Friday, 25 September 2015

Alternate Best Actor 1940: Results

5. Michael Redgrave in The Stars Look Down - Redgrave, despite being somewhat limited by his film, gives an effective depiction of a shy man finding courage for a cause.

Best Scene: His last speech.
4. Laurence Olivier in Pride and Prejudice - Although apparently in the minority I find Olivier gives a charming and rather funny portrayal of an excessively proper gentleman.

Best Scene: His failed proposition.
3. Edward G. Robinson in Brother Orchid - Robinson calls upon his more serious gangster performances then cleverly subverts them to give a comic, and surprisingly moving portrayal.

Best Scene: Brother Orchid is denounced.
2. Cary Grant in His Girl Friday - Grant gives a very entertaining performance that creates the properly dominating and manipulative presence of the character while still being quite charming.

Best Scene: The final sequence.
1. James Stewart in The Shop Around the Corner - Good Predictions Michael Patison, Jackiboyz, ruthiehenshallfan99, and RatedRStar. Stewart gives an immensely likable and sympathetic performance that is a great example of his appeal as a leading man.

Best Scene: Alfred confronts Vadas.
Overall Ranking:
  1. Laurence Olivier in Rebecca
  2. Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator
  3. James Stewart in The Shop Around the Corner
  4. Henry Fonda in The Grapes of Wrath
  5. Conrad Veidt in Contraband
  6. Cary Grant in His Girl Friday 
  7. Edward G. Robinson in Brother Orchid
  8. Laurence Olivier in Pride and Prejudice
  9. James Stewart in The Mortal Storm
  10. Michael Redgrave in The Stars Look Down 
  11. Brian Donlevy in The Great McGinty 
  12. W.C. Fields in The Bank Dick
  13. Joel McCrea in Foreign Correspondent 
  14. Errol Flynn in The Sea Hawk
  15. Henry Fonda in The Return of Frank James
  16. Stanley Ridges in Black Friday
  17. Cary Grant in My Favorite Wife
  18. Raymond Massey in Abe Lincoln in Illinois 
  19. Boris Karloff in Black Friday
  20. Cary Grant in The Philadelphia Story
  21. Tyrone Power in The Mark of Zorro
  22. Dickie Jones Pinocchio
  23. James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story
  24. Charles Laughton in They Knew What They Wanted 
  25. Frank Craven in Our Town
  26. William Holden in Our Town
  27. Mickey Rooney in Strike Up The Band
  28. Gary Cooper in The Westerner 
Next Year: 1940 Supporting


Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings & Thoughts on:
Stewart/Mortal Storm
McCrea/Foreign Correspondent
Flynn/The Sea Hawk

Luke Higham said...

Frank Morgan - The Shop Around The Corner
John Carradine - The Grapes Of Wrath
George Sanders - Rebecca
George Sanders - Foreign Correspondent
Herbert Marshall - Foreign Correspondent

Anonymous said...

1940 Supportingg:
Frank Morgan in The Shop Around the Corner
George Sanders in Rebecca and Foreign Correspondent
Herbert Marshall in Foreign Correspondent
John Carradine in The Grapes of Wrath
Ratings and thoughts on:
Henry Fonda in The Return of Frank James
Cary Grant in Abe Lincoln in Illinois and My Favorite Wife
Charles Laughton in They Knew What They Wanted
Mickey Rooney in Strike Up The Band
William Holden in Our Town

Michael McCarthy said...

John Carradine- The Grapes of Wrath
John Carradine- The Grapes of Wrath
John Carradine- The Grapes of Wrath
John Carradine- The Grapes of Wrath

And my request, John Carradine in The Grapes of Wrath.

Anonymous said...

Louis: Here's the choices for Will Kane before Gary Cooper was cast.
Gregory Peck
Charlton Heston
Kirk Douglas
Burt Lancaster
Marlon Brando
Montgomery Clift
What do you think of these choices?

Michael McCarthy said...

Also Louis, if it makes you feel better I'm completely with you on Olivier in Wuthering Heights, I thought his performance fit wonderfully into the way the film told the story.

Robert MacFarlane said...

George Sanders in Rebecca
John Carradine in The Grapes of Wrath
Cliff Edwards in Pinocchio

Louis Morgan said...


Stewart - 4(Stewart's part is somewhat limited but Stewart makes the most of it by delivering the passionate outrage needed for his character. Once again of course he's quite likable though and has very good chemistry with Margaret Sullavan. This also would have been a far more deserving performance)

Veidt - 4(A most curious romantic lead as Veidt carries himself with a cold precision in terms of his manner and delivery. The enjoyable part is that Veidt realizes warmth not hidden in this but just part of it which is quite the trick actually. Veidt manages to be very endearing in a most unusual way, and is a surprisingly lead for this Hitchcockesque thriller.)

McCrea - 4(Good old fashioned McCrea goodness for this actual Hitchcock thriller. He gets to do a bit less as Hitchcock heroes go, he's not a wrong man, but he's certainly an easy guy to follow through the twists and turns of the story)

Flynn - 4(A great deal of it is good old fashioned charming Flynn doing his best swashbuckling. The film takes a slightly darker turn at one point though and Flynn actually succeeds in matching the film's tonal shift)


Fonda - 4(Fonda gives very good, though rather straight forward, depiction of his character's determination, and realizes the dramatic intensity needed for the story)

Grant - The Philadelphia Story - 3.5(Grant is his usually charming self, but he is strangely underused.)

My Favorite Wife - 4(Grant and Dunne simply work well together and the two are quite enjoyable once again as they play off of each other. I would say in this case though Dunne overshadows him a bit more this time around.)

Laughton - 3(I'll give Laughton credit I did not recognize him when I initially watched the film. That being said his approach is fairly over the top and maybe just a bit too obvious in his portrayal of an Italian immigrant)

Rooney - 2.5(Standard Rooney routine, especially with Garland around. I don't hate it as some do, but I can see why he grates on some)

Holden - 2.5(Something seems so wrong about Holden portraying a guy who stumbles on his own words. Holden's not terrible or anything though, the part is paper thin, and Holden is not able to alleviate this problem)


All those choices I think would have been too young to play Will Kane, as I feel his age is essential to his character's exasperation as well as I assumed played into his retirement. I think if he had been played by any of those younger men the way he goes about seeking recruits would have seemed far too desperate.