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the 2015 Jean Hersholt / Honorary Award................


DickLindsay
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I watched the academy awards the other night (thank you DVR!) and I wanted to voice a few thoughts about the honorary award to Maureen O'Hara and the Jean Hersholt humanitarian award for Harry Belafonte.

 

I've been watching the academy telecast for about 40 years and I always thought it was nice to see a veteran actor, or actress or film maker get a special academy award , or to see  a similar person get the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award.  

 

Couple of examples: I remember when Elizabeth Taylor got the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award for her work with AIDS and the start of AMFAR.  Of course she deserved it, but it was so nice to see the announcement at the awards ceremony, and to see her come out on stage and have the entire film industry rise to their feet.  I remember the year after Audrey Hepburn died and her son accepted the award for her stating, "She believed no child in the world should go to bed hungry". What a nice thought that was. Also,  I remember watching John Travolta announce the honorary award for Barbara Stanwyck.  He was so young and he stood on the stage and told the audience that he spent the last few weeks watching her films, and it was followed by  wonderful variety film clips and ended with her final scene from STELLA DALLAS when she walking away in triumph.  When she emerged onstage, the entire audience rose to their feet, and she gave a moving speech about how she missed 'Bill' Holden.  I also watched back in the '70s when they gave an honorary award to Charles Chaplin; that was the highlight of the decade for me! These are very memorable moments for me from the Academy Awards shows and I'm sure for many others. There are many similar memories from past Academy Award shows.

 

However, this year the AMPAS screwed up..  royally! They gave the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award to Harry Belafonte and an honorary award to Maureen O'Hara BUT they gave it to them at a private ceremony back in November and showed us about 4 seconds worth of clips.  

This was disappointing to me and, I felt,  in very bad taste.  It would have been wonderful to have a modern-day super-star come out onstage and talk a little about Maureen O'Hara, followed  with a few clips from some of her classic films like "Miracle on 34 Street" and "Hunchback of Notre Dame".  While I am sure she was thrilled in November to be recognized, she probably would have been very excited and thrilled after all these years to come out onstage and have the entire movie industry rise to their feet knowing that millions of others were watching her live on TV.  Someone who was not familiar with Maureen O'Hara learned almost nothing about her movies and her career the other night.  

 

And, Harry Belafonte could have come out and given a nice speech.  I don't believe we even  learned about the actual Jean Hersholt Humanitarian award (why it was started, who received it in the past, etc) as we did many other times and why Harry Belafonte was voted to receive the award. They didn't talk about his involvment in the Civil RIghts Movement, UNICEF, fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa and prostate cancer (just to name a few). 
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They stopped giving out honorary awards at the Oscars 4 or 5 years ago. They now give them in a separate ceremony in November, I think. I agree they should be given as part of the Oscar program as they used to be. Trim the fat and unneeded crap like the Sound of Music medley this year........

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I agree, DickLIndsay, these awards should be given out at the main ceremony.  How is it there used to be time for awards?  There are other bits that can be cut, or the Academy can simply make it five hour ceremony and be done with it--some of us masochists would watch!

 

 

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Eeh! I'll bet the vast majority of people watching the Oscar broadcasts today would have had NO idea who Harry Belafonte even IS, let ALONE ever heard him sing "Day-O, Day-O...Daytime come and me wanna go home"!!!

 

(...I mean, remember here folks...ya gotta play to the audience even MORE than ever BEFORE now days!!!)

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They stopped giving out honorary awards at the Oscars 4 or 5 years ago. They now give them in a separate ceremony in November, I think. I agree they should be given as part of the Oscar program as they used to be. Trim the fat and unneeded crap like the Sound of Music medley this year........

Well one thing the present format serves is to devote an entire evening to just these worthy recipients.  Too bad we don't see it but I think this is a much better arrangement than giving Fellini the hook after a lifetime of achievement.

The special night involves testimonials from friends, clips and more.  I'm sure Maureen O'Hara and the rest would have enjoyed that a lot.  I don't mind missing out on seeing them carted out on stage during the dog and pony show knowing that they had been given a good private bash.

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One good thing about the annual Academy Governors' Ball in November is that they honor an average of four people each year. At the 2014 event, it was O'Hara, Belafonte, Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière. That's much better than honoring one or two people a year.

It's interesting that no one has received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for excellence in producing movies since 2010, when it was presented to Francis Ford Coppola.

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Well one thing the present format serves is to devote an entire evening to just these worthy recipients.  Too bad we don't see it but I think this is a much better arrangement than giving Fellini the hook after a lifetime of achievement.

The special night involves testimonials from friends, clips and more.  I'm sure Maureen O'Hara and the rest would have enjoyed that a lot.  I don't mind missing out on seeing them carted out on stage during the dog and pony show knowing that they had been given a good private bash.

 

 

I wouldnt mind the separate ceremony if it was TELEVISED, but it isnt! That's my beef.

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I wouldnt mind the separate ceremony if it was TELEVISED, but it isnt! That's my beef.

A party we simply were not invited to.  And I'm guessing that the network geniuses assume the general unwashed would not be interested in viewing an evening celebrating the careers of Maureen O'Hara, Hayao Miyazaki and others.  Sadly, they probably have never even heard of them.

No, after watching Fellini get the hook because he carried on for more than 30 seconds I much prefer the idea of a private party for these well-deserved lifetime achievement awards.

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A party we simply were not invited to.  And I'm guessing that the network geniuses assume the general unwashed would not be interested in viewing an evening celebrating the careers of Maureen O'Hara, Hayao Miyazaki and others.  Sadly, they probably have never even heard of them.

No, after watching Fellini get the hook because he carried on for more than 30 seconds I much prefer the idea of a private party for these well-deserved lifetime achievement awards.

 

 

Yeah, its just too bad we arent invited. Why doesnt TCM televise it???

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Eeh! I'll bet the vast majority of people watching the Oscar broadcasts today would have had NO idea who Harry Belafonte even IS, let ALONE ever heard him sing "Day-O, Day-O...Daytime come and me wanna go home"!!!

 

 

 

If Millennials know "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)," it's because of sporting events and the hilarious dinner table scene from "Beetlejuice" (1988).

 

 

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