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Academy Awards Slant

February 24, 2013

The Academy Awards will be presented tonight in Hollywood, televised nationally by ABC television. The awards are “apples and oranges” and have been at times, “highway robbery.”

I love the movie “Cat Ballou” for many reasons and Lee Marvin was an excellent actor. However, it was an injustice when he and not Rod Steiger won the Best Actor Award for 1965. Steiger’s performance was so powerful that perhaps it is the reason “The Pawnbroker” has rarely been shown on television. The movie is just too “real” for the public.

I once asked the late, great Geraldine Fitzgerald, who played a social worker in the movie, why the movie was/is not shown? She had “no idea,” she said, at least when giving her answer.

Two years later, Steiger won the Best Actor Award for a lesser, albeit excellent performance as a southern sheriff, in the movie, “In the Heat of the Night.” One could label that a “makeup call.”

Usually the favorites, aka “the chalk,” win the Academy Awards. Therefore, very likely “Argo,” a seven to one favorite, and a fine film will win the Best Picture Award. At first, the race for “The Best Picture” award was considered tight between “Argo” and “Lincoln.” Now that is not the case. Yet Steven Spielberg, the director of “Lincoln” is a three to one favorite to win Best Director. As I said “apples and oranges” and you can always throw in politics when talking about The Academy Awards.

Rod Steiger Accepts the Academy Award

Scene from “The Pawnbroker”

“In the Heat of the Night”


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