Saturday, March 13, 2010

Nominees For Best Actress Of 1931-32

Mae Clarke (Waterloo Bridge)

Marlene Dietrich (Shanghai Express)

Norma Shearer (Private Lives)

Barbara Stanwyck (The Miracle Woman)


Erik Beck said...

What about Garbo for Grand Hotel or Constance Bennett for What Price Hollywood?

Mythical Monkey said...

Well, Garbo in Grand Hotel -- if votes on imdb are any indication, only Ninotchka has been seen by more people than Grand Hotel. And she was billed as the lead actress, certainly. Actually, the way the Oscars work, all five of the leads would have been pushed in the lead category.

But I arbitrarily decided that as an ensemble piece, they're all really supporting performances -- thus Joan Crawford in the supporting category, for example, who would otherwise win for best actress.

I'm a big fan of Garbo and I could have nominated her in the supporting category along with Crawford, but personally I think her first great talkie performance was Queen Christina -- still a bit too many silent era gestures in Grand Hotel to hang my hat on in the end.

As for Constance Bennett in What Price Hollywood?, she would have been a good nominee. It was maybe the best performance of her career.

Maybe I should have nominated five actresses. I was reluctant to expand the field from three to four (as all the other years had been) and I had Norma Shearer, Mae Clarke and Marlene Dietrich as my top three and went with Barbara Stanwyck for a representative pre-Code performance.

In fact, all four picks are sort of representative performances -- Shearer for her best performance while the Queen of MGM, Clarke who was in four must-see movies in 1931 and Dietrich who was, well, Dietrich.

But maybe Bennett would have been a better choice. Not sure.

The first Katie award controversy!

Douglas Fairbanks said...

Bullshit, fruitcake.

If you are so blinded by all of these talking, weeping, flitting actresses that you would forget the
definitive controversy -- and one stemming from your stupid, stupid Katie award to that no-talent numbskull hack Chaney, then

you oughta get your pecker checked to see if you still have one.

Leave these damned actresses behind and get back to what matters -- swordplay.

I'll be back, you four-eyed, hat-wearing, google-eyed sonuvabitch!

Mythical Monkey said...

Oh, right, Silent Star Smackdown. Yes, that was the definitive Katie Award controversy, Douglas Fairbanks and Lon Chaney in a brutal fifteen round slugfest.

Ah, good times ...

Beveridge D. Spenser said...

I hate to vote against Stanwycke for anything, but THE MIRACLE WOMAN was not her best work, was it? But she did work with lions, and that should count for something.

Mythical Monkey said...

I'd say Stanwyck is still at least ten years from her best work -- The Lady Eve and Ball of Fire in 1941 and Double Indemnity in 1944.

A nomination for The Miracle Woman is more like a nod to history ...