1955 is one of the weakest single years in Academy history. And, like I always say, a year begins with Best Picture. And this year’s Best Picture field might be the single weakest in history (it probably is, actually). There’s nothing here that should win in a regular year. Which pretty much leaves this as a forgotten year in Academy history, just because nothing particularly memorable came from it.
Marty wins Best Picture, Best Director for Delbert Mann (talked about here) and Best Actor for Ernest Borgnine (talked about here). The first two I understand and the third — while I think Frank Sinatra gave the better performance in The Man with the Golden Arm, he had an Oscar from 1953 and Borgnine was just as good, so, it’s fine. Best Actress was Anna Magnani for The Rose Tattoo (talked about here), which is utterly forgettable, and, in my opinion, a poor decision. (I think Susan Hayward should have won for I’ll Cry Tomorrow, which would have allowed either Deborah Kerr or Rosalind Russell to win their overdue Oscars in 1958, or let Liz Taylor win, which would have allowed Shirley MacLaine win in 1960, which would have affected 1983… the consequences are far-reaching.) Then Jack Lemmon wins Best Supporting Actor for Mister Roberts (talked about here), which is fine. The category was horrendously weak, though, and Lemmon won Best Actor later on, so most people forget about this. And Jo Van Fleet won Best Supporting Actress for East of Eden (talked about here), which — fine. She was in a bunch of stuff — I don’t have a problem with it (even though I’d have given it to Betsy Blair. Just because I love Marty).
So, really, not one memorable decision this year, despite Marty being a terrific film. But really, when you get down to bare essentials — the Best Picture category — this year is really one of the most forgettable years in Academy history.
BEST PICTURE – 1955
And the nominees were…
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (20thCentury Fox)
Marty (United Artists)
Mister Roberts (Warner Bros.)
The Rose Tattoo (Paramount) (more…)