All Oscar-winning male supporting performances, ranked

The Supporting Actor and Actress Academy Awards were added to the roster of competitive categories starting with the ninth ceremony in 1937. As mentioned previously, the dividing line between a leading and supporting performance has never been precisely defined or clear. Javier Bardem's role in No Country for Old Men is no more a supporting character than Anthony Hopkins' in The Silence of the Lambs. What defines Walter Matthau and not Jack Lemmon as the support in The Fortune Cookie? And on and on.

For each of the acting categories I've made a point of writing up and briefly addressing the performances themselves, and ranking them, because I have problems. As I think is befitting the nature of the support categories, these comments are likely to be a bit shorter and more flippant than in the two projects like this I've already completed. Here goes nothing.

Read notes
  • All About Eve

    1

  • The Last Picture Show

    2

  • Adaptation.

    3

  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    4

  • The Best Years of Our Lives

    5

  • Beginners

    6

  • A Fish Called Wanda

    7

  • A Streetcar Named Desire

    8

  • No Country for Old Men

    9

  • Spartacus

    10

  • Miracle on 34th Street

    11

  • All the President's Men

    12

  • Ed Wood

    13

  • Moonlight

    14

  • Terms of Endearment

    15

  • Hannah and Her Sisters

    16

  • Topkapi

    17

  • The Fortune Cookie

    18

  • Little Miss Sunshine

    19

  • Glory

    20

  • Inglourious Basterds

    21

  • Johnny Eager

    22

  • Green Book

    23

  • The Usual Suspects

    24

  • Mister Roberts

    25

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

    26

  • The Subject Was Roses

    27

  • Syriana

    28

  • West Side Story

    29

  • Stagecoach

    30

  • Million Dollar Baby

    31

  • Cabaret

    32

  • Being There

    33

  • The Killing Fields

    34

  • GoodFellas

    35

  • The Untouchables

    36

  • Jerry Maguire

    37

  • Django Unchained

    38

  • Kentucky

    39

  • Bridge of Spies

    40

  • Hud

    41

  • Arthur

    42

  • An Officer and a Gentleman

    43

  • Unforgiven

    44

  • From Here to Eternity

    45

  • The Godfather: Part II

    46

  • The Westerner

    47

  • Iris

    48

  • Cool Hand Luke

    49

  • The Big Country

    50

  • They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

    51

  • Traffic

    52

  • The Dark Knight

    53

  • The Life of Emile Zola

    54

  • Whiplash

    55

  • Twelve O'Clock High

    56

  • Affliction

    57

  • The Barefoot Contessa

    58

  • Sayonara

    59

  • How Green Was My Valley

    60

  • Dallas Buyers Club

    61

  • The More the Merrier

    62

  • Going My Way

    63

  • Sweet Bird of Youth

    64

  • Lust for Life

    65

  • The Paper Chase

    66

  • Good Will Hunting

    67

  • The Fugitive

    68

  • City Slickers

    69

  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

    70

  • The Fighter

    71

  • Come and Get It

    72

  • A Thousand Clowns

    73

  • The Deer Hunter

    74

  • The Sunshine Boys

    75

  • Ordinary People

    76

  • Cocoon

    77

  • The Cider House Rules

    78

  • Viva Zapata!

    79

  • Mystic River

    80

  • Julia

    81

  • Ben-Hur

    82

  • Ryan's Daughter

    83