Walter Brennan won his second Oscar from his second nomination for portraying Peter Goodwin in Kentucky.
Walter Brennan plays the one who truly holds the feud over the years for Peter Goodwin saw his father killed by one of the Dillon's. One thing Walter Brenna with absolute ease in this film is play a man much older than himself. Brennan who was only around forty-four at the time of the film plays a man who is suppose to be around eighty. Brennan is entirely believable as someone almost twice his age, his voice most certainly aids this, but Brennan makes his age entirely natural through simple but effective mannerisms in the part.
Walter Brennan actually plays a rather angry character, very angry over what happened to his father a long time ago. Brennan does not act angry all the time, instead he only shows a great deal, of anger when the Dillon's are mentioned in front of him. Brennan is actually pretty intense in these scenes where Peter shows just how much he hates the Dillons. His degree of intensity actually works for the role, as well as makes sense, since it shows not only how long Peter has held this hatred, but as well how deep it really is in him.
Brennan as usual shows why he is one of the better, if not one of the best character actors of the period because there is a great deal of charm in his performance. Brennan being in the film only adds to it, but really it does even more than that in this case, since he really manages to create the most interesting character in the film. This is not saying a great deal alone, since there others are not particularly special, but Peter could have been the same but Brennan manages to get the most out of him.
The most effective part of Brennan performance is showing Peter's knowledge, as well as love for horses. Brennan again portrays it well because he is able to to show his knowledge, as well as his love is something that has grown well with Peter's age showing that it is really the most important part of him. Brennan brings out the right honest joy that Peter gets out of proving his knowledge right about horses, as well as by seeing one of his own horses succeed.
This might not be the best performance by Walter Brennan, but it is a good one that manages to be able to easily stand out past the rest of the film, since Brennan is the only actor who managed to make a more rounded character, as well as the only character I honestly cared about in the film.