Academy Award & Beyond
It is difficult after these films with Garbo to see Daniels's career as anything other than a decline. However, he did achieve some successes. He won the Academy Award for The Naked City, an acknowledgment of the realistic side of his talent. Nevertheless, a romantic mixture of life and daydreams remained his forte. Pat and Mike is a sun-filled world of tennis courts and golf courses. Katharine Hepburn was never photographed in any other film better than she is in this 1952 romantic comedy. In Valley of the Dolls, mediocre as it is otherwise, the face of Barbara Parkins, especially in the scenes set in New England, calls forth something vaguely reminiscent of the old Daniels-Garbo magic. Daniels combined romanticism with realism; and, like all great portraitists, his ultimate achievement was only as good as the face and personality he rendered.