5. James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story- Although I usually like Stewart a whole lot, here his performance always seemed to lack the right comfort and joy to work for this romantic comedy.
4. Raymond Massey in Abe Lincoln in Illinois- Massey is not always completely believable as Abe Lincoln such as in his early scenes, but he always gives a nice charming, and passionate performance as Lincoln.
3. Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath- Fonda gives a very strong performance showing Tom Joad as a normal man, who slowly grows a strong passion and realization to fight against the injustices brought against his family and other struggling people.
2. Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator- I will not say Chaplin is entirely consistent, but almost always enjoyable. His comedic timing as both the Barber, and the Dictator are spot on with his direction. Also his final speech although out of character, has tremendous power due to his passionate delivery.
1. Laurence Olivier in Rebecca- Olivier once again was an easy choice for me. Olivier simply does wonders with his role as Maxim de Winter. In the somewhat sparse time he is given early in the film, he creates a wonderful interesting character, with the mysterious haunted quality, and when he finally can reveal the whole truth of his character it simply leads to an outstanding performance by Olivier.
Cary Grant in His Girl Friday