Posts tagged “1948

Mike’s Top Ten of 1948

1948 might be my favorite year of the 40s. Just because the top ten list feels like a complete list of ten that I out and out love.

There’s also a lot of great stuff below the line, but the key to this one is the top ten. The top three are straight up “best films ever made” material. And the others are just straight classics and/or great films by great directors who are right in their prime.

Get ready for this one, guys. It’s a very good year. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1948

I consider 1948 to be the single worst Best Picture decision in the history of the Academy Awards. With good reason, too. Take a look at those nominees. The fact that they went the way they did, while wholly unsurprising, is still just terrible. Maybe I make a bigger deal out of it than it is, but I feel strongly about it.

Outside of Best Picture, Hamlet also won Laurence Olivier a well-deserved Best Actor (talked about here), which was a good decision aided by a horribly weak category (the snub for Bogart in Treasure of the Sierra Madre is horrendous). Best Actress was Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda (talked about here), which I consider to be a top five decision for all time. I love her performance so much. Best Supporting Actor was Walter Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (talked about here), which he’d had coming for a good twelve years by this point. John Huston also won Best Director for the film (talked about here), which he greatly deserved. And Best Supporting Actress was Claire Trevor for Key Largo (talked about here), which, as much as I love the film, I don’t like as a decision. Though seeing the film there is nice.

So, in all, 1948 is a really strong year. And when you look at these Best Picture nominees, you’d think you couldn’t lose. And then they went with HamletHamlet? Seriously? From this field?

BEST PICTURE – 1948

And the nominees were…

Hamlet (J. Arthur Rank-Two Cities Films, Universal International)

Johnny Belinda (Warner Bros.)

The Red Shoes (Rank Organisation, Powell & Pressburger, Eagle-Lion Films)

The Snake Pit (20th Century Fox)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Warner Bros.) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1948

Outside of Best Picture, which I consider to be the single worst Best Picture choice of all time, 1948 is a great where with nary a bad decision to be fount. But since a year is judged by its Best Picture winner, 1948 seems worse than it is.

Hamlet wins Best Picture, which we all know I hate. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Red Shoes, Johnny Belinda and The Snake Pit were better choices there. All of them. Laurence Olivier won Best Actor for the film, and, as I said here, he actually deserved it, and it was a great decision (because Bogart wasn’t nominated). Best Actress was Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda (talked about here), which I consider a top five decision, all time. Then John Huston, and his father, Walter Huston, won Best Director (talked about here), and Best Supporting Actor (talked about here), respectively, for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Both were terrific decisions.

And then we have this category. The only non-Best Picture decision I don’t like this year. It’s not so much because I don’t like Claire Trevor, her performance, or even Key Largo as a film. I just think Agnes Moorehead really deserved an Oscar, and I thought she was strong enough to win (as she always is). So I don’t see why she isn’t the vote here.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1948

And the nominees were…

Barbara Bel Geddes, I Remember Mama

Ellen Corby, I Remember Mama

Agnes Moorehead, Johnny Belinda

Jean Simmons, Hamlet

Claire Trevor, Key Largo (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1948

I consider 1948 to be the single worst Best Picture choice in the history of the Academy. Simply because the category was so stacked, and they went with the worst possible choice. Of a category that included The Red Shoes, Johnny Belinda, The Snake Pit and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Hollywood, an industry based in southern California in America, chose Hamlet, a British production, as their Best Picture. Fortunately, they did not make the same mistake with Best Director, which went to John Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (talked about here).

Best Actress this year was Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda (talked about here), which I consider a top five Best Actress decision for all time. Best Supporting Actor was Walter Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (talked about here), which was about 12 years coming for the man, and is a decision I love very much. And Best Supporting Actress was Claire Trevor for Key Largo, which I don’t like very much at all.

And then there’s this category, which — I do actually like a lot. I mean, Bogie wasn’t nominated, but outside of that, they made the best choice within the category. Olivier is a legend.

BEST ACTOR – 1948

And the nominees were…

Lew Ayres, Johnny Belinda

Montgomery Clift, The Search

Dan Dailey, When My Baby Smiles at Me

Laurence Olivier, Hamlet

Clifton Webb, Sitting Pretty (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1948

I am very on the record about despising 1948 and calling it the single worst Best Picture choice in the history of the Academy. I have, and will always, stand by that statement (even against Chariots of Fire). Out of a list that includes: The Snake PitJohnny Belinda, The Red Shoes and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, the Academy chose, as its Best Picture of the year for 1948 — Hamlet. Fucking Hamlet!

Best Picture choice aside, the rest of 1948 isn’t bad at all. I might go so far as to say Best Picture is really the only mistake they made. Almost. Best Actor was Laurence Olivier for Hamlet, which makes perfect sense, since Olivier deserved a statue, was known as a Shakespearean actor, gave a terrific performance, and the category sucked (no Bogie. Don’t ask me why). So that worked out. Best Actress was Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda (talked about here), which I feel is one of the top five Best Actress decisions of all time. Best Supporting Actress was Claire Trevor for Key Largo, which is the other decision I don’t like. While Trevor is an actress who should have an Oscar, Agnes Moorehead should have won one more so. And she was terrific in Johnny Belinda. Trevor’s performance was just okay. And Best Director this year was John Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which (as I said here), of course I love, because I feel the film should have won Best Picture.

This category, though — this one was one of those where, finally a deserving actor got his recognition. Walter Huston, to me, was worth voting for every other time he was nominated for an Oscar. Every other time. Dodsworth — I voted for him. The Devil and Daniel Webster — I’d have voted for him over Gary Cooper, who won that year (even though Orson Welles ultimately was the vote there). Yankee Doodle Dandy — he was probably the best actor in the bunch to vote for. So, to me, finally, he gets his due here. And that makes me happy.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1948

And the nominees were…

Charles Bickford, Johnny Belinda

José Ferrer, Joan of Arc

Oskar Homolka, I Remember Mama

Walter Huston, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Cecil Kellaway, The Luck of the Irish (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1948

How the fuck were Powell and Pressburger not nominated here? We won’t dwell on that, because that’s now what this Quest is about. But the question bears repeating — seriously, how?

As for the rest of 1948, I love most of it, and despise their Best Picture choice. Hamlet a good film, but a boring choice for Best Picture, beats The Snake Pit, a great film about mental illness, Johnny Belinda, a wonderful film I love dearly about a mute girl, The Red Shoes, which is one of the most beautiful films ever made, and, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. ’nuff said. Fortunately, though, aside from that category, they went mostly right everywhere else.

Best Actor was Laurence Olivier for Hamlet, which was well-deserved. Based on who was nominated, he was by far the best choice. Best Actress was Jane Wyman for Johnny Belinda, which I talked about here, which is seriously one of the top five best decisions in that category of all time. Best Supporting Actor was Walter Huston for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which was a well-deserved Oscar that he earned three times over by that point. And Best Supporting Actress was Claire Trevor, for Key Largo, which is the only other poor decision from this year, in my opinion. 4 out of 6 decisions were great though, this year, especially this one. This decision is just glorious.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1948

And the nominees were…

John Huston, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Anatole Litvak, The Snake Pit

Jean Negulesco, Johnny Belinda

Laurence Olivier, Hamlet

Fred Zinnemann, The Search (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1948

This is one of my personal favorite individual categories of all time. Not so much based on the nominees, based on the winner. This, to me, is a top five Best Actress decision of all time. I love it so much. Which is great, because, without this, 1948 would be practically intolerable.

1948 is the year Hamlet wins Best Picture. Easily the single worst Best Picture decision of all time. Hamlet itself is not a terrible picture. In fact, had it won in 1947, I’d probably say it’s a fine and even admirable decision. But, here’s what it beat: Johnny Belinda (which, if you know nothing about it, wait a second, I’ll tell you. Also, watch it. You’ll see), The Snake Pit (also, I’ll be talking about it in a second), The Red Shoes (I bet you’ve heard of this one. One of the most beautiful films ever made, and contains the most breathtaking dance sequence ever put to film), and some little film called The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. I think we can all agree — the choice was not okay.

Best Actor this year was Laurence Olivier, for Hamlet. This was a perfect decision. Especially since Humphrey Bogart wasn’t nominated. Best Supporting Actor was Walter Huston and Best Director was John Huston, both for The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and Best Supporting Actress was Claire Trevor, for Key Largo (which, coincidentally, was also directed by John Huston. Nice bit of trivia. He directed both Supporting Oscar-winning performances this year). Still, that Hamlet decision is not cool.

BEST ACTRESS – 1948

And the nominees were…

Ingrid Bergman, Joan of Arc

Olivia de Havilland, The Snake Pit

Irene Dunne, I Remember Mama

Barbara Stanwyck, Sorry, Wrong Number

Jane Wyman, Johnny Belinda (more…)