December 8, 2013 at 10:23 pm #546334
Thoughts?December 8, 2013 at 10:41 pm #546336
How I would love to see these five grand dames in their prime and working today.December 9, 2013 at 7:02 am #546337
Davis & Stanwyck are the only really great performances here. If 1950 wasn’t an even more difficult year to pick from Davis & Swanson, then I would use my corresponding leading actress oscar tie here…Streisand should have won solo in 68!
Anyway Stanwyck is in her most delicious performance ever (even more than THE LADY EVE if that is possible) and Davis gives an incredibly controlled viper snake of performance that always gives me the chills. No one else nominated in 41 could come anywhere near them. I voted for Stanwyck with only the smallest smidge of a hair over Davis.
de Havilland is a good as always, nothing to complain about or praise to the heavens either.
Fontaine is a fine actress and does a good job sorta doing what Hitchcock also had her do the year before in SUSPICION…but she did it better in 1940’s REBECCA.
And Garson, bless her heart, is boring as usual.December 9, 2013 at 11:13 am #546338
This is one of the greatest lineups ever.
For me Babs wins just over Bette.
Garson is absolutely terrible in ‘Blossoms In The Dust’. Everything abour her line readings is wrong. She’s usually dependable is dull but here she proper stinks.
Who voted for her? Please explain.December 9, 2013 at 11:15 am #546339
Thinking about it my previous first line was slightly hyperbolic.
It’s a very good lineup but no 1950, ’67 0r ’06.December 9, 2013 at 7:57 pm #546340
1. Bette Davis
2. Olivia De Havilland
3. Barbara Stanwyck
4. Joan Fontain
5. Greer Garson
My personal choice that year wasn’t even nominated. Vivien Leigh in That Hamilton WomanDecember 31, 2013 at 7:34 pm #546341
Although the recently deceased Joan Fontaine is very good as the nervous, insecure wife in “Suspicion,” she was much better the previous year as the nervous, insecure wife in the Hitchcock classic “Rebecca.” The fact that she lost that year to Ginger Rogers for a mediocre performance in the soap “Kitty Foyle” gave Fontaine just enough sympathy votes to win for the wrong film in the wrong year which unfortunately has happened all too often at the Oscars.
Rest in peace Joan Fontaine – you were a beautiful actress.January 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm #546342
I’ll echo JayDF in saying that Davis and Stanwyck shine as the superior women of this particular lineup. Both of the de Havilland sisters were much better before, and were much better after, these nominations, as was Garson (though she was purportedly one of the strongest contenders at the time). Frankly, Garson gave a much better performance (albeit in an arguably supporting role) in 1941’s “When Ladies Meet.”
Truth to tell, Davis and Stanwyck also had stronger outings to their names before and after these nominations, but they’re still head and shoulders the leaders of the pack here.
With Davis glowering in a well-constructed drama and Stanwyck seeming to lay back and luxuriate in gossamer comedy, it seems like a pretty easy call. Seems.
But while Stanwyck seems to be working a lot less at being terrific than Davis is, there’s an airless quality in Davis’s lacquered, over-mannered performance that works as an extension of her character and yet stultifies it at the same time. The fact that she’s clearly breathing easier and having at least as much fun as Davis (don’t think Bette didn’t love chomping down on all those consonants as she denigrated her husband in the parlor) allows Stanwyck to shine in a decidedly more thankless role. Stanwyck definitely had an uncanny knack for elevating modest material (and “Ball of Fire” does give her a nice gem of a screenplay to work with), and she manages to make “Ball of Fire” something that not only works as a showcase for her, but she finds a chemistry across the board with the whole cast that Davis is clearly uninterested in negotiating in “The Little Foxes.”
I would have infinitely preferred a win for her curiously UN-nominated tour-de-force in “The Lady Eve,” and heck, even if she hadn’t had “Eve” and “Ball of Fire” in this year, I could have gotten behind a nomination for Stanwyck in the overlong and dubiously uplifting “Meet John Doe.” But as it is, I’m happy to cast my vote for her for “Ball of Fire.”