1941. What can you do here but shake your head? Citizen Kane is almost entirely shut out from the Oscars in favor of How Green Was My Valley. Best Picture, Best Director for John Ford (his third, out of four, and second in a row), and even Best Supporting Actor for Donald Crisp, who beat out Sydney Greenstreet for The Maltese Falcon. What can you do?
Also this year, Joan Fontaine wins Best Actress for Suspicion, which is about as blatant a makeup Oscar as you can get (and yet, a good choice. Even though she deserved to win the year before this, everything ended up working out okay), and Mary Astor wins Best Supporting Actress for The Great Lie, which — I don’t think anyone even remembers that particular category, so it doesn’t really matter that much (though she also played Brigid O’Shaughnessy in The Maltese Falcon, so, even she won for another film, I think we can all be cool with that).
But really though, no matter which way you cut it, the blatant snub of Citizen Kane (mostly because of William Randolph Hearts’s doing), really leaves a black mark on this year that will always be there. We can’t pretend that it’s even remotely okay, even though it means nothing.
BEST ACTOR – 1941
And the nominees were…
Gary Cooper, Sergeant York
Cary Grant, Penny Serenade
Walter Huston, The Devil and Daniel Webster
Robert Montgomery, Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Orson Welles, Citizen Kane (more…)