1944. I consider this year a missed opportunity. The Academy could have really went out on a limb and gave a great film Best Picture. But instead they went with the safe choice. Going My Way, which is a very good film, but really didn’t need to win Best Picture, Best Director Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. Best Actor is cool, because who dosen’t like Bing Crosby? I can’t remember who he was up against offhand, but let’s assume it’s okay. (Note: Looked it up. Totally cool with it.) Oh, also, Barry Fitzgerald, who won Best Supporting Actor, was also nominated for Best Actor for the exact same role. Only time that’s happened in Academy history. After this they just settled into the standard category fraud that we’re used to.
Anywho, the other two awards we haven’t covered yet were Ingrid Bergman for Gaslight, a makeup Oscar if I’ve ever seen one — she was nominated for For Whom the Bell Tolls and not for Casablanca the year before this, plus she did a great job here, so there was really no way she wasn’t winning — and Ethel Barrymore for None But the Lonely Heart. I’m really not all that upset with most of the decisions this year — or at least, I don’t object too much, past Best Picture and this category, because those just weren’t necessary at all.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1944
And the nominees were…
Alfred Hitchcock, Lifeboat
Henry King, Wilson
Leo McCarey, Going My Way
Otto Preminger, Laura
Billy Wilder, Double Indemnity (more…)