As I continue to look for four hours of free time to watch Gone with the Wind to complete the 12th Academy Awards, here is some more trivia:
- Three people have refused their Academy Awards. (Some, like Woody Allen, have simply never collected them, but did not outright renounce them.)
- Dudley Nichols refused his Best Adapted Screenplay award for The Informer at the 8th Academy Awards due to a union boycott of the ceremony. Despite this labor action, Nichols was the only person to go all the way and officially turn down his award.
- George C. Scott turned down his Best Actor award for Patton at the 43rd Awards because he thought of the Oscars as a “two-hour meat parade…a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons.” Ah, the halcyon days when the ceremony was only two hours long…
- Two years later Marlon Brando refused his Best Actor award for The Godfather in protest of Hollywood’s (and the country’s) treatment of American Indians. He sent a representative to the ceremony with a 15-page speech, but she ended up ad-libbing for about a minute before the Academy implemented a “no proxy” rule.
- The record for longest time between a film’s release and winning an Academy Award is twenty years, for Charles Chaplin’s Limelight. It was originally released in 1952, but due to Chaplin’s low standing in America at the time was not shown in Los Angeles until 1972, at which time it became eligible for Oscar consideration and won Best Original Score (Chaplin’s only competitive win, after being given an Honorary award the year before).
- Speaking of which, the Academy has on a few other occasions given an elderly, well-respected but overlooked person an Honorary award, then turned around and given them a competitive award the next year. I’m thinking off the top of my head of Henry Fonda (Honorary, 1980; Best Actor, 1981 for On Golden Pond) and Paul Newman (Honorary, 1985; Best Actor, 1986 for The Color of Money).
- Then again, sometimes they think, incorrectly, that the Honorary one is enough, as was the case with Peter O’Toole, who was given one in 2002 after seven unsuccessful nominations (of an eventual eight, the record for futile acting nominations).