When Pauline Kael was on an interview show with Ginger Rogers once, Rogers reminisced about her Oscar win as Best Actress for Kitty Foyle. Rogers mused, “My agent didn’t want me to do Kitty Foyle.” Kael interrupted, “Your agent was right.” I doubt much of anything happened after that…
Kael, for once, was right about this. Rogers’ win for Kitty Foyle is a perfect example of when the Academy votes for somebody they like, rather than the best performance. Consider who was also nominated:
Bette Davis, in one of her finest roles, in The Letter:
And Katharine Hepburn in one of her finest roles, in The Philadelphia Story:
And Joan Fontaine in what is arguably her finest performance — ever — in Hitchcock’s Rebecca:
And then there’s Martha Scott, slipping in somehow with her turn in Our Town:
But if you really want to get upset, think about who they didn’t even nominate: Rosalind Russell, in her greatest role (sorry, you Auntie Mame nuts!) in His Girl Friday:
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
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