And the Academy selected:
- Glynis Johns in The Sundowners
- Shirley Jones in Elmer Gantry
- Shirley Knight in The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs
- Janet Leigh in Psycho
- Mary Ure in Sons and Lovers
5. Shirley Knight as Reenie Flood in The Dark At The Top Of The Stairs
Shirley Knight has a pivotal role in this film as the daughter Reenie who is seemingly depressed until she falls for a Jewish boy. Knight looks a little too old for the part, but she mostly handles the part well. There's a large amount of sentimentality that lays within the story and Knight, unbelievably, brings out all of it. She's too darn sweet for her own good, but her performance is still not bad, she has a few moments where she totally controls the screen.
4. Glynis Johns as Mrs. Firth in The Sundowners
She's such an enjoyable actress, that she makes the most out of the role of innkeeper Mrs. Firth. She's basically in The Sundowners to be comic relief, but there is alot of wit to be found in her characterization. In fact, I think her performance totally stands away from the boring movie that holds it and she handles her own no matter what situation they want to throw Mrs. Firth into. Oh and her Australian accent is better then everyone elses.
3. Janet Leigh as Marion Crane in Psycho
Doing great subtle work, Janet Leigh gives a good, important little performance in Psycho. Personally, she's my favorite part about the film because when she is killed, the whole next storyline just doesn't do too much for me. Sure the performance means alot and she's possibly the best part for me, but that doesn't mean she totally blows me away. It's a good performance and entertaining, but not an amazing one of any kind.
2. Shirley Jones as Lulu Baines in Elmer Gantry
Shirley Jones was obviously stunt-casted as prostitute Lulu Baines, but it was all worthwhile and gives a terrific performance. To play such a scheming and entertaining character can be very hard to work out in my book, but Jones plays it in a way I can't think of it being any other way. She is entertaining, brilliant in her depiction of revenge, and gives one beautifully constructed performance.
1. Mary Ure as Clara Dawes in Sons and Lovers
I used to always go with Shirley Jones when it came to this year, but watching Sons and Lovers again, Mary Ure becomes better and better as time goes by. Her Clara is separated, sexually awakened, and a suffragette who has an affair with one of the title sons. She gives a magnificent performance, better then whatever expectations I expected from her - D.H. Lawrence's women are usually great characters to be explored and she is no exception. An amazing performance.
Honorable Omissions: None.