The Original BJ wrote:One thing that has continually struck me as off throughout the series -- and perhaps some of the older board members can testify to this -- is the way the characters talk about the Oscars. The most recent episode wasn't an offender in this regard -- obviously Crawford's antics in the days leading up to and on Oscar night have been well documented. But conversations like the one where Davis and Crawford discussed who might "go supporting," or where the characters have had fairly detailed discussions about Oscar races, struck me like an imposition of a 21st century mindset on history. Obviously the Oscars were a big deal in Hollywood even then, but the entire industry of year-long strategizing and prognosticating feels like a much newer thing, at least based on my (secondhand) knowledge of the subject.
Oh, and what award was Marilyn Monroe accepting in the opening of the first episode? It's captioned as the 1961 Golden Globe Awards, but Monroe didn't win a prize at that ceremony (at least if we're referring to them by ceremony date, as the show refers to the 1963 Oscars). And if it was the calendar year 1961 ceremony (held in 1962), where Monroe won the World Film Favorite Award, why did the character say that she didn't expect it? Wasn't this a special award she would have known about in advance?
Last question first.
I don't have any first-hand knowledge of the 1961 Golden Globes, the nominations for which were announced in late January, 1962 and presented in March, 1962, televised on a local L.A. channel only. World Film Favorite was not a competitive award and would likely have been announced prior to the ceremony in the hope that the male and female winners (Charlton Heston and Monroe) would show up. The 1962 Golden Globe nominations were announced in late January, 1963 and awarded in early March, 1973, and again televised on a local on a local L.A. channel.
The release of Baby Jane:
This I remember vividly as I was going to school and working afternoons and evenings at my local theatre, the 3,000 seat Century Queens which played the same films as the RKO chain in other parts of NYC. It was a big deal. The film was heavily publicized, but not as shown in the mini-series.
Films in those days were still being released to one or two theatres in New York, L.A. and major cities before branching out. That began to change with the release of Dr. No in time for Memorial Day, 1963. In November, 1962 it was still a rare thing. The studios would occasionally dump a perceived flop into mass release, but never a major film. Maybe that's why the critics were wont to put it down. Bosley Crowther's N.Y. Times review was not as the mini-series infers, complimentary toward Davis and not Crawford. In fact, he was mean to them both, even more so to Davis.
The film opened for an 8-day run, as opposed to the usual 7-day run for a mass release. It opened on Election Day, which was a holiday in New York, to lines around the block at every showing at every theatre. It was anticipated as an old biddies version of Psycho, but instead brought new respect for both Davis and Crawford. After 8 days, though, it was gone, moving on to second and third tier theatres and showing up again in re-release at Oscar time as was the general practice of the day. There was no further promotion, so I have no idea what that scene between Warner and Crawford was all about.
It's also not true that Davis avoided the film's preview by going home to Connecticut or whatever the teleplay had her doing while Crawford soldiered on in San Pedro or Long Branch. Davis and Rosalind Russell were sent by Warner on a joint promotion tour via train to NYC to promote both Baby Jane and Gypsy, which opened at Radio City Music Hall the previous Thursday. Their arrival at Grand Central Station together was heavily photographed. Davis made live appearances introducing her film at twenty RKO theatres, seven on Tuesday, six on Wednesday and seven on Thursday. You can see the ad for this in the New York Times for Monday, 11/5/1962.
Oscar talk for Davis was immediate. No one considered Crawford, except as an also-ran, but the competition was unusually strong that year with Anne Bancroft, Geraldine Page (who won the Globe), Katharine Hepburn (who won at Cannes) and Russell (who also won a Globe) also in the conversation. Lee Remick was a late bloomer. With no New York Film Critics Award that year due to a prolonged newspaper strike, there wasn't the guidance that their award usually brought.
As for the nonsensical "might go supporting" conversation, that obviously never happened. It wouldn't have in any case, but certainly not with those two super-egos. I doubt very much that the scene at the end of episode 4 actually happened either. Crawford, shut out of a Golden Globe nomination, had no reason to expect she would be nominated and a Davis nomination at that point was pretty much a foregone conclusion. She might have been pissed, but she wouldn't have screamed "no" at the top of her lungs.
“Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire