Entertainment Magazine

Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954

Posted on the 06 February 2015 by Sjhoneywell
The Contenders:
George Seaton: The Country Girl
William A. Wellman: The High and the Mighty
Elia Kazan: On the Waterfront (winner)
Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window
Billy Wilder: Sabrina

What’s Missing

Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954

This is an interesting collection of nominees, particularly when you consider that only two of these nominees had his film additionally nominated for Best Picture. While I wouldn’t choose to nominate Stanley Donen for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, but it’s a hell of a spectacle. His lack of nomination is a little surprising. I would consider Edward Dmytryk’s work in The Caine Mutiny worth a look, too. I might also suggest Joseph Mankeiwicz for The Barefoot Contessa and George Cukor for A Star is Born as well. On the foreign front, though, we have three big misses: Henri-Georges Clouzot for Les Diaboliques, Akira Kurosawa for The Seven Samurai, and Kenji Mizoguchi for Sansho the Bailiff. If you want Fellini nominated for La Strada, that’s on you.

Weeding through the Nominees

Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954
5: Of the five nominees, the one I would dump for one of the movies listed above (Clouzot or Kurosawa) is The High and the Mighty. It’s not helped at all by being kind of a dippy movie. It may well have been a gripping action drama in 1954, but in a world that contains a film like Airplane!, it’s hard for this to come off as anything more than too serious and somewhat comic. I suppose this is a ranking that happens specifically because of modern sensibilities. Sorry, Mr. Wellman, but the nomination doesn’t fly today.
Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954

4: It’s hard for me to put Billy Wilder in fourth place, but as much as I might love Sabrina, I’m not entire sure why Wilder was nominated. This is a case where the director more or less stayed out of the way of the story that he was telling and simply allowed the story to play out in front of the camera. That’s great, but it’s not something that I think is worthy of a nomination. Compare what Wilder did here—some good shots and all with what Clouzot did in his film, and the reality of Wilder’s nomination makes even less sense. Sorry, Billy. You’re one of the most versatile directors in history, but you didn’t deserve to be here.

Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954

3: I really like The Country Girl a lot, but I’m not entirely sure how much of that is due to the work of George Seaton. It may well be that Seaton was nominated for the daring move of putting Bing Crosby in a serious dramatic role. I can kind of see that, and it was a brilliant move. The whole thing works well and it’s beautifully made. It helps greatly that this is a script that works from the first page all the way to the closing credits. As good as it is and as surprising as it was, Seaton moves no higher than third.

Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954

2: Elia Kazan won this Oscar, and in a lot of years, I’d have been happy to let him have it. On the Waterfront is a gutsy film, and it’s beautifully directed. Give me a different year for this directorial performance and we can talk. It’s a hell of a gutsy film, and I can’t really fault the Academy for gracing Kazan with the statue. Kazan may well have won for one of those rare moments when the Academy decides to grow up a little and give the award to someone who goes edgy. This is an edgy film in a lot of ways. I like this nomination, and I don’t even really hate that Kazan won. He just shouldn’t have.

My Choice

Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954

1: Alfred Hitchcock never won a competitive Oscar. While North by Northwest is my favorite of his movies, Rear Window was absolutely his best chance to win as a director for a specific film. This is a film that absolutely is a challenge for any director, and Hitchcock makes the whole thing work flawlessly. Having the main character trapped not only in a room but in a wheelchair and a leg cast would be a liability for most directors, but for Hitchcock, it’s not even a challenge. In fact, it’s a positive benefit. This is a film loaded with suspense and it still works perfectly. Hitch should have walked away with this no matter how much Elia Kazan could have won in other years.

Final Analysis

Oscar Got It Wrong!: Best Director 1954

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • GoGoHares!

    GoGoHares!

    Following the flight of camp dragons, the parade of vivid jumbos and the troupe of panto gorillas in our midst comes an assortment of big-eared, bright-eyed... Read more

    12 hours ago by   Jackscott
    DIARIES, EXPAT, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Brew the Perfect Iced Tea by TE-A-ME

    Brew Perfect Iced TE-A-ME

    Be it any season, staying hydrated is important and what better way to do so than by enjoying a nice cold glass of tea. Yes, make your water interesting by... Read more

    12 hours, 12 minutes ago by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
    LIFESTYLE
  • I'm Back and the New Camera Is Here!

    Back Camera Here!

    It was waiting for me when I arrived home from Wildacres but I resisted even opening the package till I'd unpacked, done my laundry, watered some plants,... Read more

    15 hours ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • To Kill a King, To Kill a Black Panther.

    Kill King, Black Panther.

    Can anyone really begin to recall a year, or summer without a comic book based film? I'm beginning to forget, and in the foreseeable future it doesn't seem... Read more

    21 hours, 19 minutes ago by   Jamesswezey
    ENTERTAINMENT, MOVIES
  • Content, Conversations and Conversations as Content

    One of the most important things you can do as an individual in this scene is focus on creating a broad variety of content. This is not just on a band level... Read more

    21 hours, 27 minutes ago by   Indiemusicpromo
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Five of the BEST Places in Edinburgh for an Ice Cream

    Five BEST Places Edinburgh Cream

    64 total views, 36 views today 5 of the Best Places in Edinburgh for Ice Cream Whatever the weather, Ice cream is always a top choice for a snack, dessert or... Read more

    22 hours ago by   Emma
    DESTINATIONS, DINING OUT, FOOD & DRINK
  • Men Reportedly Caught Sharing Money To Voters In Ekiti, Bundled Away By...

    Some alleged party agents have been dealt with after they were reportedly caught sharing money at polling units in Ekiti state. Read more

    The 14 July 2018 by   Naijapary
    SOCIETY, A-CLASSER

Magazines