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And the Oscar Goes To Documentary


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TCM's Original Productions, with cooperation from the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences, debuts a new documentary this evening on the history of the Academy Awards, *And the Oscar Goes To"

 

Should be some great clips to see!

 

Tonight (Saturday) at 8:00 pm EST/5:00 pm PST and at various times throughout the month.

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I taped this in case I missed any of it and am glad I did as I can go back to it when I want. This was wonderful with the clips and stories which pulled no punches in calling the Academy out when it went wrong. I wish there had been more.

 

People seem to act as if one of those "Lifetime Achievment" awards are not as good as winning a competitive "Best" one. I disagree. The Best one is for a single performance or film while the LA is for a body of work over 30, 40, or 50 years. To me, that is what truly makes a "Star".

 

The Awards started at the Roosevelt, will continue across the street at the Nokia and +I+ have walked the halls of each. WOW!

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As expected, this is a reverential, nostalgic look at the Oscars, definitely not as "entertaining" as the 1992 straight-to-video documentary "Oscar's Greatest Moments", which has extended clips of Sacheen Littlefeather, "Zionist Hoodlums", the streaker who ran on stage, live bloopers, and all that outrageous stuff. But "The Oscar Goes To..." does have those backstage interview outtakes, which I enjoyed. I wish there were more of those. In fact, the whole film doesn't show nearly enough footage from the telecast.

 

This is a show that gave us Rob Lowe and Snow White, James Franco and Anne Hatheway, and countless other disastrous moments that have made it apparent to all of us that this is not exactly the classiest award shows in history, like the Tonys, AFI Salutes, and Kennedy Center Honors. A more irreverent and less serious "tribute" would be nicer.

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I thought this was a great look at the history of the Academy Awards, and enjoyed all the clips for awards being given out. But I wonder why they didn't include Sally Field's quite famous acceptence speech when she received her second award for "Places in the Heart"? It seems it would have fit in with many that they did show.

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The documentary was a great piece of work. Enjoyed all of it immensely. Good mix of old stuff and new stuff. Fascinating interviews. Well worth watching. As I see few new modern movies I don't watch the Oscars anymore and haven't for quite a few years but I used to be riveted in my younger days to the annual TV event.

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Sorry folks, I was disappointed in this program. I agree, TCM has made some great documentaries, but this look at the Oscars wasn't among them.

It had no particular structure - it jumped all over the place, it felt as though someone was just adding bits in as they thought of them ("oh, hey, let's include this interview with Tom Hanks....here's a funny story about Bette Davis, put that in...maybe now we should talk about film editing for a minute or two..." )

I'm not saying it should have been chronological, that's not always the best or most creative way to present information on film. But this didn't seem to have any kind of planning or form to it, it just wandered around at random.

There was loads of stuff they left out that could have been included, and yet, often too much time/attention given to one aspect or story or actor speaking about their own personal experience with the Academy Awards show. There'd be a disproportionate amount of time spent about one incident or event or person, and none given at all to other aspects of the Oscars.

I will say, at least I was not bored - just unimpressed.

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a reaction to MissW: i felt the same way. that is, the show wandered from topic to topic and at the end when i thought there would be a big finale about Best Picture there was hardly anything.

 

i noticed that clips were mostly from the era of TV telecasts, 1953 onward. the pre-1953 stuff was ignored or given short shrift. does pre-1953 stuff exist? one very brief clip showed a title card frame with a notation that said: (paraphasing) a filmed record of the 21st Academy Awards, so it looks like something besides tapes or kinescopes were made before 1953. for the pre-1953 awards aren't there March of Time, Movietone News or other similar clips available?

 

besides the streaker and Sally Fields, i recall a post-1953 early TV era ceremony where Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster sang a duet which would have been a highlight for this documentary or any review of Oscar awards.

 

a review of some categories was given, but there was little depth. one of the first Oscars was for "Title Cards" and was quickly dropped. no development of the categories was mentioned until Best Animated Feature was noted and no mention of what year it was added was given. the cinematography award once had two separate statues: Cinematography B&W and Cinematography Color. these were consolidated into one award (i think it was 1968). there's no mention of that or Honorary Oscars, additions and subtractions to the "Short" awards (or "Shorts" at all). lots of topics were never explored.

 

i noticed TCM blocked two hours to show the doc, but it ran just over 1 hr 35 min. the difference could have been used to highlight some of my expectations.

 

so, i liked what i saw, but it was brief, unfocused, wasn't very specific and had some gaps. it just should have been more complete.

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I certainly enjoyed the documentary, but in general I agree with Misswonderly's review. The show was so random!

While there are too many to be all inclusive, I would love to have seen a montage of the actor/actress winning moments. It seemed they were determined to cover nearly every category, but the chosen coverage was puzzling. For example, the costume award spot seemed confined to the winner for "Erin Brockevich" ( sp?) who explained how he made sure he emphasized the character's breasts - is that why it won? How about at least a MENTION of Edith Head who won a record 8 Oscars and 28 nominations!

When they discussed Oscars for film editing they showed clips from "Psycho" "Bonnie and Clyde" and "2001" - all certainly now recognized as brilliantly edited movies - unfortunately, none of these films won Oscars for editing or in fact, were even nominated!

Was the extensive coverage of the various hosts necessary? I would certainly have expected acknowledgement of Bob Hope who was the MC for so many years, but Whoopi? Richard Pryor? One-timers? Why?

And yes, a few can represent the many,but why so much from Jane Fonda ( and I'm not a member of the shrill anti-Hanoi Jane clique) Cher, Helen Mirren, Steven Spielberg,Tom Hanks. And I certainly did NOT need to hear Hanks' "amusing" anecdote re: Bette Davis nor the embarassing footage of her difficulties at the mike. She was already a cancer survivor and in her last years at that unfortunate time. One of our greatest actresses and two time Oscar winners should have been given

more respect. Ditto Whoopi recalling how "clever" BillyCrystal was in his comment on Hal Roach's " moment" ( speaking inaudibly from the

audience).

Other complaints - odd footage - interview with Elizabeth Taylor who at one point says, "Why ask me, I didn't win anything," giving maybe the

impression that she had won no Oscars. Not that year - but she has

actually won two Oscars in other years. And speaking of Elizabeth Taylor

- Richard Burton should have been mentioned among those who never

won - he had many nominations and I think has been recognized as one

of film's great unacknowledged actors Oscar-wise. And conversely, how about the record holder Katharine Hepburn (4 time best actress winner) being recognized for that achievement?

OK - this is longer than intended and much more complaining I could do, but I will say it was still fun to watch.

Big emphasis on Documentary awards (Michael Moore blah blah blah) but nothing re: Best song or score?

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Re: lifetime Oscars In spirit I think you may be correct - but let's face it - those lifetime achievement awards are really consolation prizes for stars who were never awarded for competitive awards during their careers. I bet, if asked, many would have preferred winning an Oscar for a particular performance during their "starring" years, rather than a post- career ( in most cases) tribute. It's that vote from their peers they cherish - not so much - yeah he/she should have earned one by now.

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Addendum - films mentioned that were Oscar neglected in their day, now recognized as classics - they failed to mention, ahem, "VERTIGO". It has now risen to #1 on Sight and Sound's list of greatest films ever made, supplanting "Citizen Kane" now listed at #2.

 

Actor not mentioned on the list of greats never acknowledged - Montgomery Clift - right up there in my book with the other Method actor game changers - Brando and Dean.

 

Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd equals of Chaplin IMHO.

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I gave up on it about halfway through. Another puff piece. I guess I should have expected as much. They devoted a little to its history in the beginning, the rest was a bunch of talking heads talking about the last 30 yrs or so of what Oscar meant to them. I'm glad I didnt record it....

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I watched it last night, it wasn't what I was expecting. There were some interesting parts and anecdotes; but I wish that it wasn't presented so haphazardly.

 

I was hoping that they would start with the first Oscars (or in the days/months/years leading to it) and work their way toward the present. Maybe not dedicate time to each and every year; but include some major milestones, winners, losers, etc. I was hoping they'd include some clips of performances (not the Snow White/Rob Lowe debacle) and some of the controversial things. I suppose they did include Marlon Brando's refusal of the Oscar. Include the creation of the Irving Thalberg Award and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, focus more on the major stars that were snubbed. Interesting statistics like longest/shortest speeches, controversial winners, the streaker and all kinds of other interesting things could have been included.

 

While the documentary was about 1.5 hrs long, it seems that they could have omitted some of the testimonials and included more content.

 

I'll be deleting this off my DVR.

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I watched it. Most of it was pretty good, but the bits about the Hollywood blacklist and Michael Moore were cringe-inducing. I would like to make it clear that I am an independent who dislikes both parties, and without going off into a soapbox rant I'd like to point out that while I don't think the Hollywood blacklist was a good thing and that some people were unfairly blacklisted, some of the people were unrepentant Stalinists (in particular the Hollywood Ten, who went to jail because of contempt of Congress - a fact they don't mention). I would like to actually hear a balanced perspective about that whole era rather than ""it was the worst period in American history", but considering that Hollywood is 98% liberal we'll never hear that.

 

The less that's said about Michael Moore the better. To me he's nothing more than the left-wing version of Ann Coulter or Alex Jones, and anything he has to say I instantly ignore.

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Hi,

 

I'm an independent too, and I agree with your comments.

 

Archives dot org has a copy of most of the books of the full transcripts of the 1947 and 1952 testimony of the HUAC investigation, and these real transcripts of what people said are un-filtered by any modern editor or writer. They are fascinating to read.

 

I don't have all of them indexed, but you can search around and find them.

 

Here are several links to actual testimony:

 

title of 1947 book:

Hearings regarding the communist infiltration of the motion picture industry.

 

1947 testimony, plain text:

http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit/hearingsregardin1947aunit_djvu.txt'>http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit/hearingsregardin1947aunit_djvu.txt'>http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit/hearingsregardin1947aunit_djvu.txt'>http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit/hearingsregardin1947aunit_djvu.txt

 

Jack L. Warner, Louie B. Mayer, Ayn Rand, Robert Taylor, Robert Montgomery, Ronald Reagan, Gary Cooper, Walt Disney, Dalton Trumbo, Edward Dmytryk, and others:

http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit/hearingsregardin1947aunit_djvu.txt

 

1947 actual book, Robert Taylor, October 1947:

http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit#page/164/mode/1up

 

1947 testimony index, page n8:

http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit#page/n8/mode/1up

 

Here?s Robert Montgomery?s testimony:

http://www.archive.org/stream/hearingsregardin1947aunit#page/203/mode/1up

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