Friday, February 20, 2015

On THE STAR and THE OSCAR

It's time once again for that world-famous, talent competition telecast.  Yes, the Oscars.  Also called The Gay Super Bowl.  And Hollywood Prom Night.  This year, however, it's more like Hollywood Prom Night -- at a school before court-ordered desegregation took effect.  Did you get a look at all the nominated actors and actresses?  I haven't seen a more Caucasian group since The Von Trapp Family Singers in The Sound of Music.

Oh, well.  That's Hollywood.  For now.

If you want some Oscars-related movie entertainment before entertainment reporters start asking "Who did your dress?" during Red Carpet TV coverage, I have a couple of DVD tips for you.  This is a fun DVD double feature that's good for grins with friends this Oscar weekend.

When I cut the short podcast attached below, my first pick was not on DVD.  Well, it is now.  It stars the late, talented and handsome Hollywood actor, Stephen Boyd.
William Wyler's 1959 remake of Ben-Hur made Hollywood history.  His new version of a 1920s silent film hit was a box office and Oscars blockbuster.  It won 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Charlton Heston) and Best Supporting Actor.  British actor Hugh Griffith won Best Supporting Actor for donning dark make-up and playing a warm-hearted Arab who helps the Jewish hero played by Heston.
That Best Supporting Actor Oscar, in my opinion, should've gone to Stephen Boyd for his fierce and memorable performance as Messala, the villainous Roman.  Messala loved the Jewish Ben-Hur deeply when they were both teens.  He hates him now that they are men and Messala is a Roman soldier following orders from his emperor.  Messala sends Ben-Hur into slavery during the time of Christ.

Boyd burns up the screen with that excellent performance.  He was never nominated for an Oscar in his film career.  But he was a greedy character nominated for Best Actor in 1966's THE OSCAR, finally on DVD.  This movie is so bad it's good.  Like Snakes on a Plane.  Boyd plays Frankie Fane, a tough street hustler who claws his way to Hollywood stardom.  He's fast with his wits, with his fists... and with his penis.

Frankie turns on the charm to use anyone and do anything to win that Oscar.  His best friend, the guy who knows where all the bodies are hidden, is played by singer Tony Bennett.  Bennett's current singing partner, Lady Gaga, performs on the Oscars telecast Sunday night on ABC, by the way.
The movie's action takes place when the Academy Awards ceremony was held in Santa Monica.  They later moved to downtown L.A.  Now they're in Hollywood.  The Oscar  is colorful trash with flash, star-studded cheese, and it has costumes by Edith Head.  Elke Sommer stars as the love interest.  Her hairstyles in The Oscar  would go on to inspire a generation of little girls who needed styling tips to be on cable's Toddlers & Tiaras.


The other DVD rental stars two-time Best Actress Oscar winner, Bette Davis.  She won both her Oscars in the 1930s and, after a lull in her film career, make a sensational, legendary film comeback in the 1950 classic, All About Eve.  That film brought her another Best Actress Oscar nomination.  THE STAR came out in 1952.  Davis plays down and out Hollywood star, Margaret Elliott.
The fading film star will drink and take her Oscar out for a drive.
 And she'll do a little time in a Hollywood jail.
However...a big, hot hunk o' beefcake will fall in love with her.
Seeing Bette Davis as a hot mess who needs a reality check is reason enough for some festive drinks and some food.  Here's my short podcast on The Star and The Oscar -- now both available on DVD:
bobbyrivers.podomatic.com/entry/2011-02-26T19_54_14-08_00.

These two old movies are way better than this year's The Wedding Ringer starring Kevin Hart and Johnny Depp as Mortdecai.  Trust me on this.  Enjoy the Oscars Sunday night, Feb. 22nd, on ABC.  Check out the ABC website for the Oscars®, which has printable lists of the nominees, here:
oscar.go.com.



2 comments:

  1. I agree Boyd should have won the best supporting Oscar for BEN HUR, he is the black heart of the film, and must have trained just as hard as Heston for the gruelling chariot race. Hugh Griffith as the sheik is basically comic relief to lighten the mood for a couple of scenes THE OSCAR is probably my favourite so bad its bad movie, a genuine Trash Classic, like the Carroll Baker HARLOW.

    ReplyDelete
  2. THANK YOU! Which trash classic HARLOW do you prefer -- Carroll Baker or Carol Lynley?

    ReplyDelete

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