Who Should Have Won the Best Actress Oscar for 1938?

Bette Davis made her vision of Gone with the Wind with William Wyler and Jezebel, thus ensuring that David O. Selznick would never forgive either her or Jack Warner:

Jesebel movieposter.jpg

Fay Bainter got a nomination for being noble in White Banners:

White Banners FilmPoster.jpeg

Wendy Hiller had her first great film performance in George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion:

Norma Shearer went for the cake with Marie Antoinette:

Margaret Sullavan is the object of affection for Three Comrades:


So who did the Academy ignore?

Katharine Hepburn, in what may be her best comic performance, in Bringing Up Baby:

The Academy actually ignored Bringing Up Baby completely this year. Silly Academy.

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!


  1. Another great year for actresses in American (and British) film, with three award-worthy nominees (Davis, Sullavan, and Hilller) and another award-worthy non-nominee–Hepburn. The oft-overlooked Jean Arthur was quite good in best picture winner “You Can’t Take It with You,” as she was in Capra’s “Mr. Deeds” and “Mr. Smith” too and would have been a good nominee in any or all of these.

    • I wasn’t quite as impressed with Arthur in that one as I was in the other two you mentioned, but then, I don’t think as highly of “You Can’t Take It With You” as I do of Mr. Deeds and Mr. Smith, either. Thanks for taking the time to make these comments — I’m enjoying them!

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