Patricia Neal: The Actress Who Won an Oscar for a Role with Only 22 Minutes of Screen Time

  • AUTHOR: dua
  • POSTED ON: January 1, 2021

This has been a
distinct year in cinematic history – with theatres closed, the importance of
theatres truly came into question. Is it a thing of the past or still a crucial
component of entertainment industry? Well, that remains to be a burning

With the Oscar season
making its way, it is now time for us to discuss the films that inspired us
this year. Although the movie-watching experience was extremely unique this
year, the value and significance the content possessed remain undisputed.

We’ve officially
entered January, and so naturally, all portals will now establish the films
that are running in the Oscar race this year. But here’s the thing: instead of
establishing the frontrunners of the race, let’s talk about the ones who’ve
already won it.

In fact, we should cherish
the ones that not only came out victorious but also did it in style and with
impact. Let’s discuss the history makers – the game changers.

As we know, the
entertainment industry is not equal: the female actors are not playing on the
same field as the male actors. The challenges that female actors face are
sometimes invisible yet deep-rooted. They deal with poor scripts, lack of
central characters, and sexual objectification and—needless to say—the glass

Female led movies are
hardly backed by studios, they have limited budgets, and arduous schedules. And
the problems don’t just end here because we’ve not even started the
conversation about pay parity. These are the topical issues, as we’re not yet
diverting the conversation to the problems faced by Black actresses and female

And despite it all, it
is seen that it is always the female actors who make the most impact in
performing arts. Even with limited opportunities and thunderous baggage, they
come up with performances that move you. Their ability to be vulnerable on
screen remains unmatched. And the best thing about these artists is that they
don’t even need much time to make the impact.

In the past, we’ve seen
several performances in which actresses have sparked the interest of audiences.
They’ve won the prestigious academy award even with a role that had less than a
25-minute screen time. When it comes to the Best Actress category, no one has
determined the key indicators that establish who is worthy of winning. But one
thing is clear-cut and concise, there’s no time limit. 

Hence, we can all learn
from history that time is unnecessary; to make an impact, the performance needs
to be meaningful, not long. And so, here are some of the actresses who’ve
captured the attention of audiences with astounding performances and made
marvelous headlines by making history. They’re the ones who attained it all in
minimum time.

Patricia Neal for Hud

To kick off the list,
we have Patricia Neal who powered through in her impeccable performance as a
weary housekeeper in Hud. The movie came out in 1964, and that year, her
competitors had roles with a screen time of 63 minutes and above.

What they couldn’t do
in such a long time, she accomplished in less than 22 minutes. She made only
19.58% of the movie, but when people left the theatres, the role was all they
could only talk about.

Patricia Neal, American
actress of stage and screen, known mostly for her role in World War II centered
movie in which she essay the widow Helen Benson, won the Academy Award for Hud.
She has a 22 minutes of screen time but she showed the world of cinema how time
is not key to creating memorable performances.

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Fletcher for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Next up on the list we
have Louise Fletcher for her role in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Her
competitors in the category had over 40 minutes of screen time, but she proved
with her powerful performance that time is meaningless if the role is

Her portrayal of the
despicable Nurse Mildred Ratched stood out even though her screen time measured
up to 22 minutes and 37 seconds. In the movie, she had the support of the
incomparable Jack Nicholson, however, her role was so extraordinary that she shined
the brightest.

Kidman for The Hours

This was another year
when the competition was cutthroat. Kidman had Renee Zellweger as an opponent,
who also pulled her pants and gave a performance of a lifetime in Chicago. On
top of that, her competitors included Julianne Moore.

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But it was Nicole
Kidman who championed through even with a performance that lasted 23 minutes
and 30 seconds in the film. Her portrayal of the depressed writer Virginia
Woolf left a burning scar on the audience that tingles even today if you watch
the movie.

McDormand for Fargo

Frances McDormand is an
actress who needs no introduction. She has time and again proved to her
audience that she’s a powerhouse of talent. When she cries on screen, the
viewers cry with her, and when she’s angry, the world seeks revenge, too. Her
impact is priceless regardless of time and other variables.

The actress won her
first Oscar for the leading role in a movie called Fargo in the year 1997.
Here, she essayed the role of Minnesota police Chief Marge Gunderson and her
character was only present on screen for 26 minutes and 29 seconds. When you
come to think of it, McDormand made only 27% of the film, but it is a
performance that people still talk about today.

Rainer for The Great Ziegfeld

Normally, when actors
star in a movie in which their roles are written for less than 40 minutes,
they’re categorized in the supporting role. However, it was Rainer who set the
benchmark in 1938 with her outstanding performance in The Great Ziegfeld. Her
role in the movie was characterized to perfection with an impeccable arc and growth.
Her overall screen time was of 35 minutes and 43 seconds.

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Thus, it can be
established that you don’t have to be on the screen throughout the movie to
tell the audience that you’re important. You can achieve that with even one
scene or even one dialogue.

Don’t forget to read why Oscars 2020 will always be remembered.

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Updated January 1, 2021
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