Hasty Heart, The (1949): WWII Tale, Starring Richard Todd in Oscar-Nominated Performance

Handsome Scottish born actor Richard Todd may be better known for his roles in historical epics, such as “The Story of Robin Hood” and “Rob Roy—the Highland Rogue,” both in the early 1950s.

However, Todd gave his most dramatically intense performance in The Hasty Heart, adapted to the screen by Ranald MacDougla from John Patrick’s play, for which he received his only Best Actor Oscar nomination.

Todd plays an obnoxious, insufferable Scots soldier confined to a World War II military hospital, where he irritates and alienates most of his mates.

Ronald Reagan is an all-American patient who befriends the headstrong Scotsman, while Patricia Neal is the compassionate nurse.

Gradually the patients grow begrudgingly fond of Todd, when they learn that he is suffering from a fatal illness.  At first, they all try to keep his true condition a secret from him. Todd inadvertently discovers the truth, and violently turns against his buddies.

But this is after all an uplifting message film, and so before the end, there are reconciliations and formation of true friendships, which see the better of the patients.

Oscar Nominations: 1

Best Actor: Richard Todd

Oscar Award: None

Oscar Context:

The winner of the Best Actor was Broderick Crawford for “All the President’s Men,” which also received Best Picture and other Oscars.

The other nominees in this category were: Kirk Douglas in “Champion,” Gregory Peck in “Twelve O’Clock High,” and John Wayne in “Sands of Iwo Jima.”