Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Best Supporting Actor 1939: Harry Carey in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Harry Carey received his only Oscar nomination for portraying the President of the Senate in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Harry Carey had been a very popular western star during the silent period so it is easy to see why he was nominated for this performance. This is quite clearly a career nomination award, one of if not the earliest nomination of this type. It is clear how much of a career nomination it is by how little he does in the film. He really just functions as the President of the Senate in the scenes that take place inside of the Senate.

He really does not do more that act as the President, doing the official work that is required. The simple truth any actor could easily have done this aspect of the part, there is nothing that Carey brings that is special to the role, but at the same time he probably does bring everything that one probably could in the role. The simple problem about that is that simply is not much of anything.

For about the entire performance it is a functional performance in a very functional role. There are few scenes that require more than that. The few moments that do are when he quietly shows his support for the mistreated Mr. Smith (James Stewart). These are short, basically little smiles that actually do have the proper warmness combined with an honorable dignity that work well. Still even with these short moments, this character frankly never was one that should have been nominated no matter who played him.


RatedRStar said...

this must be the closest year Ive ever got so far to getting everything right about the rank =D I agree that anyone else could have been nominated except Carey

dinasztie said...

Well, he didn't do much, IMO.

Anonymous said...

He didn't do much, but his performance worked for the brilliant film!

Louis Morgan said...

Yes it certainly did work for the film, as i said he played the part as well as anyone probably could have.