Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Actress In A Supporting Role" 1958


And the Academy selected:

  • Peggy Cass in Auntie Mame
  • Wendy Hiller in Separate Tables
  • Martha Hyer in Some Came Running
  • Maureen Stapleton in Lonelyhearts
  • Cara Williams in The Defiant Ones

My Ranking:

5. Peggy Cass as Agnes Gooch in Auntie Mame
Peggy Cass is unbelievably out there as Agnes Gooch, a pregnant stuck up, naive girl. To say it's funny is lying, it's not - it's awfully boring and a one dimensional role that Cass does nothing with. Broad comedy sometimes just doesn't do it for me, and this is an example of how loud an actress can go with broad comedy. I may not like the movie but that doesn't effect my judgement when it comes to Peggy Cass's performance.

4. Martha Hyer as Gwen in Some Came Running

The melting of an ice queen can be a great experience for this actressexual, but Martha Hyer's ice queen Gwen is missing something. The stilted melodramatic acting of the 50s surely had it's grips on here, and everyone in this dreadful piece of work is criminals with it, but Hyer certainly doesn't hold my attention with her melting ice queen. She plays the repressed bitchy school teacher quite well, but still, what is that thing that is missing from this performance? Maybe the emotions that should have been held in tact.

3. Maureen Stapleton as Faye Boyle in Lonelyhearts

Maureen Stapleton perhaps gives the weirdest performance this year, playing Faye Boyle, a former wild girl who is now reduced to a mild-mannered housewife who misses that time in her life, has an affair with Monty Clift, and starts to go Fatal Attraction on him. Stapleton is strangely erotic and adds a touch of flavor to this weird 50s film that really needed something wild in it. She's a bit too self-aware in the beginning but she quickly makes up for it when she becomes a new Alex Forrest. A truly terrific turn.

2. Cara Williams as The Woman in The Defiant Ones

Cara Williams' performance as The Woman is definitely one that shows how good a supporting performance really can be. She shows up late in the film, only has about 5 minutes on screen, but changes the course and leaves the kind of amazing memory that a woman should leave in this kind of situation. It is the most memorable part of the film for me, and I think she gives a fantastic short performance.

1. Wendy Hiller as Pat Cooper in Separate Tables

Wendy Hiller's performance is something this award is made for - she subtlety moves around the film, always in the viewer's mind about whenever she will appear again. Pat Cooper is the owner of the main hotel and also involved in a hot affair with Burt Lancaster. There is constantly flashes of desperation and longing in her face & causes her more romantic moments to be even more touching and extremely interesting. She gives an indelibly great performance that only left me wanting more.

Honorable Omissions: None.


DistinguishedFlyer said...

What did you think of David Niven in Separate Tables?

Sage Slowdive said...

He's not bad, but shouldn't have won that year.

Louis Morgan said...

Williams, and Hiller both do a great deal with their somewhat limited parts. Cass is not funny, and Hyer is very unimpressive.

Fritz said...

A very deserving winner, indeed!

dinasztie said...

My exact ranking!