March 14, 2017 at 12:50 am #1202036452
Who was the frontrunner on the night?
Geraldine Page won the Globe and Bancroft got the Natioal Board of Review.
Was Davis just overconfident or did Crawford really sway the vote?March 14, 2017 at 3:10 am #1202036498
With Bette it was always excuses. She claims she lost out on All About Eve because her co-star Anne Baxter had the audacity to to campaign in lead. With Baby Jane, her co-star was left out of lead and yet it still was her fault. Frankly, I think the reviews and comeback success ensured Bette the nomination, but no way was the Oscars gonna award a top prize to a horror film back then.
I wouldn’t say she was a front runner at all, but I would say she was ahead of Lee Remick. The NYFCA didn’t award Best Actress that year due to a strike, but I think Kate Hepburn or Geraldine would have gotten it. However, when Patty Duke beat out Angela Lansbury for supporting it should have been a dead giveaway who was winning lead.March 14, 2017 at 3:48 am #1202036507
Bancroft was the frontrunner, with Davis in second place, Page in third, Hepburn fourth then Remmick fifth.March 14, 2017 at 5:53 am #1202036543
That was a killer of a category, with 5 great actresses each bringing her A-game in 5 challenging roles. I had thought that Katharine Hepburn was the front-runner, after a win in Cannes and many saying her Mary Tyrone was the best ever. She was “only” looking for her second Oscar, 30 years and 8 nominations after her first, and I think that her loss that year, at least in part, encouraged many to “finally” give her a second for a much less challenging performance in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner 5 years later. I do think that Bancroft’s performance is the easiest to watch and she does play the most sympathetic character, so, in addition to the performance being great, I can see why she ultimately won.March 14, 2017 at 8:49 am #1202036680
I believe she might have had incredible buzz for Baby Jane, but Bancroft was probably the front runner. I do feel that they probably did not want to award Davis and completely snub Crawford. It would have not made any sense.March 14, 2017 at 9:20 am #1202036713
From what I understand, it was a tight three-way barn burner among Bancroft, Davis and Page. Davis had the comeback narrative, while Bancroft and Page garnered heaps of acclaim for their stage-to-screen turns – keep in mind, Bancroft actually defeated Page at the 1960 Tonys for these performances too. Hepburn and Remick didn’t have a prayer.
Also, it was a surprise Shelley Winters didn’t score a nod for Lolita, given how aggressively she self-campaigned.
OSCAR FLASHBACK: 20 Years of Streep (1979 – Kramer vs. Kramer)March 14, 2017 at 9:35 am #1202036716
IMO the strongest Best Actress line-up ever. What a group of stellar performances.
Bette Davis did an amazing job but probably wasn’t able to be objective enough and see how the things were going with all of the films. Maybe precursors didn’t matter that much at the time but it was telling that she didn’t win at Cannes or Golden Globes which should put Hepburn and Page, respectively, in front of her. Plus Bancroft and Page played their roles on stage and earn Tony recognition for it (Bancroft won over Page, just like at the Oscars) plus Hepburn was also in a project based on more prestigous material. It was much more common at that time to recognize such a transition from stage to screen than nowadays, even with Viola Davis doing this just this year.
We can safely assume Lee Remick was 5th (although we would assume Art Carney was fifth if he wouldn’t win so…) but if Davis was in the race at all, it was all due to her performance. The film worked against her in a way. True, “…Baby Jane?” did very well for a horror movie in nominations but “The Miracle Worker” got Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay nods and was probably next in line for Best Picture nomination which was already telling that it’s Bancroft to lose.
I’m not buying that Crawford had actually much of an imput on who got the Oscar, regardless of what she did. She would have been nominated had she been this powerful. I’d rather believe that people in the industry respected but disliked Davis enough not to give her 3rd Oscar when she was VERY eager to get it and open about it. “All About Eve” was a perfect occassion as she was never in a film this good and this beloved again and perhaps before (record-breaking 14 nods, Best Picture win plus 5 others). If she did split votes that year, it wasn’t with Baxter but with Swanson who put another iconic performance, once in a lifetime perfomance too.
So for me it’s a toss-up who was 2nd. I’d lean towards Page and I wonder if Joan Crawford has speeches ready for her and Katharine Hepburn too.