I think we can get this out of the way quickly by saying that 1941 is a travesty. Citizen Kane clearly should have won Best Picture, and didn’t because, well, William Randolph Hearst had a lot of influence. How Green Was My Valley wins Best Picture in a cop out decision. John Ford wins Best Director for it too (which goes with the territory).
Gary Cooper wins Best Actor for Sergeant York (talked about here), which I don’t like, but can’t really argue with. Then Best Actress was Joan Fontaine for Suspicion, which is kind of a makeup Oscar for the year before, and also a kind of best case scenario. Though I’d personally have gone with Greer Garson here. And Best Supporting Actress was Mary Astor for The Great Lie. Not a very memorable film or performance, but, she also played Brigid O’Shaugnessy in The Maltese Falcon, so I’m very okay with the decision.
And then we have this category. I’m not sure what I think about this. On the one hand, Donald Crisp gave a solid performance, but on the other hand, I have a clear personal favorite, and there’s also another “year” candidate (that is, one person had such a strong year, I can’t see how they didn’t get it based on that). I don’t know. I just don’t really like this decision.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1941
And the nominees were…
Walter Brennan, Sergeant York
Charles Coburn, The Devil and Miss Jones
Donald Crisp, How Green Was My Valley
James Gleason, Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Sydney Greenstreet, The Maltese Falcon (more…)