Best Picture Nominees: 1946

For more information about 1946, see The Learning Network's Fact Monster.

The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler)
Won Best Picture
Three American servicemen return home to Boone City after the war, to find their lives irrevocably changed by their military experience. Homer Parrish (Harold Russell) has lost his hands and has become distant from his fiancee and family, as he struggles to overcome his disability. Al Stephenson (Fredric March) returns to a family which has grown and changed during his three years away. And Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) finds himself stuck in a lousy job and a loveless marriage, while at the same time falling in love with Al's daughter (Teresa Wright). Together, the three must find a way to come to terms with their experiences and pick up the pieces, lest wartime turn out to be "the best years of their lives".

It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra)
Nominated Best Picture
IMDb Highest Rated
Solonor's Pick
The perennial Christmas classic has George Bailey (James Stewart) spending his entire life giving up his big dreams for the good of his town, Bedford Falls, as we see in flashback. But in the present, on Christmas Eve, he is broken and suicidal over the misplacing of an $8000 loan and the machinations of the evil millionaire, Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore). His guardian angel, Clarence (Henry Travers), falls to Earth, literally, and shows him how his town, family, and friends would turn out if he had never been born.

Great Expectations (David Lean)
Nominated Best Picture
Based on the novel by Charles Dickens, in which Pip (Anthony Wager/John Mills) a poor orphan who befriends an escaped convict (Finlay Currie) and who grows up in the company of a bitter old woman, Miss Havisham (Martita Hunt), and her haughty young ward, Estella (Jean Simmons/Valerie Hobson). Pip learns the rewards of both vindictiveness and gratitude as a result.


The Yearling (Clarence Brown)
Nominated Best Picture
From the novel by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. After the American Civil War, a rebel soldier and his wife (Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman) become pioneer farmers in Florida. Their son Jody (Claude Jarman, Jr.) is 11 years old; he gets along well with his warm and affectionate pa, but his ma is haunted by the death of her other children, so she's somber, even cold. The boy wants a pet: the dad is sympathetic, the mom obdurate. When a rattler bites pa, pa kills a doe to use its organs to draw out the poison. Jody begs to keep the doe's fawn as a pet. The parents agree, and the boy and the deer are soon inseparable. The fawn grows quickly, and as a yearling tramples tobacco shoots and eats the newly-sprouted corn. This is too much for ma, and Jody has to face harsh, adult realities.

The Razor's Edge (Edmund Goulding)
Nominated Best Picture
This is W. Somerset Maugham's novel about well-to-do Chicagoan, Larry Darrell (Tyrone Power), who breaks off his engagement to Isabel (Gene Tierney) and travels the world seeking enlightenment, eventually finding his guru India. Isabel marries Gray (John Payne), and following the crash of 1929, is invited to live in Paris with her rich, social climbing, Uncle Elliot (Clifton Webb). During a sojurn there, Larry, having attained his goal, is reunited with Isabel. While slumming one night Larry, Isabel and company are shocked to discover Sophie (Anne Baxter), a friend from Chicago. Having lost her husband and child in a tragic accident, Sophie is living the low-life with the help of drugs and an abusive brute. Larry tries to rehabilitate her, but his efforts are sabotaged by Isabel who has tried in vain to reignite Larry's interest in her.

The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)
Raymond Chandler wrote the novel, and William Faulkner wrote the screenplay about famouse detective Philip Marlowe (Humphrey Bogart), who is hired to keep an eye on General Sternwood's youngest daughter, Carmen (Martha Vickers), who has fallen into bad company and is likely to do some damage to herself and her family before long. He soon finds himself falling in love with her older sister, Vivian (Lauren Bacall), who initially takes a deep dislike to Mr Marlowe. However, the plot thickens when murder follows murder...

Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock)
Following the conviction of her German father for treason against the U.S., Alicia Huberman (Ingrid Bergman) takes to drink and men. She is approached by a government agent (Cary Grant) who asks her to spy on a group of her father's Nazi friends operating out of Rio de Janeiro. A romance develops between Alicia and Devlin, but she starts to get too involved in her work.


Children of Paradise (Marcel Carne)
This tragic tale from France centers around the ill-fated love between Baptiste (Jean-Louis Barrault), a theater mime, and Claire Reine (Arletty), an actress and otherwise woman-about-town who calls herself Garance. Garance, in turn, is loved by three other men: Frederick (Pierre Brasseur), a pretentious actor; Lacenaire (Marcel Herrand), a conniving thief; and Count Eduard of Monteray (Louis Salou). The story is further complicated by Nathalie (Maria Casares, an actress who is in love with Baptiste. Garance and Baptiste meet when Garance is falsely accused of stealing a man's watch. Later, Garance is forced to leave town under the protection of Count Eduard when she gets mixed up in a crime committed by Lacenaire. In the intervening years of separation, both Garance and Baptiste become involved in loveless marriages with the Count and Nathalie, respectively. Returning to Paris, Garance finds that Baptiste has become a famous mime actor and plots to meet him. Their rendezvous is exposed and Nathalie loses Baptiste, Baptiste loses Garance, and Garance disappears.


Brief Encounter (David Lean)
In a cafe at a railway station, housewife Laura Jesson (Celia Johnson) meets doctor Alec Harvey (Trevor Howard). Although they are already married, they gradually fall in love with each other. They continue to meet every Thursday on the small cafe, although they know that their love is impossible.

My Darling Clementine (John Ford)
Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) and his brothers Morgan and Virgil (Ward Bond and Tim Holt) ride into Tombstone and leave brother James (Don Garner) in charge of their cattle herd. On their return they find their cattle stolen and James dead. Wyatt takes on the job of town marshal, making his brothers deputies, and vows to stay in Tombstone until James' killers are found. He soon runs into the brooding, coughing, hard-drinking Doc Holliday (Victor Mature), as well as the sullen and vicious Clanton clan. Wyatt discovers the owner of a trinket stolen from James' dead body, and the stage is set for the Earps' long-awaited revenge--gunfight at the OK Corral.

Gilda (Charles Vidor)
Just arrived in Argentina, small-time crooked gambler Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is saved from a gunman by sinister Ballin Mundson (George Macready), who later makes Johnny his right-hand man. But their friendship, based on mutual lack of scruples, is strained when Mundson returns from a trip with a wife: the supremely desirable Gilda (Rita Hayworth), whom Johnny once knew and learned to hate. The relationship of Johnny and Gilda, a battlefield of warring emotions, becomes even more bizarre after Mundson disappears.

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Best Picture: 1946
What is the Best Picture of 1946?

The Best Years of Our Lives
It's A Wonderful Life
Great Expectations
The Yearling
The Razor's Edge
The Big Sleep
Children of Paradise
Brief Encounter
My Darling Clementine

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1945 <- Main Menu -> 1947

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