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Lead or Supporting Role?


kingrat

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Big Deal On Madonna Street - Marcello Mastroianni co-lead with Vittorio Gassman or supporting? I currently have Mastroianni as supporting. The film seems to be Gassman's story, told from his perspective, so I'm not sure.

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Looking at 1957-1959: don't know if any of these will come into play for Lawrence, but here's how I currently have them.

 

A Hatful of Rain - Franciosa, Don Murray, and Eva Marie Saint all leads

 

The Seventh Seal - Max Von Sydow lead, all others supporting. As a relative unknown, he only got fourth billing.

 

Burl Ives, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof - supporting? He was listed as a lead and not nominated, which is why his Oscar win was for The Big Country

 

The Big Country - Jean Simmons a lead, along with Gregory Peck

 

Bonjour Tristesse - Jean Seberg, Deborah Kerr, and David Niven all leads

 

The Nun's Story - Peter Finch as a lead, along with Audrey Hepburn

 

Career - Franciosa as the only lead

 

Shake Hands with the Devil - James Cagney as supporting, with Don Murray the only lead

 

A Hatful of Rain - Franciosa, Don Murray, and Eva Marie Saint all leads.  Me too

The Seventh Seal - Max Von Sydow lead, all others supporting.  Me too

Burl Ives, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  I have Ives and Taylor as the leads

The Big Country - Jean Simmons a lead, along with Gregory Peck.  Yes

The Nun's Story - Peter Finch as a lead, along with Audrey Hepburn.  I have Finch as supporting as he is not in the picture enough and it certainly isn't his story.

Career - Franciosa as the only lead.  I have Franciosa AND Dean Martin as co-leads.

Shake Hands with the Devil - James Cagney as supporting, with Don Murray the only lead.  I have Cagney and Don Murray as co-leads.

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I would call Janet Leigh a lead in Psycho.

 

Jean Simmons should be a lead in Spartacus, I think.

 

But Fred MacMurray seems like a supporting actor in The Apartment.

 

Decision Before Dawn is an oddly structured film. Gary Merrill and Richard Basehart seem to be the leads, then it's all Oskar Werner's story, until Basehart comes in again toward the end. I can go along with Werner as a lead, but it means that the leading actor category in 1951 is incredibly strong, with eight or ten guys who would normally be giving the best performance of the year.

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A couple of questions about 1951:

 

Is Oskar Werner supporting for DECISION BEFORE DAWN?

 

Do you consider Shelley Winters lead or supporting for A PLACE IN THE SUN?

 

Shelley and Oskar are both leads in my opinion.  

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Psycho - Is Janet Leigh lead or supporting? She was up for supporting Oscar, but....

 

How about Jean Simmons in Spartacus?

 

Fred MacMurray in The Apartment?

 

I have Leigh and MacMurray as supporting and Simmons as the female lead.

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Decision Before Dawn is an oddly structured film. Gary Merrill and Richard Basehart seem to be the leads, then it's all Oskar Werner's story, until Basehart comes in again toward the end. I can go along with Werner as a lead, but it means that the leading actor category in 1951 is incredibly strong, with eight or ten guys who would normally be giving the best performance of the year.

 

I have 13 Best Actor contenders for 1951.  ;)

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I have Orson Welles in Touch of Evil and Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter as supporting.  As I recall Mitchum spends much of the movie chasing the children but not coming especially close.  The Academy nominated Natalie Wood in Rebel Without a Cause as supporting, but I always imagined she's be lead.

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I have Orson Welles in Touch of Evil and Robert Mitchum in The Night of the Hunter as supporting.  As I recall Mitchum spends much of the movie chasing the children but not coming especially close.  The Academy nominated Natalie Wood in Rebel Without a Cause as supporting, but I always imagined she's be lead.

 

In my case I have the opposite.  I feel Welles is the co-lead in Touch of Evil.  The film is as much his story as that of Vargas.  And Mitchum is the lead and focus of Night of the Hunter and James Dean is the only lead of Rebel Without a Cause.

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Leading vs. Supporting Categories in 1951…

 

Not surprisingly, Oscar put character actress, Thelma Ritter in the supporting category for The Mating Season.  Sure Gene Tierney and John Lund were leads in this film but it really is the story of how Ritter’s character comes into their lives and changes everything.  The supporting characterization may have had something to do with Ritter playing a domestic servant too.  But this would be like saying Shirley Booth was supporting in her television series, Hazel.  I just watched this today so I was paying particular attention!

 

I’m probably alone on this one.

Oscar put Marlon Brando in the lead actor category for A Streetcar Named Desire.  In my opinion this was a supporting performance and the only lead was Vivien Leigh’s Blanche DuBois.   Stanley is such a powerful character that it has all the appearances of a lead.  He is in the film no more, probably less than Kim Hunter who most people would agree is a supporting character.

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So then that means I only have 4 contenders in the 1951 Supporting Actress category, and even that was a reach to find that many.

 

Edit: I went back over the 1951 films, and found one more to fill out the category after all.

 

Brando is staying a lead in my list, though. Just as you named Jean Simmons a lead in Spartacus, although she has relatively little screen time. Brando has as much, if not more, in Streetcar, But I didn't have a stopwatch out, so I can't be certain. 

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Thelma Ritter has an even larger role in a better movie in 1951, The Model and the Marriage Broker. She plays the marriage broker, not the model, in case you were wondering, and has a wider range of emotion to portray than in any other film of hers I've seen. Thelma makes my list of top five nominees for best actress.

 

Lawrence, I'll agree that 1951 is not a great year for numbers in the supporting actress category. Most of my candidates are from less familiar films like Decision Before Dawn, Laughter in Paradise, The Tall Target, Westward the Women, Teresa, The Blue Veil, and Goodbye, My Fancy.

 

1952 will present us with some more problems. I think Colette Marchand plays a lead in Moulin Rouge, even if she does disappear halfway through the movie. Her effect on Jose Ferrer is really what the film is about.

 

Are Paul Douglas and Robert Ryan leads in Clash by Night, or is Stanwyck the only lead?

 

Richard Burton is, of course, a lead in My Cousin Rachel.

 

I think Alberto Sordi has a supporting role in The White Sheik, even if he does play the title character.

 

 

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What's the breakdown for Judgment at Nuremberg? Who's lead? Only Tracy? Is Schell really a lead, as Oscar said?

 

Well, I have Schell and Tracy as co-leads and others as support including Dietrich.

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