The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1949
I like 1949. I have some problems, but, when you look directly at it, based on the nominated films and performances, I think they made the right decisions most of the way. All the King’s Men wins Best Picture. And while it is a great film, it doesn’t really feel like a Best Picture winner. But, among the nominees, it’s between that and Battleground, which I like a lot. So, since those were my two choices, I think it’s a fine decision. Broderick Crawford also won Best Actor for the film (talked about here), which was a fantastic decision. He was incredible.
The Best Actress was Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress (talked about here). Her second. And an absolute terrific decision. The performance alone is one of the top ten Best Actress decisions of all time, but, given the absolute weakness of the category (there’s no one else to vote for), this is a no-brainer all the way. Best Supporting Actor this year was Dean Jagger for Twelve O’Clock High, which I don’t like at all, since I think Ralph Richardson should have been a runaway winner in the category for his performances in The Heiress and The Fallen Idol. Oh, and Best Director — oh boy. This is the one I have big problems with. Joseph L. Mankiewicz wins for A Letter to Three Wives (talked about here). It’s just completely baffling that he wins here because — almost every other option in the category (specifically Carol Reed, Robert Rossen and William Wellman) was a better decision. A terrible, terrible choice, and one of the worst of all time in the category.
Which leaves us with this category. Which I love. Because — just looking at it, you go, “There’s only one choice.” And, she was clearly the best performance in the category. But, it’s like doing a polynomial fraction. Cross off everything on the top and on the bottom, and then you’re left with the one number. I love it.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1949
And the nominees were…
Ethel Barrymore, Pinky
Celeste Holm, Come to the Stable
Elsa Lanchester, Come to the Stable
Mercedes McCambridge, All the King’s Men
Ethel Waters, Pinky (more…)