Best Supporting Actress 1956

1927/28 through 1997

Best Supporting Actress 1956

Mildred Dunnock - Baby Doll
1
4%
Eileen Heckart - The Bad Seed
12
43%
Dorothy Malone - Written on the Wind
12
43%
Mercedes McCambridge - Giant
0
No votes
Patty McCormack - The Bad Seed
3
11%
 
Total votes: 28

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby flipp525 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:10 am

All that I remember of Mildred Dunnock in Baby Doll is the fright wig and the gaunt body haunting that big house. The movie is just not particularly memorable and, to be honest, neither is her performance.

Mercedes McCambridge's portrayal of Luz in Giant is short, but sharp and perfectly executed. Her presence hovers over that big house after she leaves the picture. But is doesn't seem like an Oscar-winning performance to me. I like the nomination though.

Growing up, I actually saw the 1985 TV remake of The Bad Seed before I saw the original 1956 version and it scared the shit out of me. They went in a completely different direction with the Rhoda character for that production - more creepy, less sweet, kind of ragged and demonic. Blair Brown played Christine, Lynn Redgrave played Monica Breedlove and, if I recall correctly, David Carradine portrays the doomed Leroy.

Patty McCormack's quick switches from saccharine to rage are really quite scary at times in the '56 version, but the movie is a bit of a hot mess with Nancy Kelley playing to the rafters in a kind of Grand Guignol performance, Henry Jones acting in a production staged at a psych ward and Evelyn Varden giving a very mannered '50s sing-songy performance. I think McCormack is very memorable in this film. Eileen Heckart, playing the drunk, grieving mother, is even more memorable though. Her two scenes are clunky but she does a lot with them. She's onto Rhoda, but never completely shows her hand; the alcohol sort of masks the clarity of her statements, particularly in a scene with Rhoda's teacher, Ms. Fern. She also doesn't play for the audience's sympathy - she's a coarse, horse-faced drunk who wants answers. I'm going to give it to Heckart.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:17 pm

Mister Tee wrote:Was there ever a version that looked great?

There was an almost pristine 35mm print discovered last year and the HD screengrabs of it that were posted online here look GREAT--much, much, much better than the print I saw in Nashville. The restoration that played at, among other places, the Film Forum earlier this year, is from a different source. When I saw it, there was some reel-change mess up right around the time Prince Hal and Hotspur were dueling, which took about ten minutes to fix. But damn, what a movie.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:50 pm

Was there ever a version that looked great? The hit-and-miss quality was supposedly part of what caused the film to be trashed by some NY critics when it opened in '67, and even Pauline Kael's review (mostly quite appreciative) talked about the visual compromises Welles had to settle for because of his constant money issues. It's hard for me to judge having only seen it from DVR'd TV, but I mostly appreciated the dramatic shaping and such impressive sequences as the battle, not the overall look.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby dws1982 » Mon Jul 13, 2015 1:26 pm

Mister Tee wrote: (TCM seems to be working hard to broaden its repertoire. Just in the last few weeks they've shown Chimes at Midnight and Loving, two movies that had been eluding me for decades)

Had no idea they showed Chimes at Midnight on TCM. I'm curious as to the picture quality of Chimes. I know there's was supposedly a restoration from the original (or close to original) negative out there that looks great, but when I saw it back in February at the Belcourt up in Nashville, it was clearly not that print. Some scenes looked great, but some looked like VHS quality.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jul 13, 2015 12:43 pm

I don't know if it was "lost", but it was certainly unavailable for many years. I first got the listing of all acting nominees in 1970, and from then on was in search of all such titles, so I can attest it never turned up on TV in NY or on video/DVD...

...until a year or two after this thread, at which point TCM came up with it. So, thanks, flipp; I have managed to catch up in the interim. (TCM seems to be working hard to broaden its repertoire. Just in the last few weeks they've shown Chimes at Midnight and Loving, two movies that had been eluding me for decades)

And, oh yes: there are virtually no lengths (except financial) to which I will not go to complete this mad completist obsession.

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:38 am

The full-length version of Berkeley Square was posted to YouTube two days ago. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1IN9ECmapY

I'm not aware of its having been considered lost at some point. I saw it on TV in the 1950s and never forgot it.

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Re:

Postby flipp525 » Sun Jul 12, 2015 10:37 pm

Mister Tee wrote:But in terms of what I viewed as the truly early, out of reach years, for me they were those dastardly entries prior to 1934, most of which were completely unavailable prior to home video and TNT/TCM in the 80s, and some of which, like Berkeley Square, East Lynne or The Devil's Holiday, remain unseen by me today.[/color]

Tee, not sure if you knew this or not (or if five years later, you finally saw it after all), but Berkeley Square is up on YouTube in its entirety. It's broken up into eighteen different parts which is of course, tedious. But for an Oscar completist, I know I've definitely gone to further lengths to watch a rare or hard-to-find nominee. Interestingly, Berkeley Square was thought to be a "lost film" until the 1970s when it was rediscovered.

I once missed the train for the night back to my apartment trying to track down a video of 'Round Midnight while living and working in Tokyo. I finally did find it (along with Gaby: A True Story, another movie that I remember finding difficult to track down circa 2002.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtDxIukNzlA (Part 1)
Last edited by flipp525 on Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby bizarre » Thu Oct 16, 2014 5:06 am

I've seen Malone, and wasn't a fan at all when I first saw her film, but I've since grown to like Sirk so I should give it another try.

My picks:
1. Kinuyo Tanaka, Flowing
2. Ayako Wakao, Street of Shame
3. Haruko Sugimura, Flowing
4. Yukiko Todoroki, Suzaki Paradise: Red Light District
5. Norma Crane, Tea and Sympathy

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Re: Best Supporting Actress 1956

Postby ksrymy » Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:45 am

I'm responsible for Heckart now tying with Malone and I'll tell you why. Malone's performance is nothing special in yet another dull Sirk film from the '50s. Eileen Heckart's performance in 'The Bad Seed' can much be compared to Viola Davis's in 'Doubt.' Both are in the film for very short amounts of time yet both effectively convey the emotion their character is supposed to make us feel (Davis's being anger yet heartbreak and Heckart's being solely heartbreak). Malone won the Oscar. Heckart won the Golden Globe. I think the GGs got this one right.
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Postby Eric » Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:06 pm

Up until last week, I'd have voted Malone no question, but a repeat viewing of Written on the Wind confirmed it as probably the least successful of all the '50s Sirk movies I've seen, and Malone's performance had suddenly seemed ... under the top? (Robert Stack acts circles around the cast here.)

So I go with this poll's surprise sleeper and vote for, yes, the objectively terrible one: Heckart.




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Postby Mister Tee » Fri Jun 18, 2010 5:03 pm

Magilla is correct, Giannini was the only non-English-speaker being bandied around that year. Even Scent of a Woman's screenplay nod came out of nowhere, for me.

I never even knew Zanin's name till now, so it's safe to say he wasn't any kind of Oscar contender. To get nominations for foreign performances back then, you pretty much needed to be cited by the film critics.

Fellini was certainly more deserving than Spielberg that year (though Spielberg was probably more deserving than Lumet, even for those not named Damien). The reason Fellini's nod came as a surprise is because we were at the end of a three year cycle: for three straight years 1972-1974, the NY Critics had chosen a foreign film -- Cries and Whispers, Day for Night, Amarcord -- as the year's best, but in each case the film in question had not had a qualifying run in LA, so they weren't eligible till the following year's Oscars. Today, of course, this wouldn't happen. (A foreign film probably wouldn't ever win, either)

In '73, the Oscar field was thin enough that Cries and Whispers emerged on a year-plus later and scored five nods including best film (leading to Sven Nykvist's much-deserved win). '74 was more competitive, and Day for Night missed best film, but did pick up director/screenplay/supporting actress. In '75, though, the five best picture candidates were truly locked in (to the point where a successful, well-reviewed film like Shampoo couldn't crack the slate), and since all the directors had credentials, it seemed there wouldn't be room for Fellini -- which expectation led to Spielberg's caught-on-camera moment of cosmic letdown.

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Postby Big Magilla » Fri Jun 18, 2010 1:21 pm

Sadly, Vittorio Gassman was primarily known in the U.S. as Shelley Winters' ex-husband and the father of her daughter.

I don't recall any mention of Gassman as a contender at the time even though he won at Cannes. The film must have been shown in L.A. in order to receive a screenplay nomination but it didn't open in New York until January, 1976 so it was ineligible for both New York Film Critics and National Board of Review consideration, a mention by either of which may have helped.

The big Italian star of the time in the U.S. was Giancarlo Giannini who made something of a splash in Swept Away and an even bigger one in Seven Beauties for which he was nominated the following year.




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Postby ITALIANO » Fri Jun 18, 2010 12:52 pm

Damien wrote:Fellini himself was a sleeper Best Director nominee, famously to Steven Spielberg's chagrin.

But as we know Fellini - especially the Fellini of Amarcord - was a better director than Spielberg - especially the Spielberg of Jaws - and more deserving of a nomination.

Nobody had heard much about Bruno Zanin recently in Italy either - at least till a few years ago, when his painfully honest autobiography, "Nobody must know about this", was published - and much talked-about. Not for the open admission of bisexuality - before being chosen by Fellini to star in Amarcord, the cute, blond Zanin as a teenager had been the favorite model, and the lover, of American painter Edward Melcarth and through him, a frequent guest of Peggy Guggenheim - but for the very explicit, and painful, telling of his being abused as a child by pedophile priests. Zanin's post-Fellini career, after several movies in the 70s, had failed, and after a long experience as a volunteer for peace organizations, he now lives in a small village and works as a farmer. He's an intelligent, though self-admittedly problematic, man - still with those smiling eyes that Fellini had used so well in the movie they made together.

Actually, in that same fateful 1975, another Italian actor could and should have been nominated: Vittorio Gassman, for his career-best performance as the blind former officer in Scent of a Woman. The movie, after all, got two Oscar nominations and Gassman himself was quite well known in the US. But maybe his performance was too tough, too unsentimental - unlike the one Al Pacino gave in the American remake.

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Postby Damien » Fri Jun 18, 2010 11:42 am

Big Magilla wrote:
Reza wrote:Marie Wilson, The Killing

You mean Marie Windsor.

You don't remember My Friend Irma's beautiful cameo as the scatterbrained young woman at the race track? :D
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Postby Reza » Fri Jun 18, 2010 9:37 am

Big Magilla wrote:
Reza wrote:Marie Wilson, The Killing

You mean Marie Windsor.

Yes.


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