March 25, 2016

Round-Up: Actress 1947

5. Dorothy McGuire, Gentleman's Agreement

4. Loretta Young, The Farmer's Daughter

3. Susan Hayward, Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman

2. Rosalind Russell, Mourning Becomes Electra


IN CONCLUSION: What a surprise, even for me! I had haphazardly expected Susan Hayward to run away with the win, given that the majority of folks I follow in the Oscars space sang praises for her. Interesting then, that Joan Crawford would be the one to impress me the most. At first I second-guessed myself, thinking that perhaps second viewings might be necessary. However, upon additional reflection I concluded Crawford was as appealing as she was to me due to the complexity of the role, her handling of the part, and the overall quality of the film. It was neck-and-neck between Roz and Hayward, but I gave Roz the edge because I just loved Mourning Becomes Electra, and had no love for Smash-Up whatsoever. McGuire and Young were too neck-and-neck, and I am not 100 percent certain on their final placements here - but while McGuire provided better acting in a much smaller part, it's still pretty empty at times, and Young remains at a same level of consistency throughout her performance. Thus, Young wiggles by McGuire just barely, though overall I can't say that this was a year that I am passionate about, even despite the higher scores.

So who might have been in sixth place? Again, hard to say. Might Loretta Young have replaced herself with The Bishop's Wife? Irene Dunne for Life with Father? Or could it have been Deborah Kerr for Black Narcissus? I'm not sure that Kerr stood a chance, as the film just seems so far away from the Academy's wheelhouse to be in contention.

Could Maureen O'Hara been in the mix for Miracle on 34th Street? What about Jean Simmons for Great Expectations? Gene Tierney for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir? Or what of Claudette Colbert for The Egg and I? I've heard good things about Alida Valli for The Paradine Case as well. And I'd have died if the Academy paid Jane Greer for Out of the Past any attention (love her), but I suppose that's asking for too much during this horribly predictable decade.

On to the next! It's funny because I had watched most of '47's films sometimes weeks before I got around to writing the correlating posts -- it has been a mix of a very busy work schedule and the fact that the performances and films, while mostly OK, just did not provoke any sort of reaction out of me. They were, for lack of a better word, pretty basic, and I usually end up with writer's block when dealing with basic films, not being able to find the words to write until long after the initial viewing. So here's hoping that 1948 will have more sources of inspiration (though to be frank, I'm not expecting it!)


  1. Great job as usual :) I've only seen Russell and McGuire but I have to say it's surprising you gave Crawford the win as most people find her uneven. Now I'll have to check out Possessed as you made me intrigued. I really liked Kerr in Black Narcissus and she would be my win (still have so much to see though). Oh, and Lead Actress 1948 is much more interesting!

  2. Great ratings, Allen. My only switch would be between Russell and Crawford. Joan had done many of these things before whereas Russell was trying (often unsuccessfully) new territory. I'm not a real fan of any of these performances, however. Deborah Kerr was the outstanding actress of 1947 but her unsympathetic character and the entire ambience of "Black Narcissus", which was so outside the Academy's periphery, doomed her to not even being nominated for the award she deserved. At least, I think so.

  3. We all go crazy sometimes with our #1 :P