Dec 15, 2014

1942 - 15th Academy Awards

 photo 1942.jpg

and the nominees were: 
James Cagney, Yankee Doodle Dandy
Ronald Colman, Random Harvest
Gary Cooper, The Pride of the Yankees
Walter Pidgeon, Mrs. Miniver
Monty Woolley, The Pied Piper
Bette Davis, Now, Voyager
Greer Garson, Mrs. Miniver
Katharine Hepburn, Woman of the Year
Rosalind Russell, My Sister Eileen
Teresa Wright, The Pride of the Yankees

Agnes Moorehead, The Magnificent Ambersons

My good fortune continues with two offerings this year that are explicitly patriotic (one of which I watched a few years ago and absolutely despised) as well as the usual token nominated film where you've got some adult watching after a crap load of kids (though this time with a WWII backdrop). ~Sigh~ Not looking forward to this year any more than I did 1941, though I'm really hoping I enjoy more of the films this time around. Side note: because I was so inspired early on in my blogging, I initially came up with my now defunct Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda series where I reviewed prominent also-rans. I eventually learned that I'd be too burnt out to continue that shit for every. single. year. so I stopped, but in having initially done so, I reviewed the New York Film Critics' Circle's 1935 Best Actress winner Greta Garbo in Anna Karenina, the only NYFCC winner thus far to not have been nominated for an Oscar. So I figured (for completist's sake) why not--might as well continue this reviewing of the occasional outlier NYFCC winner (plus I figure it'll give me a breath of fresh air amongst all the repetitive Davises, Garsons, Bergmans, de Havillands, Coopers, Stanwycks, etc. that AMPAs so knee-jerkingly nominated during this decade). Thus I will be having a date with The Magnificent Ambersons to take a looksie at Agnes Moorehead's NYFCC winning performance. And with that: please share with me any of your personal favorites from '42 and shoot me some predictions as to whom you think I will love and hate :)


  1. I liked Bette Davis and Greer Garson! But if you are not a fan of Davis' style, I guess you probably wouldn't like her that much in Now, Voyager, especially since I don't consider this her best performance. I thought Agnes Moorehead was great in one scene in The Magnificent Ambersons, but don't really remember the rest of her performance.

    And I enjoy your blog and your writing style! Great job!

    1. Thank you so much for commenting! Welcome! Glad we are able to share our peculiar mutual interest together through blogging :)

  2. Louis B. Mayer pleaded with Norma Shearer to do Miniver. He promised her it would MGM's most prestigious film of the year, which it certainly was. The culprit, as all Shearer fans must acknowledge, was Norma's own vanity: at 40, she didn't want to play the mother of an army age son. (MGM shaved six years off Garson's birth year for publicity, but in fact she was only two years younger than Norma.) This, turning down a box-office behemoth that also took best actress, scored personal congratulations from Roosevelt and Churchill, and instead choosing a couple of weak comedies (We Were Dancing and Her Cardboard Lover convinced Norma Shearer it was time to throw in the towel.

    Greer is terrific in the part of course, and the playful and familiar sexuality between her and Pidgeon is great to watch, especially that erotic smack on the ass. Shearer fans however, know Norma could have handled that and brought every degree of grace Greer manages as well. This loss is a perpetual regret to Shearer fans. (Garson would also get Madame Curie which MGM had originally bought for Garbo.)

    Shearer, maybe not even knowing it, was considered for Now Voyager also, and I'll get to that in time.

    You're right about the extreme lacquering on of patriotism is so many of these nominees, which might be why I probably return of Voyager and Woman of the Year more than others.

    1. I've heard about Shearer and the Miniver debacle! Makes you wonder if she'd have continued making movies had she taken on Miniver and experienced the overwhelming success.

      Definitely looking forward to Kate in Woman of the Year, given that it's the first Tracy-Hepburn flick and all!

  3. I am ashamed to admit I have only seen Mrs Miniver and Now Voyager. :-/ But I like Miniver, it's one of my favourite BP winners.
    Ah, and also Ambersons, but that doesn't count.

    Really curious to see what Pied Piper is all about, not many have seen it, I imagine. Actually, why the hell would they, nobody remembers it :)

    I think your winners will be Gary Cooper and...
    LOL. :))

    No, I think Cagney and BETTE. :P
    Definitely not Pidgeon.

    1. Interesting that people seem so fond of Mrs. Miniver. My interest is piqued a notch.

      Just you wait and see, Cooper and Wright will be my winners :D

    2. Mrs Miniver is like the commercial version of Best Years (which, btw, don't tell anyone, but I'm not that crazy about, even though it stars your darling F). It's definitely EASY to watch. (OT: and Downton Abbey totally stole an entire storyline from it. If not even a character :P )

      Just realized, between all these films, you'll also get to judge the Supporting Actress category. :) enjoy!

  4. Gary Cooper being Gary Cooper. Walter Pidgeon being forgettable. Ronald Colman is very good in RH, but I prefer Greer in the film. Never saw YDD and TPP, but I think the winner will be one of them. I predict Cagney.

    As for best actress, I'm pretty sure Davis will get a second oscargarm.

    1. I'm going to approach Davis with the utmost lax attitude!

  5. Like Alex, Mrs. Miniver is a random favorite of mine. I get all the criticism thrown its way but it always manages to move me and is filled with lovely performances. I find Greer's win incredibly underrated (though most people at least like her), so I'll be rooting for her this year! :)

    I suspect Hepburn could surprise here, she's very good in Woman of the Year and really funny (despite some hugely dubious gender stuff in that film). Bette is doing her usual Bette thing, which she does well, but this performance never elevated beyond that for me. Russell & Wright are the missing pieces for me.

    In Actor, it'll probably come down to Colman vs. Cagney, though I've heard absolutely nothing on Woolley so he's a wild card. I'd probably go Cagney here for simply being so winning & surprising. Colman is also very good, and I love Pidgeon simply for getting that supporting wife nomination that's usual reserved for the ladies. Cooper & Woolley are my blindspots.

    You'll love Moorehead, who is indeed great. Too bad her full work won't ever be seen.

    1. I'm pretty surprised by all the Miniver love! And here I thought I was set for more uninspired, trite filmmaking. Colman's just about the only guy I'm looking forward to, so it's interesting that people seem confident in Cagney's chances.