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Most awkward Oscar telecast moments ever (aside from the obvious)....


Bethluvsfilms
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Will Smith going up there and hitting Chris Rock probably tops them all as THE most embarrassing episode to happen on a live Oscar telecast. 

And we'd all thought nothing would top the mix-up of the Best Picture fiasco a few years ago between LA LA LAND and MOONLIGHT when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winner. Never say never...

What other Oscar show moments that made you cringe?

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Bert-Schneider-007.jpg

Schneider and Davis                   

At the 47th Academy Awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on April 8, 1975, producer Bert Schneider -- an advocate for leftist causes and a Primetime Emmy winning co-creator of TV's "The Monkees" -- walked onstage with  director Peter Davis to collect the Best Feature Documentary award for the Vietnam War film "Hearts and Minds."

He then elicited both applause and boos when he began reading a congratulatory communiqué from the North Vietnamese. In response, the politically conservative Oscar co-hosts Bob Hope and Frank Sinatra quickly put together a statement that was delivered by Sinatra: "The Academy is saying, 'We are not responsible for any political utterances made on this program, and we are sorry they had to take place this evening'." 

That move irked another Oscars co-host, the liberal activist Shirley MacLaine, and her brother Warren Beatty. When Sinatra introduced Beatty to present the Academy Award for Best Picture (won by "The Godfather Part II"), Beatty replied, "Thank you, Frank -- you old Republican you."

The documentary's Oscar win occurred 15 days before President Gerald Ford declared the end of America's involvement in Vietnam. The announcement came during a speech at Tulane University in New Orleans on April 23, 1975. 

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Was the first political statement at the Oscars the time when the former Miss American Vampire read a speech about Native American rights after Brando won for The Godfather?

Not to forget the obvious among the awkward Oscar moments, there was the streaker.

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31 minutes ago, King Rat said:

Was the first political statement at the Oscars the time when the former Miss American Vampire read a speech about Native American rights after Brando won for The Godfather?

Not to forget the obvious among the awkward Oscar moments, there was the streaker.

Believe it is.

Paddy Chayefsky was not one to shy away from strong opinion, but even he believed you should leave political commentary for other venues.  In response to Vanessa Redgrave's speech at the 1978 cermony, he said he would like to suggest to her that "her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, does not require a proclamation, and a simple 'thank you' would have sufficed."

 

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13 minutes ago, txfilmfan said:

Believe it is.

Paddy Chayefsky was not one to shy away from strong opinion, but even he believed you should leave political commentary for other venues.  In response to Vanessa Redgrave's speech at the 1978 cermony, he said he would like to suggest to her that "her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, does not require a proclamation, and a simple 'thank you' would have sufficed."

 

If only Chayefsky's comment could be played after every pretentious political proclamation at the Oscars!

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The 1931 ceremony, where Al Jolson, in full blackface and blitzed on coke, pulled a knife on Will Rogers, resulting in Rogers nearly strangling the singer with his lariat. 

The 1944 ceremony where Danny Kaye tripped Charles Coburn who was on his way to the stage to accept his Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Coburn fell face-first into the sharp-edged stairs, cleanly severing the top third of his skull. Thankfully, Lionel Barrymore, then making Dr. Gillespie movies, quickly stapled the veteran actor's cranium back together.

At the 1953 ceremony, winner Anthony Quinn teased losing nominee Richard Burton, calling him "fancy boy". When Burton objected, Quinn, along with other nominees Victor McLaglen, Jack Palance, and Arthur Hunnicutt, tarred and feathered the Hollywood newcomer, an act from which his career never recovered.

On stage to present the Best Supporting Actor award for 1966, Shelley Winters read the teleprompter incorrectly and accidentally named Arnold Stang as a nominee. When Stang learned that it was a mistake, he hired someone to blow up Winters' car.

Finally, in 1996, Jerry Maguire.

 

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51 minutes ago, King Rat said:

If only Chayefsky's comment could be played after every pretentious political proclamation at the Oscars!

Add the Golden Globes as well....Meryl Streep's tirade against Donald Trump when she received a lifetime award at the Globes a few years back was tiresome and aggravating.

I'm not a Trump fan at all, but please, just express your gratitude, get your award and get off the stage.

Then you have Michael Moore criticizing George W. Bush when he won his Oscar for Best Documentary for BOWLING FOR COLUMBINE. Again, I didn't like Bush Jr. as President, but just say thanks and go back to your seat!

Chayesfsky had it just right.

 

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One of the more embarrassing moments occurred in 1934 when the awards for 1932-33 were announced. Will Rogers was announcing the award for Best Director, and he said, "Come up and get it, Frank!" Frank Capra rushed to the stage, thinking he had won for Lady for a Day. However, the winner was Frank Lloyd for Cavalcade.

A variation of this scene was used in the movie The Oscar.

 

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Maybe not the most awkward but how about most honest.  I ran across this article about honest reactions by actors losing the Oscar:

The 18 Most Honest Reactions Ever to Losing an Actor or Actress Oscar: A GIF History (wmagazine.com)

Some, like Bill Murray and Holly Hunter are exaggerating for effect.  Others like Talia Shire who lost to Faye Dunaway seem genuinely displeased.

Oscars 2021: The 10 best reactions to losing an Academy Award | The  Independent

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1 hour ago, Peebs said:

Maybe not the most awkward but how about most honest.  I ran across this article about honest reactions by actors losing the Oscar:

The 18 Most Honest Reactions Ever to Losing an Actor or Actress Oscar: A GIF History (wmagazine.com)

Some, like Bill Murray and Holly Hunter are exaggerating for effect.  Others like Talia Shire who lost to Faye Dunaway seem genuinely displeased.

Oscars 2021: The 10 best reactions to losing an Academy Award | The  Independent

Thanks so much for posting this. I enjoyed reading the whole article. The description of Talia Shire (lower right corner) is that she looks "like a goth who just had her phone taken away." Brilliant!

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One example of how a host SHOULD rescue the ceremony:

Hal Roach was receiving a life-achievement award in 1984, and just as he was recalling the glory days of Laurel & Hardy in his acceptance speech...the audio went out, and Roach happily went on unaware.

Host Billy Crystal rescued the audience's awkwardness afterwards with simple brilliance:  "The guy used to be in silents!"   😅

---

Also, the importance of not appointing nominees as presenters (to avoid any conflict of interest) was established in 1943, when Irving Berlin presented the Best Song award, going to...Irving Berlin, for "White Christmas", Holiday Inn.

Berlin graciously accepted the award on the winner's behalf--"He's a great guy, I've worked with him all my life."

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8 hours ago, Peebs said:

Maybe not the most awkward but how about most honest.  I ran across this article about honest reactions by actors losing the Oscar:

The 18 Most Honest Reactions Ever to Losing an Actor or Actress Oscar: A GIF History (wmagazine.com)

Some, like Bill Murray and Holly Hunter are exaggerating for effect.  Others like Talia Shire who lost to Faye Dunaway seem genuinely displeased.

Oscars 2021: The 10 best reactions to losing an Academy Award | The  Independent

Why?  Did anyone think that Shire had a chance that year (1976 as it happens)?

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Have to admit Talia doesn't look like a happy camper in that pic. 

Was ROCKY the expected winner that night? It was running against some heavy competiton that night, including NETWORK, TAXI DRIVER and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. Maybe she thought she had a chance to ride the coattails off of any victories that went the way to her film.

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1 hour ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Have to admit Talia doesn't look like a happy camper in that pic. 

Was ROCKY the expected winner that night? It was running against some heavy competiton that night, including NETWORK, TAXI DRIVER and ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN. Maybe she thought she had a chance to ride the coattails off of any victories that went the way to her film.

Rocky was an upset winner. A lot of people were thinking All the President's Men or Network. Talia Shire would probably have been aware of the late surge for Rocky, which took not only Best Picture but Best Director (one of the most obscure directors ever to win, John G. Avildsen), so she probably hoped to be swept along on the tide, like Avildsen.

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On 4/13/2022 at 3:08 AM, skimpole said:

Why?  Did anyone think that Shire had a chance that year (1976 as it happens)?

Its possible. Rocky had an enormous reaction from audiences at the time. Frank Capra called it the best film of the decade, and it was presumably its upbeat nature that helped it win over a group of somber films.

Shire fought to be up for leading; UA wanted to push her supporting, where she would have likely knocked out Beatrice Straight. But she wanted lead, which was a battle royale between Dunaway and Liv Ullman.

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3 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Its possible. Rocky had an enormous reaction from audiences at the time. Frank Capra called it the best film of the decade, and it was presumably its upbeat nature that helped it win over a group of somber films.

Shire fought to be up for leading; UA wanted to push her supporting, where she would have likely knocked out Beatrice Straight. But she wanted lead, which was a battle royale between Dunaway and Liv Ullman.

Dunaway had the "OMG, she didn't win for Bonnie and Clyde or for Chinatown" factor going for her. At that moment, she was a top star who had done good work in hit movies but had not won an Oscar. For anyone in doubt, she was a reasonable choice.

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12 minutes ago, King Rat said:

Dunaway had the "OMG, she didn't win for Bonnie and Clyde or for Chinatown" factor going for her. At that moment, she was a top star who had done good work in hit movies but had not won an Oscar. For anyone in doubt, she was a reasonable choice.

Dunaway WAS the main plot of Network, all that mad-as-hell stuff with Peter Finch was just the subplot.

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