The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1952
Ah, the big fuck up. Which isn’t really a fuck up in hindsight, because they fixed their mistake in post. But, in this category, it’s a fuck up.
Actually, 1952 in general is a fuck up year. The Greatest Show on Earth wins Best Picture in a copout decision because the Academy didn’t want to vote for High Noon. Terrible decision, but despite what you may have heard, the film really isn’t that bad. It’s just not a Best Picture winner. Then Gary Cooper wins Best Actor for High Noon (talked about here), which really makes you wonder why they bothered to not vote for it in the first place. Why not just make it uniform, like you did with Citizen Kane? Either way, Krik Douglas should have won here.
Then Shirley Booth wins Best Actress for Come Back, Little Sheba (talked about here), which I don’t like as a decision at all. At best it’s a forgettable choice. Best Supporting Actor was Anthony Quinn for Viva Zapata! (talked about here), which I’ve come to accept as an okay decision, but is one I wouldn’t have made. And Best Supporting Actress was Gloria Grahame for The Bad and the Beautiful, which, as I discussed here, I’m sort of okay with, because the film got some attention, but she really wasn’t the best performance in the category, and the whole thing is just kind of fucked up and confusing.
That’s what 1952 is. A year that’s fucked up and confusing. Nothing makes sense, none of the decisions are all that great, and everyone just kind of walks away from it going, “What happened?” Kind of like a party at my house.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1952
And the nominees were…
Cecil B. DeMille, The Greatest Show on Earth
John Ford, The Quiet Man
John Huston, Moulin Rouge
Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 5 Fingers
Fred Zinnemann, High Noon (more…)