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Your Favourite Performances from 1929 to present are...


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Hi.

 

Today I am announcing my picks for Juvenile award and our unique categories to this thread.

 

 

 

BEST JUVENILE AWARD:

 

Freddie Bartholomew in Little Lord Fontleroy

 

RUNNER UP: SHIRLEY TEMPLE FOR VARIOUS FILMS

___________________________________________________________________

 

Best Performance in a Hitchcock Movie, Male or Female;

 

ROBERT YOUNG IN SECRET AGENT

_

 

Best Newcomer in  a Single Performance:

 

HUMPHREY BOGART IN THE PETRIFIED FOREST

 

______________________________________________________________________

Best Newcomer in Various Genres;

 

JAMES STEWART IN:

 

After the Thin Man, Rose Marie, Born to Dance

 

 

 

___________________________________________________________________

 

Best Singing Performance;

 

 PAUL ROBESON IN SHOW BOAT

 

 

_________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Best Synergy;

 

WILLIAM POWELL AND CAROLE LOMBARD IN MY MAN GODFREY

 

 

______________________________________________________________________

 

 

Best Animal Performance:

 

 SKIPPY AS ASTA IN AFTER THE THIN MAN

 

_____________________________________________________________________

 

Best Dancer:

ELEANOR POWELL IN BORN TO DANCE

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

Bizarro award:

 

 

JAMES STEWART INTRODUCES THE SONG "EASY TO LOVE" IN BORN TO DANCE

 

 

The man who recorded the song that was meant to be lip syncing for Stewart had a trained singing voice which sounded nothing like Stewart.  Cole Porter gave Stewart permission  to "croak" his way through this song that became a jazz standard.

 

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Bizarro award:

JAMES STEWART INTRODUCES THE SONG "EASY TO LOVE" IN BORN TO DANCE

 

The man who recorded the song that was meant to be lip syncing for Stewart had a trained singing voice which sounded nothing like Stewart.  Cole Porter gave Stewart permission  to "croak" his way through this song that became a jazz standard.

Gregory, your Bizarro award reminded me that I forgot to post an important award with my list:  

 

Best performance by an odd character with a strange haircut and a bow and arrow:

Irving Pichel in Dracula's Daughter

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Gregory, your Bizarro award reminded me that I forgot to post an important award with my list:  

 

Best performance by an odd character with a bow and arrow:

Irving Pichel in Dracula's Daughter

 

That is one of the many films I expect to add to my to-see list on Saturday.

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1936 - On the assumption that everyone already knows the alphabet I've decided to start listing in preferential order, (more or less.) The dotted lines, however outrageously placed at times, denote where honorable mentions begin, (kinda, sorta.) I don't know if everyone will approve of this, but I usually like to throw in a few fun obscurities over some highly acclaimed performances I was just lukewarm on and normally wouldn't consider.
 

Actor

Rex Ingram - Green Pastures***
Humphrey Bogart - The Petrified Forest
Roland Young - The Man Who Could Work Miracles
Spencer Tracy - Fury
Lionel Barrymore - The Devil Doll
...
Peter Lorre - Crack-Up ; Walter Brennan - Banjo on My Knee ; Frank Morgan - The Dancing Pirate
 
Actress

Sylvia Sidney - Fury***
...
Jean Harlow - Libeled Lady ; Patsy Kelly - Pigskin Parade ; Inez Courtney - It Couldn't Have Happened, But It Did
 
Supporting Actor

Ralph Richardson - Things to Come***
Ralph Richardson - The Man Who Could Work Miracles
Elisha Cook, Jr. - Pigskin Parade
Raymond Walburn - Born to Dance
Charles Winninger - Showboat
Ernest Thesiger - The Man Who Could Work Miracles
...
Lionel Stander - Mr. Deeds Goes to Town ; Sid Silvers - Born to Dance ; Oscar Polk - Green Pastures ; James Stewart - After the Thin Man ; Roland Young - The Unguarded Hour
 
Supporting Actress

Bonita Granville - These Three (juvenile)***
Rafaela Ottiano - The Devil Doll
Una Merkel - Born to Dance
Virginia Bruce - Born to Dance
Marcia Mae Jones - These Three (juvenile)
...
Helen Morgan - Showboat
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Kay:

 

I should follow your example and ignore alphabetic requirements since my typing skills aren't great and I am likely to accidently delete things trying to put them in order.

 

 

As for your choices: I see lots of references to Pigskin Parade and I not only have NOT SEEN IT, I have never even heard of it.

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Special "It Never Did That To Me" Award:

 

The cast of REEFER MADNESS

 

I wanted to include Dave "Play it faster!" O'Brien, but it's been so long I couldn't remember if he was leading or supporting. Does he end up driving off a cliff or running himself over or something like that?

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[...]As for your choices: I see lots of references to Pigskin Parade and I not only have NOT SEEN IT, I have never even heard of it.

 

It comes on Fox Retro frequently, but it will be coming up on TCM for Judy Garland month in April. It's a fun movie with a lot of music. Patsy Kelly is her usual spunky self, playing the tough wife of a softie football coach played by Jack Haley. The young Judy Garland is usually cited as the main attraction for this film, but not being a particular fan of hers I find that she slows it down for me. According to moi, Elisha Cook, playing a radical campus communist anarchist, gets the best musical number in the film with "Down With Everything," which he himself does not perform so much as it is performed in his honor.

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Kay, I'm glad you remembered Roland Young in THE UNGUARDED HOUR, because I didn't. This is what I wrote on another website about his performance:

 

THE UNGUARDED HOUR is a must-add to the Gay Essentials, with Roland Young as Bunny (note the name—a bell goes off), a friend of the family who pays outrageous if insincere court to Loretta Young (another bell goes off for those in the know). Loretta thinks of women she can marry him off to but this isn’t happening (more bells go off). Effete is well within Roland Young’s range. Once the murder occurs, Bunny builds a hypothetical case against Sir Alan (Loretta's husband, played by Franchot Tone), and as this scene goes on—too long for the movie’s good, but interesting from another standpoint—the animosity between the two men surfaces. Bunny may be devoted to Lady Helen (Loretta), but he and Sir Alan really don’t like each other much, though they may not realize it until the very moment of this confrontation. The psychological observation here seems very acute.

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Carole Lombard in My Man Godfrey. She does a great job at portraying a scatterbrained socialite. It's a cute romantic comedy, but she does a great job. 

 

Libeled Lady: Myrna Loy, William Powell, Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy (need I say more?) This is an all-star cast, to say the least. Again, this is another comedy... It seems almost pointless to point out that Powell and Loy have natural chemistry which is prominently displayed in this film, while Tracy and Harlow are phenomenal spectators. A quote I liked from this one is:

 

Harlow: He's not gonna talk to ME like some house detective!

Tracy: How do YOU know how a house detective talks?

Harlow: Don't you think I READ? 

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Today I'm going to start with Performances of 1936--Best Actor and Best Actress

 

 

But before that I'm going to list my top 15 movies for 1936 because all of my best acting categories come from these movies and it might give you a concise view about my cinematic outlook.

 

1) San Francisco-- WS Van Dyke--MGM

2) Fury - - Fritz Lang-- MGM

3) My Man Godfrey-- Gregory LaCava-- Universal

4) Mr. Deeds Goes to Town-- Frank Capra-- Columbia

5) After the Thin Man-- WS Van Dyke-- MGM

 

6) The General Died at Dawn--Lewis Milestone-- Paramount

7) Camille-- George Cukor-- MGM

8) Theodora Goes Wild-- Richard Boleslawski--Columbia

9) The Walking Dead-- Michael Curtiz-- Warner Brothers

10) Secret Agent - - Alfred Hitchcock--Gaumont-British

 

11) Swing Time - - George Stevens - - RKO

12) The Princess Comes Across- William K Howard - - Paramount

13) Petrified Forest-- Archie Mayo - - Warner Brothers

14) Born To Dance - - Roy Del Ruth- - MGM

15) Sylvia Scarlett -- George Cukor - - RKO

 

Actor

1) Spencer Tracy - - Fury

2) William Powell - - My Man Godfrey

2) Boris Karloff - - The Walking Dead

3) Leslie Howard - - Petrified Forest

4) Gary Cooper - - Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

5) Spencer Tracy - - San Francisco

 

 

Actress

1) Carole Lombard - - My Man Godfrey

2) Greta Garbo--Camille

3) Jean Arthur - - Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

4) Irene Dunne - - Theodora Goes Wild

5) Katharine Hepburn - - Sylvia Scarlett

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Princess:

 

You have a broad range in genres just like I do to a certain extent - at least until horror movies started to be gory.  Then I  don't like them.

 

 

I have decided to go ahead and post my favourite ensemble now even though it is not past midnight Eastern and I was going to wait until tomorrow to post this category.  (I'm on the west coast)

 

 

 

I base my favourite ensemble on a film where everyone in the cast even the bit players are memorable. I do use the movie for other awards.  Again, I have a separate special category for Hitchcock films as I am a Hitchcock fanatic.

 

 

All of my finalists were movies which starred William Powell.

 

 

 

The other finalists were:

 

After the Thin Man

Libelled Lady

 

 

FAVOURITE ENSEMBLE WINNER:

 

 

MY MAN GODFREY:

 

William Powell

Carole Lombard

Gail Patrick

Eugene Palette

Alice Brady

Alan Mowbray

Jean Dixon

 

 

 

The reason?

 

William Powell and Carole Lombard were married and divorced before this movie was made.  William Powell wanted a great comedic actress to play the lead and asked for Carole Lombard to play the lead.

 

What a classy man.

Edited by GregoryPeckfan
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Best Supporting Actress of 1936

 

Helen Morgan  Show Boat

Edna May Oliver  Romeo & Juliet

Maria Ouspenskaya  Dodsworth

Luise Rainer  The Great Ziegfeld  **

Gale Sondergaard  Anthony Adverse

 

I know my choice of Rainer for the supporting category may be frowned upon, but none of the women in that film were truly the leads. Each gave terrific supporting performances with Powell the only true lead, in my opinion. So I hope you'll accept Rainer here.

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Best Supporting Actress of 1936

 

Helen Morgan  Show Boat

Edna May Oliver  Romeo & Juliet

Maria Ouspenskaya  Dodsworth

Luise Rainer  The Great Ziegfeld  **

Gale Sondergaard  Anthony Adverse

 

I know my choice of Rainer for the supporting category may be frowned upon, but none of the women in that film were truly the leads. Each gave terrific supporting performances with Powell the only true lead, in my opinion. So I hope you'll accept Rainer here.

 

 

You know, Lawrence.  I  don't have her down in my list of Best Actresses either for much the same reason.  There was no supporting acting category then.   And as far as I am concerned, the ONLY lead in this film is William Powell as he is the only person who is in the entire film.  I am not sure that I would even consider Loy to be a lead actress even though she is playing Billie Burke, Flo's second wife.

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Best Supporting Actress of 1936

 

Helen Morgan  Show Boat

Edna May Oliver  Romeo & Juliet

Maria Ouspenskaya  Dodsworth

Luise Rainer  The Great Ziegfeld  **

Gale Sondergaard  Anthony Adverse

 

I know my choice of Rainer for the supporting category may be frowned upon, but none of the women in that film were truly the leads. Each gave terrific supporting performances with Powell the only true lead, in my opinion. So I hope you'll accept Rainer here.

 

Not frowned upon -- it's a great choice. We're not here to accept the categories that the Academy decided on! The supporting category began that year -- maybe they were still working out the details.

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Here are Danny Perry’s Alternate Oscar choices for 1936.  Winners in bold. 

 

1936 Best Actor

Charles Chaplin, Modern Times* 

Gary Cooper, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Paul Muni, The Story of Louis Pasteur

William Powell, My Man Godfrey

 

1936 Best Actress

Jean Harlow, Libeled Lady* 

Jean Arthur, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Paulette Goddard, Modern Times

Katharine Hepburn, Sylvia Scarlett

Carole Lombard, My Man Godfrey

 

 

And here are Michael Gerbert’s Golden Armchair choices for 1936:

 

Best Actor

Spencer Tracy, Fury*

 

Best Actress

Carole Lombard, My Man Godfrey*

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Today I'm going to start with Performances of 1936--Best Actor and Best Actress

 

 

But before that I'm going to list my top 15 movies for 1936 because all of my best acting categories come from these movies and it might give you a concise view about my cinematic outlook.

 

1) San Francisco-- WS Van Dyke--MGM

2) Fury - - Fritz Lang-- MGM

3) My Man Godfrey-- Gregory LaCava-- Universal

4) Mr. Deeds Goes to Town-- Frank Capra-- Columbia

5) After the Thin Man-- WS Van Dyke-- MGM

 

6) The General Died at Dawn--Lewis Milestone-- Paramount

 

 

 

 

Princess, I very much enjoy the variety of your choices. In particular, I appreciate the fact that you selected one of my favourite films of the '30s, The General Died at Dawn, as one of your top picks of the year.

 

This film was a top money maker in its day, with the Motion Picture Academy nominating Akim Tamiroff as best supporting actor for his performance as General Yang. Yet today, little seen, it's largely forgotten. Tamiroff is a hoot to watch as a Russian accented Chinese warlord. It's a fun performance, even if it's not one that many will take seriously.

 

But this 1936 production, directed by Lewis Milestone, is a lot more than just Tamiroff's scenery chewing performance. It's a strange, moody adventure tale, distinguished by some remarkably handsome set design (those cobblestone streets, with dozens of Chinese extras, drip with authenticity), as well as some really beautiful black-and-white photography.

 

Adding so much to the strong mood of the film is the highly evocative musical score of Werner Janssen. When the leading man and lady kiss for the first time in this film, there is a clash of Oriental symbols, with Janssen's score reminding us that these two lonely souls are finding comfort for a moment together in a mysterious foreign land, where anything can happen. As a tale of Oriental intrigue, I think General can be ranked with Von Sternberg's Shanghai Express as one of the two finest to be produced by the Hollywood studio system (both films, interestingly, from the same studio, Paramount).

 

Unusual for an adventure film, it has little in the way of physical action, but it bristles with excitement because of its striking atmosphere and character interplays. Milestone demonstrates an artistic inventiveness, at times, that you don't expect to see with this kind of material. At one moment, for example, after a dialogue scene has concluded, the camera zooms in upon a door knob. There is then a beautiful dissolve as that door knob is transformed into a billiard ball that is struck, leading to the next scene in the film which introduces the leading lady to the audience.

 

There is a feeling of oppression in this film, and it is not just because of the Chinese villagers that General Yang wants to exploit. Gary Cooper plays an idealistic American soldier-of-fortune recruited to the task of getting the money for guns to opponents of Yang. But he is soon waylaid to be set up for entrapment by a woman, played by Madeleine Carroll, then at the peak of her beauty.

 

Interestingly, for an adventure film with two such dominating male screen presences as Cooper and Tamiroff in it, Carroll is not just window dressing here. The actress gives an unexpectedly sympathetic portrait as one of those oppressed in this film. Trapped in China, and with a consumptive father who plays upon her sympathies by pleading with her to play the "femme fatale" for his own monetary gain, Carroll delivers a surprisingly persuasive performance, especially for an actress remembered today for her beauty, rather than acting prowess. That's the reason I gave Carroll an "Honourary Mention" in my list of best performances of the year.

 

The General Died at Dawn also has a highly unusual, even haunting, ending, quite unlike that of any other film I have seen, and consistent with the moody atmosphere of this production. I can't recommend this film enough, and it is, fortunately, available on DVD, as part of the Universal Vault series. Even better, though, it's also one of five films on a DVD release from Universal called the Gary Cooper Collection.

 

 

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Here are my choices of the 79 films I've seen from 1936 for…

 

Best Supporting Actress of 1936

 

1.  ALMA KRUGER  (Emilia Tilford), These Three

2.  MARCIA MAE JONES (Rosalie Wells), These Three

3.  JEAN DIXON (Molly), My Man Godfrey

4.  GALE SONDERGAARD (Faith Paleologus), Anthony Adverse

5.  ALISON SKIPWORTH ("Lady Allwin"/Gertrude/Gertie), The Princess Comes Across

 

6.  GERTRUDE LAWRENCE (Geertje Dirx), Rembrandt

7.  ALICE BRADY (Angelica Bullock), My Man Godfrey

8.  LAURA HOPE CREWS (Prudence), Camille

9.  GAIL PATRICK (Cornelia Bullock), My Man Godfrey

10. OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND (Angela Geussippi), Anthony Adverse

 

and ...

 

ELSA LANCHESTER (Hendrickje Stoffels), Rembrandt

MARY ASTOR (Edith Cortright), Dodsworth

VIRGINIA BRUCE (Audrey Dane), The Great Ziegfeld

INGA TIDBLAD (Margit Brandt), Intermezzo

SPRING BYINGTON (Rebecca Perry), Theodora Goes Wild

MARIA OUSPENSKAYA (Baroness von Obersdorf), Dodsworth

GENEVIEVE TOBIN (Mrs. Chisholm), The Petrified Forest

CATHERINE DOUCET (“Aunt” Lily Mortar), These Three

GERMAINE AUSSEY (Countess Katina Strada), The Golem

JESSIE RALPH (Nanine), Camille

BEULAH BONDI (Mrs. Rachel Jackson), The Gorgeous Hussy

ZEFFIE TILBURY (Aunt Olga), Desire

JESSIE RALPH (Aunt Katherine Forrest), After the Thin Man

JOAN GARDNER (Ada Price), The Man Who Could Work Miracles

VEREE TEASDALE (Ann Westley), The Milky Way

GERTRUDE LAWRENCE (Barbara Halford), Men Are Not Gods

VIOLET KEMBLE COOPER (Lady Capulet), Romeo and Juliet

PENNY SINGLETON (Polly Byrnes), After the Thin Man

EDNA MAY OLIVER (“the Nurse”), Romeo and Juliet

 

I am going to have to watch The Great Ziegfeld again as Lawrence is probably most correct in saying that Luise Rainer rightfully belongs in the supporting actress category.  For the time being I am going to leave her in my lead actress category - not that it matters a great deal!

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I am going to have to watch The Great Ziegfeld again as Lawrence is probably most correct in saying that Luise Rainer rightfully belongs in the supporting actress category.  For the time being I am going to leave her in my lead actress category - not that it matters a great deal!

 

What a list of great ladies! Funny -- I agree that the great Rainer belongs in supporting; but I would (and did) put de Havilland in the best actress category for Anthony Adverse. That is such a rich movie, with so many great supporting performances, but I consider her the female lead. After all, she starts as a poor servant's child, marries the film's eponymous character, has his child, and ends up as the world's greatest opera star and Napoleon's mistress! That's a lot of ground to cover for a supporting player.

 

As Gale Sondergaard says to Claude Rains, as they sit in the Paris Opera audience near the end of the film, watching Olivia on stage: "That girl used to wash my clothes."  Rains replies: "I remember."

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What a list of great ladies! Funny -- I agree that the great Rainer belongs in supporting; but I would (and did) put de Havilland in the best actress category for Anthony Adverse.

 

That's another one I shall just have to see again.  So many movies ...

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Bogie, I had a dilemma with Sylvia Scarlett. I seem to be getting different dates on this movie.

 

Years ago I remember there was some controversy about this film and I wonder if that has something to do with why the release dates are so skewed.

 

Anyway, I wanted to include Katharine Hepburn on my actress list, but I wasn't sure what to do. So I substituted Mary of Scotland for her.

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Bogie, I had a dilemma with Sylvia Scarlett. I seem to be getting different dates on this movie.

 

Years ago I remember there was some controversy about this film and I wonder if that has something to do with why the release dates are so skewed.

 

Anyway, I wanted to include Katharine Hepburn on my actress list, but I wasn't sure what to do. So I substituted Mary of Scotland for her.

 

Princess, per imdb, Sylvia Scarlett had a NY premiere on  Dec. 12, 1935, and had its general release Dec. 29, 1935.

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