1955 is usually a “skip” year for most people. That is, when you’re reading through a list, looking at all the high and low points, like, “On the Waterfront, all right!”, or, “Around the World in 80 Days? Really?”, when you see 1955 and see Marty, most people, either not recognizing it or viewing it as a kind of blank, just mentally skip past it without a word. Usually they’ll be say the title, but mostly as a mental pause, as they skip ahead to the next film.
The reason for this is that Marty, while a fantastic film utterly deserving of Best Picture this year, isn’t a big film. In any other year, it probably wouldn’t come close to winning. But, it wasn’t in the strongest of categories. And since it doesn’t have too much of a lasting reputation like the films around it do, most people skip it. Which is a shame. It is a great film. Ernest Borgnine won Best Actor for it, and I’ve talked about how, while I wouldn’t have voted for him, it’s great that he won. Also this year, Anna Magnani won Best Actress for The Rose Tattoo, in what was mostly a weak year. I’m somewhat undecided on my feelings on that. Best Supporting Actor went to Jack Lemmon for Mister Roberts, and Best Supporting Actress went to Jo Van Fleet for East of Eden. See? Nothing here particularly stands out, which is why this year, understandably, yet somewhat unfairly, keeps getting skipped over and overlooked.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1955
And the nominees were…
Elia Kazan, East of Eden
David Lean, Summertime
Joshua Logan, Picnic
Delbert Mann, Marty
John Sturges, Bad Day at Black Rock (more…)