Best Actor, 1940
Charlie Chaplin (The Great Dictator), Henry Fonda (The Grapes of Wrath), Raymond Massey (Abe Lincoln in Illinois), Laurence Olivier (Rebecca), James Stewart (The Philadelphia Story - winner)
Remember the titans. Between the great Shakesperean's turn as a mysterious widower in an early Hitchcock classic, an emblematic everyman in a fantastic Steinbeck adaptation, a comic icon's most affecting role in his anti-Nazi satire, and the lanky legend's delightful romcom romping with Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, 1940 was an abundance of riches. (Even Raymond Massey's image-defining turn as the future Great Emancipator is worth honoring.) In the end the award went to Stewart, though with 75 years of historical hindsight it's all but impossible to watch Chaplin's astonishing climactic cri de coeur and not pull for him in retrospect.