Bad Movies To Love I: The Oscar (1966)

Professor Wagstaff

Doing that write-up on Harlan Ellison earlier reminded me of how I needed to go back and re-watch The Oscar again, a wonderfully over-the-top piece of SEE HOLLYWOOD’S SEAMY UNDERSIDE!!!! from the mid ’60s.

The story falls into the sub-genre of “ambitious Machiavellian backstabber does ANYTHING for stardom” that you can find elements of in everything from All About Eve to Valley Of The Dolls, and Stephen Boyd’s portrayal of Frankie Fane leaves no room for subtlety or sympathy on our part – he’s a total bastard from the get-go, and unlike the main characters in most Hollywood movies, he undergoes no change by the end of the film.

Lest you think The Oscar is an Antonioni-styled endless exploration into character study, the movie seems to be more an exercise in giving Frankie numerous opportunities to realize what a cad he’s been and redeem himself, only to see him…

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