Sunday, November 25, 2007

1955: Natalie Vs. Jo

It's been awhile since I whipped up an Oscar "Smackdown" clip for StinkyLulu's monthly festivities, so here ya go. 1955. Elvis Presley was huge, Rosa Parks got arrested, James Dean made his film debut, died and then received his first of two posthumous Oscar nominations, The Mickey Mouse club and McDonalds (the chain) debuted, and my girl Natalie Wood went from child star to true movie star in arguably the greatest teen angst movie ever made, Rebel Without a Cause.

And Oscar's heart went out to these actresses at the edges...



Of this lineup I'm most impressed with Natalie Wood but Jo Van Fleet's centerpiece mystery woman in East of Eden is a very respectable Oscar winner.


The rest of the shortlist are more suspect as nominees go... I haven't seen enough 1955 films to know who should've replaced them but I figure someone should've. That's an easy assumption to feel confident about when you realize that Marty was the Best Picture winner (!) whilst Rebel Without a Cause and Night of the Hunter couldn't manage lousy BP nominations. Nathaniel wept.

Watch the video. Read the smackdown. Time travel back to '55 in the comments.

17 comments:

StinkyLulu said...

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous...

I love them NatReels...

Nick Davis said...

"I'm so ashamed, I could die I'm so ashamed." Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Lillian Gish should have won for Night of the Hunter IMHO :-(

Leo

Anonymous said...

betsy blair was married to gene kelly! lucky gal.

NATHANIEL R said...

maybe it would've helped me love the performance if i knew that before i watched it ;)

Kamikaze Camel said...

Is it any wonder that whenever James Dean is on screen - no matter how amazing Jo Van Fleet and Natalie Wood are - that I can only look at him?

That clip of Peggy Lee falling down the stairs was hilarious! I woke up my housemates laughing so much.

Kamikaze Camel said...

I meant to say it reminds me of when Lara Flynn Boyle got swept off the casino roof and flew through Las Vegas that one time.

NATHANIEL R said...

i love jimmy dean too but that's one of the reasons i find jo van fleet so impressive. she isn't for a moment letting him have the scene and their chemistry is pretty palpable.

StinkyLulu said...

What Nathaniel said: in 1955, Jo Van Fleet held her own opposite James Dean, Susan Hayward, and Anna Magnani. That's a trophy-worthy accomplishment all by itself...

bryan said...

jo, natalie, and blair! where's tootie and mrs. garrett!?!?!

Kenneth Walsh said...

Oops. I thought this was going to be about "The Facts of Life."

NATHANIEL R said...

bryan & ken --omg. i actually did think of facts of life when i titled this post BUT i didn't realize that we also had a "blair" in the mix. how creepy!

Air said...

Well one can't really beat two James Dean movies in one year!

I definately agree with Kamikaze Camel's statement but both women held their own impressively enough.

I really can't decide. I'd probably go for Natalie, but only because she was on screen so much more and her chemistry with Dean was great. (Granted as was Fleet's. I agree with Nathaniel's statement too!)

Anonymous said...

I fell in love with Natalie that year... I was all of 12 yr.old...and I have loved her ever since. She was not a great actress in most of her movies .. but in RWC, Splendor in the Grass, This Property is Condemned, West Side Story, and my personal fav.. Love With the Proper Stranger, she was excellent ( she always needed a strong director to guide her ).. I do feel she should have gotten the award for RWC.

NATHANIEL R said...

I personally think she needed two Oscars. One for this and one for Splendor in the Grass (her best work, imho)

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree with you at all...

Feelthefelt said...

I feel compelled to tell you that you need to see the original TV Version of Marty. It's far superior and Rod Steiger does with that character what Ernest Borgnine couldn't.