The October Supporting Actress Smackdown was for the year 1976, which I admit I championed back when we were voting on which year to choose. After revisiting the five movies, though, I kind of wonder why I thought 1976 was so great. And in a testament to how my movie tastes have changed over the years, my preconceived notions of which actresses gave the best performances and which were mediocre or worse were almost entirely flipped by the time I watched all the films.
The nominees for 1976, if you don’t remember off the top of your head (and unless you’re Robert Osborne, you probably don’t) were:
Beatrice Straight, “Network”
Jane Alexander, “All the President’s Men”
Jodie Foster, “Taxi Driver”
Lee Grant, “Voyage of the Damned”
Piper Laurie, “Carrie”
I positively adore Lee Grant. Grant is so wonderful in so many films, and I remember watching her in a dozen TV shows. She was even in a show called “Fay”, which my parents watched and which I remember for the notoriety of having the phrase “stretch marks” censored! Yes, thanks to being moderately neglected in childhood, when I was 5 years old I was watching shows like “Soap”, “Maude”, and “Fay”… and learning all sorts of things most 5 year olds don’t even think about.
A few months ago I grabbed “Voyage of the Damned” off TCM, pretty excited about the all-star cast and Lee Grant in particular, but ended up so incredibly disappointed with her performance. The whole movie was too light for the subject matter, very made-for-TV and bland as oatmeal. Feh.
The other four movies I’d seen before, and as I said, I was surprised when I revisited these films. But don’t take my word for it, go to StinkyLulu and read all the Smackdowners!
Note: I originally posted this very early Sunday morning before the official post was up. Once you’ve read this month’s Smackdown, why not check out some previous Smackdowns?
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