Fredric March joined the fairly exclusive group of actors who have won two Oscars, matching his previous win for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with one for The Best Years of Our Lives. March’s portrayal of the returning soldier, particularly in the reunion scene with Myrna Loy, is indeed very fine, as are so many performances this year. Hollywood was putting itself back together quite handily in 1946:
Also up for the award: Laurence Olivier, in what I believe to be his best adaptation of Shakespeare, Henry V:
Gregory Peck knocked out another nomination, this time as the father in The Yearling:
Larry Parks slipped in with his drop-dead impersonation of Al Jolson in The Jolson Story: Blackface, anyone?
The final official nomination was for James Stewart in what remains his best known performance in It’s a Wonderful Life:
The Academy could have also chosen to nominate quite a few classic performances.
First, we have Cary Grant at his most morally ambiguous and darkly romantic in Notorious:
Then John Garfield’s turn with Joan Crawford in Humoresque:
And Henry Fonda in his return to the screen in John Ford’s classic Western My Darling Clementine:
And finally, Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe in The Big Sleep:
All in all, 1946 was a damn good year (as you can see from the 1946 Best Picture Oscar poll here: https://rjameswhowon.wordpress.com/book-two-1944-1952-best-picture-of-the-year-polls/who-should-have-won-the-1946-best-picture-oscar/
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/WHO-Won-Irreverent-Look-Oscars-ebook/dp/B00PKK8MBY/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415905574&sr=1-2
And now, please vote!