No sense in wasting time for 1946. The Best Years of Our Lives, a film about the aftereffects of war on the average American soldier and his family, was going to win Best Picture no matter what. No matter how much we all love It’s a Wonderful Life, it wasn’t going to win. Not in 1946, right after the war. Not gonna happen.
The Best Years of Our Lives wins Best Picture, Best Actor for Frederic March (talked about here), Best Supporting Actor for Harold Russell (talked about here), and this category. And no matter how much we may not like any of those decisions, they were gonna happen anyway. Best Actress was Olivia de Havilland for To Each His Own (talked about here), which was a fantastic decision, and she was about seven years overdue for one of these. And Best Supporting Actress was Anne Baxter for The Razor’s Edge, which was another terrific decision.
Then there was this category. Wyler’s second of three. (All for Best Picture winners, too. When this man wins, he really wins. Kind of like Clint Eastwood.) I feel less bad about this one because Capra already had three. (And Lean would win two.) It makes perfect sense. The only thing complicated about this is who the hell I’m gonna vote for.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1946
And the nominees were…
Clarence Brown, The Yearling
Frank Capra, It’s a Wonderful Life
David Lean, Brief Encounter
Robert Siodmak, The Killers
William Wyler, The Best Years of Our Lives (more…)