This is one of my personal favorite individual categories of all time. Not so much based on the nominees, based on the winner. This, to me, is a top five Best Actress decision of all time. I love it so much. Which is great, because, without this, 1948 would be practically intolerable.
1948 is the year Hamlet wins Best Picture. Easily the single worst Best Picture decision of all time. Hamlet itself is not a terrible picture. In fact, had it won in 1947, I’d probably say it’s a fine and even admirable decision. But, here’s what it beat: Johnny Belinda (which, if you know nothing about it, wait a second, I’ll tell you. Also, watch it. You’ll see), The Snake Pit (also, I’ll be talking about it in a second), The Red Shoes (I bet you’ve heard of this one. One of the most beautiful films ever made, and contains the most breathtaking dance sequence ever put to film), and some little film called The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I think we can all agree — the choice was not okay.
Best Actor this year was Laurence Olivier, for Hamlet. This was a perfect decision. Especially since Humphrey Bogart wasn’t nominated. Best Supporting Actor was Walter Huston and Best Director was John Huston, both for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Best Supporting Actress was Claire Trevor, for Key Largo (which, coincidentally, was also directed by John Huston. Nice bit of trivia. He directed both Supporting Oscar-winning performances this year). Still, that Hamlet decision is not cool.
BEST ACTRESS – 1948
And the nominees were…
Ingrid Bergman, Joan of Arc
Olivia de Havilland, The Snake Pit
Irene Dunne, I Remember Mama
Barbara Stanwyck, Sorry, Wrong Number
Jane Wyman, Johnny Belinda (more…)