December 31, 2015

Round-Up: Actor 1946

5. Gregory Peck, The Yearling

4. Laurence Olivier, Henry V

3. Larry Parks, The Jolson Story

2. Fredric March, The Best Years of Our Lives


IN CONCLUSION: I have mixed feelings about this this year's slate of actors. We've got Jimmy Stewart, Larry Parks and Gregory Peck playing good guys that Americans couldn't help but love, Fredric March winning for a very non-flashy, non-Oscary part, and Laurence Olivier (who may very well have been the runner-up to March, if his precursor wins were any indication) for a very Oscary part that otherwise fell flat with me. In any case, Peck's, March's, and Stewart's placements speaks for themselves, while Parks ups Olivier due to my belief that he's less stiff and just an overall enjoyable act to watch. In terms of also-rans:

Dana Andrews for The Best Years of Our Lives: most likely the sixth guy, given that the Academy adored his film. One wonders why he didn't make it, considering his part has more screen time than that of March's. My only guess is that March was already an Academy favorite, and was likely more respected? Between March, Stewart, Olivier, and Peck, that leaves 1 spot open for a newcomer, and I suppose the temptation was too great to acknowledge the guy playing a hugely popular entertainer in a biopic.

Next up were likely Tyrone Power for The Razor's Edge, also playing a man afflicted by his war experience, also in a film that made a solid showing at the Oscars. There's also Rex Harrison for Anna and the King of Siam, which was second runner-up at the NYFCC.

And from there--Claude Jarman Jr. might have been in contention for The Yearling, especially since he's much more 'lead' than Peck. Former winners Gary Cooper and Bing Crosby may have been in contention for Saratoga Trunk and Blue Skies, both major box office draws. Cary Grant, Burt Lancaster, Humphrey Bogart and John Garfield may have been in the mix for Notorious, The Killers, The Big Sleep, and The Postman Always Rings Twice, though they may not have stood a chance with the darker material. James Mason is said to have been pretty great in The Seventh Veil, and in terms of foreign cinema there's Jean-Louis Barrault and Aldo Fabrizi in Children of Paradise and The Seventh Veil.

So that's that! On to the next.


  1. Wow! You named four actors who deserved to be on this list without even batting an eye (I think). Andrews, Grant, Bogart and especially Garfield all could have taken Peck's or Park's places perfectly (note the alliteration). I won't include Olivier or March in that because there's no way they weren't getting nods so why bother? I don't know if you've seen those other films but they're all worth a look and a few of those actors on the actual list would have made this a far better category. Great history lesson for what was going on in forty six, though!

  2. Never seen It's a Wonderful Life,
    because we're not so crazy about it over in Europe as everyone seems to be in the US. Not the traditional Christmas film here (like they run Home Alone obsessively). And somehow missed seeing it back in the day when I had time for old movies. I always enjoyed Capra's films, but found them somehow overrated, so I expected this one to fall in the same category, I guess.