August 18, 2015

Round-up: Actress 1929-1930

7. Ruth Chatterton, Sarah and Son

6. Greta Garbo, Romance

5. Norma Shearer, Their Own Desire

4. Norma Shearer, The Divorcée

3. Greta Garbo, Anna Christie

2. Gloria Swanson, The Trespasser


IN CONCLUSION: Surprise! This is the first and (so far) the only year in which I’ve selected a different winner than that one I had initially chosen. I don’t like to do this generally, as I feel like “changing” a winner is something you can’t do in real life, so why do so here? But also, I don’t think I will be re-reviewing years again (or at least, any time soon), so it’s best to stick with my gut here. As it turns out, I was much more taken by the challenges of Nancy Carroll’s character in The Devil’s Holiday over Gloria Swanson in The Trespasser. That’s not to say that Swanson’s is any less of a performance; my interest in her performance remained the same, whereas my interest in Carroll shot up much more. So congrats to Carroll who successfully clawed her way from out of second place to snatch Swanson’s weave + statue. Tangential to this, I found myself much more impressed with Garbo’s Anna Christie character than Shearer’s two offerings. Additionally, Garbo in Romance was just horridly dull for me this time around, and Chatterton remained just as bad as she ever was.

Regarding 1929-1930's also-rans: I see Louise Brooks as a deserving option for Pandora's Box, though I doubt she had a chance in hell for obvious reasons (note: I rented this and watched approximately 5 minutes of it before I gave up on it; no particular reason why, just wasn't in the mood. But will probably try and watch through it one day). Jeanette MacDonald was glorious in The Love Parade, and I'm a little surprised the Academy didn't bite seeing as it's a great musical performance, the film was nominated for Best Picture, and co-star Maurice Chevalier had also been recognized. There's also Nina Mae McKinney for the Best Director nominated Hallelujah!, but I'm sure that wasn't much of a possibility as a Black actress wouldn't be nominated for another 24 ceremonies. What about Bebe Daniels for Rio Rita? Other than that...I've got nothing else.

And so that wraps up my need to give each and every actor of Oscar's first few years a proper solo review. I very clearly didn't make the month-long deadline I gave myself, but it's finished nonetheless! Back to 1945 we go (FYI: just started watching one of the films from the year and am already over it)!


  1. Nicely done, sir. I hope to see the Swanson and Carroll films someday, and my Shearer lands comfortably in the middle of your ratings here, fine with me. Four statues for her Juliet, a top five for Antoinette, your kind salutes to her Amanda and Mary Haines and a "Most Improved" citing all say you did fair by the lady :)

    Thinking without looking ... 1945... Joan of course, a wicked Gene Tierney, Ingrid, Jennifer Jones(?), and Greer? A harrowing, adult look at the face of alcoholism too. Shouldn't all be rough sledding.

  2. Replies
    1. I'll hook you up with some flicks when you get around to reviewing this year like 15 years from now :P