Oh, I love 1954 very much. Not necessarily as a year in and of itself (though I’m sure I can produce a nice list of great films that came out this year if I went to the trouble to do so), but in terms of the Oscars. How can you not like a year that includes On the Waterfront winning Best Picture, Best Director for Elia Kazan (his second), Best Actor for Marlon Brando, and Best Supporting Actress for Eva Marie Saint. Right there, you have what amounts to a near perfect year.
Also this year, you have the added bonus of Grace Kelly vs. Judy Garland for Best Actress, with Grace winning for The Country Girl. I haven’t yet decided who I’d vote for there. But it’s such a highly contested race, I might actually have it be the last category I do (maybe…we’ll see). And Best Supporting Actor this year was Edmond O’Brien for The Barefoot Contessa, mostly as a result of a vote split between the three Waterfront nominees (much like Supporting Actor 1972). Not one bad decision in the bunch. And the one that kind of was, was totally understandable because of the situation. Plus Edmond O’Brien is awesome. Just watch this. So, 1954 is a great year all around. We should be lucky to have a year like this.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1954
And the nominees were…
Alfred Hitchcock, Rear Window
Elia Kazan, On the Waterfront
George Seaton, The Country Girl
William A. Wellman, The High and the Mighty
Billy Wilder, Sabrina (more…)