Thursday, April 1, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks-Best Supporting Actor and Actress


I am choosing 3 from each again(girl and boy) because I must. Wandering Through The Shelves has a weekly theme challenge where one must pick 3-5 films that correspond to the theme. This week it is all about Best Supporting Actors & Actresses and there are a ton. Here are my choices...


Yeah, I'm going there....This is a hot topic because of the blatant bigotry shown in the film especially as it makes the claim that the 2 wise African Americans felt loyalty and were treated so well by their owners that they felt great to stay behind....we won't go there(bad taste in my mouth). I would never ever want to censor a film because censoring is not right and my mom taught me this. Hattie McDaniel plays Mammy, the main house servant who knows Scarlet better than her own parents and is the one person Scarlet can't swindle. Hattie plays her part so well and with equal footing meaning that, in every scene she is in, you watch her more than the stars. You want to see more of this woman and you believe Rhett when he says he wanted her respect more than any other. She does give a brilliant performance despite the subject and, I feel, rises above it. She was ridiculed by the whites because of the colour of her skin and the African Americans because of the roles she took. From what little I have read about this lady, her parents were former slaves and she grew up knowing all too well about prejudice so judging this fine lady is wrong because we have not walked in her shoes. She seems very sweet and I wish I could have known her.


Yes, The Partridge Family matriarch and the virginal singer in Rogers and Hammerstein films plays a hooker! You know it is Oscar gold when you play against type but Shirley plays it very well. This film stars Jean Simmons(I almost wrote Gene) as an Evangelist who meets up with a shark, played by toothy Burt Lancaster who knows how to bring in the Shirley is the gal that can blow his cover and he is unsure how to deal with this problem. It is an excellent film somewhat based on the real Aimee Semple McPherson who could draw in the crowds with her preaching.


My mom loved Whoopi and thought she was the best thing in Ghost and she is right! I really love Patrick Swayze but couldn't give two hoots for Demi Moore and those awful clothes she wears but you can't have everything. Whoopi made this part her own and I was really hoping for a sequel starring Whoopi as Oda Mae Brown but it has not come yet. Hey, maybe she will try to locate Demi's original face...accchhhh. OK, bad joke. Patrick and Demi are in love so much so they don't mind having mud splattered all over them when they start to make out. He gets killed(not by the mud) and wanders around the city ending up at Oda Mae's business. Oda, with her sisters, are bilking many sad people out of their money saying she can talk to the dead. In walks sexy ghost who disrupts Oda's happy, thieving ways. She ends up helping him find out who the killer is and get into contact with Moore. It is such a fun movie highlighted by her comedic performance.

Now the boys...


I watch this almost every Christmas even though you could watch it almost any time of the year since most of it does not take place at Christmas time. Bing Crosby won the Oscar for Best Actor and Barry Best Supporting even though he was also nominated in Best Actor as well.... for the same role! Barry is superb as the old fashioned priest who built St. Dominics 45 years ago when he came over from Ireland but now the church is ready to be taken over by the bank. Father Chuck is sent by the Bishop to take over without the old Father knowing. Barry plays the priest as someone who is very traditional, does not see what is going on under his nose(the turkey incident), loves to eat and runs away from home before learning that Father Chuck is one of the best friends he ever had. Poor Barry knocked the head off of his Oscar when he was taking golf shots inside his home. It was the war years so they had to make the Oscars out of plaster. 


This is one interesting man who had his share of demons, was very sensitive and married Zsa Zsa Gabor plus her sister Magda! In this film, he plays Addison DeWitt, a very acerbic but witty theatre critic who knows all the goings on of the main characters in this film. He knows all about Eve and lets her think she has duped him but he has the last laugh. He gave an acting tour de force in this film and rightfully won the Oscar. 


Martin Landau nails it as washed-up, drugged-up, alcoholic Bela Lugosi in this classic film starring Johnny Depp as the worst director ever-Ed Wood. This is another engaging performance which rejuvenated Martin Landau's career(he was in Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan's Island which I, of course, love) playing this once big actor now reduced to making Plan 9 From Outer Space (another classic). Ed Wood is so happy having Mr. Lugosi in his films and will do what he can to make Lugosi happy. Ed feels he is making great films but he is not and you see his directing and how bad he truly is. This is another gem!

Which supporting actor/actress did you think of?


  1. Oh wow. I am six for six. Then again these are older films when I made it a practice to see all major Oscar winners. Not so much anymore when a few Best Movie winners I watched were awful, IMHO. My memory is STH so I would have to pull up a list of winners to pick anyone. I'll just go with your choices.

    1. Wow! 6 for 6! I’m glad you saw all of these.

  2. Hi, Birgit!

    I appreciated your selections in the category of Best Supporting Actors & Actresses.

    Thanks for "going there" in your piece about Hattie McDaniel, one of the best things about Gone With The Wind. As you pointed out, actors and actresses of color often got it from both sides. I admire their courage in continuing to hone their craft as much as I admire their great talent.

    Yessum, younger folks watching reruns of Partridge Family might not realize that Shirley Jones was one of the most beautiful starlets in Hollywood during the 50s and early 60s as well as a fine singer. It is just my dirty mind, or is your review of Elmer Gantry laced with euphemism? :) I can't tell you how many times I have been mistaken for toothy Burt Lancaster or muscular Patrick Swayze and mobbed at the mall by frenzied female fans. I assure you it happens a LOT! Thanks for tipping your hat to Whoopi who lightened the melodramatic mood in Ghost.

    I well remember Barry Fitzgerald, a familiar face and voice in films of the period. It's a shame he knocked the head off his Oscar. George Sanders was an actor who played the cad to perfection. I liked his style and saw him in quite a few films. I loved Martin Laudau in N X NW, Mission Impossible and in the role of Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. If Bela actually blurted out that smear about Boris Karloff, I wonder if Boris ever got wind of it.

    Thanks for the entertaining reviews, dear friend BB!

  3. I’m glad you liked what I said about the great Hattie. I had to read what I wrote about Shirley and well...blow me down! Hahahaaa. He would have a grin for sure. I am often mistaken for Marilyn Monroe or Sharon Stone( Oy Vey) so I understand your dismay. Glad you enjoyed my picks.

  4. Ed Wood was such an odd film.
    Whoopi was really good in Ghost.
    For actors, I'll go with Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained, Kevin Kline in A Fish Called Wanda, and Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight. The biggest snub was Val Kilmer in Tombstone - didn't even get nominated.

    1. Ed Wood was odd as was the actual person. Ghost would not have been half as good without Whoopi. Love Waltz in Django with that big tooth on his buggy. No one can compete with Heath and he died way too young. I agree with you about Val Kilmer who was excellent in that role...”Who’s your Huckleberry”.

  5. Regardless of the film's subject, there were some wonderful performances in Gone with the Wind, Hattie's included. Her Oscar was well deserved. I almost chose Whoopi Goldberg too! Her performance is the one thing I really remember from Ghost, beyond the creepy shadow demons at the end. Martin Landau is a fantastic choice too.

    1. I’m so glad you like my choices and those shadows are very creepy.

  6. Birgit,

    Gone with the Wind, Ghost, and Going My Way are all films we've seen. All good in their own right. The movie featuring Shirley Jones sounds intriguing and I'd like to see All About Eve. Great review! Thanks for sharing, dearie.

    Come be apart of things at Curious as a Cathy when you can, my friend.

    BoTB: You Only Live Twice BoTB Showdown

    Looney Tunes A-Z Art Sketches series: ACME Mail Order Catalog

    1. I love your ACME good. I’m glad you saw these and enjoyed them. I think you would like Elmer Gantry.

  7. LOVE all your picks!

    Ya GWTW has issues to modern eyes but unless someone invents a way back machine to redo them you just have to watch older films with foreknowledge that they won't fit into current standards and enjoy them for what they are. Hattie is brilliant in the film and definitely holds her own against the juggernaut of Vivien Leigh's Scarlett as well as the rest of the cast. She did get criticism from some for the parts she played but as she said "I'd rather play a maid for 700 dollars a week than BE one for for 7!"

    Shirley is terrific as is Lancaster in Gantry (Jean Simmons should have been nominated for Best Actress as well) but it didn't prove as career changing as I think she expected since she continued to play nice girls afterwards for the most part.

    Whoopi is such a joy in Ghost effortlessly stealing most of the film. Demi is admittedly not an actress of great scope but she does have one skill that is vital to this particular role...she cries beautifully.

    Barry is full of blarney in Going My Way, just right for the role. His dual nomination lead to a revision of the rules for how performers qualified. I won't have handed the award to either he or Bing (out of the nominees it should have been Boyer in Gaslight and Clifton Webb for Laura) but both are hugely appealing in the film.

    Martin Landau had an up and down career but Ed Wood is without question the peak. He plays Lugosi with just the right degree of wryness.

    We match! George Sanders in All About Eve is the epitome of getting the award right. Addison DeWitt is the culmination of all the years of skill he had built up working towards it. He's a wonder in the part.

    1. What you wrote about GWTW is perfect. I could not have explained it better and boy could we talk if we were at a table right now having a wine. I’m glad you mentioned her comment about playing a maid. Yes, I bet Shirley was hoping for bigger roles and Demi can cry well. I know you are not as big a fan of Going My Way as I am but I do have to admit that Clifton Webb was brilliant as another acerbic theatre critic. Landau was great in that role and revitalized his career. Yeah to matching with the great George Sanders. I can’t help but love his suicide note even though I wish he would not have taken his own life.

  8. Now for mine. Like you I couldn't decide between Supporting Actor or Actress so I did three of each!

    The Razor’s Edge (1946)-Anne Baxter-Larry Darrell (Tyrone Power) disillusioned by WWI drifts through Europe looking for life’s meaning. In Paris he becomes reacquainted with childhood friend Sophie MacDonald (Baxter) who he remembers as a happy wife and mother. Having lost her family when a drunk smashed into their car Larry finds her a broken, drug addicted prostitute and tries to help her but her sorrows run too deep.

    The Last Picture Show (1971)-Cloris Leachman-In the slowly dying North Texas town of Anarene high school senior Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) drifts into an affair with the coach’s wife Ruth Popper (the recently departed Cloris Leachman). Though it commences more out of ennui than true feeling their involvement soon causes profound changes to both.

    The Year of Living Dangerously-Linda Hunt-Well connected photographer Billy Kwan (Linda Hunt) takes inexperienced correspondent Guy Hamilton (Mel Gibson) under his wing upon Guy’s arrival in Jakarta. As political tension roils and then escalates to the boiling point both their lives as well as that of diplomat Jill Bryant (Sigourney Weaver) hang by a thread.

    The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)-Harold Russell-At the end of WWII three servicemen return to their hometown to find their way of life radically changed. One of the men Homer Parrish has lost his hands in an explosion, while he has adjusted to living with the hooks that replaced them, he finds the world is a vastly different place for him. Russell, who had suffered the same sort of injury, wasn’t a professional actor but his performance is naturalistic and immensely impactful.

    All About Eve (1950)-George Sanders-In the Broadway world of stage star Margo Channing (Bette Davis) urbane, venomously acerbic and powerful theatre critic Addison DeWitt (Sanders) is tolerated but not liked. Still when Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) insinuates herself into Margo’s good graces it’s Addison who sees through her sweetness to the vicious climber underneath. My favorite Supporting Actor winner, a perfect meeting of actor and role.

    They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969)-Gig Young-In the soul crushing world of Depression era marathon dances resides opportunistic promoter and emcee Rocky Gravo (Young) a man devoid of scruple or compassion. He sees the contestants-including hard bitten Gloria (Actress nominee Jane Fonda), glamour girl wannabe Alice (Supporting Actress nominee Susannah York), broken down Sailor (Red Buttons) and audience surrogate Robert (Michael Sarrazin)-as so much fodder to be made money off until they lose their usefulness and are thrown away. The deeply troubled Young (he ultimately killed himself and his fifth wife in a murder/suicide) was a preeminent comic actor for years before this revelatory performance.

    1. I have not yet seen The Razor’s Edge or the Year of Living Dangerously and are ones I have been meaning to see. The Last Picture Show is quite good and I love Cloris Leachman who was so good in this film. I almost went with Harold Russell who gave that realism in the film since he did suffer the loss of his hands. It is such a shame he had to look at selling his Oscars when he was older. They Shoot Horses is such a depressing film but one that I can strangely watch over again. Red Buttons was so good as the sailer but Gig Young was a surprise because I only saw him in comedies. I have to say I was shocked when he killed his young wife and then himself. I’m so glad we match with George Sanders who deserved that Oscar.

  9. I think I've seen all your picks, some of which I'd agree. The Martin Landau choice is a particularly good one--love that film and he was great in it.

    Once again this is a category that I'd have to look up since I don't pay much attention usually to who actors are.

    Three that come to mind because I liked the films so much are Mahershala Ali from Green Book, Joel Grey in Cabaret, and Javier Bardem for his great villain in No Country for Old Men.

    For actresses I'll go with Cloris Leachman Last Picture Show and Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously (an amazing role and performance).

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  10. I have seen Hattie and Whoopie in their roles, but none of the others. A local station did a piece on Hattie just yesterday. She was a fascinating woman and paved the way for many women of color who came to the movies years later. I agree. I wish I had been able to meet her, too.

  11. Call me thick, but I’d never connected the girl from Oklahoma with the Partridge family. Doh!

  12. Good ol Bing Crosby acting and singing succeeded just like crooner Frank Sinatra. Nice picks.

  13. We matched with Whoopi! I loved, loved, loved her performance in Ghost. It was the perfect part for her.

    I'm yet to see any of your other choices. GWTW and Going My Way are on my list to see.

  14. I don't remember McDaniel's performance in Gone With the Wind but Whoopi is amazing in Ghost and deserved to win.

  15. All About Eve is such a great movie. I liked Landeau in Ed Wood too. I hated Gone with the Wind. I'm glad Hattie won an Oscar but ugh that movie and how they treated her.

  16. I know some of these but not all. Its still great to get some movie ideas so I can watch the ones I haven't seen. Happy Easter weekend.

  17. Didn't Hattie McDaniel say she's rather play a maid than be a maid? Someone should make a biopic of her life. I'm sure it would be fascinating.

    I still remember seeing Ghost in the theater. After the big climax, some guy in the back yelled out, "Man, I gotta go to church!" It was such a break from the serious on screen that we all laughed. Wow, that was, like, 30 years ago, and I remember it vividly.

  18. I LOVE Hattie McDaniel as Mammie in GONE WITH THE WIND, such an iconic performance. I heard that she wasn't even invited to the Oscars and Clark Gable threatened not to come [SMH]

    I also love Whoopi in Ghost!

  19. Hattie McDaniel did a wonderful job. No one thinks anything about any roles a Caucasian chooses to play. I don't think she should be judged for playing this one and she certainly did a masterful job.
    Hoppy Easter:)

  20. Marisa Tomei in Cousin Vinny. That movie really isn't all that great but I will happily watch her scene on the witness stand over and over again. It is worth the entire film.

    Patricia Arquette in Boyhood. I remember you didn't like that movie but I thought she was amazing.

    Olympia Dukakis in Moonstruck. Overall, it is one of the greatly under-appreciated films of all time. She and Cher play off each other beautifully.

  21. Make that MY Cousin Vinny

    Also, Josephine Hull and Rita Moreno.

    For the boys, George Chakiris, Sean Connery, Denzel Washington, Kevin Spacey (downgraded during MeToo, definitely), Robin Williams and, of course... Joe Pesci.

  22. All about Eve has been on my to-watch list forever! I really need to tackle that one soon.

  23. I've only seen Ghost once a long long time ago. Don't remember much other than I thought the pottery scene was cheesy.