Sunday, January 21, 2007


Survey Results, Part 1

There will be a lot to read through in the results, so I'm going to post them in two batches — so much stuff in fact that I feel an index is necessary for easier perusal.

First, I figured I'd do the worst best actress side of the survey. "A campaign like this can't help but catch my attention since I have always sided with the opinion of my favorite film historian, Danny Peary, that ever since their inception the Oscar folk have gotten it wrong and with very rare exceptions are batting a thousand with the same streak of cluelessness that continues to this present day,"
Ivan G. Shreve Jr. wrote. Patrick Wahl doesn't share the dismal view of Oscar's track record, writing, "I don't have any nominations for worst, none of them are particularly poor choices that I have seen." The list of winners similarly discouraged Dan Callahan, who wrote, "Looking over the winners was pretty depressing. Greta Garbo and Barbara Stanwyck never won, but Loretta Young and Jane Wyman did? Even worse, they give Katharine Hepburn four Oscars for four of her lesser performances. Jesus, Greer Garson for Mrs. Miniver? And has anyone actually looked into how Luise Rainer took home two Oscars in a row in the '30s? She wasn't good in either of these movies, MGM didn't push for her at all, and she barely worked afterwards." That Little Round-Headed Boy found himself perplexed as well not only by who won but by who didn't: "Ed, what strikes me at looking over this list is how few of what we consider the great, iconic performances of Hollywood actresses ever resulted in an Academy Award acknowledgement. Or they won it for the wrong role. Once again, Oscar's a big, fat, stinkin' dud. Where's Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity? Where's Rosalind Russell in His Girl Friday? Where's Bette Davis in All About Eve? Where's Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca or Notorious? Where's any of the women in The Women? Where's Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.? Where's Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz? Where's Greta Garbo in Ninotchka or Flesh and the Devil? Where's Carole Lombard in To Be or Not to Be? Where's Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby or The Philadelphia Story? Where's Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot? ... And when we get to the past two decades, you look at these roles and really start to understand why women have complained about their status in Hollywood. So many of these roles seemed like secondary parts and of the ones that didn't, they were dreary, issue films that have dated poorly. Few people have probably found any joy in watching them again. I sort of like Hilary Swank, but does anybody really want to watch her movies over and over again? She's no Jane Fonda; is she the Luise Rainer of the new century? Who's going to program a Sally Field film festival?" Of course, voters varied over which list was harder to compile — the best or the worst. Annie Frisbie admits a harder time compiling the worst: I found it harder to pick the worst — I wanted to cast a vote for Audrey Hepburn because I don't think she's a good actress, but I haven't actually seen Roman Holiday. (Darn that honor system!) In choosing my best 5, I almost felt like I was honoring good parts in good movies as much as good performances. The women in my bottom five didn't have much to work with (Hunt, Paltrow, Fonda, Woodward, and Fletcher) — but imagine what Ellen Burstyn, Judy Holliday, or Joan Crawford could've done with As Good As It Gets, or Ingrid Bergman in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Or, Lord have mercy — Liza Minnelli in Shakespeare in Love. Divine decadence, indeed!"

So, here is the index of the first batch of survey-related posts:

The Untouchable: The sole performance that failed to get a vote for the best or the worst list.

Not Feeling the Hate: The performances that didn't get a single vote on any worst list.

Worst By Ballots: A ranking of the performances by the number of worst best actress ballots on which they appeared, regardless of the point values they received.

Not Bad Enough: The performances fortunate enough not to be disliked enough to make the Top 10 Worst.

The Worst: The Top 10 vote getters for the worst best actress winners of all time.

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Or better yet, Garbo's CAMILLE!!! Luise Rainer won over Garbo's performance. UNbelieveable!
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