winner: Arsenic and Old Lace
nominees: To Have And Have Not; Double Indemnity; None But The Lonely Heart; The Woman In The Window; The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek; Laura; Lifeboat; Since You Went Away; Sunday Dinner For A Soldier; The Uninvited
Thoughts: The first Frank Capra film to win a Montie and it's one of my top ten favorite films of all time. Marks yet another Cary Grant film to land a Montie bringing that total to 5. As you can see, it was a nice mix of comedies, film noir and dramas to make the nomination list. Notably absent is the Oscar winner for 1944, Going My Way, as it is not one of my fave films.
winner: Frank Capra (Arsenic and Old Lace)
nominees: Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity); Fritz Lang (The Woman in the Window); Preston Sturges (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek); Howard Hawks (To Have and Have Not)
Thoughts: The fourth time was the charm as Frank Capra finally wins his first Montie for directing. He was previously nominated for Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, You Can't Take It With You, and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. It was close, as he just edged out Preston Sturges who did an equally memorable directing turn for The Miracle of Morgan's Creek.
BEST WRITER - new category
winner: Preston Sturges (The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek)
nominees: Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity); John Steinbeck (Lifeboat); Jules Furthman and William Faulkner (To Have and Have Not); J.H. Wallis and Nunnally Johnson (The Woman in the Window)
Thoughts: I decided to add writing as a category and 1944 yielded some top notch writing jobs. The other nominees were of the thriller and film noir variety but it was a screwball comedy that gets the Montie: Preston Sturges for his extremely hilarious Morgan's Creek.
winner: Humphrey Bogart (To Have And Have Not)
nominees: Cary Grant (None But The Lonely Heart); Edward G. Robinson (The Woman in the Window); Fred MacMurray (Double Indemnity); Eddie Bracken (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek)
Thoughts: Bogie wins his first Montie for his solid performance as the tough yet tender Harry Morgan. Yes I liked him here more than I did in Casablanca. This film allowed him to show his emotions on the outside and his chemistry with Lauren Bacall was perfection. Cary Grant did a wonderful job outside his normal safe comedy zone with None But The Lonely Heart but I think Bogie edges past him by a hair.
winner: Lauren Bacall (To Have And Have Not)
nominees: Joan Bennett (The Woman in the Window); Barbara Stanwyck (Double Indemnity); Claudette Colbert (Since You Went Away); Betty Hutton (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek); Hedy Lamarr (Experiment Perilous)
Thoughts: What a film debut for 19-year old Lauren Bacall as Marie "Slim" Browning, the young woman who craves adventure and causes Bogie to fall head over heels in love with her. Out of all the categories for this year, this was the easiest choice to make. Bacall was amazing in her debut film performance.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
winner: Diana Lynn (The Miracle Of Morgan's Creek)
nominees: Ethel Barrymore (None But The Lonely Heart); Ruth Hussey (The Uninvited); Jean Adair (Arsenic and Old Lace); Josephine Hull (Arsenic and Old Lace)
Thoughts: As the wise beyond her teen-ager years, Diana Lynn was awesome as Emmy Kockenlocker. Sister to Betty Hutton, she was able to dispense sound advice and keep her dad in check. A marvelous performance.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
winner: Edward G. Robinson (Double Indemnity)
nominees: Raymond Massey (Arsenic and Old Lace); Clifton Webb (Laura); William DeMarest (The Miracle of Morgan's Creek); Joseph Cotten (Since You Went Away)
Thoughts: The venerable Edward G. Robinson wins his first Montie with his strong performance as insurance investigator Barton Keyes, who really is the best thing in this superb film.
winner: The Uninvited
nominees: Laura; Double Indemnity; Lifeboat; Meet Me In St. Louis; Home In Indiana
Thoughts: Another new category is cinematography. I know the academy Awards split this into two: color and black and white but I decided to make it just one. And while Home In Indiana is just a gorgeous film to look at in all that glorious color, I found The Uninvited to be just as fantastic with it's almost dreamlike world in black and white.
So that wraps up another Monties presentation. Would love to hear everyone's feedback on my selections and what did you think of the new categories I added. Will be back soon with the year that was 1945.
*Please note that I just found out while To Have And Have Not was a 1944 production, it was not released until January 1945. But I decided to keep it as part of 1944 anyway. I don't want to make things too technical here. Just keep things fun and light. Arsenic and Old Lace is an entirely different story. While filmed in 1941, it did not see the light of day until 1944.
NOTABLE FILMS THAT I HAVE NOT SEEN FOR THIS YEAR:
THIRTY SECONDS OVER TOKYO
I'LL BE SEEING YOU