August 21, 2018 at 11:14 pm #1202614292
Help me out. I’m researching this and not finding much info. Figured the forum would know.August 21, 2018 at 11:20 pm #1202614293
I doubt Ritter cane close, but I bet Kerr was the runner-up when she was nominated for From Here To Eternity.August 22, 2018 at 12:24 am #1202614323
Ritter could have won for Pickup On South Street.August 22, 2018 at 12:31 am #1202614326
Ritter could have won for Pickup On South Street.
I think Ritter actually came in 3rd that year. Grace Kelly likely came in 2nd for Mogambo, since she was popular enough to win in a historic upset over Judy Garland in Lead the very next year. Nobody was taking down Donna Reed though.August 22, 2018 at 12:59 am #1202614340
1960 (The Sundowners) – no chance in hell. Nominee Shirley MacLaine even proposed that all nominees bar Taylor should drop out and let Taylor win unanimously. If there wasn’t Taylor’s illness, there might have been talk about this being Kerr’s sixth attempt at getting the gold. Garson won the Golden Globe and MacLaine seems to be the favorite for today’s audience. Kerr didn’t come close to winning but she probably ended up above Mercouri in the final votes.
1958 (Separate Tables) – the academy was apparently impressed with the cast giving them two acting oscars. 1958 was very competitive for actresses, but it seems pretty clear that this was Hayward’s year. All the buzz went to her and there seemed to have been the urge to finally give the award to her. I am also pretty sure that Rosalind Russell came in second. Kerr maybe ended up being third (or fouth behind Taylor but above MacLaine).
1957 (Heaven knows, Mr. Alison) – again, not even close. Joanne Woodward was winning everything and she was going to get that oscar, no matter what. Hell, they would have even given her best actor on top if that was possible. As for Kerr’s placement: the movie wasn’t terribly popular within the academy, I even go out on a limb and claim that Lana Turner came in (very distant) second. It is next to impossible to come up with a ranking with the other three – their movies underperformed, the performances are not particicularily remembered or beloved. What a waste to let Woodward compete in such a weak field.
1956 (The King and I) – Ingrid Bergman was the comeback-kid and Hollywood desperately wanted to welcome her and apologizing for exiling her. Everything else was secondary; also the fact that nobody today really thinks she deserved that award. It is very likely that Kerr came in second and that she would have won if the Bergman situation wasn’t present. Nancy Kelly was never going to win (though she is my choice), same is true for Carroll Baker – the Academy wasn’t ready to award movies like these. And Hepburn just got her obligatory, contractually obliged nomination.
1953 (From Here to Eternity) – it’s a weak field but everybody was in love with Audrey Hepburn. Strange year in retrospect as somebody like Maggie McNamara made the cut but Jean Arthur (Shane) didn’t (probably because the latter didn’t have a studio to back her up). I assume that this one was close and that Kerr might have snagged the trophy. Again, back then, it was all about Sinatra, Reed and, to a lesser extent, Lancaster. I suppose her performance just got lost in the shuffle and talk.
(1949) (Edward, my Son) – de Havilland probably won almost unanimously. It’s irrelevant who came in second, de Havilland was gonna take it. A guess? Probably Jeanne Crain or Susan Hayward, but maybe even with votes in single digits.August 22, 2018 at 1:12 am #1202614341
1962 (Birdman of Alcatraz) – Patty Duke’s win wasn’t as expected as it might look like today as Lansbury had her supporters (though they were probably fewer as people would like to think today). Shirley Knight was nowhere near that gold, however, Mary Badham might have ended up higher on the final ballot as we think today given how much the academy loves/loved kids and her movie was extremely popular. Ritter? Probably somewhere behind Badham and Lansbury.
1959 (Pillow Talk) – as Doris Day managed to get nominated for this, I suppose there was strong support for the movie within the Academy; enough to get Ritter close to the gold? Maybe even so. However, between a sex comedy and Anne Frank, members probably rather gave their vote for Winters leaving Ritter (at best) a distant second. I am not seeing the other nominees close to the Oscar in any way; even though die-hard Imitation of Life fans want it to be different.
1953 (Pickup on South Street) – popular performance nowadays, not sure whether the Academy was ready to give such a movie an acting Oscar. Wasted thoughts anyway, because nobody was gonna beat Donna Reed that year. Looking at the list of nominees, Ritter probably came in third after Kelly (though performance-wise, Ritter acts circles around Kelly).
1952 (With a Song in my Heart) – This is hard, especially because the winner is neither popular today nor was Grahame really expected to win back then. Jean Hagen probably came in second. Moore and Marchand fight for the last spot and somewhere in-between is Ritter, quite far from the gold.
1951 (The Mating Season) – Well, a leading performance for a change. Kim Hunter was clearly going to win in a category in which (the more I think about it) the Academy really prefered dramatic heavyweights (at least in the 40s/50s). Ritter’s comedic performance probably didn’t come close to the winning spot – even though she is my favorite among the five women, I see all the other nominees above her (well, I would have to check whether Lee Grant was already in talks to being blacklisted; if so, she probably came in last)
1950 (All About Eve) – what can I see? A comedic performance won this year. I suppose if anyone from AAE came close to winning it’s Celeste Holm, not Thelma Ritter. I assume that she placed higher in the final ranking than Olson and Emerson (the latter who definitely came in last).
To summarize? It looks like her best shot was for Pillow Talk … I am actually surprised.August 22, 2018 at 2:16 am #1202614355
Wow thanks Sam_Malone. So amazing you have all that info!!!August 22, 2018 at 2:32 am #1202614359
Kerr should have won for Black Narcissus.August 22, 2018 at 6:44 am #1202614415
I honestly think if they kept the song “Shall I Tell You What I Think of You” from The King and I where it is a brilliant mix of her own voice and Marni Nixon (it’s a dialogue-heavy song), Kerr’s performance would have been perceived as being even better. I still don’t think she would have won, but taking that song out in the final cut really cut her performance down a good bit. Also, Marni Nixon’s singing performance in The King and I was her best work bar none. She and Kerr worked together to come up with a singular sound.August 22, 2018 at 7:28 am #1202614427
Kerr’s best shot was for The King and I and Ritter’s for Pickup on South Street. But sadly, neither was ever a real front-runner.
THE OSCAR 100 (#10-6): Jack Nicholson, Gloria Swanson, Shirley Booth, Anthony Hopkins and Rod Steiger
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