King), both very good westerns worth seeing.ReplyDelete
Yeah, I love several movies from this year. I managed to fit Winchester '73 in Original Screenplay, but I haven't seen The Gunfighter yet.Delete