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One thing I would love to see TCM do is produce a really in depth two hour documentary about the history of the Academy Awards and include as much vintage footage of the actual ceremonies as possible. I know that in the early 1990's, the Academy slapped together some footage and had then president Karl Malden host a more contemporary compilation ("Oscar's Greatest Moments") but the emphasis was on the 70's and 80's with virtually nothing offered before 1972.

 

You could approach the material from so many different angeles (the politics, how the actual ceremony has evolved - some might say disintegrated - over time, the unexpected shockers, the notorious slights (Grace Kelly instead of Judy Garland in '54?), great performers and performances that weren't ever nominated, the fashion and on and on...)

 

On a related note: Archival footage from the 1939 ceremonies is often glimpsed in specials and documentaries but I don't believe I've ever seen more than a few minutes of this (you usually see a bit of Bob Hope's introduction, Vivien Leigh accepting her Oscar, a tearful Hattie McDaniel retrieving hers and Rooney handing Garland her juvenile Oscar) with some panning shots of the audience (there's Bette! Look, there's Hitch!) I've also read that parts of this were "staged" for the newsreel cameras -- In other words that there was an actual ceremony and then parts of it were re-created so that the cameras could get closer angles and more flattering footage of the stars. True?

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Sounds like a great idea to me. A lot of people never heard about David Niven and the streaker, or the longest speech (some female talked for over 20 minutes), and the shortest speech. They could cover the styles of dress, including Streisands black shocker, and quick clips from some of the opening musical numbers.

 

You're right, it could easily fill two hours or more, or maybe be a filler for like a half hour between movies sometimes in oscar month.

 

Anne

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It could be a nice idea, but could they get the rights to use the footage from past ceremonies? >>

 

I would think that they could do a partnership with the Academy on this and include interview footage with winners and nominees from the Turner Archive Project.

 

I would think the Academy would be quite a willing partner. Now, whether or not Paramount and Universal and the other studios want to play nice regarding the footage from nominated films and winners is another story.

 

But, it would definitely be worth investigating I would think.

 

The major drawback regarding footage of the awards is that there may not be footage of every years ceremony until the Awards debuted on television. Even some of the early television ceremonies may no longer exist.

 

From the 1960s on it seems like most broadcasts do exist but prior to that, it would be worth checking out.

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Great Idea, Waldo Lydecker.

 

And, with Robert Osborne designated by AMPAS as the "Official Red Carpet Greeter" for the Ceremony since the retirement of Army Archerd, there is certainly an "in" for TCM to get access to all footage necessary to make it an exceptional documentary. That is on top of the Official History he has written of the Academy Awards and was published a few years back.

 

Kyle In Hollywood

(Should I go down to the Red Carpet and pitch the idea to Mr. Osborne himself?)

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