Oscar Movies: Henry V (1946)

United Artists
(J. Arthur Rank-Two Cities Films)

Oscar Nominations: 4

Picture, produced by Laurence Olivier
Actor: Laurence Olivier
Interior Decoration (Color): Paul Sheriff and Carmen Dillon
Scoring (Dramatic or Comedy): William Walton

Oscar Awards: 1

Special Award to Laurence Olivier “for outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director.”

Oscar Context

In 1946, “Best Years of Our Lives” competed for the top award with Olivier’s Shakespearean film “Henry V,” Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “The Razor Edge,” based on Somerset Maugham’s novel, and Clarence Brown’s family melodrama “The Yearling,” co-starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman, which received 7 nominations, but only two legit Oscars: Cinematography and Art Direction (both in color)

“The Best Years of Our Lives” was the most honored film in 1946, receiving the largest number of awards to date, 7 regular and a Special Oscar. It captured the mood of post-War America so effectively and so realistically, that even the more critical reviewers failed to see its flaws at the time.

The big loser was Capra’s fable, which was a commercial failure at the time, but in later years came to be recognized by film critics as his masterpiece.