Thursday Movie Picks - Oscar Winner Edition: Best Actor/Best Actress

 

This week's Oscar Winning edition of Wandering Through The Shelves focuses on Best Actor and Actress wins. This week, I decided to focus on films I've watched as part of the ongoing Blind Spot Series I've been participating in. The following are my favorite winners from films I watched as part of my Blind Spots.

1) Marlon Brando - The Godfather

Sure, he probably should've been in the Supporting category but The Godfather jumped all the way up into my Top 10 favorite films of all time and I absolutely love Brando's Vito. I wish we could've gotten to see more of him. 

2) Anne Bancroft - The Miracle Worker

This is such an underrated win. This year is remembered more for Bette Davis and Joan Crawford's feud than Bancroft's very deserving win. I thought she was wonderful in The Miracle Worker.

3) Liza Minnelli - Cabaret 

This has to be one of the greatest best actress performances of all time, right? She was outstanding. 

Comments

  1. I haven't seen The Miracle Worker but I loved the performances from Brando and Minelli.

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    1. The Miracle Worker is wonderful. I'm glad you love the other two as well!

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  2. I haven't seen any of these! I have The Godfather on my Blind Spot list but haven't been able to find time to sit down and really watch it yet.

    I know very little about Cabaret except for what I saw on Schitt's Creek lol but I am definitely adding this to my watch list!

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    1. The Godfather is so good. I can't believe it took me so long to see it.

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    2. That's kind of how I feel about it... I can't believe I haven't seen it yet.

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  3. Anne Bancroft was my #5 for 1962. However, I also think you could have legitimately picked any of the five nominees that year--it's one of the strongest-ever nomination classes for any award in any year.

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    1. That's what I hear! I've only seen 2/5, I'll need to check out the others some day.

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  4. Great picks and a nice way to tie them together!

    Brando was such an odd character but when he buckled down and focused on acting he was a powerful performer. The Godfather was something of a comeback for him after a fallow period and he delivered. Have you ever watched the clip of Sacheen Littlefeather refusing the Oscar he won? I'm sure it's on YouTube.

    I adore Anne Bancroft! She was a FORCE. The year she won was one of the best, most competitive field of nominees in the category's history. Any one of the five women would have made a worthy winner, my choice would be Katharine Hepburn in the harrowing "Long Day's Journey into Night”, but Anne wouldn't have remained empty-handed she’s my choice in '64 for "The Pumpkin Eater" and in '67 for Best Supporting Actress for "The Graduate". But I cannot begrudge her win as Annie Sullivan, she gives it her all. I wonder what would have happened had Patty Duke been rightly nominated in Best Actress along with Anne instead of supporting?

    I'm not overly fond of Cabaret but agree that Liza tears into Sally Bowles and I can see why she won. My problem with the win though is that as the material and character is presented to the audience Liza is too talented to be Sally who is supposedly a second- or third-rate entertainer working in a dive. When Liza blows the roof off the joint it is electrifying but doesn't make sense within the concept. It's my own issue I know and certainly doesn't diminish her performance. Out of the nominees she was the proper winner, though my choice would be the unnominated Tuesday Weld for "Play It As It Lays".

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    1. I've heard Bancroft's year was strong, I've only seen this and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane of the nominated films. Brando seemed like a massive asshole but I just adored him as Vito. I have seen that Oscar clip on youtube.

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    2. This is what I mean about it being a strong year in 1962. Kate Hepburn is my #4, but I can't argue with Joel's pick. She deserved it.

      My winner, for what it's worth, would've been Lee Remick in Days of Wine and Roses.

      When Joel and I compared lists for this award and year, we had exactly one in the same place (we both put Bette Davis in second), but I can't tell him his list is wrong.

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    3. I definitely need to watch those other performances.

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    4. You won't be sorry, they are three great films but be warned Long Day's Journey and Days of Wine and Roses are harrowing experiences.

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  5. Oy I got so carried away I had to split my response in two!!

    I wanted to tie mine together as well and at first planned to use Gone With the Wind and its trio of Oscar winners-Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland especially since both ladies won twice. But GWTW is so discussed and though I love all three of those performers I decided to go with others that are lesser known. So, I turned to another favorite-Greer Garson-and two of her costars who also won Oscars in close proximity to her.

    Mrs. Miniver (Greer Garson-Best Actress) (1942)-Kay Miniver (Greer), her architect husband Clem (Walter Pidgeon-also Oscar nominated) and their three children are living a comfortable life in a small village outside of London until war is declared. Eldest son Vin (Richard Ney-who shortly after the film’s completion married Greer!) leaves college to join the Royal Air Force while also falling for and marrying local girl Carol Beldon (Teresa Wright-winner for Best Supporting Actress). As the war arrives on their doorstep they must endure bombing raids and many other hardships and tragedies meeting them with perseverance and fortitude.

    Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Robert Donat-Best Actor) (1939)-1n 1870 schoolteacher Charles Chipping “Mr. Chips” (Donat) fresh from university is a strict disciplinarian to his young students at his new public-school post making him unpopular. However, on holiday he meets and impulsively marries the feisty suffragette Katherine Ellis (Greer Garson-Oscar nominated) whose love softens and humanizes Chips until he becomes a beloved institution on campus and a source of inspiration through the tough years of World War I onward into the 20th Century.

    A Double Life (Ronald Colman-Best Actor) (1947)-Legendary stage star Anthony John’s (Colman) method is to totally immerse himself in the parts he plays. This is fine when he appears in comedic roles but with more serious roles, he becomes unpredictably volatile as his real-life self slowly ebbs away leading to the end of his marriage to Brita (Signe Hasso) his frequent costar. Now despite all warning signs he has undertaken Othello partnered again with Brita, though having a young mistress, Pat Kroll (an incredibly young, very thin Shelley Winters in her first important role), and as the part overtakes him, he descends into madness. Though Greer isn’t in this film she and Colman costarred (the year she won for Mrs. Miniver) in another big success for both “Random Harvest” where Colman was again nominated for Best Actor.

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    1. I haven't seen any of these but I really need to check out Greer Garson's work. I hear a lot about her on Be Kind Rewind's youtube channel.

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    2. Greer was MGM studio head L.B. Mayer's personal discovery. He had been in London on business and went to the theatre to see what he thought would be a musical "Night Music" which turned out to be a straight drama with Greer in the cast. He signed her on the spot, and she became his protege. With his supervision she became THE dramatic queen of MGM, especially when Norma Shearer retired in '42, and five of her seven Best Actress nominations including her win came in a consecutive run between 1942 and 1946.

      Though she eventually showed that she could handle comedy well in "Julia Misbehaves" her tenure at the top is dominated by prestige dramas. One is an adaptation of Pride & Prejudice which has some issues-she's decades too old for Elizabeth for one thing, but she has the proper spirit for Lizzie which helps, and they meddle with some of the other characters-despite that it’s still an enjoyable treatment of the novel with Laurence Olivier a most dashing Mr. Darcy.

      She didn't make an enormous amount of movies-her marriage to Ney didn't last, afterward she married much more happily to a Texas oilman (40 years until his passing) and while she kept her hand in her output diminished considerably-but none of her movies are outright bad. All her nominated films-Mrs. Miniver, Mr. Chips, Blossoms in the Dust, Madame Curie, Mrs. Parkington, The Valley of Decision and Sunrise at Campobello (her final nom coming years after the others-she plays Eleanor Roosevelt) are worth seeing. There’s also Random Harvest, When Ladies Meet and That Forsythe Woman. In one of her later pictures “Strange Lady in Town" which came near the end of her leading lady tenure she's a doctor making her way in the Old West. She always played strong-minded, intelligent purposeful and independent women who may have had a partner but were always able to make their own way or speak their mind. She’s a very worthy discovery.

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    3. I've got her Oscar nominated ones on my list!

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  6. Nice picks! These are all pretty iconic winners. I can't remember if I've seen The Miracle Worker, but Marlon's fantastic in The Godfather. And Liza's performance has to be one of the best examples of a 'child star' breaking out on her own. I can't imagine anyone else playing Sally.

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    1. Yes she is! I can't either. She was wonderful. You should check out the Miracle Worker

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  7. Love your picks! Brando was such a force, one forgets he was not in it as much as others. When he won the Oscar, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather to decline the Oscar because of the mistreatment of Native Americans in film and gag order about Wounded Knee(massacre). I was a kid but I remember when this happened and the gasps in the audience. I love, love that you chose Anne Bancroft who rightfully won for her portrayal of Annie Sullivan. The napkin scene was brilliant. Speaking of the feud between Davis & Crawford. Crawford was steamed that she was passed up for an Oscar Nomination. So she contacted Anne Bancroft, became friendly and offered to accept the Oscar on Bancroft's behalf if she won. Bancroft was on Broadway at the time and couldn't attend the Awards ceremony. I think, also Crawford had 2 dresses made, one black and one white(same design) and if Davis was in black then Davis wore the white one...something like that. I am going from memory. Apparently, when Bancroft won, Davis was on the sidelines and Crawford pushed her aside to go onstage and accept the award for Bancroft! Liza was great with her shocking nail polish and epitomized the decadent Berlin of the 1920s, early 30's Weimar Republic. I love this film which was also quite chilling (the scene in the outdoor beergarden)

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    1. When the maid mentions dinner after that napkin scene I just had to laugh. That scene was brilliant.

      They showed that Oscar scene on Feud! Be Kind Rewind on youtube has a video on it as well. It's an interesting story, but poor Anne gets lost as the winner.

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  8. Brando and Minnelli.... now those are great performances. I haven't seen The Miracle Worker but I do like Anne Bancroft aka Mrs. Mel Brooks.

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    1. You should check that one out sometime. It's great.

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  9. Glad you went with winners from Hollywood past, I picked one from classic + contemporary films. I haven't seen Miracle Worker and only seen parts of Cabaret. I heard Liza Minnelli was outstanding, so I should watch it in its entirety.

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  10. I've seen your first two picks.
    I didn't love The Godfather when I saw it years ago, I wonder how I will find it now.

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    1. It's definitely long, but I Just fell for it right away.

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