He was robbed!

by chuckofish

As you know, the Oscar show is coming up on Sunday. Sad to say, I probably won’t watch. I can’t stand the host this year and it has become such a fashion show and aren’t-we-great orgy, that I think I’ll once again sit it out.

I’ll be rooting for Bradley Cooper, but he won’t win.

Thinking of Cooper put me in mind of all the other great actors and actresses who have never won or didn’t win when they should have. Earlier this week I watched the great war movie Twelve O’Clock High (1949).

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Gregory Peck was phenomenal and although he was nominated for Best Actor, he lost to Broderick Crawford in All the King’s Men. Please. John Wayne was also nominated that year for Sands of Iwo Jima, but I would have voted for Peck. He was just perfect.

I don’t have a lot of patience with this, “What are we fighting for?” stuff. We’re in a war, a shooting war. We’ve got to fight. And some of us have got to die. I’m not trying to tell you not to be afraid. Fear is normal. But stop worrying about it and about yourselves. Stop making plans. Forget about going home. Consider yourselves already dead. Once you accept that idea, it won’t be so tough. Now if any man here can’t buy that… if he rates himself as something special, with a special kind of hide to be saved… he’d better make up his mind about it right now. Because I don’t want him in this group…

Speaking of John Wayne, he should have won Best Actor for The Searchers (1956), but he wasn’t even nominated!

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Ludicrous! This film, frequently listed as the greatest of all westerns, was not nominated for one Academy Award. Not a one. It boggles the mind.  Yul Brynner won that year for The King and I–and I will grant that he was great–but the other nominees included Rock Hudson for Giant! And Laurence Olivier in probably his worst movie ever–Richard III.

I also think Paul Newman was robbed the year he didn’t win for Cool Hand Luke (1967).

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Paul Newman was never better.

Anybody here? Hey, Old Man. You home tonight? Can You spare a minute. It’s about time we had a little talk. I know I’m a pretty evil fellow… killed people in the war and got drunk… and chewed up municipal property and the like. I know I got no call to ask for much… but even so, You’ve got to admit You ain’t dealt me no cards in a long time. It’s beginning to look like You got things fixed so I can’t never win out. Inside, outside, all of them… rules and regulations and bosses. You made me like I am. Now just where am I supposed to fit in? Old Man, I gotta tell You. I started out pretty strong and fast. But it’s beginning to get to me. When does it end? What do You got in mind for me? What do I do now? Right. All right.

It was the year of southern crime dramas (Bonnie and Clyde as well as Cool Hand Luke) and the Academy voters went with the racially fraught In The Heat of the Night and Rod Steiger. Well, I guess we can be grateful that Spencer Tracy didn’t win for Guess Who’s Coming For Dinner.

Another heart-breaker for me was when Steve McQueen lost in 1966 for The Sand Pebbles. Nominated for eight Oscars, it took home none. This was Steve’s shot and he lost to Paul Schofield in A Man for All Seasons–a movie I loathe.

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I am also of the opinion that Doris Day should have won in 1959 for Pillow Talk. This was the year Ben Hur won everything except for Best Actress, which went to Simone Signoret in the forgettable Room at the Top.

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(Thelma Ritter also lost Best Supporting Actress.)

Don’t get me started on actresses. All they have to do to win an Oscar and be taken seriously is put on a fake nose or gain weight or look un-glamorous (see above, Simone Signoret). Actresses like Doris Day, Myrna Loy, Irene Dunne, Carol Lombard–even Audrey Hepburn after her first movie–never had a chance. Despite the fact that they were all comic geniuses, they never won.

Really, there is no understanding how Academy members vote and there are many, many other examples I could list, but I am a broken record, right?…Albert Finney in Tom Jones, Robert Di Niro in Awakenings, Alan Ladd in Shane, Robert Redford in The Natural, Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity …

But for me those listed above are the main ones.

So take my advice and watch one of these great films instead of watching the award show.