While researching my 2015 Oscar Stats Post I decided to go back through the last eleven years of Best Actor/Supporting Actor, Best Actress/Supporting Actress lists for the Academy Awards and for SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild) to see whose names were on the nominations lists and what Country or State they were from. Names that kept popping up over those years were Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. TCM is playing a ‘six degrees to Kevin Bacon’ type game in connection to the Academy Awards the month of February; at Classic Hollywood we thought it would be fun to try the ‘six degrees’ test with Leonardo and Kate from the Academy List. The trick is we would only be using names on the Best Acting nominee list for Leonardo and the Best Actress list for Kate (UK actresses only) of course there are always exceptions to the rules.
In 2004 there were twelve actor/actresses nominated from the US three born in California, one from Illinois, one Kansas, one Kentucky, one Missouri, one Nebraska, two New York, one Tennessee, and one from Texas. There were four from the UK, one Australia, one Columbia and one born in Israel.
Jamie Fox received the Best Actor Award for 2004, the Best Acting nominee/winner list for the Academy is the same as the 2004 SAG list except that Clint Eastwood in on the Academy list and Paul Giamatti is on the SAG list, the Academy Best Actress List is the same as the SAG list.
Leonardo DiCaprio also on the 2004 Best Actor Nominee list worked with Jamie Fox on Django Unchained in 2012, Johnnie Depp on What’s Eating Gilbert Grape in 1993, was directed by Clint Eastwood in the movie J. Edgar in 2011 and would have worked with Don Cheadle in Boogie Nights in 1997 if he hadn’t instead taken the part of Jack Dawson in the movie Titanic…in which of course he costarred with Kate Winslet that was also nominated for a Best Actress award in 2004. Imelda Staunton among the nominees for Best Actress in 2004 acted with Kate in the 1995 version of Sense & Sensibility.

Summer Under the Stars ~ Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford TCM’s star for the day acted in eleven Noir movies between 1945 and 1956. She received the Best Actress Oscar for her performance as Mildred Pierce in 1945. Joan was nominated for Best Actress in the Film Noir thriller about ‘who was going to kill whom’ Sudden Fear in 1952. However the Oscar eluded Joan that year and went to Shirley Booth for her performance in the movie ‘Come Back Little Sheba’.

Summer Under the Stars – Olivia De Havilland

Ninety-nine year old Olivia De Havilland was also a Film Noir Girl, starring in two famous noir films. The 1946 Dark Mirror a Nunnally Johnson Production, directed by Robert Siodmak (if you had attended the Summer of Darkness Noir Course you would know Robert is a big deal in the Noir world). Vladimir Pozner was nominated for an Oscar for his Original Story.
The second was the 20th Century Fox Film: Snake Pit 1948. This film was nominated for Oscars in the categories: Best Picture, Best Director-Anatole Litvak, Best Actress-Olivia, Best Screenplay Frank Partos and Millen Brand, and received the Oscar for Best Sound Recording Thomas T. Moulton.
If you aren’t noired out after eight weeks of Friday Film Noir nights add these films to your must see noir list.

The Letter

Letter 1929
Week One of the Daily Doses of Darkness for those of us in Noir school highlighted the 1941 movie of ‘The Letter’ with Bette Davis. The first five minutes of this movie are intense.
However…in the past I had also seen the 1929 version starring Jeanne Eagels. I re-watched it to see if there was anything noirish about it and wasn’t disappointed. Jeanne’s performance is powerful, the French director Jean De Limur also had scenes that wouldn’t disappoint noir fans. Jeanne Eagels descending the stairs to meet with her murdered lover’s Chinese mistress is pure noir cinematography. I must say this version is my favorite version of W. Somerset Maugham’s ‘The Letter’. I love the fact that Herbert Marshall plays Geoffrey the ex-lover neighbor that is dispatched of after confessing he has moved on and taken a Chinese mistress (pretty strong stuff in Pre-Code Classic Hollywood).
Chinese actress Lady Tsen Mei plays the mistress that is in possession of the damning Letter.
Herbert Marshall plays the cad neighbor to perfection in 1929 as he plays the opposite character the clueless husband in the Bette Davis version.
Jeanne Eagels was nominated for Best Actress Oscar in 1929. She was the first actor to be nominated for an Oscar posthumously. She lost to Mary Pickford in Coquette. Bette Davis was nominated Best Actress for her performance in 1941 but lost to Joan Fontaine in Suspicion.