- Ethel Barrymore in The Spiral Staircase
- Anne Baxter in The Razor's Edge
- Lillian Gish in Duel In The Sun
- Flora Robson in Saratoga Trunk
- Gale Sondergaard in Anna and The King Of Siam
5. Lillian Gish as Laura Belle McCallanes in Duel In The Sun
This famous actresses' sole Oscar nomination is simply a joke. The nomination came with the fame of the film, not for Gish's career and when you watch the film you noticed how odd that seems. She does nothing significant in her screentime besides being about as versatile as a piece of metal. Sure she can use what comes natural to an actress like this, but she hardly makes an impact of any kind, just a bizarre Oscar nomination to explain it.
4. Gale Sondergaard as Lady Tiyang in Anna and The King Of Siam
The kind of compassion and motherly love that was needed for this role was turned in for sophisticated line readings and scary cat grins, yes we are talking about Gale Sondergaard playing one of the wives of the king. With her very brief performance, Sondergaard plays her character with alot of invisible depth about how she loves her son so much. The whole performance feels like a misstep of something that the audience is always aware of.
3. Flora Robson as Angelique Buiton in Saratoga Trunk
A performance that ranks among the weirdest ever nomination, British actress Flora Robson as the chaperone of Ingrid Bergman in Saratoga Trunk. She adds nothing substantial in the movie, and she exaggerates most of her performance, but it's so weird that it is watchable. Again, it's not to say it's good but it sure is something otherworldly to watch. She has one good scene with Gary Cooper, but not one that is truly unforgettable.
2. Ethel Barrymore as Mrs. Warren in The Spiral Staircase
Ethel Barrymore has quickly become one of my favorite actresses, her schtick can become quickly annoying for some, but for me, she adds a new variation on everything she does. Here she plays the wealthy, but bed ridden Mrs. Warren, taking care of a mute girl who is being stalked. She provides the first big creepy scares in the beginning, warning the audience of impending doom. It's a totally engaging, beautifully frighting performance by a new favorite.
1. Anne Baxter as Sophie McDonald in The Razor's Edge
The Razor's Edge is not a good movie by any means, but Anne Baxter's tragic performance as Sophie surely outshines the entire thing. Pretty much, her performance can be described as heartbreaking from beginning to end, destined to be doomed in the beginning and destined to die in the end. She portrays her drunk character with alot of depth and characterization that makes her film nearly worthwhile. It's a magnificent performance that Baxter excels in.
Honorable Omissions: None.