- Grace Kelly in Mogambo
- Geraldine Page in Hondo
- Marjorie Rambeau in Torch Song
- Donna Reed in From Here to Eternity
- Thelma Ritter in Pickup On South Street
5. Marjorie Rambeau as Mrs. Stewart in Torch Song
There's a point of doing nothing and receiving an Oscar nomination, here is a clear example. Marjorie Rambeau playing the drink swigging, wise cracking mother of Joan Crawford who only appears for about 6 or 7 minutes. There is nothing significant about her nor is she funny or touching as an all knowing mother, it's as if she received the nomination for simply walking on-screen and walking off.
4. Grace Kelly as Linda Nordley in Mogambo
Never a competent actress, Grace Kelly finds new way to look pretty on-screen in Mogambo playing an intelligent documentary filmmaker. All things are out of wack in this mess of a movie, but Kelly manages to be completely unconvincing especially when the camera demands her to be romantic, she couldn't be any more bad. There is not much to a Kelly performance, but it's excruciating here.
3. Donna Reed as Alma Burke/Lorraine in From Here To Eternity
Consistency is not the norm for this performance, Donna Reed playing a so-called prostitute Lorraine, who turns into a loving homebody named Alma once she meets Montgomery Clift. It's an unconvincing performance that has a touch of emotional power here and there, mostly being brought up by those around her making it all happen. She also suffers from being boring which is a problem for any performance, especially when you're playing a prostitute.
2. Geraldine Page as Angie Lowe in Hondo
Every Geraldine Page performance holds something unexpected and dynamic. Her problem playing a single mother on the frontier in Hondo is Hondo itself. It's such an awful vehicle for John Wayne to kill Indians, that not much good can be made out of it. Page is good, there is no doubt about it, but there is no depth whatsoever to her character, only what is supposed to be there. She makes it apparent, and all credit goes to her for even surviving to be at least good.
1. Thelma Ritter as Moe in Pickup On South Street
It was a bad year, so a win for Thelma Ritter was an easy way to go. Actually, her performance is not as totally amazing as most critics make it out to be - besides her final monologue, the rest of her performance doesn't totally live up to anything, just standard Thelma Ritter acting. But, her final scene is a masterpiece in it's own right, full of rich dialogue and perfect emotional reactions. It's the thing Oscars are made of, a perfect example, it could have been even more amazing had the rest of the performance had lived up to it.
Honorable Omissions: None.