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dagoldenage

Best Actress - 1938

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Through the Internet and in person, I recently had 24 people vote for Best Actress of 1938 and there was a tie between:

 

Bette Davis (Jezebel and my choice)  and Wendy Hiller (Pygmalion). I'm looking for tiebreaker votes.

 

Same with Supporting Actor:

 

Edward Arnold (You Can't Take It With You) and Charles Ruggles (Bringing Up Baby).  

 

My choice: Ralph Richardson (The Citadel).

 

Total titles I watched for the year: 130

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In our recent poll, I voted for Vivien Leigh in SIDEWALKS OF LONDON (ST. MARTIN'S LANE) as best actress of 1938, although the film wasn't released in the U.S. until after GWTW.

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it's funny,

 

while 1938 is a solid year for movies, there are not a whole lot of really GREAT, like Oscar level in the truest sense, lead performances by an actor or actress.

 

were i allowed to select, for me the winner is hands down NORMA SHEARER in MARIE ANTIONETTE, she does things in her last scenes of that film that are as good as anything ever captured on film. 

 

I make people mad when I say this, but I do not like JEZEBEL, for which Bette Davis won her second award.

 

It is a stupid movie. 

 

I think a better title for it would be: GIRL, ARE YOU FOR REAL? I have no sympathy for this selfish idiot question mark of a woman title character and I don't like the story.

 

BUT...

 

I am glad that those two Oscars surely helped to form the actress who would go on to have such a winning streak for the next several years. (I also note that it has been a long time since I have seen THE SISTERS from the same year, but it's waaaay better than JEZ.)

 

I do like MARGARET SULLAVAN in THREE COMRADES, and I remember being blown away by Wendy Hiller in PYGMALIAN, but that was a looong time ago. and I must note that I've never seen WHITE BANNERS for which Fay Bainter was nominated. (She, of course, won the supporting award that year for playing the only person with any good *** damned sense in JEZEBEL.

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The Best Actress Oscar is probably the most contested category in the entire history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. 

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Have decided that there really are no Bests - actors, directors, movies, etc.  It is just a coming together of a good script, actors, director, producer, screenwriter, etc.  And marketing to the voters.

Not to mention the politics of the system.

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A vote for Bette Davis--"Jezebel" s story isn't great, but she makes the script work--which is quite the feat, IMO.

 

Well said;  While the Jezebel character and associated plot is rather juvenile it is the type of part where an actress with Davis' ability can shine and she does.   

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Well said;  While the Jezebel character and associated plot is rather juvenile it is the type of part where an actress with Davis' ability can shine and she does.   

 

I think I first saw JEZEBEL when I was between 12 and 18 years of age- a time when I just ravenously watched as many old films as were on AMC or VHS or CINEMAX- which back in the day was a great source for classic movies believe it or not.

 

I did not like it then.

 

I have since watched some or all of it on numerous other occasions at various other times in my life and every time I try, I don't like it. Like, really don't like it.

 

But dont think I haven't given it a chance, lawd knows I have.

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also: THERE IS NO DEFENDING THIS DRESS

 

1-jezebel-bette-davis-1938-everett.jpg

 

This is a dress of Jennifer Connolly Oscar gown level proportions of FUG.

 

Society was right to osctracize her for this. She looks like something you would use to cover up a roll of toilet paper on the back of a toilet in a New Orleans Cathouse.

 

She's damned lucky she escaped with her life.

 

If the first act conflict of JEZEBEL hinged on Davis's character's decision to (let's just say) eat a baby, I could sooner forgive that than her commitment to wearing THIS AMBITIOUSLY UGLY COLLECTION OF VERY LOUD FASHION "NOES!" ALL PASTICHED INTO ONE.

 

ps- black and white or in color. it is "All the Shades of NO!"

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PS- IN ALL SERIOUSNESS THOUGH:

 

Imagine how much more effective JEZEBEL would be if the start of the controversy was something as simple as Julie's wearing a red rose on her breast or a pink gown. from there you can build on the hypocracy and outrage and double standsards for women, but with her dressing LIKE THAT, it really is KINDA hard to be 100% "Team Julie" in the matter.

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LornaHansonForbes:

 

I thought one of the interesting things about the movie and her character is that there was no one 100% Team Julie, and the number that were with her at all at the start dwindled, yet she did not change her ways.

 

 

Also, my tie still hasn't been broken between Davis and Hiller or for Supporting Actor 

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My favorite performance by an actress in 1938 is Katharine Hepburn in HOLIDAY. Yes, HOLIDAY, and not that other, more-loved Hepburn-Grant teaming of the same year, BRINGING UP BABY. To me, it's the film where she made the transition from being merely a collection of (admittedly pretty fascinating) affectations and really emerged as the great, mature actress she would be for most of the remainder of her career.

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I know this has nothing to do with who gets the statuette, but MY vote goes to HILLER( and it's ALL the OP asked for, a "tie breaking" vote)  But, I liked the film PYGMALION  better than JEZEBEL anyway, so there's my vote and why.

 

It's peculiar(maybe not in here though) that when given a choice between RED or WHITE, some people would choose GREEN.

 

 

Sepiatone

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My favorite performance by an actress in 1938 is Katharine Hepburn in HOLIDAY. Yes, HOLIDAY, and not that other, more-loved Hepburn-Grant teaming of the same year, BRINGING UP BABY. To me, it's the film where she made the transition from being merely a collection of (admittedly pretty fascinating) affectations and really emerged as the great, mature actress she would be for most of the remainder of her career.

 

I agree that Hepburn give a mature performance with a perfect combination of the various Hepburn screen persona traits she had shown in previous films.   Holiday is my favorite Grant \ Hepburn film. 

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My favorite performance by an actress in 1938 is Katharine Hepburn in HOLIDAY. Yes, HOLIDAY, and not that other, more-loved Hepburn-Grant teaming of the same year, BRINGING UP BABY. To me, it's the film where she made the transition from being merely a collection of (admittedly pretty fascinating) affectations and really emerged as the great, mature actress she would be for most of the remainder of her career.

 

 

OMG!

 

I FORGOT ALL ABOUT KATHARINE HEPBURN IN BRINGING UP BABY!

 

I still would've given the award to Shearer, but yes, Hepburn rates a nomination for BABY- even moreso than for HOLIDAY (and I agree that she's nomination worthy in that film too).

 

"Haul it over Toots, haul it over..."

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Everyone has their own tastes, but I like Bette Davis in Jezebel, and thinks she deserved her Oscar. 

 

Maybe I am biased because that was my first Bette Davis film, and to this day, I am in utter awe especially at the last still of her face in character as she is surrounded by fire and cannon fire and yellow fever. But, it's more than awe that makes me like her performance. 

 

I managed to save my tribute to her that I wrote on the Classic Film Union, and this is what I wrote about her performance: 

 

"As Julie Marsden in Jezebel, she takes her audacity to the next level. With Fay Bainter, Theresa Harris, and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, she transfers that modern spirit into a period piece to a character that defies convention. The whole movie you are guided through her character's eyes and her character's perspective. There is no emotion she doesn't bring forth, and she would take a romantic impression role of a time gone by and turn it into a dimensional, complex, equal character in a time where equality is not preferential to her gender. She brings to her character what she brings to every character, an unconventional seriousness that makes her not only equal to her acting partners, but also at the same time able to rise above them and lead. If she was a man, it would be called just great acting, but since she is a woman, at the time people may have thought that she was playing with fire and her characters needed to get burnt for it. In this performance, she makes sure her character doesn't get burnt, but forged." 

 

Jezebel-bette-davis-24807275-800-600.jpe

 

Now, I have seen other nominees and other performances of that year, but I can honestly say, I am glad I am living now because I would have a hard time figuring out who to vote for if I was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. 

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Best Actress of 1938: Bette Davis in The Sisters

(To paraphrase Hepclassic, maybe I'm biased because The Sisters was my first Bette Davis film.)

Best Supporting Actor of 1938: The exasperated Walter Connolly in Too Hot to Handle

MV5BNGE4MGQ4NGItZWQxOS00YzhmLThiNWEtZTNk-4672592667794528092.jpg

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On 1/21/2019 at 3:51 PM, Sgt_Markoff said:

Jennifer Connolly...? :(

th?id=OIP.zdBXbALRBr5iIwq76UbUQwHaPo&w=1Jennifer Connolly's dress that she wore when she won Supporting Actress for A BEAUTIFUL MIND. It is the ugly yardstick for ugly dresses against which all other ugly dresses should be measured in terms of pure FUGLINESS.

The dress Bette wears in JEZEBEL is about as- if not as- heeeeeeeedeeeeeeeeously ugly.

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