Who Should Have Won the Best Actor Oscar for 1934?

The juggernaut hit in 1934: It Happened One Night swept the top five of the Oscars.

Does anybody really want to argue that Clark Gable didn’t hit his peak as an actor in It Happened One Night? He may have become a bigger movie star in Gone with the Wind, but he found his public persona in the earlier Frank Capra vehicle:

Gregory La Cava did his best to keep up with Frank Capra with the Renaissance love story, The Affairs of Cellini:

The future Wizard of Oz bumbles his way through The Affairs of Cellini as a cuckolded duke chasing lovers too.

The last official nominee was William Powell, a man who spoke as well as Fred Astaire danced. Myrna Loy matched him quip for quip. The Thin Man was the vehicle, a tremendously witty, friendly murder mystery based on the novel by hard-boiled expert Dashiell Hammett:

The un-nominated list is pretty good too.

John Barrymore should have been nominated for his hysterical role as a drama queen of a director matched against a drama queen of a star, Carole Lombard, in Howard Hawks’ screwball comedy, Twentieth Century.


Finally, Peter Lorre delivered the oddest villain ever to appear in a Hitchcock film:

The man who knew too much 1934 poster.jpg

A good year for actors!

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

Who should have won? Please vote!


  1. I’m sorry, but this is one of the few films where Gable is more than just likable, but loveable. He and Colbert had perfect chemistry and he deserved the Oscar.

  2. My top 5 of 1934

    Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee
    John Barrymore, Twentieth Century
    Maurice Chevalier, The Merry Widow
    Clark Gable, It Happened One Night
    *William Powell, The Thin Man

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