(one installment in a quick series counting down from 50 to 26!)
GREER GARSON IN MRS. PARKINGTON (1944)
The competition (Cliff: 5 for 5!):
Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight
Claudette Colbert in Since You Went Away
Bette Davis in Mr. Skeffington
Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity
In her fourth of five consecutive nominations, and fifth overall, Greer had hit the Academy’s sweet spot in dignified romantic dramas. The bulk of the story, in which the usual Walter Pidgeon elevates her from hotel maid to Manhattan society dame, doesn’t give her much unique material to work with; however, the present-day frame story presents her the chance to inhabit an ancient matriarch remarkably well (aided by a superb makeup job), at turns tender and sassy as she deals with the rotten tendrils of the Parkington clan (a group that includes Edward Arnold, Dan Duryea, and Gladys Cooper). A minor role in Garson’s oeuvre that lost to an inevitable Ingrid Bergman, but neither can hold a candle to the legendary Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity.