Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And The Oscar Goes To... Some Criminally Overlooked Categories

My popcorn and Dom Perignon are at the ready and my tiara is on straight! As I settle in for a long night of red carpets, longer speeches, happy winners and not-so-happy losers, I sneak a little nap and dream of categories that were missed...

Best performance by an actress in a bad wig
Bette Davis - Beyond the Forest
"What a Dump"? What a fright wig. 
Bette's performance in this film is a bit over the top, but I think the wig might have been too tight. She is forgiven.

Barbara Stanwyck - Double Indemnity
Note to self: "must not let Walter close
enough to run his fingers through my fake hair."
The one and only false note in an otherwise perfect film.

Judy Garland  - Meet Me in St. Louis
"How can I ignore this thing on my head?"
When Judy flicks her hair over her shoulder in "The Trolley Song" she almost breaks her wrist.

Barbara acts her way right through that wig and almost makes us forget how fake it looks. She makes us believe that it smells like the soap she bought in Ensenada, not 20 Mule Team Borax.

Best Performance by an actress with an unworthy co-star
Vivien Leigh with Leslie Howard in Gone With The Wind
"Oh Ashley, I think I need glasses. I prefer you to Clark Gable?"
Vivien Leigh is a storm of passion and emotion in this film. Her scenes with Leslie Howard make her look like she is beating her head against a wooden plank screaming "give me something to work with here!"

Judy Garland  with Tom Drake in Meet Me in St. Louis
"Maybe we should have moved to New York.
I hear the boys next door are more animated there!"
That Judy could convey such sweet longing for this pile of rocks cements her status as a great actress.

Joan Fontaine with Laurence Olivier in Rebecca
"I think there is a leftover cold fish in your
hand, Maxim, from when you drowned Rebecca!"
Olivier never looked as though he liked her - much less loved her. This probably made Joan's performance even better. It was left to Mrs. Danvers to provide the passion.

The fact that millions continue to love this film despite the wooden-headed Mr. Wikes/ wooden-acting Mr. Howard is a testament to the genius of Vivien Leigh in this role.

Best performance by an actor with an unworthy co-star
James Cagney with Jean Harlow - The Public Enemy
"Don't look so sad, Jean. You'll grow up
 to be a good actress some day."
She looks right, but at this point in her career, she stunk. Apparently, Louise Brooks was considered for the part. If only...

James Cagney with Joan Leslie - Yankee Doodle Dandy
Come on, Warner Brothers, this man
deserves a stellar leading lady!
He's so "mature", she's so young. He's so extraordinary, she's so ordinary.

Laurence Olivier with Merle Oberon in Wuthering Heights
"If she pops her eyes just once more, I'm going to
throw her off Peniston Crag!"
He's so great and powerful and she's so awful.

For both The Public Enemy and Yankee Doodle Dandy. If ever a great actor got saddled with a bunch of mediocre leading ladies, it was Cagney. He was dynamic and could be sexy, but, aside from Joan Blondell, Ann Sheridan, Doris Day and a few others, he was rarely paired with a worthy sparring partner.

Best performance by an actor with a bad mustache
James Cagney - Torrid Zone
Somebody call pest control - there is a caterpillar crawling on Jimmy's upper lip!

Humphrey Bogart - Virginia City

Bogey is smiling, but it must be because he is dreaming
of choking the head of make-up. Yuk!

Gene Kelly - The Three Musketeers

No, this does not make Mr. Kelly look French.

That Bogey could have smiled at all with that on his lip proves he was a great actor.

 The show is starting and I must awaken from my reverie. Good luck to all nominees - hey it's an honor just to be nominated, right?


Anthony W Rheingans (Spata) said...

Your comments were near perfect. At some time or another in my life I
thought the very things you wrote about. Extremely well done.

ClassicBecky said...

Flickchick, this post is hysterical. I'm still laughing. Like Anthony, I have felt the same way! The moustache category is great -- what a huge mistake for all 3. And Ashley -- that was always beyond me. They needed somebody who could at least be some competition to Gable. Harlow in Public Enemy - oh my God, that voice --- hideous. And I have never liked Merle Oberon and her pop eyes and stilted way of speaking. Wasn't she a favorite of the producer or director or something? That's what I call a casting couch winner!

And the wigs! Double Indemnity is so good, and that hair is so bad. The scene in the drugstore where she wears the sunglasses with the ear pieces sitting on her hair instead of under it always makes me laugh. Poor Bette Davis -- I think she knew what a bomb this movie was going to be and just gave up about the hair.

Well, you can tell I think this is just a clever and very funny post!

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Becky & Anthony. These things have bothered me from the first time I saw these films!

doctor sabelotodo said...

HILARIOUS...this is a post we all wish we had done...but I think you are being a little hard on LESLIE HOWARD...he was great in THE PETRIFIED FOREST!!

marynarkiewicz said...

I love the photos and comments. Had to share it immediately ! It seems that Humphrey Bogart is still smiling ironically even as I write this.

FlickChick said...

Doc - I like Leslie - I just don't like him in this movie (and I don't think he liked himself in it, either!).
Mary - thanks for sharing the link and glad you like it!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I don't think Leslie Howard was a fan of his lines. He never even read the book. And I loved Jean Harlow in the public enemy. I don't think her accent was right for the part, but her manner of speech fit the character.

Anonymous said...

This was so funny! I love when people make posts like this. I agree with the mustaches, they look soooo silly.

Alot of those wigs are horrible too. Who decided that middle aged Bette Davis needed a long wig? It makes her look like she's 60 trying to look 18. I don't mind Judy's wig too much in "Meet Me in St. Louis" hehe I always thought she looked pretty in that one :)

As for Tom Drake, I too would have rather seen someone with a bit more personality. Apparently Judy really wanted Van Johnson (which would have been so great!) but he wasn't able to do it for some reason :(

Jan Miner said...

I realize that Oscar has come and gone... but this is very funny. As I was reading the odd pairings, however, it occurred to me that maybe the stars liked it that way.... made them look better, you know!

Freder said...


VP81955 said...

Myrna Loy must have worn a good wig in "Love Me Tonight," since she was not nominated. And in Joan Leslie's defense, she was a little better in "The Sky's The Limit," where she was Fred Astaire's leading lady (okay, no Ginger, Rita or Cyd she, to be sure...).

FlickChick said...

Myrna looked pretty cute in that wig - much too cute for this list!

Mythical Monkey said...

You know, I actually think the terrible wig in Double Indemnity is perfect -- it looks cheap, and it makes Barbara Stanwyck look cheap, and it's just the sort of thing her character would think makes her look sexy. Gives me the impression she's flipped through one too many movie magazines while lounging around in bed wearing that honey of an anklet, found a picture of some starlet and thought, "Gee, them Hollywood dames sure are classy!"