Best Supporting Actress 1944 Smackdown

Your blogger spent hours upon hours re-watching four films from 1944 in order to take part in The Film Experience blog's smackdown among film buffs deciding who really deserved the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress that year.

Wouldn't you know it? We picked someone other than the actual winner.

The nominees were:

Cary Grant (1904-1986) with Barrymore

Ethel Barrymore (1879-1944), None but the Lonely Heart

Jones with Shirley Temple (1928-2014)

Jennifer Jones (1919-2009), Since You Went Away

Lansbury with Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982) & Charles Boyer (1899-1978)

Angela Lansbury (b. 1925), Gaslight


Aline MacMahon (1899-1991), Dragon Seed


Agnes Moorehead (1900-1974), Mrs. Parkington

The actual winner was Barrymore, the great dame of the stage, who took the Oscar the first time (of four) that she was nominated, and while she took second place in our group's estimation, it was the precocious debut by Angela Lansbury (just 17!) that won our hearts.

Amazing, isn't it, that Angela Lansburgy made her film debut 73 years ago ... and is still with us today!

Read the panel's comments about the films here.

Listen to the panel discuss these films and their various issues — yellowface used in Dragon Seed, much was made of Barrymore's acting style, WWII issues came up — here, in an hour-long podcast.

By the way, a few other great films of 1944 include:

Double Indemnity

Meet Me in St. Louis

Arsenic and Old Lace

To Have and Have Not


The Curse of the Cat People

National Velvet

Murder My Sweet

Henry V

The Phantom Lady

The Lodger


and let's not forget the delicious Cobra Woman

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