Best Supporting Actor 1950

1927/28 through 1997

Best Supporting Actor 1950

Jeff Chandler - Broken Arrow
No votes
Edmund Gwenn - Mister 880
No votes
Sam Jaffe - The Asphalt Jungle
No votes
George Sanders - All About Eve
Erich von Stroheim - Sunset Boulevard
Total votes: 20

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby Mister Tee » Fri Jan 13, 2012 12:56 am

In brief, trying to catch up here:

Mr. 880 is a trifle; another Edmund Gwenn nomination for a role that's closer to lead. Endearing enough, but not a patch on his Kris Kringle.

I agree with the general feeling that Jeff Chandler's nomination was an early instance of Academy political correctness. Broken Arrow isn't a bad movie, but Chandler doesn't have all that much to do besides project a profile.

I enjoy The Asphalt Jungle quite a bit. Sam Jaffe is another borderline lead -- or maybe, like Danny Aiello decades hence, simply the most dominant presence in an ensemble piece. In any case, I'm fine with him as a nominee, but not faintly tempted to score a win for him.

The entrants from the two big films are of course the real competition. Sunset Boulevard is my prefered film of the pair, but again I agree with the consensus here: that von Stroheim brings all his resonant history into the film, but that's not quite the same thing as giving an outstanding performance.

So I, too, end up with George Sanders -- not a great actor, but a very effective performer within a certain range. And Mankiewicz provides him with one of the great, best-written characters ever conceived within that range. Oscar voters got this one right.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby Sabin » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:45 pm

I have not seen Mister 880 or Broken Arrow, so I can't vote. I'm fairly certain neither film will receive a single vote for Chandler or Gwenn, but them's the breaks. The rest are aces. I really like Sam Jaffe and The Asphalt Jungle quite a bit., although it's been quite a few years since I've seen it so I probably owe it another viewing to say for sure. He's a great character actor though.

Sunset Boulevard is interesting because there are two central performances whose performances owe a tremendous amount to their off-screen baggage: Swanson and von Stroheim, and ultimately I just don't think von Stroheim has enough to do to warrant a win. He's quite good, but his main achievement is being appropriately (which is to say) weirdly lurking. On the other hand, George Sanders' main achievement is being George Sanders and reading Mankiewicz's dialogue, but when the dialogue is this good what else could he be asked to do? And it should be said that more so than any other actor in All About Eve including Better Davis, when George Sanders is speaking Mankiewicz's dialogue, it is no longer a Mankiewicz line but a Sanders line. That's enough to warrant a win here were I to vote.
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:00 pm

Facts are facts, and one of them is that Jeff Chandler was very handsome, handsome in a slightly exotic and, most importantly, non-narcissistic way, which is very unusual for an actor - this made his performances generally pleasant. Talent-wise he was never a Marlon Brando, of course, but then he never got Marlon Brando's roles. He seemed to take stardom lightly, as if he didn't really care; he was probably more intelligent than the characters he was given. But Oscars aren't given for beauty (well, sometimes they are), and Chandler's Cochise doesn't deserve it; it's the kind of role that the Academy likes though (as Ken Watanabe knows well), and back them it must have seemed revolutionary that an Indian could be portrayed in such a dignified way.

George Sanders is clearly the winner here - the role was admittedly very good and intelligently-written, but then only an intelligent actor could have played it so well, and could have spoken those brilliant lines so convincingly.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby Reza » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:24 am

George Sanders is way above the competition with von Stroheim following at a distance. Edmund Gwenn is charming in Mister 880 but he is basically playing a variation of what he had done before. I also think Louis Calhern was the distinguished character actor at MGM during the 1950s and the Academy did good by nominating him for Best Actor this year. He is better than Sam Jaffe in The Asphalt Jungle and a double nomination would have been most deserved. A solid actor who never quite achieved star status, Chandler's nod was more for the part he played than for the performance itself. He probably had a great career in comedic roles (if one goes by what Esther Williams wrote about him in her autobiography) but he died too soon.

My picks for 1950:

1. George Sanders, All About Eve
2. Louis Calhern, The Asphalt Jungle
3. Sessue Hayakawa, Three Came Home
4. George Macready in A Lady Without Passport
5. Erich von Stroheim, Sunset Boulevard

The 6th Spot: Edmund Gwenn, Mister 880

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby bizarre » Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:04 am

I will happily vote for Sanders but I would like to throw a bone to Alastair Sim in Stage Fright.

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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby Damien » Tue Jan 10, 2012 12:09 am

I've always liked Jeff Chandler as an actor/movie star, but in his breakthrough role in Broken Arrow he is perfectly serviceable without doing anything particularly memorable. I suspect that his nomination came more because of his character -- a sympathetic Native American -- than his performance. Interestingly, while emerging as an action star in films, he continued appearing on radio's Our Miss Brooks, playing the sheepish and clueless love interest of Eve Arden, which evidenced his range as an actor. (Too bad his excellent comedic qualities weren't used more in the movies.)

Edmund Gwenn in Mister 880 seems like a road tour version of Edmund Gwenn in Miracle On 34th Street -- another sweetly eccentric old man naively causing trouble. The movie is a trifle and Gwenn's performance -- and character -- lacks the emotional heft of his Kris Kringle.

Sam Jaffe's merely okay in The Asphalt Jungle, a rather dreary, dawdling crime film that lacks the kinetic qualities that marked the contemporary works of such filmmakers as Anthony Mann and Phil Karlson. The one truly memorable aspect of the film is Louis Calhern's great performance -- I truly believe he was the most memorable character actor of the 1950s.

Erich von Stroheim is perfectly cast in Sunset Boulevard and it's a performance that is both very moving and quietly, darkly funny. But he doesn't quite have the range in the film to be in first place here.

George Sanders as Addison de Witt is one of the great meetings of actor and character, such that it's hard to separate where one ends and the other begins (even more so than Clifton Webb and Waldo Lydecker). The characterization may be somewhat one-note, but the stylish Sanders seems to be having the time of his life here as he delivers Mankiewicz's bon mots with relish and impeccable timing. An excellent choice by the Academy

My Own Top 5:
1. Louis Calhern in The Asphalt Jungle (and Devil’s Doorway and A Life Of Her Own)
2. Millard Mitchell in The Gunfighter
3. Charles Kemper in Wagon Master and Stars In My Crown
4. George Macready in A Lady Without Passport
5. Dean Stockwell in Stars In My Crown
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Re: Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jan 09, 2012 11:34 pm

ksrymy wrote:I actually really like four of the nominees here but the only standout here is obvious.

Sam Jaffe's German criminal mastermind is actually pretty alright but Louis Calhern is much better (and arguably lead even though there's no really clear main character). It's kind of like Albert Bassermann's nomination for Foreign Correspondent: European accent in a crime movie from an old/veteran actor.

Sam Jaffe wasn't exactly old at 59 and still had quite a long career ahead of him. He was still acting when he died in 1984 at 93. The soon to be blacklisted actor had The Scarlet Empress; Lost Horizon and Gunga Din behind him; The Day the Earth Stood Still and his most famous late life role as Dr. Zorba in the long-running TV show Ben Casey ahead of him. His career nomination was not unwarranted.

Edmund Gwenn had one of his best late career roles as the cagey old counterfeiter in Mister 880, but nothing could or would top his Oscar winning performance of three years earlier.

Jeff Chandler was nothing special in Broken Arrow. One assuems it was the character and not the actor they were celbrating with his nomination. Vincent Price in Champagne for Caesar; Orson Welles in The Third Man and Cedric Harwicke in The Winslow Boy would all have been better choices for the fifth nomination.

But, yes, it boils down to Erich von Stroheim and George Sanders, both playing pretty close to what audiences perceived to be their real life counterparts with suave, urbane Sanders having the better lines. The Oscar winner gets my vote.

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Best Supporting Actor 1950

Postby ksrymy » Mon Jan 09, 2012 10:40 pm

I actually really like four of the nominees here but the only standout here is obvious.

I haven't seen Gwenn but that won't matter.

Jeff Chandler, while being the stereotypical Indian chief, wasn't bad in his film but it's the weakest of the five nominees.

Sam Jaffe's German criminal mastermind is actually pretty alright but Louis Calhern is much better (and arguably lead even though there's no really clear main character). It's kind of like Albert Bassermann's nomination for Foreign Correspondent: European accent in a crime movie from an old/veteran actor.

George Sanders and Erich von Stroheim are who it's between for me.

... but that's because Sunset Boulevard is my all-time favorite movie and I'd nominate it for just about anything.

In all reality, George Sanders is one of the truly deserving winners in Oscar history. His Addison DeWitt has the charisma that only Sanders could add to the character. And that voice! Sanders natural bemused look and cynical attitude is essential here. He delivers the most memorable quotes in the movie ("I am nobody's fool. Least of all, yours.") excluding, "Fasten your seatbelts." The movie's sense of deep cynicism comes from Sanders and his manipulative narrator who plays God with these actors. How can you not vote for Sanders?

1. George Sanders - All About Eve
2. Louis Calhern - The Asphalt Jungle
3. Erich von Stroheim - Sunset Boulevard
4. Orson Welles - The Third Man
5. Luther Adler - D.O.A
Last edited by ksrymy on Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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