December 3, 2016

1950 • 23rd Academy Awards





And the Nominees Were... 
              • LOUIS CALHERN, The Magnificent Yankee
              • JOSÉ FERRER, Cyrano de Bergerac 
              • WILLIAM HOLDEN, Sunset Blvd.
              • JAMES STEWART, Harvey
              • SPENCER TRACY, Father of the Bride
              • ANNE BAXTER, All About Eve
              • BETTE DAVIS, All About Eve
              • JUDY HOLLIDAY, Born Yesterday
              • ELEANOR PARKER, Caged
              • GLORIA SWANSON, Sunset Blvd.

It's been a long time coming, but we've finally hit 1950! And what a way to kick of the new decade, as we're faced with what is considered by many as one of the greatest years the Best Actress category has ever known, with the victor often falling to the wayside (and even contested) in retrospective conversations due to the weight and status of Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson's respective performances. Were Davis and Swanson truly cheated or will I personally find Judy Holliday to be a worthy winner? Or - could Eleanor Parker and Anne Baxter give the other three a run for their money? It's a year that actressphiles yearn for on the regular, and I'm pretty pumped to finally be able to contribute an opinion here...if not also slightly concerned that I'll end up thinking this bunch to be a little overrated given just about everyone else's collective praises.

On the Best Actor front: nothing to write home about really, though I do enjoy the sheer number of comedies present across both categories. Will Spencer Tracy finally impress me after his underwhelming 1936-1938 run of performances? Will James Stewart impress me yet again for an unheard of third win? Or will one of the three Best Actor first-timers take the win?

Who're your favorites for Best Actor and Best Actress? And who do you think I'll end up fancying? Who do you think I'll hate, if any?


It's a new decade, let us rejoice!

13 comments:

  1. I think you'll like Davis this time, but I'm not sure since you have yet to truly love a performance of hers. I think you might not fall for Swanson but I'm not sure about that either. I think you'll definitely like Parker though.

    As for Actor, I think you'll go for Stewart.

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    1. I for one am so excited to see Davis if only for the sole reason I'll finally have an opinion to join everyone else's. :)

      As for Harvey - the subject matter doesn't scream as being very interesting to me, but I've always liked Stewart so we'll see!

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  2. There are two Actor nominees I didn't care for (Ferrer and Stewart) but I like Holden. As for Actress, I'd pick anyone but Holliday (probably Swanson) although I do think all of the hype about the 1950 performances has oversold their actual merit a bit.

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    1. That's my concern - whenever faced with the case of too much hype, I tend to be less enthused. We'll find out soon enough!

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  3. My picks for this year are Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder, Jose Ferrer, Judy Holliday and Josephine Hull. Not sure yet about Supporting Actor. But it's really a great year and every category offers at least 1-2 alternatives that are equally worthy.

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    1. Glad to hear - I've been waiting for 1950 since I was reviewing 1941! :)

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  4. Two pieces of folklore:

    Davis was in England filming, I think, "Another Man's Poison," when the Oscar ceremonies were on the radio, and when Holliday's name was announced, said to those gathered with her, "Good, a newcomer got it. I couldn't be more pleased."
    "Not a soul in the room believed her."

    Swanson was at the New York end of the ceremonies with Holliday, and supposedly, when she hugged the winner whispered,"Couldn't you have waited till next year, dear?"

    With the possible exception of 1954, this is maybe the most heartbreaking instance of the Actress category not ending in at least a tie. Davis already had two even if they weren't for her most deserving work, but for Swanson, much like Garland in A Star Is Born it would prove 'this time, or never.'

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  5. Sadly, time was actually against Judy Holliday who died just 15 years later (she was actually the second Best Actress winner who died, after Marie Dressler).

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    1. In the last year, I believe I've watched "Born Yesterday" at least three times, and each time I find it harder to begrudge Holliday. As Billie Dawn, she's like sparkling champagne personified, with a scoopful of Monroe's sexiness, but something much closer to a semi-reincarnated Jean Harlow. The alleged dumb blonde revealed to be plenty wiser.

      As you note, Fritz, Holliday died exactly two weeks short of only 44. So it is possible to cheer her win, even as we bemoan a pair of legends denied.

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    2. I knew that she passed rather early but didn't know that she was only the second Best Actress winner to have died! Very much looking forward to Born Yesterday as I tend to respond well to old-Hollywood comedies :)

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  6. Not sure about that Best Actor Category, But I feel like Best Actress will be very unpredictable for 1950. I have love 4 of the 5 and still need to see Judy Holliday, but I think I will love her too.

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    1. Glad to know I'm not the only one here who hasn't seen Holliday! Who's your winner for 1950 between the four you've seen?

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    2. At the moment, my winner is tied with Bette Davis and Gloria Swanson

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