Bogie56

Your Favourite Performances from 1930 to present are...

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Bogie, I think there are bound to be a few occasions in these early split years of Oscars when we have a problem in deciding in what year a film properly belongs.

 

Take, for example, Mamoulian's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To me, everything about that film says that it should be considered a 1931 production. IMBd lists it as a 1931 film, as well. The problem: IMBd says that the film had a U.S. release date of January 3, 1932. So what do we go by with a title such as this?

 

 

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Bogie, I think there are bound to be a few occasions in these early split years of Oscars when we have a problem in deciding in what year a film properly belongs.

 

Take, for example, Mamoulian's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. To me, everything about that film says that it should be considered a 1931 production. IMBd lists it as a 1931 film, as well. The problem: IMBd says that the film had a U.S. release date of January 3, 1932. So what do we go by with a title such as this?

 

Wikipedia says its release was Dec 31 1931 in NYC.  It's only one day but it is still 1931.

You can never go by just the Oscars anyway as its criteria is when a film was released in Los Angeles.  We are ignoring that.  Ours is not the LA film festival.

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Wikipedia says its release was Dec 31 1931 in NYC.  It's only one day but it is still 1931.

You can never go by just the Oscars anyway as its criteria is when a film was released in Los Angeles.  We are ignoring that.  Ours is not the LA film festival.

Two different release dates from two different sources. Who knows what to believe. But going with 1931 feels right for me anyway, so to heck with IMBd's release date (maybe it's associated with the LA release, who knows).

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I'll get us started with posts for Best Actor and Best Actress for 1931. I haven't seen DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. The top four actors on my list are all worthy of an Oscar for 1931. Asterisk for the winners.

 

1931:

 

Best Actor:

 

Charles Chaplin, CITY LIGHTS*

Edward G. Robinson, LITTLE CAESAR

James Cagney, THE PUBLIC ENEMY

Peter Lorre, M

Alfred Lunt, THE GUARDSMAN

 

Best Actress:

 

Dorothy Mackaill, SAFE IN HELL*

Mae Clarke, WATERLOO BRIDGE

Norma Shearer, A FREE SOUL

Miriam Hopkins, THE SMILING LIEUTENANT

Helen Hayes, THE SIN OF MADELON CLAUDET

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1931 is another year in which I had a difficult time producing supporting performances I really liked. The performances listed are more or less in order of preference.

 

BEST ACTOR

 

Charlie Chaplin, CITY LIGHTS

John Barrymore, SVENGALI

Peter Lorre, M

Fredric March, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE

John Barrymore, THE MAD GENIUS

 

Honourable Mentions: Edward G. Robinson in Five Star Final, Adolphe Menjou in The Front Page, James Cagney in The Public Enemy, Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar, Robert Williams in Platinum Blonde.

 

 

BEST ACTRESS

 

Miriam Hopkins, DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE

Dorothy Mackaill, SAFE IN HELL

Lynn Fontanne, THE GUARDSMAN

Sylvia Sidney, CITY STREETS

Norma Shearer, A FREE SOUL

 

Honourable Mention: Barbara Stanwyck in Night Nurse.

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

 

Boris Karloff, FRANKENSTEIN

Harry Myers, CITY LIGHTS

Roland Young, DON'T BET ON WOMEN

George Barbier, THE SMILING LIEUTENANT

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

 

Beulah Bondi, STREET SCENE

Aline MacMahon, FIVE STAR FINAL

 

(That's all, folks!)

 

 

SPECIAL BIZARRO OF THE YEAR AWARDS

 

Dwight Frye, Dracula

Irving Pichel, Murder By the Clock

 

 

BEST IMPERSONATION OF A MANIKIN AWARD

 

Jean Harlow, The Public Enemy

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Tom, thanks for the reminder that Harry Myers is memorable as the millionaire in CITY LIGHTS. It's been a while since I've seen STREET SCENE. but Beulah Bondi is always good.

 

Best Supporting Actor for 1931:

 

Dudley Digges as Caspar Gutman in THE MALTESE FALCON*

Owen Matieson as Joel Cairo in THE MALTESE FALCON

Dwight Frye as Wilmer Cook in THE MALTESE FALCON

Harry Myers in CITY LIGHTS

 

Best Supporting Actress for 1931:

 

Nina Mae McKinney, SAFE IN HELL*

Aline MacMahon, FIVE STAR FINAL

Una Merkel, THE MALTESE FALCON

Thelma Todd, THE MALTESE FALCON

 

Granted, Huston's remake of THE MALTESE FALCON is wonderful, but I prefer Una to Lee Patrick and Thelma to Gladys George. Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Elisha Cook, Jr. are perfection, but Dudley Digges, Owen Matieson, and Dwight Frye are pretty good in their own right.

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Granted, Huston's remake of THE MALTESE FALCON is wonderful, but I prefer Una to Lee Patrick and Thelma to Gladys George. Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Elisha Cook, Jr. are perfection, but Dudley Digges, Owen Matieson, and Dwight Frye are pretty good in their own right.

 

Dudley Digges was a great actor and had an amazing career on stage. Have a look at his stage credits -- and this is only Broadway! He created the roles of Boss Mangan in the original Broadway production of Heartbreak House and Harry Hope in the original Broadway production of The Iceman Cometh, among many other great roles.

 

http://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/67332

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My goodness.  There are already 9 films that have been mentioned that I haven't seen for 1931 and 1 that I would like to re-watch.  My pre-code awareness is quite low as most of the titles TCM shows now were never available on tv when I was a kid.  Plus I have lots of recordings to catch up on as I've been in Europe most of the time the last dozen years.

 

You might find this interesting. 1932 was the first year of the Venice Film Festival.  No, I’m not getting ahead of myself.  Venice named FREDRIC MARCH and HELEN HAYES as the two ‘favorite actors.’  As Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931) and The Sin of Madelon Claudet (1931) were both in competition in Venice I would think the awards would be for those two films respectively.

 
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Kingrat, I like your supporting nominations, in particular, your picks of Nina Mae McKinney for Safe in Hell and Aline MacMahon for Five Star Final.

 

I had a major tussle with myself in my Best Actor nominations to NOT include Edward G. Robinson for his marvelous performance in Five Star Final. But I had forgotten how effective Aline was in that same film as his supportive secretary. Thanks for the reminder. If you don't mind my borrowing from you, I'll add her to my Supporting Actress list.

 

 

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Kingrat, I like your supporting nominations, in particular, your picks of Nina Mae McKinney for Safe in Hell and Aline MacMahon for Five Star Final.

 

I had a major tussle with myself in my Best Actor nominations to NOT include Edward G. Robinson for his marvelous performance in Five Star Final. But I had forgotten how effective Aline was in that same film as his supportive secretary. Thanks for the reminder. If you don't mind my borrowing from you, I'll add her to my Supporting Actress list.

 

You do not have to limit yourself to 5 names per category.  Name as many as you wish in order of preference, or not.

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You do not have to limit yourself to 5 names per category.  Name as many as you wish in order of preference, or not.

 

Okay, Bogie, I'll be adding a few extra names then.

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Here are my choices of the 41 films I've seen from 1931 for…

 

Best Supporting Actress of 1931

 

1.   HELEN HAYES (Leora Arrowsmith), Arrowsmith*

2.  MARIE PREVOST (Rosalie/"Rosie"), The Sin of Madelon Claudet

3.  JOAN BLONDELL (Nurse B. Maloney), Night Nurse

4.  MIRIAM HOPKINS (“Champagne” Ivy Pearson), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

5.  ZASU PITTS (Minnie), Bad Sister

 

6.  FRANCES DEE (Sondra Finchley), An American Tragedy

7.  MAE CLARKE (Molly Malloy), The Front Page

8.  KAREN MORLEY (Alice Claudet), The Sin of Madelon Claudet

9.  ESTELLE TAYLOR (Anna Maurrant), Street Scene

10. ROSE HOBART (Muriel Carew), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

 

and ...

 

BEULAH BONDI (Emma Jones), Street Scene

HELEN CHANDLER (Mina Seward), Dracula

GLENDA FARREL (Olga Strassoff), Little Caesar

MAGDELEINE BERUBET (Adele Legrand), La Chienne

MAE CLARKE (Elizabeth), Frankenstein

EDNA MAY OLIVER (Mrs. Tracy Wyatt), Cimarron

 
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Best Actor of 1931

 

James Cagney  The Public Enemy

Peter Lorre  M

Fredric March  Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde *

Edward G. Robinson  Five Star Final

Edward G. Robinson  Little Caesar

 

Best Actress of 1931

 

Mae Clarke  Waterloo Bridge *

Joan Crawford  Possessed

Helen Hayes  The Sin of Madelon Claudet 

Miriam Hopkins  Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Norma Shearer  A Free Soul

 

Best Supporting Actor of 1931

 

James Cagney  Smart Money 

Dwight Frye  Dracula

Boris Karloff  Frankenstein *

Frederick Kerr  Frankenstein

Edward Van Sloan  Dracula

 

Best Supporting Actress of 1931

 

Joan Blondell  Night Nurse

Aline MacMahon  Five Star Final *

 

I can't recall any others well enough.

 

Best Juvenile Performance of 1931

 

Jackie Cooper  Skippy

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[...]SPECIAL BIZARRO OF THE YEAR AWARDS

 

Dwight Frye, Dracula

Irving Pichel, Murder By the Clock[...]

 

I like this category. I'll be sure to look for Murder By the Clock. To be alone on a list with Dwight Frye in Dracula is as good a recommendation for a film as I've ever seen. (In timely fashion I watched Dracula for the first time last night. I wanted to see it for Bela Lugosi, but you already know who ran off with my heart.)

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Winners have an asterisk by their name; ties have two asterisks by their names:  Best Actor:

                                                                  

Fredric March in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde**

Peter Lorre in M**

John Barrymore in Svengali

Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar

Rudolf Forster as Mackie Messer ("Mack the Knife" in English)  in The Threepenny Opera

Groucho Marx in Monkey Business

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Best Actress:

 

Miriam Hopkins in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde*

Irene Dunne in Cimarron

Marion Davies in Five and Ten

Barbara Stanwyck in Night Nurse

Greta Garbo in Susan Lennox: Her Fall and Rise.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Best Supporting Actor:

 

Boris Karloff in Frankenstein*

Harpo Marx in Monkey Business

Chico Marx in Monkey Business

Clark Gable in Night Nurse

Jean Hersholt in Susan Lennox: Her Fall and Rise

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Best Supporting Actress:

 

Rose Hobart in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Lotte Lenya in The Threepenny Opera*

Joan Blondell in Night Nurse

Carmel Myers in Svengali

Miriam Hopkins in The Smiling Lieutenant

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I like this category. I'll be sure to look for Murder By the Clock. To be alone on a list with Dwight Frye in Dracula is as good a recommendation for a film as I've ever seen.

 

311448c1-94a1-4da0-9711-20d7ae31a0a0_zps

 

This comment has been Dwight Frye Bizarro Approved.

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It’s time for 1931

 

Here are Oscar’s choices for 1930-1931 and 1931-1932.  Winners in bold.  Remember, the Oscars did not have supporting awards this year.  We can correct that with all of your choices.  I have put ‘X’s’ beside the non 1931 films.

I am not listing the Oscar choices in order to debate them.  Agree, or disagree with them the films themselves are worth looking at hence my listing them.

 

1930-1931 Oscars

 

Best Actor

 

Lionel Barrymore, A Free Soul*  

Jackie Cooper, Skippy   

Richard Dix, Cimarron   

Fredric March, The Royal Family of Broadway  

Adolphe Menjou, The Front Page   

 

Best Actress

 

Marie Dressler, Min and Bill*  X (30)

Marlene Dietrich, Morocco  X (30)

Irene Dunne, Cimarron   

Ann Harding, Holiday    X (30)

Norma Shearer, A Free Soul 

 

 

1931-1932 Oscars

 

Best Actor

 

Wallace Beery, The Champ*

Fredric March, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde*

Alfred Lunt, The Guardsman 

 

Best Actress

 

Helen Hayes, The Sin of Madelon Claudet*

Marie Dressler, Emma   X (32)

Lynn Fontaine, The Guardsman

See this is what confuses me about the existence of the Juvenile award itself.  Jackie Cooper gets nominated for best actor as the title character in Skippy and yet he was a child.

 

What was the purpose of a Juvenile award then?

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See this is what confuses me about the existence of the Juvenile award itself.  Jackie Cooper gets nominated for best actor as the title character in Skippy and yet he was a child.

 

What was the purpose of a Juvenile award then?

 

It's my idea for this thread, that's all.  Don't be bound by the Oscars.

I often think it is unfair to put a little kid in the Oscar nomination process.  Why not just name someone who is worthy and give them an award as they used to do.  The juvenile award was discretionary and not always given by the Academy.  Kids have always competed against adults otherwise.

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1931 - Sorry for all the ties. It starts to seem like there are more losers than winners.

Actor
 

Lionel Barrymore - A Free Soul

Colin Clive - Frankenstein
Jackie Cooper - The Champ
Peter Lorre - M***
Fredric March - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde***
 

Actress
 

Miriam Hopkins - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde***
Miriam Hopkins - The Smiling Lieutenant***
Sylvia Sidney - City Streets

Supporting Actor
 
Dwight Frye - Dracula***
Boris Karloff - Frankenstein***
Harry Myers - City Lights
Edward Van Sloan - Dracula

Supporting Actress
 
Una Merkel - Don't Bet on Women***
Edna May Oliver - Cracked Nuts
ZaSu Pitts - The Guardsman
 
One Scene Wonders
 

Polly Walters - Five Star Final and Blonde Crazy

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Bogie, I'm really impressed that you have remembered so many fine performances. Marie Prevost is one of those actresses, like Una Merkel and Pert Kelton--and Joan Blondell, Aline MacMahon, and Edna May Oliver--who immediately brings a jolt of energy to any scene she's in.

 

Helen Hayes is very fine in ARROWSMITH. That's another role that could be classified as a lead by some, a supporting role by others. (For 1932, the problem for me will be where to classify Ann Dvorak in THREE ON A MATCH and SCARFACE.)

 

About three years ago TCM made a special effort to show more pre-Codes, which had been requested by some fans, and that's when I saw movies like SAFE IN HELL, BABY FACE, and the 1931 versions of WATERLOO BRIDGE and THE MALTESE FALCON. These were completely unknown to me, even by reputation, as late as 2009 when I first started watching TCM regularly. They had not even been mentioned in standard movie histories. Reading Mick LaSalle's COMPLICATED WOMEN was a good introduction to the pre-Code era.

 

I had known of Miriam Hopkins only as the foil to Bette Davis in THE OLD MAID and OLD ACQUAINTANCE, and had no idea that she was an accomplished and very sexy actress earlier in the 1930s.

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Because of the time of day when I get home Sundays, I've already read most of your posts before I make my decisions.

 

Due to my typing with only one hand, I will avoid trying to list everything in one post where I may press the wrong thing and lose what I have written.  I also wrote down last night the movies from 1931 that I have seen regardless of what I thought of them to be more organized.

 

This post will look at Best Actor and Best Actress:

 

BEST ACTOR:

Lionel Barrymore in A Free Soul

John Barrymore in Svengali

Wallace Beery in The Champ

James Cagney for The Public Enemy

Jackie Cooper in The Champ

Colin Clive for Frankenstein

Peter Lorre for M

Frederic March in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Robert Montgomery in Private Lives

Edward G. Robinson for Little Caesar

 

Winner: John Barrymore for Svengali

 

 

BEST ACTRESS:

Mae Clark in Frankensein

Joan Crawford in Possessed

Irene Dunne in Cimmaron

Jean Harlow in Platinum Blonde

Miriam Hopkins for The Smiling Lieutenant (I call her a lead not a supporting role)

Norma Shearer in A Free Soul

 

Winner: Norma Shearer in A Free Soul

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Here are my choices of the 41 films I've seen from 1931 for…

 

Best Supporting Actor of 1931

 

1.  BORIS KARLOFF ("The Monster"), Frankenstein*

2.  ADOLPHE MENJOU (Walter Burns), The Front Page

3.  HARRY C. MYERS ("An Eccentric Millionare"), City Lights

4.  GEORGE E. STONE (Otero), Little Caesar

5.  CLARENCE H. WILSON (Sheriff Peter B. Hartman), The Front Page

 

6.  ROGER GAILLARD (Alexis Godard/”the adjutant”), La Chienne

7.  GUSTAF GRUNDGENS (Schraenker/"The Boss of the Criminals"), M

8.  EDWARD EVERETT HORTON (Roy Bensinger), The Front Page     

9.  LESLIE HOWARD (Dwight Winthrop), A Free Soul

10. ROBERT YOUNG (Dr. Larry Claudet), The Sin of Madelon Claudet

 

and...

 

SLIM SUMMERVILLE (Sam), Bad Sister

RUDOLF BLUMMER ("Counsel for the Defense"), M

WALTER CATLETT (Murphy), The Front Page

MAURICE BLACK (Little Arnie Lorch), Little Caesar

FRANK MCHUGH (McCue), The Front Page

DAVID LANDAU (Frank Maurrant), Street Scene

ALAN HALE (Hubert), The Sin of Madelon Claudet

ROSCOE ATES (Jesse Rickey), Cimarron

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JUVENILE AWARD FOR 1931:

 

Winner: Jackie Cooper for The Champ and Skippy

Honorable Mention: Dickie Moore for the adorable boy in Star Witness, the only reason why I would watch S.W. a second time. 

 

 

Jackie Cooper in The Champ lives on in my mind for always.  Too bad he and Beery did not get along.

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This post looks at Best Supporting Actor and Actress for 1931:

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

 

Donald Crisp for Svengali

Clark Gable for A Free Soul

James Gleeson in A Free Soul

Edward  Everett Horton in The Front Page

Boris Karloff in Frankenstein

Dickie Moore in Star Witness

Roland Young in Don't Bet on Women

 

 

Winner: Clark Gable for A Free Soul

 

 

 

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

 

Joan Blondell in The Public Enemy

Mae Clarke in The Public Enemy

Claudette Colbert in The Smiling Lieutenant

Glenda Ferrel in Little Caesar

Aline MacMahon in Five Star Final

 

 

Winner:  Joan Blondell in The Public Enemy

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