“Forgotten Hollywood”- It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad Oscars…

Posted on February 14, 2019 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…

“`This year’s Academy Awards  telecast has been blemished by a couple of public-relations disasters and missteps. A number of actors and behind-the-scenes artisans have voiced their outrage over decisions, including temporary inclusion of a popular movie category; the Kevin Hart-hosting debacle; and recently, the scheduled tape delay of four categories from the live portion of the telecast (notably cinematography and editing).

“`Controversy has surrounded Oscars ceremonies throughout its storied history. One incident come to mind.

~ 1953 Telecast – It was the first time the annual awards event was televised. The marriage of motion picture and television was a tenuous relationship, with cinematic moguls fearing the small screen could depress theater ticket sales.  Plus, movie stars thumbed their noses at this upstart medium they considered inferior.

“`And filmmakers started fingering alleged Communists in the industry to the Congressional House Un-American Activities Committee. Screenwriters were particularly vulnerable to red-scare tactics. The accused were ostracized and banned by the studios for a decade.

“`The clear Oscar favorite in 1952 was High Noon, which is one of the greatest Westerns ever made, and a timely sagebrush parable warning against the Joseph McCarthy paranoia that swept the industry. Its screenwriter, Carl Foreman, was one of the Hollywood Ten (the unfriendly witnesses jailed for a refusal to name names in testimonies before HUAC. At the height of the Hollywood blacklist, even Gary Cooper was slurred for starring in the film and voicing support for Foreman. Cooper withdrew his solidarity and the film community rallied and gave him a Best Actor statuette.

“`No one represented establishment Hollywood more than virulently anti-Communist Cecil B. DeMille. At the 1953 ceremony, DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth was named movie’s best of the year. Hollywood historians have generally agreed that this was Oscar’s cheesiest blunder. Instead, High Noon could have lost to respected productions that year such as The Quiet Man, Singing in the Rain, or The Bad and the Beautiful.

“`A couple of side notes…

  • In 1957, a blacklisted screenwriter won an Oscar under an alias (Dalton Trumbo with the pseudonym of Robert Rich).  He was finally awarded that statuette for The Brave One in 1975, a year before his death.
  • Charlie Chaplin, a target of McCarthy, was denied re-entry to the United States in 1952 for his left-wing leanings. His movie Limelight would not be released for twenty years. At that time, Chaplin received a competitive Oscar for Best Score. He had been invited back to the United States the year before to receive an honorary Oscar.
  • Director Howard Hawks and John Wayne challenged the notion of the parable presented in High Noon with the production of Rio Bravo in 1959.

“`I anticipate a fallout from the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2019 at 5:35 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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