The great thing about 1955 is, it’s one of those years that’s so bland that it trips you up when you go back to it. It’s not that they made poor choices (far from it, actually), it’s just that it’s one of those years where, when you go back, it’s just a blank. There’s no real excitement or anything to make it stick in your mind. I don’t have enough separation from Oscar years to really know how accurate any example is going to be. But think something like — I don’t know, Super Bowls? One of those boring years, like 2005, when the Steelers beat the Seahawks. I always forget that one. It was boring. You have to think about it for a second (unless you have something that makes the memory catch quicker, like, winning $500 during the game. In which case you know goddamn well who won that game. You did). It’s like that.
Anyway, the reason it’s one of those “dead years” — is because the film that won Best Picture was Marty. Marty is a film that was originally a made for TV movie that they adapted for the screen. It still plays kind of like a play, since it’s mostly two people talking and has about four locations total. And it’s only like 95 minutes, which clocks in as the shortest Best Picture of all time. It does not, however, win for shortest Best Picture title. That goes to Gigi. And, Wings. But, it’s one of those films that, while great, probably would not have won if it were nominated any other year.
Delbert Mann won Best Director for the movie — I guess because it’s one of those, “Well, we’re giving it to one, might as well give it to the other one too,” as most years tend to work. Best Actress went to Anna Magnani for The Rose Tattoo. Who? Exactly. This is why no one remembers this year. Best Supporting Actor went to an actor in one of his first films roles — Jack Lemmon. Best Supporting Actress went to Jo Van Fleet for East of Eden. So it’s one of those years where — nothing makes it stand out from the ones around it. Namely, the year before when On the Waterfront wins and the year after, when Around the World in 80 Days wins. (more…)