Top of the World: 15 Favourite Winning Oscar Performances by an Actress

Are you ready for a new top list? I know you are! I’ve promised myself to come back with a new one every week and, so far, I haven’t really kept my promise… But I’m working on it!

So, today, I present you my top 15 favourite Oscar winning performances by an actress (to those who won for BEST ACTRESS. For BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, we’ll have to look at a futur top). I first wanted to do a top of my favourite performances by an actress without considering the Oscar wins, but it was too difficult as I have too many favourite performances! So, this seemed to be a good compromise, and I’m quite satisfied with my choices!

Of course, this list is very subjective. My top 1 might not be your top one, and your top 3 might not be my top 3. It’s not an objective list. These are just my personal choices and the first objective of this list is really just to entertain you and share my cinematic tastes with you.

To make this more thrilling, I’ll present you my choices in descending order. So, number one will be a more surprise for you!

But even if this is a subjective list, I do hope you’ll like it (or well, at least 1 or 2 of my choices ahah)! :O

Ok, here we go!

15. Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy – Bruce Beresford, 1989)

14. Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking – Tim Robbins, 1995)

13. Faye Dunaway (Network – Sidney Lumet, 1976)

Well, I do hope Faye would have won the Oscar for Bonnie and Clyde, but I also love her performance in Network (otherwise she wouldn’t be on the list!)

12. Joan Fontaine (Suspicion – Alfred Hitchcock, 1941)

The only actress/actor who ever won an Oscar for a performance in an Hitchcock’s film. Now that’s quite a moment in Oscar history! And she was great!

11. Diane Keaton (Annie Hall – Woody Allen, 1977)

Imagine if, being too shocked by the emotion of winning an Oscar she would have said “Ladida ladida la la” as an acceptance speech!

10. Natalie Portman (Black Swan – Darren Aronofsky, 2010)

9. Ingrid Bergman (Gaslight – George Cukor, 1944)

Yes, we do love very psychological performances!

8. Greer Garson (Mrs. Miniver – William Wyler, 1942) 

7. Grace Kelly (The Country Girl – George Seaton, 1954)

I know some of you won’t agree here, but I do think Grace deserved her Oscar for this brilliant performance! We have to support our favourites, no? 😉

6. Katharine Hepburn (On Golden Pond – Mark Rydell, 1981)

That was Ms. Hepburn 4th and last Oscar. A very well-deserved one!

5. Shirley Booth (Come Back Little Sheba -Daniel Mann, 1952)

Oh, I was so happy when I learned that she had won the Oscar for this performance! I just love her in that film!

4. Audrey Hepburn (Roman Holiday – William Wyler, 1953)

My favourite performance by my favourite actress 🙂

3. Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker – Arthur Penn, 1962)

2. Vivien Leigh (Gone With the Wind – Victor Flemming, 1939)

There’s only one Scarlett O’Hara, and that’s Vivien Leigh!

and…

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Suspence

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BIG SUSPENCE

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1. Olivia de Havilland (The Heiress – William Wyler, 1949)!

Ok now, I DO think this is the best performance by an actress. I’m both objective and subjective here!

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Seriously, we have to give some credits to William Wyler for bringing the best out of his actresses (and actors)!

So that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this post! Please don’t hesitate to share your personal choices  in the comments! 🙂

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Our winners for the 6th Favourite Classic Movie Actress Tourney!

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I bet you were wondering what was happening with this competition.

Well, let me first apologize for keeping the secret so long!

As we had several problems with the final poll on All Good Things, we finally decided that both Doris Day and Greer Garson would be the winner(s).

If you want more informations about these poll problems, click on this link:

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Anyway, we can’t complain because both actresses are great, but also very different. So, in my opinion, they both deserved to win! Plus, both Greer’s fans and Doris’s fans will be satisfied!

Just like last year, it has been a pleasure to host this competition. I want to thanks all the voters for making this possible and, of course, Monty from All Good Things who organized all that and invited me to be a co-host again!

Congrats again Greer and Doris!

Note to myself : watch more Greer Garson’s films.. hum…

The Joy of “Music in my Heart”

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We have to admit that, despite the fact that we admire movie masterpieces that are visually stunning and that make our neurones work hard, we can’t say no to some “easy watching” films, those films we just watch for our own enjoyment, those “Friday night” films we can watch we’re tired and don’t want to focus on some too complicated plot. Music in My Heart, a musical comedy directed by Joseph Stanley in 1940, is that type of film. I chose it for my next review as I think that, despite the fact that it’s not a “masterpiece”, it’s the kind of movie everybody can enjoy. It’s simple, it’s funny, it has a nice story.

Music in my Heart is not a very well-known film, but I chose it as it is my personal favourite Rita Hayworth’s film. It also stars Tony Martin, Edith Fellows, Alan Mowbray, Eric Blore, George Tobias, Joseph Crehan and George Humbert

The story is about this foreign stage singer, Robert Gregory (Tony Martin), who, after a show, has to be deported to his native country. On the road, his taxi that brings him to the boat hits another taxi. The passenger, a young girl named Patricia (Rita Hayworth) is going to the boat too. She’s joining a rich man, Charles Gardner (Alan Mowbray), to whom she is engaged. Unfortunately (or shall I say, fortunately) they arrive late and the boat is gone. Patricia feels bad of abandoning Robert who has nothing on him except his stage costume. So she suggests him to stay at her place. She lives in a restaurant with her younger sister, Mary (Edith Fellows), Shasha the cook (George Tobias) and uncle Luigi (George Humbert). When they learn that the police is looking for Robert, they help him to hide. On her side, Mary thinks that Robert is a much more interesting man than this rich Charles Gardner and arranges thing to make her sister fall in love with him.

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Music in my Heart as its faults. But before going further, I think we can get rid of them. The fact that this is a very short film (1h10) makes things happening too fast. I won’t reveal any spoilers, but at some point of the film what is happening can make us say “What?! Already?!” Also, because of that, situations seems to be solved too easily.

I mentioned that this film was a musical. I must admit that its musical aspect is not what will attract us first. There are some nice songs, but none of them really marked the history of musicals. They are there to add a little “something” to the film, but I honestly don’t think it would have changed much if this film was just a comedy and not a musical comedy. Of course, Tony Martin, who wasn’t only an actor, but also a singer, has a great voice, and it’s a delight to hear him sing. One of my favourite singing moments is when he is singing “Punchinello” and a girl trio accompanies him. I just love the girls’ voices. It swings, it’s very jazzy and it somehow adds the missing ingredient to Tony Martin’s performance.

But of course, I have much more good things to say about the film and my objective here is to convince you to see it! As I previously said, Music in my Heart is my favourite Rita Hayworth’s film. Here, you won’t see the famous red headed Rita Hayworth, but the original brunette, a real Margarita Carmen Cansino. I adore the way she is introduced to us in the film. When her taxi is reversed by the other taxi, she comes out of the window, wearing a nice little hat and wondering what’s going on. She’s so adorable!  She has, of course, great acting skills and has a sense of comedy. It’s a very different Rita Hayworth from the one in Gilda. Music in my Heart was still an early Ritat Hayworth’s film, but this one proves us that she was on the right track to become a great star. She was about 22 when she starred in this film. What is also a real enjoyment to our eyes is to see her dances. This happens during a very short moment of the film, but we wish it would have last longer, as she truly was a great dancer!

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Let’s take a look at the scene, where you’ll also hear Tony Martin’s melodious voice

Tony Martin, who plays the leading role, especially impresses for his great singing voice, but we can enjoy his acting too. It’s not some acting that deserves an Oscar, but it’s convincing and he gives to his character what this one needs to fit into this type of film. In other words, it’s plenty satisfying.

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But, but, but, one of the best things among the casting of Music in my Heart is the supporting cast. Oh, this one is a real delight! George Tobias plays a Russian cook who always tells stories about cooking for the Russian tzar when he was in Russia, but we know these are just stories. But this nonsense makes us appreciate him even more. He wears a beard and a moustache, but we soon discover that these are false ones. He only wears them to look more “Russian”. George Tobias has a great sense of comedy and great chemistry with the other actors, especially with Edith Fellows. This one adds a lot of joy to the film. She is full of life, and I think I would like to see more films starring this child actress. Acting seemed easy for her.

Of course, an actor that we’ll never regret seeing in a film is Eric Blore. Oh, that very British accent gets me every time! His character, Griggs (Gadner’s butler), is always plotting something. He is the “evil” one in the story, but as he’s often making a fool of himself, he just turns out the be the clown. I adore his facial expressions, especially when he tries to look angry, but it doesn’t really work. Of course, this was a way to make his character even funnier. Eric Blore is always highly appreciated!

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Alan Mowbray, who plays Charles Gardner, is great too. We don’t see him very often in the film, but his presence is appreciated. He makes an interesting duet with Eric Blore! As for his character, Charles Gardner, it’s probably one of those who is the most well developed.

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Despite some little issues in its plot, Music in my Heart remains also has good points in his script. The major forces of the screenplay are, first, the characters variety. That’s what makes this film a real entertainment. Second, it’s the lines. For a comedy, those were perfectly chosen. I noted some  to give you examples, but I could have noted much more. I think I would enjoy reading Music in my Heart‘s screenplay!

1- Robert (about Patricia’s fiancé): Say, he’s got a lot of money!

Patricia: Most millionaire have.

2- I’m not exactly in an army, I’m an actor!

Taxi driver: Now, I’ll never get paid!

3- Charles: I’ve come to a conclusion.

Griggs: Oh, congratulation sir!

4- Charles: I have a deep pain, right here.

Griggs: Indigestion sir?

Charles: Yeah…NO! It’s love!

5- Sasha: What is life? You’re born. You die.”

So, as you can see, there are many ways to enjoy Music in my Heart. It might not be an Oscar winning picture, but it certainly deserves to be discovered. It’s very easy to watch, it’s not too long, it’s funny and certainly worthy if you like Rita Hayworth. So, what are you waiting for? 🙂

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How William Holden Conquered Me

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When I think about the fact that William Holden is now my second favourite actor (after James Stewart), it makes me realize how a person’s tastes can change. We’re celebrating today what would have been his 98th anniversary and, for the occasion, I’m hosting my first William Holden Blogathon, aka The Golden Boy Blogathon. For my contribution, I’m going to explain how he became a favourite of mine, and why.
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First time I saw William Holden on screen, it was in Billy Wilder’s Sabrina released in 1954. That was a good thing to start with as Holden was a Billy Wilder’s favourite, having starred in four of his films (Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, Sabrina and Fedora). Only, I decided to watch this film for Audrey Hepburn. As I wasn’t looking for him, I didn’t really pay attention to his acting (not to admit that I didn’t really care for him at the time and not to mention that his role in this film is not my favourite). Anyway, I then saw some other films with him: The Bridge on the River Kwai (David Lean, 1957) and The Bridges at Toko-Ri (Mark Robson, 1954). But, once again, I was paying attention to some other actors and not to him. Poor Bill! How I was cruel to him!
But, one day, I borrowed Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950) at my school library. I can still see myself looking at the dvd cover to see the names of the actors who were starring in this film. When I saw Holden’s name, I said to myself “Him again! I think I should pay more attention to him this time.” Of course, I had too as he is the main actor in this film…
I didn’t regret because Sunset Boulevard is the film that made him a favourite of mine. Immediately after I saw this film, I put him on my favourite actor’s list. I still think his performance in this film is one of his best. It’s so… honest! He was nominated for an Oscar, but lost it to José Ferrer for his performance in Cyrano de Bergerac.
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Of course, he wasn’t very high on my favourite actors’ list, but he was here, so that’s the most important. Anyway, as I enjoyed him in Sunset Boulevard it made me want to watch more of his films. If you remember, last year, I even did a William Holden’s marathon and watched 15 of his films, plus Sunset Boulevard again and that hilarious I Love Lucy’s episode! And I watched three more for the blogathon. So, with a total of 25 films viewed, he his the actor from whom I have seen the most films.
After I did my marathon, I put him on the 5th place in my favourite actor’s list. But the more I was thinking about him, the more I was fond of him and couldn’t resist putting him in the second position. Seriously, he is really fantastic (and quite handsome too, we have to admit it)!
So, when I think that, now, he is my second favourite actor of all times and I used to “not care” about him, I really laugh at myself.
Actually, there are several reasons why he is a favourite of mine. One of the first is his versatility as an actor. To me, he will always be one of the most verstatile actors to have ever grace the screen. Of course, it’s by seeing many of his films that I realized that. He could play a tough guy (The Wild Bunch), a sensible one (Our Town), both in the same film (Golden Boy). He could be romantic (Dear Ruth) or not really (Sabrina). He could be serious (The Devil’s Brigade, Sunset Boulevard) or funny (The Remarkable Andrew), and even more. And he excelled at transmitting to us all this myriade of emotions.
He was even good at playing himself! Look at him in this I Love Lucy‘s episode: William Holden playing William Holden in an humorous way is one of the best things that ever happened to classic television.
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Of course, something about William Holden that makes me completely gaga is his irresistible smile. *Sight*… He’s such a cutie pie when he smiles. I wish he was my neighbour you know. And he had the perfect ability to not only smiles with his mouth, but also with his eyes. Those beautiful blue eyes. Of course, physical appearance is not the most important thing about an actor, talent is, but I HAVE to say it: I have a big crush on him!! I love men with dark hair and blue eyes (and an irresistible smile). So Holden is pretty much the perfect model.
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Anywayyy!
Except his acting talent and his beauty, I have to say Bill began to have a very important place in my heart when I saw him in one of his very early films: Golden Boy. Thanks to  his co-star Barbara Stanwyck, to whom William Holden will always be her “Golden Boy”, who recognize her talent, he was able to be accepted in the world of movie stars. We don’t remember him much for this film, but it played an important role in his career. Not to mention that it was his first credited film. As he is my age in this film (21), I can sort of identity to him (and also because he plays violin and I used to play  the violin). Talking about violin, there this scene which is for me one of the most touching of Bill’s career. Bill as Joe  Bonaparte is back home and discovers the violin his father (Lee J. Cobb) had bought to him for his birthday. He is marvelled by this musical treasure and can’t resist playing. When he plays, there’s so much softness, so much tenderness in him. Then his family and a neighbour come to listen to him. His father has tears in his eyes when he sees him doing what he loves. We wished this beautiful and emotional scene would last forever! With his Bambi eyes, all we want is to take care of this golden boy.
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I read, in one of the articles for the blogathon, that William Holden often played very independent characters. I pretty much agree. We feel he knows what he wants and will find a way to do it. Yes, he can succumb to the temptation like in Sunset Boulevard or Golden Boy, but he knows how to say no, no matter what the consequences are. Our Golden Boy certainly knew how to transmit an unique and strong personality to each one of his characters.
He, of course, started his career very young (in his early 20s) and ended it in his early 60s when he passed away. If Barbara Stanwyck, THE Barbara Stanwyck, believed in him, it’s because he indeed had something to give to us. He grew up and the screen grew with him. He took an important and significant maturity, but that never shadowed his earlier performances that sculptured his talent. Holden was one of the actors who knew perfectly how to travel in time. When the cinema modernized itself, he modernized himself with him. He’s one of these timeless actors, you know.
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I told you previously that I didn’t know that much about William Holden’s personal life. That’s true. I haven’t read a biography about him and concentrated more on his films. The stuff I know about his personal life mostly is what everybody already knows: his relations with Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly, his wedding to Brenda Marshall and, unfortunately, his tragic death due to reasons that I don’t want to talk about today as I’m here to honour him. Because that’s the thing: I think today William Holden would have liked to be remembered for the good he gave to this world and the history of cinema. Oh, Golden Holden was so devoted to his profession! I read about it very recently in an article from April 1956’s Photoplay written by his personal secretary. She explains how much he did for his job, too much, and how stimulating it was to work for him. He was also very independent in real life and didn’t need a servant to bring him his coffee. He wasn’t lazy, that’s for sure!
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With director Clint Eastwood on the set of Breezy
William Holden’s talent was recognized by the Academy in 1954 when they gave him a Best Actor Oscar for his performance in Stalag 17 (Billy Wilder, 1953). Being rushed for a time’s matter, his acceptance speech is known has one of the shortest of film history, being limited to “Thanks you! Thank you!” I honestly hate the Academy for having put such pressure on him. Maybe he had important things to say! We don’t win an Oscar every night. Poor Bill, he seemed so shy. Fortunately, he seemed to have a good sense of humour. The following year, when he was presenting the Best Actress Oscar, he made a joke by saying to the public “As I was going to say last year… [Bob Hope comes whispering in his hear. He looks at his watch]…Well, time is running short again” (!) This night, he gave the Oscar to Grace Kelly, who were her co-star in The Country Girl (George Seaton, 1954). Oh! His smile when he read her name! We know he was happy for her!
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Stalag 17 was William Holden’s only Oscar. He also was nominated for his performances in Sunset Boulevard and Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976). This last one proving that, 25 years after his first nomination, he hadn’t lost is talent.
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I don’t know where our Golden Boy is now, but he surely is in each heart of those who love and loved him: his family, his friends, his girlfriends and even his fans. He is not with us anymore, but he would probably have been thrilled to know that people still find a way to honour him. Giving him the right remembrance was very important to me, that’s why I created the Golden Boy Blogathon. I invite you to read all the marvellous entries by clicking on the following link:
I also invite you to take a look at the video tribute I made when I discovered how awesome he was:
Happy heavenly birthday wonderful Golden Boy!
And to the readers and my fellow bloggers, have a nice Golden Holden weekend!
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The Golden Boy Blogathon is here! Come celebrate William Holden with us!

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I was so impatient for this event to finally start! But after almost 3 months of patience, it’s finally here! The Golden Boy Blogathon: A William Holden Celebration is the occasion for us, bloggers, to honour this wonderful actor who would have been 98 on April 17, 2016. The events starts today and will take an end on Holden’s birthday.

We know that Holden was a great actor, but, somehow, he doesn’t seem to be as much celebrated as some others like James Stewart or Cary Grant. That’s why we are here today to make that change. Wherever you are, this is for YOU William!

Bloggers (those who participate), once your article is published, I invite you to submit it here in the comment section. Don’t forget to provide me the link! You can also send it to me via e-mail: virginie.pronovost@gmail.com, Twitter: @Ginnie_SP or by messaging The Wonderful World of Cinema Facebook Page. I will add your entry to the roster when I’ll receive it.

Readers (and bloggers), make sure to take a look at all the wonderful entries written by more than 20 talented writers who always make me proud of being a member of the film bloggers community. I’m sure you’ll love it!

Even Bill says so:

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The lovely Holdener’s entries

–  CineMaven’s Essays from the Couch-William Holden

– Define Dancing – I don’t care about your bridge, and I don’t care about your rules: William Holden the outsider in The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

– The Cinematic Frontier – The Wild Bunch (1969)

– Thoughts All Sorts – Seeking Revenge with William Holden

– The Flapper Dame – Sabrina

– Meredy.com – Apartment for Peggy (1948)

– DavidAConrad.com – The Key (1958)

– Critica Retrô – Sunsets in Life/ Forever Female (1953)

– Flickers in Time – The Proud and Profane (1956)

– Old Hollywood Films – The Bridges at Toko-Ri 

– In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood – Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1955)

– Crimson Kimono – Our Man in the Orient, William Holden

– Cinema Cities – William Holden in Born Yesterday (1950)

– Movie Classics – Our Town (Sam Wood, 1940)

– The Wonderful World of Cinema – How William Holden Conquered Me

– Pop Culture Reverie – Texas (1941)

– Moon in Gemini – William Holden Meets Lucy Ricardo, Hilarity Ensues!

– Back to Golden Days – Stalag 17 (1953)

– L.A Explorer – Spotlight on William Holden in Union Station

– Ramblings on a Cinephile – Oldies but goldies: Sunset Blvd. (1950)

– Cinema Crossroads – The Moon is Blue (1953): The Cleanest Condemned Movie in Cinema

– A Shroud of Thoughts – William Holden in Network (1976)

– Silver Scenes – William Holden in “Dear Ruth” (1947)

– Defiant Success – The Golden Boy Blogathon

– Flickin’ Out – How William Holden Aged with Dignity Onscreen

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A big thanks to all the the participants! William Holden would have been proud of us! Stay tuned as another blogathon will soon be announced ;)))

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William “Cutie Pie” Holden