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The Oscar (film)

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Director  Russell Rouse
Date  April 18, 1966
Host  Bob Hope
Language  English
5/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Other ceremonies  1965, 1967
Producer  Joe Pasternak
Country  United States
The Oscar (film) movie poster
Release date  March 4, 1966 (1966-03-04) (United States)
Based on  the novel The Oscar  by Richard Sale
Writer  Richard Sale (novel), Harlan Ellison (screenplay), Russell Rouse (screenplay), Clarence Greene (screenplay)
Winners  The Sound of MusicRobert Wise, The Sound of Music, Best Picture, Best Picture, Julie ChristieDarling, Julie Christie, Best Actress, Best Actress, Robert WiseThe Sound of Music, Robert Wise, Best Director, Best Director, Lee MarvinCat Ballou, Lee Marvin, Best Actor, Best Actor, Martin BalsamA Thousand Clowns, Martin Balsam, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Shelley WintersA Patch of Blue, Shelley Winters, Best Supporting Actress, Best Supporting Actress, The Shop on Main StreetElmar Klos - Jan Kadar, The Shop on Main Street, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Foreign Language Film, William H ReynoldsThe Sound of Music, William H Reynolds, Best Film Editing, Best Film Editing, Freddie YoungDoctor Zhivago, Freddie Young, Best Cinematography, Best Cinematography, The Shadow of Your SmileJohnny Mandel - Paul Francis Webster, The Shadow of Your Smile, Best Original Song, Best Original Song, DarlingFrederic Raphael, Darling, Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Screenplay, Doctor ZhivagoRobert Bolt, Doctor Zhivago, Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Best Writing Adapted Screenplay, Phyllis DaltonDoctor Zhivago, Phyllis Dalton, Best Costume Design, Best Costume Design, Dario SimoniDoctor Zhivago, Dario Simoni, Best Production Design, Best Production Design, Terence MarshDoctor Zhivago, Terence Marsh, Best Production Design, Best Production Design, John BoxDoctor Zhivago, John Box, Best Production Design, Best Production Design, Bob Hope, Bob Hope, Academy Honorary Award, Academy Honorary Award, James CorcoranThe Sound of Music, James Corcoran, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Mixing, Fred HynesThe Sound of Music, Fred Hynes, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Mixing, The Dot and the LineChuck Jones - Les Goldman, The Dot and the Line, Best Animated Short Film, Best Animated Short Film, The ChickenClaude Berri, The Chicken, Best Live Action Short Film, Best Live Action Short Film, ThunderballJohn Stears, Thunderball, Best Visual Effects, Best Visual Effects, Edmond L DePatie, Edmond L DePatie, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Doctor ZhivagoMaurice Jarre, Doctor Zhivago, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Music Score, The Sound of MusicIrwin Kostal, The Sound of Music, Best Original Music Score, Best Original Music Score, William Wyler, William Wyler, Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award, Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award, Ernest LaszloShip of Fools, Ernest Laszlo, Best Cinematography - Black-and-White, Best Cinematography - Black-and-White, Treg BrownThe Great Race, Treg Brown, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Editing, Julie HarrisDarling, Julie Harris, Best Costume Design - Black-and-White, Best Costume Design - Black-and-White, The Eleanor Roosevelt StorySidney Glazier, The Eleanor Roosevelt Story, Best Documentary Feature, Best Documentary Feature, To Be Alive!Francis Thompson, To Be Alive!, Best Documentary Short Subject, Best Documentary Short Subject, Arthur J Hatch, Arthur J Hatch, Scientific and Engineering Award, Scientific and Engineering Award, Stefan Kudelski, Stefan Kudelski, Scientific and Engineering Award, Scientific and Engineering Award, Robert ClatworthyShip of Fools, Robert Clatworthy, Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration - Black-and-White, Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration - Black-and-White, Joseph KishShip of Fools, Joseph Kish, Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration - Black-and-White, Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration - Black-and-White

The oscar pt 1

The Oscar is a 1966 American drama film written by Harlan Ellison, Clarence Greene, Russell Rouse, and Richard Sale, directed by Rouse and starring Stephen Boyd, singer Tony Bennett (in his film debut), comedian Milton Berle (in a dramatic role), Elke Sommer, Ernest Borgnine, Jill St. John, Eleanor Parker, Joseph Cotten, Edie Adams, Peter Lawford, Broderick Crawford, Ed Begley, Walter Brennan, and Jack Soo. Also appearing are Bob Hope, Hedda Hopper, Merle Oberon, Frank Sinatra, and Nancy Sinatra as themselves.


The Oscar (film) wwwgstaticcomtvthumbmovieposters40394p40394

The film features an impressive cast and crew, including several real Academy Award winners: eight-time costume design winner Edith Head (who would also be nominated, but not win, for The Oscar); Best Actor winners Borgnine and Crawford; Best Supporting Actor winners Begley, Brennan (three wins), Sinatra, and James Dunn, and cinematographer Joseph Ruttenberg. Also in the cast were Oberon and Parker, who had been nominated for Oscars but did not win.


As movie star Frankie Fane (Boyd) is about to hear if he won a best acting Oscar, his friend Hymie Kelly (Bennett) reminisces about Fane's struggle to the top, beginning as a spieler for his stripper girlfriend Laurel (St. John). After moving to New York, Frankie dumps Laurel for a budding fashion designer, Kay Bergdahl (Sommer), which leads to a chance meeting with talent scout Sophie Cantaro (Parker). Sophie arranges for him to be signed with agent "Kappy" Kapstetter (Berle) and brings Frankie to Hollywood, where he quickly becomes a rising star.

At each turn, Fane is an unprincipled heel, using and hurting others and causing them to recoil from him. He impulsively persuades Kay to marry him in Tijuana, but treats her cruelly thereafter. Frankie buys expensive homes and cars while offending the studio chief, Regan, until his life goes into a tailspin when he suddenly becomes "box office poison." At his low ebb, he unexpectedly receives an Oscar nomination, which Kappy believes is the result of Fane's portrayal of a "man without morals," therefore portraying himself.

In order to ensure his victory, he secretly employs the services of a crooked private investigator (Borgnine), who leaks information that should influence voters to sympathize with Fane and support his Oscar candidacy. Fane doesn't care that the scandal smears the reputations of Kelly and Laurel as well. An enraged Kelly confronts him, telling how he married Laurel, who then died during an abortion while pregnant with a child fathered by Fane. And the private eye Yale also blackmails Fane, who must desperately turn to Yale's ex-wife (Adams) for help to keep his ruse from being exposed.

The moment of truth comes at the Academy Awards, as presenter Merle Oberon (playing herself) announces the winner. As she states the name "Frank," Fane rises instantaneously, prepared to bolt to the stage; she then immediately follows with "Sinatra." As Frank Sinatra moves towards the stage, Fane is left stunned and crestfallen, clapping his hands weakly, while everyone in the assemblage whom he has wronged enjoys the comeuppance for this wholly self-absorbed, unfeeling individual.


The Oscar made its network television debut on February 12, 1969, on ABC's Wednesday Night Movie. ABC moved the film up a half-hour, to 8:30 Eastern, due to cancelling the comedy show Turn-On after only one episode. TBS later included The Oscar in a film series called "Bad Movies We Love".

Critical response

While the film is technically a drama, many consider it to be an unintentional comedy, with critics skewering the script and performances. Others consider it most likely to be a burlesque, given the stature of the actors involved. Tony Bennett "won" a Golden Turkey Award in the "Worst Performance By a Popular Singer" category; Bennett never played another dramatic role on film. The Oscar also marked the near-endpoint of Clarence Greene and Russell Rouse's careers; they each made just one more feature afterwards.


The film was nominated for two Academy Awards:

  • Best Art Direction (Art Direction: Hal Pereira and Arthur Lonergan; Set Decoration: Robert R. Benton and James W. Payne); lost to Fantastic Voyage
  • Best Costume Design (Edith Head, who also has a brief cameo); lost to A Man For All Seasons
  • References

    The Oscar (film) Wikipedia
    The Oscar (film) IMDb The Oscar (film)