Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1947: Charles Bickford in The Farmer's Daughter

Charles Bickford received his second Oscar nomination for portraying Joseph Clancy in The Farmer's Daughter.

The Farmer's Daughter tells of a Swedish American woman Katie Holstrom (Loretta Young) who moves her farm to the big city, and after being the maid to political power broker Agatha Morley(Ethel Barrymore), and her U.S. Representative son (Joseph Cotton).

Charles Bickford plays Joseph Clancy the majordomo to Agatha Morley, and her son. Clancy is a loyal servant who wants what is best for the family, but also proceeds eventually to become a friend to Katie as well. Clancy most of the time is just in the background of the film making the occasional goodhearted comment. He only does a little more when he is encouraging Katie to pursue her plans to run for political office despite the opposition of those around them.  

I frankly do not know why Bickford was always put in what are suppose to warm roles, as I always feel he comes off as a little to rough of an individual for it to really seem entirely natural. This is not to say Bickford is bad, because he is not at all bad really. He is there he says what he has to with certainly a degree of feeling and determination but it never amounts to anything all that special or even all that interesting.

I think this part could have been something a little more special as I think it could have been a scene stealing part potentially in someone with a more natural comedic trivalent like say Charles Coburn for example, but as it is Bickford just never makes himself the center of attention even when he has the chance. I think this character could have been very enjoyable and warm presence in the film, but Bickford never really gets over his demeanor he carries in basically of his roles.


Fritz said...

I thought he was quite enjoyable.

joe burns said...

He really doesn't do that much here. What did you think of Cotton?