Who Should Have Won the Best Actor Oscar for 1929-30?

Welcome to the third year of the Academy Awards! Except for Charlie Chaplin, everybody’s talking. They’re even singing. They just won’t shut up!

So who should have won the Best Actor Oscar this year?

The original winner was George Arliss, for Disraeli — and yes, the hair creeps me out too:

Here is a clip in which Arliss is discussing the Suez canal:


Arliss was also nominated for The Green Goddess, in which he plays a villainous rajah:

The Green Goddess 1930 Poster.jpg

Here is a short clip, sah!


Wallace Beery was nominated for playing a big, mean lug in the prison drama, The Big House.

Here’s a clip:

Maurice Chevalier was nominated for two movies: The Big Pond and The Love Parade. The Love Parade is by far the better of the two, because Ernst Lubitsch directs:

The Big Pond.jpg

Here is the title song from The Love Parade:

Ronald Colman was also nominated for two performances, one as the detective Bulldog Drummond and the other in Condemned as a convicted thief who falls in love with the warden’s wife:

Bulldog-Drummond-1929.jpgCondemned FilmPoster.jpeg

The final official nominee was opera star Lawrence Tibbett, in the now mostly lost early Technicolor The Rogue Song. Laurel and Hardy were the comic relief. Here is a hand-tinted poster:


And here is a 1937 medley of Tibbett singing:

Now, who did the Academy ignore?

Honestly, I thought the most effective acting this year came with a fellow by the name of Julius Marx, better known as Groucho. The Marx Brothers made their feature debut in The Cocoanuts, and I thought Harpo and Chico were equally impressive, given the dismally low level of acting in early sound productions. Even Harpo knew how to use his voice better!

The Cocoanuts.jpg

If you would like to make other suggestions, please do so below in the comments!

As always, I have much more to say in my book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OPEELH0

And now please vote!

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