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As Academy Awards night approaches, there have been, inevitably, some performances that have not been nominated for the prestigious Oscar during its long history. Here are 10 such masterpieces of acting, that should have allowed these performers the chance to thank the Academy.
10. Robert Shaw in Jaws (1975):
Like Ahab in Moby-Dick, Shaw’s shark hunter Quint in Steven Spielberg’s classic film proved almost as scary as the shark itself. But moments such as Quint relating his nightmarish experience on the U.S.S. Indianapolis made the character pitiable as well.
9. Sidney Poitier in In the Heat of the Night (1967):
Rod Steiger won a well-deserved Oscar for playing a bigoted sheriff who comes to respect the black detective (Poitier) he’s working with to solve a murder. But Poitier was equally memorable and had the film’s most famous line, “They call me Mister Tibbs!”
8. Denzel Washington in Philadelphia (1993):
Tom Hanks won his first Oscar for playing a lawyer dying of AIDS, but Washington was equally great as Hanks’ attorney, who must overcome his homophobia to assist his client.
7. Sean Connery in The Hill (1965):
This WWII drama was the first film to make critics note that Connery was much more than James Bond. He leads a stellar cast as a man in a military prison who leads other prisoners to rebel against its ruthless warden (Ian Hendry).
6. Reese Witherspoon in Election (1999):
Witherspoon plays an overachiever whose determination to be elected president of the student body gets on the nerves of the teacher (Matthew Broderick), who secretly desires her, in one of the smartest high school comedies ever made.
5. John Cazale in The Godfather Part II (1974):
Just as Fredo Corleone was passed over in the family business, Cazale is the only one of the Corleone children who was not nominated for an Oscar. Cazale’s reprisal of Fredo perfectly captures both the frustration and love he has for his brother Michael (Al Pacino).
4. Harrison Ford in The Mosquito Coast (1986):
This was one of Ford’s few films from the 1980s, that didn’t make a lot of money, which is a shame as he is fabulous as a man who takes his family to the jungles of Central America for a more simple life.
3. Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca (1942):
Like Gone With the Wind (1939), the onscreen romance between this film’s leads, Bergman and Humphrey Bogart, is legendary. While Bogart was nominated as a nightclub owner trying to outmaneuver the Nazis, Bergman was curiously overlooked as his former love who finds her feelings for him re-emerging while helping her husband (Paul Henreid), a Czech resistance leader.
2. Clint Eastwood in White Hunter, Black Heart (1990):
Loosely based on filmmaker John Huston, Eastwood is superb as a film director who becomes obsessed with hunting an elephant while in Africa to make his latest movie.
1. Anthony Perkins in Psycho (1960):
Along with Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates is cinema’s most famous serial killer, thanks to Perkins’ creepy, yet somewhat sad, characterization.