FAY BAINTER, The Children's Hour
Bainter fully rated her nomination. Alma Kruger had done a bang-up job with the same role in the 30's version ("These Three"). And Bainter maintains the standard. Beautiful work - and an impressive capper to a long and splendid career.
JUDY GARLAND, Judgement at Nuremberg
Well, Judy Garland was riding the wave of the biggest, most emotional comeback in show-biz history. The rafters at Carnegie Hall were still ringing. And at this point the Academy would have probably nominated her for anything. To be fair,though, she's pretty good.
LOTTE LENYA, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
The picture's pretty much a mess. But there's no faulting Lotte Lenya. As jovial death camp matrons go, she's as upmarket as it gets. And with that scary German work ethic on full display ,she earns every pfennig they paid her.
UNA MERKEL, Summer and Smoke
Treasured veteran Una Merkel plays against (her ususal comic) type in "Summer and Smoke". The nomination is like Shirley Jones' in "Elmer Grantry". Given not because she did it particularly well, but just because she did it.
RITA MORENO, West Side Story
Maybe she couldn't execute every last complicated Chita Rivera dance move - but she came damn close. Anyway, where nominations are concerned, acting trumps dancing and Moreno delivers big-time. I'll always have reservations about this (to me over-rated) picture. But never about Rita Moreno's Anita. The fire in her belly is there for all to see. And the way she regulates it is a marvel - moving from warm glow to blast furnace and back again. But always 100% real - in a movie that could use a lot more of that quality.
And, remember, lovely reader, you too can work up your own contribution to the Smackdown. Just commit to re/screen the five nominated pictures (1962's an ideal year as all of the nominated titles are easily accessible). Then, prepare your comments to coincide with the Smackdown here. Size limitations prohibit the full incorporation of everyone's contributions, but StinkyLulu'd be proud to link to your post on the Supporting Actresses of the Smackdown year. And, in the not unlikely event that one of our regular Smackdowners can't contribute, if Lulu knows that you're preparing a post, you may be drafted to fill out the virtual roundtable... Justa thought...