Supporting Actress Smackdown - 1956

The Year is...

And the Smackdowners for the 29th Annual Academy Awards are...
of Alex in Movieland/My Latest Oscar Film
BRAD of Criticlasm
MATT F of Matt vs. The Academy
VERTIGO'S PSYCHO of And Your Little Blog, Too
yours truly, STINKYLULU.

Thanks once again to Smackdowner ALEX,
we can whet our actressexual appetites with this extended clipreel:

click image to be routed to video

1956's Supporting Actresses are...
(Each Smackdowner's comments are arranged according to ascending levels of love. Click on the nominee's name/film to see StinkyLulu's Supporting Actress Sunday review.)

Mildred Dunnock in Baby Doll
ALEXHow do you rate such a performance? Was it meant to be funny? There are things in the dinner scene I liked, especially her self-consciousness and need for approval, but whiny is not that hard to play. Maybe she went too far.
MATT LAlthough Dunnock has a firm grasp on this batty-old-aunt character, she’s not given enough material, and the moviemakers don’t showcase her well; she’s lit so badly that she blends into the walls, and has hardly any close-ups. A potentially scene-stealing comic creation wasted.
MATT FThe innocent, vacant eyes of a doddering old lady make for an amusing performance, but Dunnock relies too heavily on stereotype. When she is given the chance to step outside the cliché, she doesn't quite cut it, overshadowed by the film's other fearless performances.
BRADI feel like this must have been a career acknowledging nomination. Dunnock's great – funny, sad, complex in the role that wouldn't require it, and her one big scene is heartbreaking. But nomination worthy? Not for me.
STINKYLULUA searing, vivid performance. Aunt Rose is among the most gothic of Williams’s “thrown-away” women, yet Dunnock melds the comedy and tragedy of the character with a clarifying humanity. It’s a strange role in a stranger film, but Dunnock’s excellent.
VERTIGO’S PSYCHOFluttering and flitting about, Dunnock’s Aunt Rose Comfort is an addled-brained, amusing presence. However, when this nervous, frail spinster finally stands up to the bullying Archie Lee with admirable resolve, the actress memorably conveys strength of character heretofore undetected.
TOTAL: 13s

Eileen Heckart in The Bad Seed
MATT LHeckart’s performance must have been galvanizing on Broadway, but director Mervyn LeRoy hasn’t excised the staginess of her acting here. The intensity of her gestures, such as the finger-pointing, seems theatrically overscaled, and the movie exposes the role’s obviousness and repetitiveness.
ALEXA performance to either worship or accuse. First I worshiped, then I doubted: everytime she crashes the film I am bullied by her presence. Slap, slap and her angry alcoholic speeches abuse me and throw the movie off-course. Great energy, but redundant.
VERTIGO’S PSYCHOThe literal finger-pointing is a bit stagy, but otherwise this spellbinding Heckart turn is perfectly pitched. When she stares down Nancy Kelly and wails, “You know something, Christine!” you’re viewing one of the screen’s most tragic, electrifying supporting actress exits.
MATT FFrom the moment she drunkenly staggers into her first scene, Heckart is a force demanding attention. Her powerhouse performance, though brief, captures perfectly the sadness and desperation of a parent dealing with the loss of a child. But what was with all the pointing?
BRADA performance borne of the stage. Being drunk the whole time, it feels like a bigger challenge than the rest of the field, and she does superb work. When she hugs Kelly and says "you know something, Christine" – it’s the most powerful and surprising moment in the film for me. Haunting stuff.
STINKYLULUHeckart blows in like the trashy, drunken tornado that she is and, with astonishing vocal dexterity, crafts an indelible portrait of who Hortense Daigle was and is. Each startling jagged arm flail and emotional quick change electrifies my embarrassment as I watch this woman holler the truth as she falls apart. I love it.
TOTAL: 24s

Dorothy Malone in Written on the Wind
ALEXHer orgasmic remembering by the lake is unwillingly funny, but her acting instinct works fine for the rest of it. We are warned that she’s trouble and she doesn’t disappoint, yet never losing the emotional side of the character.
MATT FDespite her horribly fake driving, Malone finds the perfect combination of sensuality and insecurity. The meaty range of the misunderstood slut is Oscar bait, no doubt, and Malone pulls it off with a relaxed yet intense sexual energy, only slipping into showiness very occasionally.
BRADI love this performance. She almost undoes melodrama. The perf is over the top, but so much so it almost defines its genre. The mambo scene is one of my favorite film sequences, and she steals the film from the three big names.
STINKYLULUMalone is so far beyond bad that she’s brilliant. Wearing the incongruously huge (if shallow) emotions with the same flair as she wears her ridiculous outfits, Malone maneuvers this melodrama’s trickiest redemption with clarifying verve. Shouldn’t work, but it does – unforgettably.
VERTIGO’S PSYCHOMalone’s emotional flamboyancy impeccably meshes with the overtly sexual, intense Marylee Hadley in Sirk’s most hyper-kinetic screen achievement. Undulating to the strains of “Temptation” as Marylee’s daddy expires up- no, make that down- stairs, a mesmerizing Malone represents the apex of torrid 1950’s melodrama.
MATT LAs the nympho with a heart of oil, Dorothy Malone enlivens this turgid Texas soap opera with her energy, smartly timed bits of business, bitchy line readings, and sensational sexiness. The performance is a succulent piece of trashy camp yet somehow prestigiously Oscar-worthy. My winner.
TOTAL: 25s

Mercedes McCambridge in Giant
STINKYLULUAn alert, intense performance that mistakes tautness for toughness. (If it weren’t 1956, I’d probably blame it on botox.) McCambridge’s straitjacketed Texas lockjaw suggests a basic misunderstanding of the character, while also doing little to illuminate the ways Luz loves her two main men.
BRADI like McCambridge, and she acquits herself well here, but glowering isn't enough for me to merit a nomination. She milks what she can from what she has, but it's a sickly cow to start off with.
MATT FComparatively speaking, McCambridge is hardly in this lengthy film, and when she is, she mutters one-liners to herself as she watches others leave. Considering the limited range she has on offer, she inhabits the role well, even if she never moves her arms.
ALEXWas half of it left on the editing floor? Undoubtedly a mature performance and just by looking at her I felt the loneliness of this spinster. Intelligent acting and great accent: but not enough scenes to make it more than a solid cameo.
VERTIGO’S PSYCHOMcCambridge is in and out of this lengthy epic in lickety-split fashion, but with her legendary voice and imposing swagger, the force is (as usual) still with her. Hard to believe Bick could be a male chauvinist with the dominant Luz as his sister.
MATT LConveys a panoply of complex, sometimes fascinatingly contradictory character traits and does it simply, often with merely functional dialogue, and in quick reaction shots. In contrast to the movie’s lumbering bovinity (running time: 97 hours), this is a lean, taut, muscular performance, all too brief.
TOTAL: 13s

Patty McCormack in The Bad Seed
MATT FChild actors are prone to pantomime, especially in the 1950s, but McCormack's character is supposed to be phony, so was her plastic performance an insightful portrayal of an emotionless girl or just a child playing pretend? Either way, it was effective…sometimes.
BRADGreat child performance, and supremely skilled when taken in account of her age. Doesn't quite get past staginess until that last walk along the fence, but she's a fantastic monster. Almost a lead, too.
STINKYLULUThough the outcome was never quite as gruesome, I played "Claude" to many a "Rhoda" in my youth, so I tend to read McCormack’s studied artifice in the role as something approaching realism. Yes, it’s a stunt, but it’s an effective one.
VERTIGO’S PSYCHOOccasionally studied theatrical affects creep in- nevertheless, leering and sneering with a mature, impressive panache, McCormick menaces her way to screen immortality as the ultimate in precocious pigtailed predators. She’s especially riveting in her big confession scene.
ALEXWhat Patty manages to bring to the screen is beyond age limits. She controls the character and never hesitates. It takes lots of ambition to carry such role and look at the confrontation scene: no second guessing, only mature calculated acting.
MATT LIt’s a testament to Patty McCormack’s superb performance that the phrase “bad seed” has entered the American cultural lexicon. A camp icon, yet with a remarkably naturalistic acting style, she’s entirely believable, fascinating, and enjoyable. An impeccable, killer portrait of an impeccable killer.
TOTAL: 23s

Oscar chose...
Dorothy Malone
in Written on the Wind
is compelled
to agree...
Best Supporting Actress of 1956!

but -- sssssshh -- don't tell Patty...
It might make her mad.
Especially IF she learns that technical gremlins
prevented MovieMania's zingers from arriving in time
to be factored into the Smackdown's results...

BUT, lovely reader, do tell US.
What do YOU think?

Please share your thoughts in comments.


Criticlasm said...

Sad Heckart didn't win, but she did later, right? Malone was fab, too.

So glad someone mentioned the lake scene! Brilliance! Eye-acting at it's finest, could probably have been read at 100 paces--Tyra would be proud. Hysterical

Twister said...

Hey Stinky, where are my zingers?

Wasn't I taking part?

Alex in Movieland said...

It's great to participate again. Thank you!

I knew this smackdown will have an almost open result. The performances are very different and it's for sure they can't please everyone.

I would've loved to see Patty win, but Dorothy was my 2nd choice. There will be many complaining about Eileen not winning it. :) Maybe I looked at it differently because it wasn't the 1st time I was watching the film... And to me it felt even more repetitive the 2nd time around. If only they would've added a scene or two just for the sake or nuancing the role.

And just noticed something. I see Vertigo chose to give 5 hearts to 3 (!) performances, as the rest of us probably struggled to spread the love, as the rules of the smackdown say. [is it a posting error?] I wouldn't have mentioned it, but in a tight race like this one, one heart could make the difference...

Matt Foster said...

Very excited to be taking part in my first Smackdown, and what a contest to begin with! Close race, indeed.

I was simply blown away by Eileen Heckart's performance. I loved every bit of it... except for that somewhat distracting finger-pointing, which was clearly off-putting enough to make several others mention it, too. Perhaps that's what lost the race for her...

But Heckart won on her second nom in 1973. Malone never got another chance. So, very happy for her.

StinkyLulu said...

Twister - your zingers were not received. Did you send them to the correct address (@gmail not @comcast)?

Vertigo did give 5, and explains some of the reasoning on his site, so I chose to let it pass.

Twister said...

Stinky, if i send them to you will you post them, and let people know?

Twister said...

Here is the URL, and if you could repost the Smackdown with my zingers I would appreciate it.


Fritz said...

I really don't care for any of the nominees that year. My choice would have been Helen Hayes in "Anastasia".
I hope that I can join the next smackdown!


i love Malone's performance too. You really have to understand style as an actor to do something so superbly that wouldn't work in any other film or filmtype, you know?

Vertigo's Psycho said...

Oops, I simply rated the performances as I honestly felt they should be- this obviously is one of my favorite lineup of performances, hence the high rankings.

However, after re-reading the rules, without a struggle I can amend by offering this new ranking, which I believe follow Smackdown procedures to a "T":

Malone- 5 stars
Heckart- 5 stars
Dunnock- 4 stars
McCormick- 3 stars
McCambridge- 2 stars

So please let the record show that the outcome would be the same, with Malone coming away as the winner (even if Twister's scores are added, as McCormick loses a star from me, if I have to downgrade her, so Malone edges her 27-26, I believe).

I admit I am very happy Malone took the Smackdown- I wasn't sure how others would feel about her scintillating work, and I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt her acting was in synch with Douglas Sirk's intentions. I think Matt L nailed what she pulls off. On the one hand, it's a big, showy, glamorous "Movie Star" type of role and performance that wouldn't normally be taken seriously. However, amid all the theatrical fireworks she sets off, Malone invests enough emotional truth in the part that the audience still identifies with the overblown Marylee Hadley, and is moved by the unrelenting desire she holds for her unattainable ideal, Mitch. Even in that florid moment by the lake, the yearning and longing in Malone's eyes vividly convey Marylee's depth of feeling, even if the scene is over-the-top.

As far as her driving goes, my mom once mentioned she and Hudson would surely have crashed in real life if she handled the steering wheel like that, but I give Malone the benefit of the doubt, and chose to believe the outskirts of Hadleyville must have the twistiest roads this side of Lombard Street in San Francisco, even if the background scenery doesn't indicate this.

Criticlasm- as Matt mentioned, Heckart certainly did take home the Oscar, for a really beautiful piece of work in Butterflies are Free- love the moment when Goldie Hawn's free spirit tells her she played "Yum Yum" in Madame Butterfly and Heckart gives her a sage look, chuckles, and retorts with, "Oh, I'm sure you did." I also feel the situation with Oscar worked out good, as both Malone and Heckart won the big prize, but I bet Heckart didn't enjoy waiting 16 more years to finally get hers.

Slayton said...

My ratings would be:
McCambridge - 4 Hearts
Heckart - 4 Hearts
McCormack - 3 Hearts
Dunnock - 2 Hearts
Malone - 1 Heart

Slayton said...

I have to agree with criticlasm though... as much as I think Malone's perf is disastrous, she had a fierce 'smize'.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

"Despite her horribly fake driving"

Funniest line Matt. I have to rewatch Written on the Wind which I saw one night eons ago on late night TV. But it's interesting her winning since I know so many who hate her.

I was about to go watch Giant for the first time, but those 13 stars are dissuading me. Should ?

Criticlasm said...

Slayton--thank you for smize! yes! And I loved her driving. IT's kind of an amazing performance in that it's ridiculous over-the-top fakiness actually enhances the emotion of the performance rather than undercuts it. Quite a feat. Whether or not it was intentional that driving is a perfect example of the things that simultaneously thrilled and distracted me while watching the film.

Matt Foster said...

In Malone's defense, most on screen driving seems pretty fake - she's certainly not the only one. I guess she couldn't see the back projection from where she was sitting...

Andrew: Don't let the 13 stars deter you from Giant. There are plenty of other things to enjoy about the film aside from Mercedes McCambridge. I really didn't see her as a big part of it.

Gustavo H.R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gustavo H.R. said...

I hate the sneering atittude towards WIRTTEN ON THE WIND.

hcu said...

Agreeing with the smackdowners: Dorothy Malone won it fair and square back in 1957. Judging from some of her other performances this could very well be a one time fluke for her, but whatever the case is her Marylee is one of the most unforgettable film characters of that decade and certainly the most memorable one in that particular film. By the way the tribute paid to her performance by the incomparable Emmanuelle Béart in Régis Wargnier's 1995 film "Une femme française" is a must for all who are more than a little intrigued by Marylee Hadley.

In my dream five for 1956's supporting actresses Malone is the only actual nominee. Heckart comes close enough tough. I've never been hugely impressed by her overly theatrical antics in "The Bad Seed" but she gave two respectable performances that year in much less showy roles in "Somebody Up There Likes Me" and particularly memorable in "Bus Stop". I guess her body of work that year kinda justifies a nomination. Dunnock and McCambridge are excellent actresses of course but neither of these performances are interesting or challenging enough for them to be singled out in my opinion. As for McCormick, I'm neither a fan of child actors nor of this particular picture. I might say that I enjoyed her cameo as Pat Nixon last year however.

My top five supporting actresses for 1956 would be:

Brenda De Banzie for "The Man Who Knew Too Much"
Helen Hayes for "Anastasia"
Jessie Royce Landis for "The Swan"
Dorothy Malone for "Written on the Wind"
Marie Windsor for "The Killing"

And some others I might consider for a nomination: Heckart for "Bus Stop", Debbie Reynolds for "The Catered Affair", Rita Moreno for "The King and I", Anne Baxter for "The Ten Commandments" and last but not least Celeste Holm for "High Society" whom I might swap with Landis any other day. It has always been some kind of a coin toss for me between these two.

As for the win I guess my choice would be Malone, Hayes coming a close second. I know it’s somewhat “uncool” to like Miss Hayes these days but I find her acting very sincere and much less dated than most of her contemporaries. Besides, her Empress Maria Feodorovna is her career best for me.

Looking forward to the next smackdown already...

Criticlasm said...

I found Gustavo's comment interesting.

I first saw Written on the Wind in a college film class. We laughed, and our professor was upset at us and rebuked us for it (I think he said "see how you like it when I laugh at something you love!"-melodrama!)--this after he told us when he first saw the film he thought it was stupid and only after Sirk was celebrated by the French New Wave did he look at it a second time-- apparently having the French tell him it was worthwhile made all the difference. His interest seemed completely pedantic.

What struck me then, by his what I saw as prissy reaction, was his seriousness in dealing with the film. I think it's a great, great film. It's also a completely over-the-top melodrama at the same time. I think it's possible to both love and laugh at (with?) the film and its performances while also acknowledging its mastery.

Sadly, that option was not possible for my film professor, whose reactions after that outburst I didn't trust for the remainder of the class.

I imagine some people may sneer at the film, but I can assure you, for me at least, there is no sneering intended. You can't control tone over comments such as this, but I would venture to say most peoples' reactions are of this ilk than the one that's being inferred.

Vertigo's Psycho said...

I think Written on the Wind is probably Sirk's most riveting film, and as he truly is the Master of Melodrama, that's placing the film pretty high up there (in my book, at least).

HCU, check out Malone in Sirk's The Tarnished Angels for proof her performance Wind is no fluke. She really was a fine screen actress, who reached her peak around this time (Man of a Thousand Faces also has some very interesting dramatic work from her) and her much more subdued but (at the least) equally impressive and intriguing work as the jaded, world-weary LaVerne Shumann in Angels supports the notion Malone's talents were definitely Oscar-worthy. Of course, her famous bookstore rendezvous with Bogart can also be offered as evidence that, in the right role, Malone had that certain something special.

hcu said...

Actually it was "The Tarnished Angels" performance I had in mind when I was talking about the fluke theory. It was not a bad or inadequate performance by any means but I found it lacking passion and commitment compared to her work in "Written on the Wind". Maybe I had too high expectations for her reteaming with Sirk, or maybe LaVerne wasn't simply a character as exciting as Marylee, I don't know.

By the way with that "fluke" remark I didn't mean that Dorothy Malone is not a worthwhile actress or anything outside her Oscar winning work. She's throughly watchable in almost anything she did. I especially enjoy her works in "The Last Sunset", "Young at Heart" and of course "The Big Sleep". Her hilarious brief appearance in "Winter Kills" might be my favorite moment of that star studded film. (And I really have to see "Man of a Thousand Faces". And perhaps "Too Much Too Soon" as well.) Still the only instance I can rate her performance "top notch" is "Written on the Wind". If I ranked five nominated supporting ladies of 1956 based on their overall carrer Malone would come fourth beating only McCormick. But when the performances are concerned Marylee Hadley is hardly beatable.

Vertigo's Psycho said...

Glad you've enjoyed Malone in other roles (Battle Cry is also worth a look- Malone is very sensual and moving as the older woman who has a fling with soldier boy Tab Hunter). For me, I thought she gave many "top-notch" performances, including some of the ones you mentioned, and think she's maybe at her career-best in Angels- LaVerne has been defeated by life before the outset of the movie, and Malone perfectly conveys her sense of lost hope. I wish Sirk had directed her even more.

Matt said...

Great Smackdown. Some of the comments here were some of the best I've read here in a long time.

I'm especially glad I got to participate, because I think 1956 is one of the finest years in this category. Not only are all the roles classic Oscar archetypes--someone batty, someone boozy, someone bitchy, someone butch, and someone bad to the bone--all these juicy roles are played with gusto and panache. They're all worth seeing, even though my ratings belie my enthusiasm. I ordinarily would've given Dunnock two hearts, but the new rule prevented a double tie, and it was more important that the magnificent Dorothy Malone and Patty McCormack get the five hearts they so richly deserved than Dunnock get two. (Truth be told, I was afraid Patty would track me down and throw me off a wharf if I didn't give her the highest ranking.)

I'm also pleasantly surprised that Dorothy Malone won the Smackdown; I'd have thought people would've gravitated toward McCormack and been repelled by Malone's bold playing. It's also nice to see so many people passionate about this performance, especially because I'd have thought no one would have seen it. I remember loving the performance when I'd seen it as a teenager. The second time seeing it was interesting. Although I saw all the flaws (the anticipation of the slap, the "horribly fake driving"--kudos to Matt F. for noting that--and the histrionic head-tossing), I still love the performance. In some odd way, the "bad" aspects of the perf work for it and heighten it. And she's sexy and striking; she knows you can't take your eyes off her. You watch her slither her beautiful eyes back and forth, looking for trouble. I think her work here is the epitome of a drag-queen performance: smart playing, gutsy choices, perfect timing, confident knowingness, and fabulous outfits. But, as Vertigo also rightly points out, she invests enough emotional truth in the role so that all the campy elements get counterbalanced and make her acting seem appropriate for the genre of the film she's in. She's simply great.

I was going to write about Eileen Heckart's performance, but that'll have to wait; I'm off to bed. Thanks, Stinky, for hosting. I hope we'll get to read your full reviews for 1956 (and for 1993). I've been missing them. And how do you think McCambridge should have played her role?

Vertigo's Psycho said...

Okay, regarding the "anticipation slap" (I'm really surprised no one brought it up before now)- I recently saw Written on the Wind on a big screen, and for the first time it appeared that Marylee (as opposed to Dorothy Malone playing Marylee) possibly could see the slap coming from Kyle, which would justify the action, character-wise. Of course, I'll look for any "take" on a scene that adds credibility to Malone's work in Wind, so I'm sure my theory's suspect.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

lol...I agree with the choice but the decision was sooooo GAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

lol...I agree with the choice but the decision was sooooo GAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vertigo's Psycho said...

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

joe burns said...

You should do 2001 next. Really strong supporting actress year. Which ones are you going to do next anyway?

Matt said...

One of the other things I found interesting about this Smackdown was the polarity of opinion regarding Eileen Heckart's performance, all two or five hearts. Has something like that ever happened before here?

Heckart knows what she's doing, and the performance is compelling, but it's all so stagey--the entrances, the exits, and the pointing, pointing, pointing, which most everyone pointed out--excuse the bad pun. (By the way, I love it when Smackdowners all comment on the same element of a performance. One of the neat things about being involved in a feature like this is seeing the similarities and differences of the write-ups. We all view the same performance, and it's interesting to see who picks up on what.) Anyway, Heckart's acting choices, such as tripping on the step when she walks into the apartment, feel overdeliberate to me, even when they make sense. I think that the director and cinematographer are partly to blame; the camera set-ups are so static that the performance seems like a performance, and you're not allowed to discover anything it because it's all spelled out for you and nothing seems to be happening organically. But I do think she's fascinating in this movie, and, as I'd mentioned in my review, I'll bet she was sensational in this part on Broadway.

Vertigo: interesting point about the slap in "Written on the Wind."; my take on it is that if someone sees a slap coming, she would most likely try to get out of the way. But then I haven't seen the movie on the big screen, as you have (and maybe Marylee's a masochist). Where did you see it? I'm not a fan of Sirk films, but this one would be fun to see in a theater with a hip, knowing audience.

StinkyLulu said...

Polarized responses among Smackdowners happen fairly frequently, especially with regard to comedic performances (which often elicit 1s and 5s).

Vertigo's Psycho said...

I caught the movie two-three months ago at the New Beverly Cinema on Beverly Boulevard in L.A., on a great double bill with The Tarnished Angels. I'd never seen Angels in widescreen, and it was something else, with all those exciting racing sequences. Sirk sure had complete control of his craft.

It didn't really look like Marylee had time to get out of the way, even if she saw the slap coming. Or maybe, as you mentioned, Marylee was so caught up in being a spiteful a bitch, determined to ruin her brother, that she got off on it (again, I'm not claiming to be reasonable when it comes to supporting Malone's work).

Matt said...

What a coincidence--I live within walking distance of that theater. I've seen a few classic movies there, but I've never seen "Tarnished Angels." Since Dorothy Malone is in it, I just might check it out.

CanadianKen said...

I'm late to the party. Nothing new. And I'm not that partial to any of the nominated performances for '56. But -as usual -I enjoyed reading the Smackdowners' entertaining reactions.What had me in stitches though was that Lulu caption "But Ssssssh - Don't tell Patty - she might get mad". I have my own ideas about who should have been nominated that year. And if you're curious, you can check out the latest meandering post on my own blog. It uses 1956 as a jumping off point. And - of course - it's all about actresses.

Juanita's Journal said...

It's also a completely over-the-top melodrama at the same time. I think it's possible to both love and laugh at (with?) the film and its performances while also acknowledging its mastery.

I have nothing against over-the-top melodrama . . . especially when it's done right. And if one looked at the personal dramas of everyday people, their lives seem like one big over-the-top melodrama. Or they tend to react as if it were.