Best Supporting Actress 1972

1927/28 through 1997

Best Supporting Actress 1972

Jeannie Berlin - The Heartbreak Kid
6
21%
Eileen Heckart - Butterflies Are Free
10
34%
Geraldine Page - Pete 'n' Tillie
1
3%
Susan Tyrrell - Fat City
8
28%
Shelley Winters - The Poseidon Adventure
4
14%
 
Total votes: 29

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15782
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:04 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
Mister Tee wrote: To be brutally honest, I can't even swear this moment survived the film version

I don't remember this in the movie, but then I saw it long ago. But yes, of course she represented conservative, traditional values as opposed to the world of the confused, unreliable young.

Yes, it's in the movie. Paul Michael Glaser played the part. She says "I do not intend to pay money to see nudity, obsenity and degeneracy." He says "These things are part of life." She says "So is diarrhea, but I wouldn't classify it as entertainment."

There was cheering when I saw the film on opening day at Radio City Music Hall but I'm not sure it was because the audience agreed with her putdown or that Glaser played the director as such a creep that they were glad to see her give him his comeuppance or that they were blown away by her acting.

Not having seen it on the stage I don't know how broadly she played it, but she was appropriately toned down for the film version. Her best moments, of course, came with her droll putdowns of Hawn:

Heckart: "Then you're an actress?"
Hawn: "Well, yeah."
Heckart: "Might I have seen you in something besides your underwear?"

Hawn (after Heckart gives her a shiny apple): "This reminds me of something. I know, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Oh, I didn't mean that you were the wicked witch."

Heckart: "And I know you're not Snow White."
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15782
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:47 pm

ITALIANO wrote:You see, Big Magilla, Limelight's winning Best Original score twenty year after it had been made, shown (at least in Europe and, it seems, in New York), considered a masterpiece, and - again - shown several times on tv in Europe and, I'm sure, even in the US is truly a one-of-a-kind event, so strange and in many ways so absurd - especially considering what happened to Scenes from a Marriage only two years later. But maybe you are right - rules change often and even when they don't change, they can be ignored.

I think the singling out of Limelight twenty years after the fact was questionable considering that many foreign films over the years opened in L.A. long after the rest of the world had ssen them.

1972 was also the year the brunt of Yasujiro Ozu's film had their first commercial showings in the U.S. Maybe they didn't each play the seven consecutive days in downtown L.A. to qualify but no group, not even the New York Film Critics acknowledged even one of he films although the Times listed his 1953 masterwork Tokyo Story among its best "of the year".

The rule regarding "old" films qualifying for Oscars was subsequently changed to a three year window.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3995
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:28 pm

Mister Tee wrote: To be brutally honest, I can't even swear this moment survived the film version

I don't remember this in the movie, but then I saw it long ago. But yes, of course she represented conservative, traditional values as opposed to the world of the confused, unreliable young.

Mister Tee
Laureate
Posts: 6528
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 2:57 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Aug 10, 2010 1:06 pm

Unlike many here, I'm not very enthusiastic about most of the line-up.

The alternatives, however, weren't very inspiring, either -- with the clear exception of Madeline Kahn, who should have started a three-year run for her comic invention in What's Up Doc? Given the traditionally thankless to-be-abandoned battleaxe fiancee role, she spun it into something wonderful -- in fact, the interplay betwen her and Austin Pendleton looked alot more fun than what was going on between Streisand and O'Neal. As for why she wasn't nominated...while the film was an enormous financial success, it was dismissed as too trivial by most critics, esp. as followup to Bogdanovich's very serious Oscar contender of the previous year. I found the movie extemely funny, but many people I knew thought it was of the Mad Mad World loud-not-funny mode.

Of the actual nominees: I found Pete 'n' Tillie a pretty lackluster piece of filmmaking, and Page's role too broad for my taste. The mystery is how the film got a screenplay nomination over something so clearly superior as The Heartbreak Kid. Was it carryover Casablanca love for Epstein?

It amazed me that, up to Oscar night, Shelley Winters was viewed as a likely winner. The Poseidon Adventure was a joke of a movie to everyone I knew -- strictly for Oscar completeness, a friend and I finally went to see it, and laughed throughout. The idea that Winters might win a third Oscar for it seemed ludicrous. That she didn't was, for me, the only saving grace of the race's actual outcome.

From which you may infer, I think little of Heckart's win. I'd seen Butterflies Are Free on Broadway (suckered in by a Walter Kerr rave, before I knew to dismiss such things), also with Heckart, though Keir Dullea and Blythe Danner in place of Albert/Hawn, and I couldn't stand it. I'd expected something semi-serious, but instead got a typical withdrawn guy/extrovert girl rom-com of the Two for the Seesaw ilk -- rendered even worse by the bourgeios pandering of Heckart's character. Her big moment was her telling off the avant garde director -- a clarion call for all squares in the audience to stand up against the counter-culture. To be brutally honest, I can't even swear this moment survived the film version -- I only watched it once on TV, under duress, and my memory is hazy. But, to invoke the principle others have used in previous years: when I dislike a project as much as I do this one, you're not going to get me to vote for anything connected with it.

Fat City was, at least, a more artistically ambitious film than any of the preceding, but I thought it had that half-hearted, not-truly-engaging quality that for me marked too many second-tier films of the 70s. As for Tyrell...I'm afraid I saw an actress Trying Really Hard, and generally being twice as flamboyant as any actual human being would have been. My feeling when she got nominated was that the line between truly bad and memorable was very thin, with personal taste determining which side of the line you fell.

Which might also explain why I feel so differently about Jeannie Berlin than Magilla professed to in his intro post. I think she's genuinely hilarious, unafraid to make herself absolutely repulsive (check her out making pig with that egg salad sandwich), and then being touching in a totally unexpected, controlled-hysteric way when Grodin dumps her. Clearly she had no follow-up career, after the fiasco of Sheila Levine is Dead and Living in New York, and it's very possible this was the only thing of which she was capable. But, in this crowd, she's the only one to whom I can consider giving my vote.

I can't attest to whether Limelight ever showed up on TV, but I'd point out that, because of the blacklist issue, the film might well have been on a no-show list for a long while. Further, at that time, not all film libraries had yet been opened to TV broadcast, and it wasn't that unusual for some famous titles of pre-TV-era to remain unseen. Wuthering Heights, for instance, only made its TV debut in 1966. So there are reasons to think Limelight might not have been subject to an Oscar ban on the TV technicality.

Snick's Guy
Temp
Posts: 316
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2004 6:43 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Postby Snick's Guy » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:41 pm

Last year I finally viewed Fat City, and was completely blown away by Tyrrell's peformance.

Tyrrell is my first choice here, with Heckart a very deserving second.




Edited By Snick's Guy on 1281462142

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3995
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Aug 10, 2010 12:32 pm

You see, Big Magilla, Limelight's winning Best Original score twenty year after it had been made, shown (at least in Europe and, it seems, in New York), considered a masterpiece, and - again - shown several times on tv in Europe and, I'm sure, even in the US is truly a one-of-a-kind event, so strange and in many ways so absurd - especially considering what happened to Scenes from a Marriage only two years later. But maybe you are right - rules change often and even when they don't change, they can be ignored.

Bruce_Lavigne
Graduate
Posts: 197
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:47 pm
Location: Boston

Postby Bruce_Lavigne » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:06 am

Three excellent performances, and at least one perfectly good one. (I haven't seen Pete 'n' Tillie.)

Heckart and especially Tyrrell could easily get my vote here, but I never cease to be amazed by how well Elaine May and her Heartbreak Kid cast do at creating real, identifiable (if not necessarily likable) people out of the borderline-hateful caricatures Neil Simon wrote for them, and after Charles Grodin, Berlin is the MVP. She never flinches in letting us understand why this girl could annoy somebody out of a marriage, but still manages to win our complete sympathies.

If Tyrrell did top-of-the-line work in what Damien rightly calls an "actor-friendly role" (and she did), then Berlin accomplished just as much in what I'd call an actor-HOSTILE role. Like all the Heartbreak Kid cast, May deserves a lot of credit for that, but it's Berlin who delivers the performance, and Berlin who, in my view, deserves the Oscar.

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15782
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:55 am

Good question. I think Limelight was shown on television prior to 1972 but I'm not sure. However, the rule regarding eligibility vis-a-vis televison broadcasts of films seems to have changed back and forth numerous times.

Here are a few examples:

1956 - Richard III simultaneously debuts in theatres and on NBC on a Sunday. Here's Jack Gould review from the New York Times of March 12, 1956:

THE television première of Sir Laurence Olivier's "Richard III" marked one more turning point in the evolution of show business. And what a delightfully controversial one!

For the viewer sitting at home, it was a case of the economically impossible coming to pass. Without charge he—and his family—saw a major new film that would cost a top fee of $2.80 a person to witness in a motion picture house in New York.

Does much else matter? The answer to that question, which will come when the receipts at the box office are tallied nationally, will have vast repercussions. If the receipts are not adversely affected, a new era in film distribution may be here or at least just around the corner. If they are adversely affected, the present liaison between the TV and movie industries may be strained. Either way, yesterday's matinee in the home was decidedly an event.

Artistically, the showing of "Richard III" in multiple media is bound to generate extensive discussion. Did the home viewer actually see "Richard III" as Sir Laurence intended?

In black-and-white television, the fairest response, perhaps, is to say the viewer certainly missed a lot. Here was one presentation that fairly cried out for the rich hues that a fortunate few were able to see through the infant medium of color television. The contrast between the two video forms was so marked as to make a viewer wonder if the difference between the large-sized theatre version and the TV version was possibly just as great. On that score, further information may be gleaned from Bosley Crowther's review on Page 1 of the unedited, full-sized theatre presentation.

On television, the Olivier film was presented from 2:30 to 5:30 P. M. over the National Broadcasting Company's network. The film ran roughly two hours and forty minutes, with the balance of the period going for commercials and commentary by Dr. Frank Baxter, Professor of English Literature at the University of Southern California.

No limitation of the home medium could or did obscure the many rewards of "Richard III"; the film made for an absorbing afternoon. But this is not to say that, on TV, the presentation was entirely satisfying.

"Richard III" requires attentive viewing, and in a number of spots the film is decidedly slow going. And three hours of concentrated looking at a twenty-one-inch screen is a long time. The normal household distractions, such as a ringing telephone or a wriggling child, are also less conducive to complete absorption than the disciplined silence that prevails in a movie house.

In the black-and-white version, especially with a fuzzy overcast that seems to accompany monochrome reception of a color transmission, there was a flatness and a noticeable of dimension. The eye needed more to feast upon when the mind was not fully occupied. In particular, the climactic battle scenes seemed very badly shortened on TV and, as a result, were often confusing.

In color television, matters were vastly improved. The quality of production was superb, and a viewer had a true sense of pageantry and court grandeur. The addition of color also gave much greater dimension both to the individual characters and to the era of Richard III.

Intriguing as the distinctions between media may be, Dr. Baxter perhaps put his finger on the real importance of the telecast. Thanks to television, he noted, more people saw "Richard III" yesterday afternoon than had witnessed all the stage productions since Shakespeare's time.

Many schools used the television production for a homework assignment, and this morning Shakespeare undoubtedly is a national topic of conversation such as he never was before. Could anything be more exciting?

1980 - The Great Santini is shown on HBO in March, 1980 after having had a limited run outside of New York and L.A. in October, 1979 - it then opens nationally in July, 1980.

1983 - Fanny & Alexander, shown on Swedish TV the previous year is re-cut for theatrical distribution in the same manner as Scenes From a Marriage which was infamously ruled ineligible for the undergoing the same process nine years earlier.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3995
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:57 am

A question about 1972 - though not about Best Supporting Actress.

I know that Chaplin's Limelight was accepted and nominated by the Academy this year because only in 1972 it was shown in Los Angeles. But is it really possible than in the twenty years since it was made it had NEVER been shown on American television? It had certainly been shown on tv in Europe many times (something, by the way, which only a few years later prevented Scenes from a Marriage from being eligible) - but I think that it must have been on American tv too.
So were the rules so different in 1972?

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15782
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:31 am

ITALIANO wrote:Heckart had never been a star and this is good for the movie - she never goes over-the-top as others (a Rosalind Russell, or a Bette Davis, though both were probably too old by then) would have been tempted to do with such a role.

Heckart, of course, famously lost two of her best stage creations - the frustrated old maid schoolteacher in Picnic and the bigoted sister in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs to "stars" Rosalind Russell and Eve Arden and fought for the film version of Butterflies Are Free even though every major actress of a certain age wanted it. Ingrid Bergman and Olivia de Havilland were among those being seriously considered.

Both Berlin and Tyrrell continue to act, the latter despite losing both her legs to a rare blood disease in 2000 just after filming John Waters' Cry-Baby. I don't think Berlin has played anything other than that same character in anything. Tyrrell is always interesting, though the films she's in seldom are.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

ITALIANO
Emeritus
Posts: 3995
Joined: Mon Jan 06, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: MILAN
Contact:

Postby ITALIANO » Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:03 am

By 1972, Shelley Winters had finally become what she'd be for the rest of her life - and career: a gloriously grotesque character actress. "Grotesque" isn't necessarily bad, especially when it's intentional, and she'd still be very good (in Next Stop, Greenwich Village for example) - an American Almodovar, IF there had been one, would have made wonders with her. But certainly movies like The Poseidon Adventure didn't give her much more to do than being fat and - in this case - heroic. It's difficult not to like Shelley Winters and she's likable here, too, but an Oscar would honestly be too much.

I know that Geraldine Page was nominated a bit too often, but in this case it wasn't undeserved - the movie isn't very good but her performance as an ageless socialite is quite strong, and she has a very good, and very funny, scene at one point (the best scene in the whole movie actually).

Speaking of comic talents, Jeannie Berlin's turn in The Heartbreak Kid could have led to an interesting career. Or maybe not - maybe she was just perfectly cast but didn't really have the range to do much else. We'll probably never know but the performance is definitely good, and nomination-worthy.

Butterflies Are Free is another unimaginative film version of a Broadway hit - you go there knowing what you should expect, you get it, and then you quickly forget it. Today not all the one-liners are as effective as they must have been back then, but some are still funny, those which belong to Heckart's character especially. Heckart had never been a star and this is good for the movie - she never goes over-the-top as others (a Rosalind Russell, or a Bette Davis, though both were probably too old by then) would have been tempted to do with such a role. It's a solid, expert performance, one that I could see myself voting for.

But others will do that - I've learned the rules of this game, or at least of these polls. So I've thrown my humble vote to an actress from a sadly less-seen movie, Huston's bitter, uncompromising Fat City. I love outcasts, both on and off-screen, and both Susan Tyrrell and the character she plays certainly fit this definition. Based on her performance here - so believable and realistic that she doesn't even seem to be acting at times - she had a remarkable talent (and a unique face); Huston may have been partly responsible for her being so effective, but it's still a pity that she didn't get other important chances.

Big Magilla
Site Admin
Posts: 15782
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 3:22 pm
Location: Jersey Shore

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Aug 10, 2010 5:56 am

I should probably re-watch Frenzy, which I haven't seen in a couple of years. I know Vivien Merchant was a runner-up with the New York Film Critics but I don't remember much about her performance as Alec McCowan's wife except that she was amusing. I have fonder memories of Anna Massey and Barbara Leigh-Hunt from that film.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

Reza
Tenured Laureate
Posts: 8181
Joined: Thu Jan 02, 2003 11:14 am
Location: Islamabad, Pakistan

Postby Reza » Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:53 am

Haven't seen Susan Tyrell's performance but liked Eileen Heckart over all the other ladies nominated.

A crime that Madeline Kahn was not nominated.

My top 5:

Eileen Heckart, Butterflies are Free
Madeline Kahn, What's Up Doc?
Vivien Merchant, Frenzy
Jeannie Berlin, The Heartbreak Kid
Shelley Winters, The Poseidon Adventure

User avatar
Precious Doll
Emeritus
Posts: 3535
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2003 2:20 am
Location: Sydney
Contact:

Postby Precious Doll » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:16 am

A very respectable line up in an ordinary year.

My choices are:

1. Pat Ast for Heat
2. Eileen Heckart for Butterflies Are Free
3. Andrea Feldman for Heat
4. Tonny Huurdeman for Turkish Delight
5. Shelley Winters for The Poseidon Adventure
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

User avatar
Damien
Laureate
Posts: 6331
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2003 8:43 pm
Location: New York, New York
Contact:

Postby Damien » Tue Aug 10, 2010 2:06 am

A good line-up, except for those two irritatingly mannered Ladies of the Stage -- Madames Page and Heckert.

Susan Tyrell gets my vote -- a very strong performance in an admittedly actor-friendly role. When I saw Fat City i the summer of '72, I figured the Supporting Actress race had been decided.

Jeannie Berlin is hilarious in The Heartbreak Kid and more than a little sad. Adorable performance.

And Shelley Winters is great fun in The Poseidon Adventure. It's not a great characterization -- you don't actually buy the woman she's playing for a second, but that's the nature of the beast, the beast in this case being the ludicrous screenplay -- but you can't take your eyes away from her whenever she's on screen, and Shelley Winters being that charismatic means she was doing something right. And she put on all that weight for a movie.

My Own Top 5:
1. Vivien Merchant in Frenzy
2. Ellen Burstyn in The King of Marvin Gardens
3. Susan Tyrell in Fat City
4. Jeannie Berlin in The Heartbreak Kid
5. Shelley Winters in The Poseidon Adventure




Edited By Damien on 1281427659
"Y'know, that's one of the things I like about Mitt Romney. He's been consistent since he changed his mind." -- Christine O'Donnell


Return to “The Damien Bona Memorial Oscar History Thread”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest