Posts tagged “1950

Mike’s Top Ten of 1950

1950 as a year feels pretty noir heavy. Even the top films have a darkness and cynicism to them. The two big films of the year are, of course, Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve. That pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the year.

You’re gonna see a lot of noirs and westerns here, because those are what were mass produced during this era. But what you’ll also find a a couple of really great hidden gems, including one of my favorite movies that absolutely nobody knows about.

That might be the theme for this year and the 50s in general — a lot of the obvious choices are there at the top, but some of the stuff below the line is some of the best stuff that you don’t know about, but really ought to. (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Picture – 1950

This year is sure a contentious one, isn’t it? I tried to think of something more to say about the year, but that’s what it seems to be about — All About Eve vs. Sunset Boulevard. Which is a good situation to be in.

All About Eve wins Best Picture, Best Director for Joseph L. Mankiewicz (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actor for George Sanders (talked about here). It’s clear which way the Academy went on this decision. I like the Supporting Actor decision, don’t mind the Best Picture decision, and hate the Best Director decision. (Carol Reed seriously deserved that so badly.) Best Actor was José Ferrer for Cyrano de Bergerac (talked about here), which is a pretty boring decision. Best Actress was Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday (talked about here), which is pretty weak considering she beat Anne Baxter and Bette Davis for All About Eve and Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard. She was good, but — not as good as those other three. And Best Supporting Actress was Josephine Hull for Harvey (talked about here), which was a spirited decision.

So it’s clear that the Academy sided with All About Eve. I can’t tell which of the two (if either) has held up better over the years. Either way, it’s a good year, and when the choice is between two great films, everybody wins.

BEST PICTURE – 1950

And the nominees were…

All About Eve (20th Century Fox)

Born Yesterday (Columbia)

Father of the Bride (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

King Solomon’s Mines (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer)

Sunset Boulevard (Paramount) (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1950

Ah, 1950. Everyone has an opinion on 1950. So I won’t editorialize too much. I’ll just recap.

All About Eve wins Best Picture, Best Director for Joseph L. Mankiewicz (talked about here), and this category. It beat Sunset Boulevard for Best Picture and Sunset Boulevard and The Third Man for Best Director.

José Ferrer wins Best Actor for Cyrano de Bergerac (talked about here), beating Jimmy Stewart for Harvey. Judy Holliday wins Best Actress for Born Yesterday (talked about here), beating Anne Baxter and Bette Davis for All About Eve and Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard. And Josephine Hull wins Best Supporting Actress for Harvey (talked about here). That category was pretty strong too.

As you can see — lots of people have opinions on this year.

Then we have this category, which is actually pretty clear cut. So that’s nice.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – 1950

And the nominees were…

Jeff Chandler, Broken Arrow

Edmund Gwenn, Mister 880

Sam Jaffe, The Asphalt Jungle

George Sanders, All About Eve

Erich von Stroheim, Sunset Boulevard (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actress – 1950

I’m very on the record about not liking 1950. Let me explain:

All About Eve wins Best Picture. I’m okay with this as a singular decision. I’d have chosen Sunset Boulevard, but this is an acceptable choice. However — with the amount of bad decisions they made in the rest of the categories, this goes from being okay to, “Well, I don’t really like it.” Joseph Mankiewicz won Best Director for the film, which, as I said here, I consider to be the single worst Best Director decision of all time. I know it’s the Best Picture winner and all, but — have you seen The Third Man? Some efforts need to win no matter what.

Best Actor was José Ferrer for Cyrano de Bergerac, which as I said here, I really don’t like as a decision. I accept it because all the principals involved had, or later won, Oscars, but I don’t like it at all. Best Actress was Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday, which, as I said here, is one of the most hotly contested decisions of all time. I think it’s somewhat acceptable, even though I’d have voted for Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. Oh, and George Sanders won Best Supporting Actor for All About Eve. A great decision for all time, there.

Now, this category. The shit of the shit. Best Supporting Actress is usually the weakest category. Also, I swear this wasn’t on purpose, all these double nominees. That must be like the tenth one this month.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – 1950

And the nominees were…

Hope Emerson, Caged

Celeste Holm, All About Eve

Josephine Hull, Harvey

Nancy Olson, Sunset Boulevard

Thelma Ritter, All About Eve (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actress – 1950

This is a big category, historically. A lot of people have strong opinions on this one. I’m gonna be honest with you — you’re all right. In strong categories, there almost are no truly correct decisions. So let’s recap the rest of the year and then get into this one.

All About Eve wins Best Picture, Best Director for Joseph Mankiewicz (talked about here) and Best Supporting Actor for George Sanders. I don’t have a problem with Best Picture, even though my personal choice would have been Sunset Boulevard, and I really like Best Supporting Actor. I do, however, have major problems with Best Director. As I said in the article I wrote about it, I consider it to be the single worst Best Director decision of all time. Carol Reed should have won this award twice for his direction of The Third Man. I don’t care if it was the Best Picture, the best effort is the best effort. And Reed gave by far the best effort. Best Actor this year was José Ferrer for Cyrano de Bergerac (talked about here), which I don’t like at all. It makes no sense to me. Best Supporting Actress was Josephine Hull for Harvey, which is a great decision, based on the category.

So now, let’s get into this one. Where, to me, there are three legitimate contenders (not four).

BEST ACTRESS – 1950

And the nominees were…

Anne Baxter, All About Eve

Bette Davis, All About Eve

Judy Holliday, Born Yesterday

Eleanor Parker, Caged

Gloria Swanson, Sunset Boulevard (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Actor – 1950

1950, as I’ve talked about, is a year I do not like. I mean, it’s fine in and of itself, but, in context — don’t like it at all. All About Eve, which is a tremendous film, wins Best Picture. This is a decision I’m not totally against. I’d just have gone with Sunset Boulevard instead. Still, that decision is fine. As is George Sanders winning Best Supporting Actor for the film. Joseph Mankiewicz winning Best Director for the film, though, is really what I have the problem with. I won’t go into detail (I did that here), but, Carol Reed really should have won for The Third Man.

Best Actress this year was Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday, which, is historically regarded as a poor decision. Having seen the performance, at first I liked the decision, but, after the fact, I do kind of feel it was a bit weak. I mean, she was good, but, Anne Baxter and especially Gloria Swanson felt like they were better choices. And then, Best Supporting Actress this year was Josephine Hull for Harvey, which is good.

So really, my problem with this year has to do with a probable weak Best Actress decision and what I consider the biggest Best Director snub in the history of the category. Other than that, we just have some choices I’d have went the other way on, and this category, which is just weak as all hell. So I’m not very high on this year as a whole. It’s very sad.

BEST ACTOR – 1950

And the nominees were…

Louis Calhern, The Magnificent Yankee

José Ferrer, Cyrano de Bergerac

William Holden, Sunset Boulevard

James Stewart, Harvey

Spencer Tracy, Father of the Bride (more…)


The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1950

This one hurts. A lot. On the surface, you could look at this category and be like, “Oh, of course, All About Eve.” But if you look closer, you see it beat Sunset Boulevard and The Third Man. How could All About Eve have been a better directorial effort than those two? Especially the latter, which is considered one of the top ten or twenty (top five for me) best directorial efforts of all time? As you can see, I won’t even hide my contempt for this decision.

The rest of this year was — well, not very good. I don’t really like it all that much. All About Eve wins Best Picture, which I guess is okay. I prefer Sunset Boulevard, but, meh. Not gonna quibble that much. Best Actor was José Ferrer for Cyrano de Bergerac, a rather forgettable decision. Especially when you had William Holden in Sunset Boulevard and Jimmy Stewart in Harvey as the other choices. Best Actress was Judy Holliday for Born Yesterday, which, I liked as a performance, but am not totally sure about as a decision. After all, she beat Gloria Swanson for Sunset Boulevard (not to mention Bette Davis and Anne Baxter — more so Anne Baxter — for All About Eve). Best Supporting Actor was George Sanders for All About Eve, which is a pretty good decision (it was between him and Erich von Stroheim — a much more historical decision). And Best Supporting Actress was Josephine Hull for Harvey, which I think is pretty good.

So, in all, I find this to be a bad year. Even the okay decisions are very questionable, and it’s all topped by this horrendous cherry on top.

BEST DIRECTOR – 1950

And the nominees were…

George Cukor, Born Yesterday

John Huston, The Asphalt Jungle

Joseph L. Mankiewicz, All About Eve

Carol Reed, The Third Man

Billy Wilder, Sunset Boulevard (more…)