Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Big Magilla » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:32 am

I was going to mention the Robinson situation earlier. The same was true for Audrey Hepburn. AMPAS doesn't give out posthumous honorary awards under any other circumstances.
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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:12 am

Precious Doll wrote:
Reza wrote:
Both Dietrich and Irene Dunne could have easily been honored during the 1950s. After all Garbo was in 1954. Irene Dunne was retired from films by the early 1950s but was very active elsewhere. Dietrich was active in films till the early 1960s and was up, about and very active until the 1970s doing her cabaret act. The Academy had ample time to reward both stars. No need to wait for an actor to be bed ridden before considering them.

Yes indeed, major head scratchers.


I suppose in Garbo's case she had retired. Can't explain Irene Dunne. And look at poor Edward G. Robinson received a posthumous after his death. Nice for the wife and kids but meaningless to him personally. How could arguably one of the greatest actor of his era receive not so much as a single Oscar nomination!


Actually, I don't know if you're aware: the award to Robinson was announced prior to his death; he died sometime between the announcement and the presentation. He'd even had time to write an acceptance speech, which his widow read on the show that year.

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby The Original BJ » Sat Sep 15, 2018 10:23 pm

I'll piggy-back one thing onto Mister Tee's post, all of which I'd agree with...

The Honorary Oscar certainly has been effectively used to reward people who fit in the "you should have won at some point, but you slipped through the cracks" criteria -- Cary Grant and Barbara Stanwyck certainly would qualify there, as would more recent winners like Peter O'Toole or Robert Altman.

But I also think there's a strain of (not undeserving) Honorary winners who I actually DON'T think should have ever won a trophy, at least in literal terms, but whose worthy careers make a lifetime prize essentially the most appropriate place to honor them. Maureen O'Hara might be a good example of this -- I can't say I ever thought she was cruelly denied an Oscar, but her career as a whole was obviously meritorious, and her Honorary prize a pleasing late-in-life triumph.

And to bring things back around to this year, I think Cicely Tyson is a strong choice in that category -- unlike, say, Peter O'Toole, she doesn't have a ton of movies where she'd merit a competitive prize. (Even her one nomination, for me, rates at best third in her lineup.) But she's had a LONG career, of clear esteem, and of course as Mister Tee noted below, she'd likely have had a far more noteworthy film career had she come along a couple decades later.

And yeah, one could definitely argue for other unrewarded actors instead (though my first pitches definitely wouldn't be Marsha Mason or Ann-Margret), but I find it hard to object much to Tyson as an honoree.

Come to think of it, Schifrin, too, is an honoree in this vein. I of course knew his most famous composition was for TV, but other than Cool Hand Luke, I had to check IMDb to remember the rest of his credits. A lot of his movies weren't especially notable, but there were just so MANY of them, it's hard not to be happy for such a Hollywood workhorse to finally receive such a major career honor.

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Mister Tee » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:45 pm

To the general matter of What do you think the honorary awards should be?...

When I was younger, I saw these awards as a way to honor those who had never managed to win Oscars despite significant careers and/or nominations -- Cary Grant, Barbara Stanwyck, Howard Hawks -- or those who'd made contributions to film in genres that weren't Oscar-friendly -- Edward G. Robinson, Groucho Marx. (The Thalberg and Hersholt awards were sometimes used in the same way -- Hitchcock won the former, and Rosalind Russell the second.)

The first real violation of this pattern I can recall was when the Board voted a special to Mary Pickford in 1975 -- a choice that seemed truly silly, given that most people think the competitive Oscar Pickford won was a travesty. But it started a trend -- in short order, former winners Olivier, Alec Guinness and Jimmy Stewart were handed career prizes. I guess you could make a case that all these gentlemen had had careers that extended far beyond the one time Oscar chose to recognize them (and, in Stewart's case, that his win was for something that wouldn't make the top ten most notable of his performances). But it still struck a lot of us as changing the premise behind the honoraries.

And other such accolades have followed. Sidney Poitier seemed a particularly odd choice -- not that his barrier-breaking career wasn't of exceptional note, but that his Oscar win for Lilies of the Field had pretty explicitly already honored that.

I still more enjoy seeing the long-denied get their due -- Deborah Kerr, Myrna Loy, Angela Lansbury, Donald Sutherland -- than seeing, say, Warren Beatty get yet another award late in life.

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Greg » Sat Sep 15, 2018 5:22 pm

Reza wrote:Ameche was never nominated nor was he ever a critically acclaimed actor but he also had a career that lasted over 50 years and was in many highly successful musicals, comedies and dramas.


Ameche won for his supporting role in Cocoon
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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:31 pm

Reza wrote:
Both Dietrich and Irene Dunne could have easily been honored during the 1950s. After all Garbo was in 1954. Irene Dunne was retired from films by the early 1950s but was very active elsewhere. Dietrich was active in films till the early 1960s and was up, about and very active until the 1970s doing her cabaret act. The Academy had ample time to reward both stars. No need to wait for an actor to be bed ridden before considering them.

Yes indeed, major head scratchers.


I suppose in Garbo's case she had retired. Can't explain Irene Dunne. And look at poor Edward G. Robinson received a posthumous after his death. Nice for the wife and kids but meaningless to him personally. How could arguably one of the greatest actor of his era receive not so much as a single Oscar nomination!
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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 15, 2018 4:15 pm

Precious Doll wrote:
Reza wrote:The list of overlooked actors down the years is huge. It would be interesting to know who all were considered over the years and why they (Marlene Dietrich and Irene Dunne are just two of many who immediately come to mind) were ignored.


Dietrich became something of a recluse in later life. By 1984 when Maximillian Schell made the documentary Marlene which is essentially one long interview, she didn't appear on camera. Only her voice was recorded as the camera panned around her Paris apartment.

I doubt she would have gone to L.A. to collect one and unlikely she would have approved receiving one at home being filmed. Still the Academy could have improvised and had stills of her whilst she gave her acceptance speech.

Irene Dunne is a head scratcher though.

Anyway, its all water under the bridge. There are so many deserving people behind and in-front of the camera that have been overlooked and at the end of the day you can't give one to everyone.


Both Dietrich and Irene Dunne could have easily been honored during the 1950s. After all Garbo was in 1954. Irene Dunne was retired from films by the early 1950s but was very active elsewhere. Dietrich was active in films till the early 1960s and was up, about and very active until the 1970s doing her cabaret act. The Academy had ample time to reward both stars. No need to wait for an actor to be bed ridden before considering them.

Yes indeed, major head scratchers.

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:50 pm

Reza wrote:The list of overlooked actors down the years is huge. It would be interesting to know who all were considered over the years and why they (Marlene Dietrich and Irene Dunne are just two of many who immediately come to mind) were ignored.


Dietrich became something of a recluse in later life. By 1984 when Maximillian Schell made the documentary Marlene which is essentially one long interview, she didn't appear on camera. Only her voice was recorded as the camera panned around her Paris apartment.

I doubt she would have gone to L.A. to collect one and unlikely she would have approved receiving one at home being filmed. Still the Academy could have improvised and had stills of her whilst she gave her acceptance speech.

Irene Dunne is a head scratcher though.

Anyway, its all water under the bridge. There are so many deserving people behind and in-front of the camera that have been overlooked and at the end of the day you can't give one to everyone.
"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.

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 15, 2018 1:20 pm

Okri wrote:Nathaniel, from TFE, always gets down on Oscars given to previous winners. To me, if an actor's total career is more than the sum of it's parts and it's a strong career, that should be celebrated, regardless of if they're an oscar winner or not. I get the reason behind wanting to celebrate the undersung, but how much does that play a part in your personal response?


As I said the honorary award is for an actor's career. It may not be distinguished in terms of the actor having worked consistently in critically acclaimed films or with important directors of the time who's films may have made a mark but instead have a "solid body of work" through the years as a supporting or lead actor. Two examples are Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche both of whom won honorary awards. The former, nominated once, often played second banana to the lead actor but had a consistent body of work that lasted for over 50 years. Ameche was never nominated nor was he ever a critically acclaimed actor but he also had a career that lasted over 50 years and was in many highly successful musicals, comedies and dramas. Two actors in the same vein - Dana Andrews and Glenn Ford - were overlooked by the Academy. Neither was ever nominated nor did they get an honorary award although both deserved it for their long careers.

I also have no problems with an actor who has won a competetive award in getting an honorary award for their career. Many examples of that ofcourse. Henry Fonda and Paul Newman managed the reverse - getting an honorary award followed a year later by winning in competition.

I got flack below for saying Cicely Tyson's recently announced award was basically because the Academy wanted to look good with this choice. I think it's true. Check out all the recent awardees - James Earl Jones, Harry Belafonte (who has been involved in charity work for decades but was never considered for the Hersholt all those years ago - it always went to a white person), Oprah Winfrey and Spike Lee. Go through the list of honorees to see how many black persons won - James Baskett won in 1947 followed in 2001 by Sidney Poitier. That's a gap of 53 years. The Academy has been put to task in recent years and they are trying to make up for it but often at the expense of a more deserving candidate. Tyson is most certainly a distinguished actor but her career on the big screen consists of only about 20 big screen films out of which she played a lead in only 4 or 5 - the rest were all small parts - and apart from Sounder (for which she was nominated) none of her films were particularly noteworthy and nor did she make any special mark in them. On the other hand she played many brilliant parts in films on tv and stage for which her name is remembered. Do you really think that people would remember her at all if you erase all her tv and stage work? My point was that the Academy should have given the award to a far more deserving "big screen" actor instead. Give Tyson an honorary Emmy which she deserves. By the way James Earl Jones falls into the same space as Tyson with nary a distinguished film on the big screen, one nominated performance and countless brilliant performances on tv, stage and his famous voiceovers.

In place of Tyson this year a better choice, in my opinion, would have been Harrison Ford who has had a career that has lasted over 50 years. He has one nomination and has appeared in many lead roles in important films that have made boxoffice history. We have already discussed others who deserve to win - Max von Sydow, Doris Day, Liv Ullmann - but Ford is an important name in film history and should get one too.

The list of overlooked actors down the years is huge. It would be interesting to know who all were considered over the years and why they (Marlene Dietrich and Irene Dunne are just two of many who immediately come to mind) were ignored.

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Precious Doll » Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:41 am

Okri wrote:I get the reason behind wanting to celebrate the undersung, but how much does that play a part in your personal response?


It's funny for a number of years I thought the Academy had a rule that previous winners couldn't receive an Honorary Oscar, but Oscar Guy confirmed that they could. I personally would prefer non winners to receive Honorary Oscars over previous competitive winners as there are so many deserving people who either receive limited recognition (1 nomination) or nothing at all. However, I can see why the Academy sometimes wants to honour a whole career of someone. Maybe I'm mistaken but they have largely been awarding previous non-winners with one or two exceptions in recent years.
"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.

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Okri » Sat Sep 15, 2018 7:31 am

Nathaniel, from TFE, always gets down on Oscars given to previous winners. To me, if an actor's total career is more than the sum of it's parts and it's a strong career, that should be celebrated, regardless of if they're an oscar winner or not. I get the reason behind wanting to celebrate the undersung, but how much does that play a part in your personal response?

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Reza » Sat Sep 15, 2018 2:42 am

Okri wrote:What do you guys think Honorary Oscars are for?


A special award to celebrate an actor or film technicians's "big-screen" film career (the honorary Oscar) or humanitarian achievents (the Jean Hersholt) or a "big-screen" film producer's achievements (the Thalberg).

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Okri » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:19 pm

What do you guys think Honorary Oscars are for?

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Reza » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:51 pm

Phillip dude, I apologised to you about the "ruby slippers" years ago. Was just pulling your leg on your rants about Designing Women. I'm surprised you are still seething about it 15 plus years down the road.

But I'm now glad you're still pissed off lol

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Re: Honorary Oscars Wish Lists and Speculation

Postby Reza » Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:51 pm

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Last edited by Reza on Fri Sep 14, 2018 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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