Top Ten 1939

BIL'S BEST ACTOR

James Stewart won the Academy Award in 1940 for The Philadelphia Story, and it has been considered his consolation prize for not having won it for Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. It’s easy to see why; his charmingly loveable persona hits the maximum of dramatic effort when he spends the centrepiece of the film enacting the mother of all filibusters. I’d also include in this selection for this category his performance in one of the greatest westerns ever made, Destry Rides Again, in which he lays the groundwork for characters he would often play in the future, moral gunmen who never pulled a trigger without thinking about it very carefully first.

Honour Roll: Robert Donat, Goodbye, Mr.…

  • Only Angels Have Wings

    1

  • The Wizard of Oz

    2

  • Gone with the Wind

    3

  • Midnight

    4

  • Young Mr. Lincoln

    5

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    6

  • The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

    7

  • Le Jour se Lève

    8

  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

    9

  • Ninotchka

    10