‘What? They never won an Oscar?!’ Part 3


Myrna Loy

She had quite a prolific career. And she was one of those people who could do anything, from Pre-Code to screwball to drama. One of her best performances was in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), and I’m baffled that she wasn’t nominated.




84269569ecb67a9abe5cc71c26e2fd5a.jpgClaude Rains

Mr Smith goes to Washington, 1939/40

Casablanca, 1943/44 (released 1942)

Mr Skeffington, 1944/45

Notorious, 1946/47

Like Bill Powell, who I mentioned in my last post, you’ll probably never meet anyone who doesn’t love Claude Rains. Even as a villain in Notorious, you can’t help but love him.




Lee J. Cobb

On the Waterfront, 1954/55

The Brothers Karamazov, 1958/59

I’m always happy to see his name in the credits. 12 Angry Men (1957) is my favorite performance of his and his monologue in the end is the highlight of the movie for me.



e1c7dd3fb9425b0b22bad5dba61ef244Peter O’Toole

Lawrence of Arabia, 1962/63

Becket, 1964/65

The Lion in Winter, 1968/69

Goodbye, Mr Chips, 1969/70

The Ruling Class, 1972/73

The Stunt Man, 1980/81

My Favorite Year, 1982/83

Venus, 2006/07

He famously holds the record for most acting nominations without winning, and that says it all, really.


Garson_Kanin_and_Ruth_Gordon_1946.jpgGarson Kanin and Ruth Gordon (as screenwriter)

A Double Life, 1947/48

Adam’s Rib, 1949/50

Pat and Mike, 1952

I know Ruth Gordon won for Supporting Actress for Rosemary’s Baby (1968), but her career as a screenwriter alongside her husband was equally, if not more successful. Oh, and if you get the chance, please read Garson Kanin’s book on Kate and Spencer (the four of them were the best of friends).


mv5bmjewmdi0odezmf5bml5banbnxkftztywmdg2mji2-_v1_uy317_cr190214317_al_Ernst Lubitsch

The Love Parade, 1929/30

The Patriot, 1930/31

Heaven Can Wait, 1943/44

One of the all-time greatest storytellers – as a writer and director. If you’re a screenwriter, you have to watch Lubistch’s movies. Billy Wilder did and look what happened!




That’s it from me, folks! Happy weekend, everyone!

‘What? They never won an Oscar?!’ Part 2



Carole Lombard

My Man Godfrey, 1936/37

I love Carole Lombard in everything. I am constantly amazed at how effortlessly funny and talented she was. Such a joy to watch, every time.







Robert Mitchum

The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945/46

Noir was his thing and it’s a shame he wasn’t given more credit for his performances. He was always great and unbelievably cool.






William Powell

The Thin Man, 1934/35

My Man Godfrey, 1936/37

Life with Father, 1947/48

I’ve yet to meet a classic Hollywood buff who doesn’t love William Powell. He was just so instantly likable, not to mention incredibly talented. And he made it look so easy!



davidwithhornsforfmsonlineDavid Raksin

Forever Amber, 1947/48

Separate Tables, 1958/59

Laura (1944) is, of course, his masterpiece. Other film composers of his generation seem to have won 3 or 4 Oscars each, so it’s a bit of a shame he got none. Nevertheless, he did have one helluva career.


Fritz LANG

Fritz Lang

^ see that? Blank. Fritz Lang was never nominated for an Oscar. Just goes to show how pointless awards are.








Robert Siodmak

The Killers, 1946/47

Just the opening sequence of The Killers alone should have gotten him the Oscar. And could we all start calling Robert Siodmak ‘The King of Atmosphere’? Thanks.




Part 3 coming soon!


‘What? They never won an Oscar?!’ Part 1

Before we crack on with this list, I should point out that in no way do I think Oscars are the sole measurement for greatness when it comes to movies. I think if people love a movie and keep watching it over the years, that’s what really matters in the end. And that goes for actors, directors, etc… However, the Oscars are just so much fun! And they do, of course, mean something. If nothing else, just to be recognized by your peers must be extremely humbling. So basically, I just like talking about the Oscar and I’ve had many a light-hearted argument over these things, so I decided to compile this little list of people who never won an Oscar. Warning: some of these are shocking, depending on how you feel about the Oscars.


barbara-stanwyck-picture-376331495Barbara Stanwyck

Stella Dallas, 1937/38

Ball of Fire, 1941/42

Double Indemnity, 1944/45

Sorry, Wrong Number, 1948/49

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I absolutely love Barbara Stanwyck. The fact that she never won an Oscar is an absolute disgrace and, while I agree that she had tough competition in the years she was nominated (particularly from Ingrid Bergman, who gave an exceptional performance in Gaslight (1944)), I do think she should have won at some point.



Cary Grant

Penny Serenade, 1941/42

None but the lonely heart, 1944/45

Everybody loves Cary Grant. He had quite possibly the most remarkable and versatile career ever of any actor, and a string of memorable performances. So how in the world did he not win an Oscar? Not even nominated for Notorious (1946), one of his best performances! Ludicrous.


alfred-hitchcockAlfred Hitchcock

Rebecca, 1940/41

Lifeboat, 1944/45

Spellbound, 1945/46

Rear Window, 1954/55

Psycho, 1960/61

I’ll be honest with you, he did have unbelievably tough competition nearly every time he was nominated (lost to Billy Wilder TWICE, which is fair enough. Hitch himself was a fan). However, I do think the sheer fact that he wasn’t even nominated for Vertigo is outrageous. Surely, he would have won.


elErnest Lehman

Sabrina, 1954/55

North by Northwest, 1950/60

West Side Story, 1961/62

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf, 1966/67

A masterful storyteller, and his best screenplay (Sweet Smell of Success, 1957), wasn’t even nominated. I do think he should have won for North by Northwest, though. It’s a far more impressive screenplay than the winner, Pillow Talk (1959) – which I also like, by the way.




Edward G. Robinson

Edward G. Robinson was never even nominated for an Oscar. Can you believe that? Not even for his excellent performance as Barton Keyes in Double Indemnity (1944). I mean, who can forget his monologue about the different ways of committing suicide?




howardhawksHoward Hawks

Sergeant York, 1941/42

Only one nomination in his entire career. I still can’t get my head around that. I mean, how was he not nominated for Only Angels Have Wings (1939) or The Big Sleep (1946)? He made some of the most well-known and iconic films from Hollywood’s Golden Age and he is, without a doubt, one of the greatest and most versatile directors of all time. As well as one of the most unfairly underrated.


Part 2 coming soon!


1942/43 Best Actress nominees


1942 was a great year for movies. Many of my favorite movies and performances come from 1942, and so when Once Upon a Screen, Outspoken and Freckled and Paula’s Cinema Club announced their annual 31 Days of Oscars blogathon, it was pretty much one of my top 5 subjects to choose from. Not going to lie, it wasn’t easy. There are sooo many things to talk about when it comes to the Oscars! But I had to go for this because I couldn’t make up my mind about certain things in other subjects (more about that next week).

So here we are! These were the 5 Best Actress nominees of 1942/1943:

Rosalind Russell in My Sister Eileen – Rosalind Russell and Janet Blair star as Ruth and Eileen, two sisters from Ohio who move to New York to pursue their dreams: Ruth wants to be a writer, while Eileen wants to be an actress. They soon realize that New York is a jungle filled with unbearable noises and eccentric characters. Despite its hard-hitting truth about how hard it is to ‘make it’, My Sister Eileen is surprisingly adorable. And Roz Russell is as funny as they come. I’ve always thought she had this wonderful gift of being funny without even trying. I find myself laughing at certain things she does that, if done by anybody else, would be completely unremarkable. She had an all-around impeccable, natural comic timing, with a palpable depth that made her so incredibly relatable. I don’t know about you, but I’d’ve loved to have been best friends with her.

Teresa Wright in The Pride of the Yankees – Teresa Wright’s portrayal of Lou Gehrig’s wife Ellie is as moving as the film itself. She had the nicest, friendliest face in 1940s cinema, but that face could break your heart in three seconds with the swiftest change of expression. In The Pride of the Yankees, she wore her heart on her sleeve. In the scenes following Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper)’s diagnosis, she displays her emotions beautifully throughout and she will make you want to cry. And in her actual Oscar-winning performance (Supporting Actress) that year – one of only 11 actors to be nominated in two different categories in the same year – in Mrs Miniver, she does the same. By the way, no matter how much you love her, I’d advise you never to have a Pride of the Yankees/Mrs Miniver double bill. You’ll be crying your eyebrows off by the end of it.

Katharine Hepburn in Woman of the Year – It’s very hard for me to talk about Katharine Hepburn without gushing. She’s been a huge part of my life for about ten years and I don’t think I can objectively talk about her or her performances. I’m not saying I think she should have won the Oscar every time or anything like that, I just can’t analyze her performances anymore, because I’ve seen them so many times. Woman of the Year is one of my particular favorites. The look of love was in her eyes the whole time. As we all know, she and Spencer Tracy fell in love during the making of this movie and it’s very, very clear. In the movie, Tess Harding also falls in love with Sam Craig and vice-versa, while at the same time being an independent, ‘ahead of her time’ badass. Some people say that Katharine Hepburn ‘always played herself’ (heathens!), and if so, then this is the most Katharine Hepburn she’s ever been.

Bette Davis in Now, Voyager – Poor Charlotte Vale. The ugly-duckling. The black sheep. The spinster aunt. This is the type of character that will always be relevant and never go out of style. Whether it’s a comedic character or one that will break your heart. Per usual, Bette Davis does the latter. The pain and suffering that comes from wanting to get away from her mother’s grip, and the yearning for love is heart-breaking, and Bette plays it wonderfully. With a sincerity and humanity that is both beautiful and sad, she grabs you from the first second and you’re there with her the whole time. You feel for her, you root for her and when she transforms into an elegant, confident woman, you’re proud of her for finally loving herself. I think everybody, at some point, has been Charlotte Vale in one way or another, and that’s why she’s so relatable.

Greer Garson in Mrs Miniver (winner) – Refined, poised, warm, strong and with nothing but love in her heart, Kay Miniver’s main concern is trying to keep her family together during the war. A loving wife, mother and mother-in-law (who can forget her scene with Teresa Wright in the car?), as well as a friend to nearly everybody in town, Mrs Miniver never loses her cool in the face of adversity. Being a World War II movie, there are obviously some painful, heart-wrenching moments in Mrs Miniver, but, for just a little while, when she’s around, she makes you feel like everything’s going to be alright and everybody turns to her for support. She’s the rock of the Miniver household and she was the character everybody needed in 1942. Did Greer Garson deserve her Oscar? Of course she did, are you kidding?


So there you have it, folks! If you want to read the other entries for the blogathon, click here. The blogathon will carry on through tomorrow, so be sure to check it!

Hollywood birthdays

You know how April 5th is such a well-known date amongst Classic Hollywood buffs, ’cause so many people were born that day? Bette, Spencer Tracy, Greg Peck, etc… Well, I was just posting birthday wishes on The Old Hollywood Garden’s Facebook page and I realized that February 8th is pretty much just as ‘iconic’. Look at all these birthdays: Charlie Ruggles (1886), King Vidor (1894), Lana Turner (1921), Jack Lemmon (1925), James Dean (1931). Pretty awesome!

Dodsworth (1936) – O Canada blogathon


When I saw that Ruth of Silver Screenings and Kristina of Speakeasy were hosting a blogathon about Canada, I knew I had to join. Being part-Canadian myself, it was only logical. The point of the blogathon was to talk about all-things Canada, movie-wise. So basically, actors, directors, movies set in Canada, whatever… So, I decided to talk about a movie that is just too wonderful to ignore and a performance that is quite possibly the greatest ever performance by a Canadian actor in a movie: Walter Huston in Dodsworth (1936).

Retired automobile magnate Sam Dodsworth (Walter Huston) and his wife Fran (Ruth Chatterton) have been married for 20 years. After Sam’s retirement, they decide to go on a trip to Europe, but things soon turn sour when they realize they want different things in life. Sam wants to enjoy his retirement with his wife, while she wants to have fun and enjoy herself. It soon becomes clear that a fling (for both of them) is almost inevitable and so is the prospect of divorce.

William Wyler’s Dodsworth is not like other movies. Dodsworth is about a failing marriage, by which I mean, the failing marriage isn’t a plot device for something else to happen, like in Three on a Match (1932), nor is it used for comedic effect like in nearly every screwball comedy, for instance. Dodsworth is ABOUT a marriage in crisis, the marriage is at the center of it all and it’s raw, it’s real, it’s unafraid and you better brace yourselves for it.

With a cast that also includes Mary Astor, Maria Ouspenskaya, Paul Lukas and David Niven, the performances are the best thing about the movie. And while everyone is great, it’s Walter Huston’s that stands out, without a shadow of a doubt. It’s an absolutely brilliant performance that will destroy you emotionally. Having previously played the character on stage in New York, he was obviously the right choice for the film and he was, of course, nominated for an Oscar.

Dodsworth is brilliant and painful. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor. But get in the right state of mind first.

You can read the other entries for the O Canada blogathon here.