Wednesday, 1 April 2020

Alternate Best Actor Lead/Supporting 1943 Update

Here are the updated lists for 1943, a year that is one of the weakest I've come across. This as 49 % of the films seem to be about someone going on a spy mission, the other 49% being about people in an occupied country. One is better off just watching Casablanca and forgetting the rest, as though the films aren't terrible, they are so predictable and repetitive they naturally become a little dull. Although I'll grant my conditions of watching several in succession, isn't ideal, and only reinforces their obvious similarities. Understandably the world was preoccupied with other things at the time, and that's why 98% of the films have the same message, but for retrospective purposes, you can skip most of them.

Updated Lead
Updated Supporting

Next: 1978 Lead


Luke Higham said...

So glad Livesey went up.

Ratings and Thoughts on the lead performances you've seen

Ratings and thoughts on your Supporting 4s.

Thoughts on Day Of Wrath and Le Corbeau.

Your Female Lead and Supporting top tens with ratings and other 4+ honourable mentions.

1978 Lead
Steve McQueen - An Enemy Of The People
Bruce Dern - The Driver
Alan Bates/John Hurt - The Shout
Elliott Gould - The Silent Partner
Richard Pryor - Blue Collar

Calvin Law said...

Glad Livesey is a 5 now.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your wins for the year as well.

Matt Mustin said...

Steve McQueen-An Enemy of the People
Richard Pryor-Blue Collar
Donald Sutherland-Invasion of the Body Snatchers
Robert Mitchum-The Big Sleep
Harvey Keitel-Fingers

Matt Mustin said...

Actually, swap out Mitchum for Elliot Gould in The Silent Partner.

Robert MacFarlane said...

I’d say Dern was Supporting in The Driver

Michael Patison said...

Louis: Thoughts and ratings on Welles and both of Fresnay's

Calvin Law said...

I'm surprised Welles is that high for Jane Eyre. He's okay I guess, the only performances I've ever loved have been Dalton and Stephens. Fontaine is great though.

I don't have any major recommendations in terms of 1978 for Lead though I've been meaning to watch The Driver and especially Blue Collar fairly soon.

In terms of film recommendations:

Interiors has excellent performances even if it is very much Woody Allen trying and not really succeeding entirely at being Bergman

Autumn Sonata is amazing though I know you'll be watching that anyway, I'm certain either one of Bergman and Ullmann is taking Lead.

And Drunken Master with Jackie Chan is a whole lot of fun.

Calvin Law said...

Also I'm glad to see Colonel Blimp grew on you.

Bryan L. said...

The first performance review from a request I's almost here...

Luke Higham said...

Louis: If you decide to put Dern in Supporting, I wouldn't mind a review for John Amplas in Martin.

Anonymous said...

Steve McQueen - An Enemy Of The People
Richard Pryor - Blue Collar
Alan Bates/John Hurt - The Shout
Elliott Gould - The Silent Partner
John Amplas - Martin

Calvin Law said...

Bryan: Oh yeah, I still need to check that one out.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Swap out Amplas for Keitel in Fingers.

Louis Morgan said...


Welles - 4(He overdoes his early scenes of portraying sort of the distant Rochester almost portraying him as villainous. Having said that I did like him as the romantic lead of Rochester particularly in his chemistry with Fontaine, where I thought he managed to convey a stronger sense of understanding and warmth between the characters. He also I felt delivered on sort of the dramatic burden regarding the character's secret.)

Fresney (Diable) - 4(Interesting to see him in a far more duplicitous role than is often the case for him, however he's quite good in portraying the sort of intensity of desire in the early scenes of the film. He then transitions this well to a general aloofness though that he slowly moves towards a vicious desperation. This in creating the personal sense of struggle of the man in a rather supernatural situation.)

Fresnay (Corbeau) - 4(Bordering on supporting, as much of the film begins with just the overall existence of the mysterious gossip writer. Fresnay though again delivers, as to be expected honestly, though here in portraying sort of the understated charm in a suave quality of his initially somewhat questionable doctor. Fresnay thrives most in the second half, where he really becomes lead, though in bringing such a sense of determination within the character's drive to figure out the culprit. He also excels in his one major scene of explaining the character's more sympathetic backstory that he delivers with the requisite passion wrapped within grief.)

Richardson - 4(Some fine work of Richardson just doing a direct type of emotional conviction, with a bit of variety via his fake supporter scenes. Those are brief however Richardson handles them well, particularly in portraying the sense of guilt after those moments.)

Donat - 4(Suave Donat is suave. Pretty straight forward in that regard.)

Cotten - 3.5(Much more standard Cotten role, and a pretty thin leading turn at that. Cotten brings his typical presence well though and delivers a good performance.)

Mason - 3.5(Mason himself apparently hated the role, believing it to be thin. Yes it is indeed, however you get some nice bit of Mason venom as one would hope.)

Girotti - 3.5(While appreciated the attempt at the grit of the version, it also loses the plot far too often making it too meandering. Girotti gives a decent enough turn in combining the sort of lust, ambition and guilt within the character. It adds up to less than the sum though and never brings you into the character, like with the best "Murdering protagonist" performances)

Woolley - 3.5(Expected Woolley sardonic routine, nice example of it, not a great example of it.)

Boyer - 3.5(A better example of a Boyer romantic turn, however he is very much overshadowed by Fontaine. To his credit he finds a lot more warmth here than he often does in these sorts of roles, delivering a more endearing portragonist, particularly needed given the film procession of the plot.)

Louis Morgan said...

Albers - 3(No Neville, though he brings an enjoyable enough sort of near manic energy in the insanity of the part, of the man though who at the same time must be sensible.)

MacMurray - 3(A different average spy routine from him, okay, but nothing special)

Morgan - 3(Okay as this sort of benevolent rich man, though the film is all over the place leading his performance never to really have the ammunition to really sink into the idea.)

Other Morgan - 3(He gets a bit of more emotional quality to the material, but it still doesn't add up to too much.)

Flynn - 3(Fine standard leading turn from him, nothing special overall however.

Roose & Lerdorff - (Both are fine, however the film in my view is really carried by the direction more than anything, that gives really the emotional content to the story, for the most part.)

Granger - 3(Charming enough but really there just to be charming.)

Anderson - 2.5(Over the top in doing his typical routine.)

Andrews & Granger - 2.5(Thin roles that neither can do much with.)

Carlson - 2(Very bland average man routine)

Curtis - 2(Same as Carlson)

Palau - 4(A memorable devil routine as Palau brings such a quiet assured menace in the part. This with a wryness in his manner that always supports a man who knows everything is going his way and things will not go the way of the foolish man. He keeps a dominating demeanor so casually but so effectively, and is the best part of the film.)

Day of Wrath, features some incredible moments throughout, largely through the power of the direction that creates a real sense of dread within the eeriness of the religious persecution it depicts within the context of human weakness. I however feel there could've been more within the development of the people on the level of the screenplay, though Dreyer's direction does a great deal to make up for that.

Le Corbeau is another terrific film in the Clouzot canon. This in creating this sort of larger portrait of a town driven mad simply by the letters of a possible gossip. It creates an effective mystery, and as per Clouzot offers often a wry wit, and captivating energy to the process of discovery.



1. Teresa Wright - Shadow of a Doubt
2. Joan Fontaine - The Constant Nymph - 5
3. Jennifer Jones - The Song of Bernadette
4. Deborah Kerr - The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
5. Joan Fontaine - Jane Eyre
6. Clara Calamai - Osessione - 4.5
7. Jean Arthur - The More the Merrier
8. lIsbeth Movin - Day of Wrath - 4
9. Ethel Waters - Cabin in the Sky - 4
10. Gene Tierney - Heaven Can Wait


1. Katina Paxinou - For Whom the Bell Tolls
2. Ginette Leclerc - Le Corbeau
3. Jane Darwell - The Ox-Bow Incident
4. Gladys Cooper - The Song of a Bernadette
5. Helena Manson - Le Corbeau - 4
6. Anna Svierkier - Day of Wrath
7. Lena Horne - Cabin in the Sky - 3.5
8. Patricia Collinge - Shadow of a Doubt
9. Fay Bainter - The Human Comedy
10. Josseline Gael - La Main du Diable - 3.5

Michael McCarthy said...

Dang, I guess McCrea's down to a 4 now, that's too bad.

Michael Patison said...

Louis: Any word on when you'll get the Director rankings for '43 posted?

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Ratings and thoughts on both Fontaine turns, Jones, Kerr, Calamai, Movin, Waters, Leclerc, Cooper, Manson and Svierkier.

Anonymous said...

Louis, have Jones or Kerr gone up.

GM said...

Bruno Ganz, Knife in the Head <3
Harvey Keitel, Fingers
Volker Spengler, In a Year of 13 Moons
Ken Ogata, The Demon
Richard Pryor, Blue Collar

Steve McQueen, An Enemy of The People
Dirk Bogarde, Despair
Nick Nolte, Who’ll Stop the Rain
Harvey Keitel, Blue Collar
Ryan O'Neal, The Driver
Elliot Gould, The Silent Partner
Laurence Olivier, The Betsy
Keith Carradine, Pretty Baby

Calvin Law said...

So I just watched The Driver, I think Dern is on the border but I wouldn’t consider either him or O’Neal for a review although they’re both good.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Could Bogart go up for Casablanca?

Robert MacFarlane said...

Anyone see this? I recommend this channel’s other videos as well.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: apparently Livesey was the original choice for Alec Harvey in Brief Encounter. How would he have fared you reckon?

Robert: that's pretty great.

Anonymous said...

Louis: So it looks like two years before the movie was made, Robert Montgomery played Dixon Steele in a radio adaptation of In a Lonely Place. Joseph Cotten also played the role in radio two years after the movie. I recall you saying that Bogart would have been better in the role if Huston had directed the movie, but what do you think of the idea of either Montgomery or Cotten in that role.

RatedRStar said...

Steve McQueen - An Enemy Of The People
Richard Pryor - Blue Collar
Elliott Gould - The Silent Partner
Harvey Keitel - Fingers
Richard Dreyfuss - The Big Fix

I have seen Martin and I think John Amplas will get a below average rating from Louis if he reviews him, its not really a performance worthy of a review, the film is sort of interesting though.

Anonymous said...

Steve McQueen - An Enemy Of The People
Alan Bates - The Shout

Luke Higham said...

Louis: From what you've seen so far, is Joan Fontaine the best performing Actress of the 40s because you've given her 4 fives, all in the same decade.

Anonymous said...

Louis what is your favourite Sofia Coppola film? if you had to pick.

Omar Franini said...

Volker Spengler - A Year with 13 Moons
Bruno Ganz - Knife in the Head
Alan Bates - The Shout
Dirk Bogarde - Despair

Louis, for 1978 could you also watch those movies:
- L’Albero degli Zoccoli (hope you will like it, the movie depicts the farm life of a poor family in Bergamo, the region where i live. It’s a really personal movie and every teacher in my city shows it to children in primary school.)
- Le Rendez-vous d’Anna (the most “accessible” movie i’ve seen from Chantal Akerman)
- Killer of Sheep
- Violette Nozière (probably the role that made Isabelle Huppert a star, not one of my favorite performances from her, but she still delivers a terrific work, a strong 4,5 at the moment)

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Just review Bates from The Shout instead of both him and Hurt.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: I know you're not in a hurry to watch it again but could John Hurt go up for The Lord Of The Rings.

Anonymous said...

Louis, please review Gould in The Silent Partner. I've heard great things about him there as well as Christopher Plummer.

Louis Morgan said...


It is up.


Fontaine - (Nymph) - (Notable already that she doesn't fall flat on her face for playing such a young character from the start, instead she not only utilizes that but actually ensures that she helps to invigorate her whole performance. This in she manages to deliver both a degree of petulance, but also exuberance related to the youth of the character. Her work managing to enliven the entire film through her presence that gives real credence towards the central conceit relating to her character's pseudo obsession with Boyer's particularly his music. Fontaine though manages to not only deliver this well on her own end, but manages to create a real power to these ideas through her work. Her work that is always fascinating in the way she is able to graft within this the growing sense of maturity within the character, while also always approaching scenes with a sense of the youthful innocence and naivety of the character.)

Fontaine - (Eyre) - (In some ways this is sort of a riff on her work in Rebecca, as the roles hold similarities, although not as notable as that performance, however few performances are. Fontaine though delivers well on the idea of Jane Eyre within the character in sort of portraying the willfulness while also within the concept of the repressions. She excels within internalization of her work once again, giving such a consistently captivating portrayal of Jane's both certain discontent with the situation of life, while also finding her charm in how she would be so appealing towards Rochester even within that. I also particularly liked her chemistry with Welles here.)

Calamai - (Her performance most effectively realizes the film's approach, though again while the detail is nice I do think the plot becomes too much of an afterthought. Having said that Calami gives a very vivid portrayal that subverts the more expected femme fatale ideas fundamental within the basis for the role, in portraying just more the sense of desperation of a woman in a seemingly inescapable situation. Her performance delivering very human and sympathetic frustrations even as they begin to border a greater questionable quality in where it ends up leading her. Her performance though is consistent in finding purpose of this person within the plot, than just being part of the plot.)

Movin - (Again the direction is the strongest key, however she does give an effective, very quiet, portrayal of a woman sort of calculating and figuring out her situation. This in portraying this subdued emotional distress within the situation, while also still finding a charm in her interactions with the men. This finding enough of a balance in her work though to provide sort of a growing intensity that reveals itself within the idea of a growing discontent in her remarkable final scene.)

Waters - (Just a very charming musical performance that emphasizes more than anything the warmth of the character at every point, and portraying well the sense of joy in the simplicity of her life, making for the sort of proper angelic counterpart for Horne.)

Leclerc - (As typical Clouzot doesn't waste his female characters, as she is terrific here in providing a real mess of a character, though intentionally so, and thriving within. This in that she manages to find a little bit of darkly comic elements of the woman's consistent desperation related to Fresnay's character, though while also showing an earnest passion around it as well. Her performance managing to create a sympathetic quality within the character's state even while showing her not to be exactly the best of souls.)

Manson - (Her performance works well in contrast to Leclerc's performance, though in presenting a seemingly more stable individual on the outward sense, though with her own sort of personal problems defining her as well. Mason bringing a charm but also the right nuance within to allude to her own somewhat questionable motives.)

Louis Morgan said...

Svierkier - (Just a striking visceral work in portraying the intensity of the despair of the character and the sense of immediacy regarding the character's fears and anxiety. This being particularly remarkable in her final scene, where she delivers on truly showing the horror of the situation through her performance.)

I believe I've covered Cooper, Kerr and Jones previously.

Yes I'd say so, as Fontaine, even in weaker roles could make an impression.




Yes, however in a way it was probably best how it went, Livesey was a very domineering presence, not that Howard was a meek chap, but in that role I think it benefited the story to actually let Johnson solely dominate.


Going through much of Ray's work her typically encouraged actors to go big, for that's why James Mason was probably most suited as he knew how to go big, while in a way still seeming subdued. Montgomery could've worked, although his work typically is all over the place so hard to say. Cotten I think definitely would've been better, as a more subdued Uncle Charlie, and for playing a serial killer, Cotten already showed how to do it with nuance.




The Virgin Suicides, not that I love it, but given how "Lost" will forever remain a mystery to me as to its "brilliance", and the the more I think about The Beguiled the more I find it is a bizarre exercise in dumbing down a captivating story, so winner nearly be default.


I'll certainly try my best to seek those out.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Is Leclerc a 4.5 or 5.

Louis Morgan said...