Nov 2, 2015

Round-Up: Actor 1945

5. Gregory Peck, The Keys of the Kingdom

4. Cornel Wilde, A Song To Remember

3. Bing Crosby, The Bells of St. Mary's

2. Gene Kelly, Anchors Aweigh


IN CONCLUSION: I hated this year. Gregory Peck is stiff and dull. Cornel Wilde is stiff and dull. Bing Crosby is charming, but the performance overall is grade-A dull and literally an extension of what he had already done the year before. Only Gene Kelly redeems the mediocrity the other three bring, and even still, the fact that Peck/Wilde/Crosby were in the running aside the likes of Ray Milland only proves how stark the lapse in consistent quality is within the Best Actor category. Regarding other potential nominees that year--there's Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not. Frank Sinatra may have nabbed a few votes for Anchors Aweigh. If Peck had to be nominated, you wonder why it couldn't have been for Spellbound. I've heard positive things about Lawrence Tierney in Dillinger, Boris Karloff in The Body Snatcher and Edward G. Robinson in Scarlet Street. George Sanders could have been in the running for The Picture of Dorian Gray. And there's Zachary Scott for the Best Director nominated The Southerner, who might have been in contention especially considering a boost via Mildred Pierce. But at least I can take pride in the fact that while this year had awful contenders, at least the very best man won.


  1. This was a very weak year, indeed. Three of the actors (Kelly/Milland/Wilde) received the lone nomination of their careers and only Peck had a win in his future. These were lean years for the academy with many top actors off to WWII so the pickings were slim. Kelly and Wilde were in what were considered musicals, which were never recognized, so they didn't stand a chance. Crosby got an Oscar for the same role the year before so unless he did something really special (he didn't) he wasn't getting another one. That left Peck (the newcomer) and Milland (the journeyman costar) in contention. There was really no contest, though, because none of the other actors came close to accomplishing what Milland did in "Lost Weekend" so that was that. The academy not only got it right this year; they had no other choice.

  2. If only they were all this easy. Contrast this effortless instance with Best Actress 1950, where Davis and Swanson, both so richly deserving stayed seated for a wonderful Judy Holiday. It's only one of many rounds where, if the call were mine, I could only drop the names in a hat, close my eyes and pick one. This was a grueling batch for you Allen, we know, but we also know who makes the next batch of actors at least more interesting for you.