Saturday, February 1, 2014

31 Days of Oscar Blogathon: 2 Oscar Snubs that Really Irk Me

This is my contribution to the massive 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon jointly hosted by Once Upon A Screen, Outspoken and Freckled, and Paula's Cinema Club. Check out the tributes to the big golden man in the 31 days leading up to the big event.

We Wuz Robbed!
The man who was overlooked too many times

Normally, when you are robbed of something valuable you can either call the cops or just go and grab the stolen item back for yourself. If it's a boyfriend you can bitch-slap the thief, but I digress.....

However, when you are robbed of an Oscar you must smile and applaud the thief, thereby proving yet again that your acting talents are truly superior. Criminally overlooked artists include Garbo, O'Toole, Leonardo DiCaprio, Judy Garland (forget that dumb juvenile award), Alfred Hitchcock and Cary Grant (not counting the special award for the perpetually overlooked).

So, while I have a list gripes and grievances a mile long, Ill just share 2 of the snubbed ones that really, really irk me.

Jean Hagen as Lina Lamont in Singin' in the Rain
The utterly elegant Lina and the demon microphone

Okay, I have made my ardor for Ms. Lamont abundantly clear here, but let's be honest: Jean Hagen wuz robbed! Here's the roster for the 1952 nominees for Best Supporting Actress:

Gloria Grahame - The Bad and the Beautiful
Jean Hagen - Singin' in the Rain
Colette Marchand- Moulin Rouge
Terry Moore - Come Back Little Sheba
Thelma Ritter - With a Song in My Heart

Colette who? Terry Moore - really? Yes, we love Thlema Ritter (herself among those who were always snubbed), but, gee, we loved her in so many other things. And yes, Gloria Grahame rocked, but her performance simply did not compare to Jean's.
The lovely and Oscarless Jean Hagen
For Jean Hagen, Lina Lamont was the role of a lifetime. Her filmography is short and she spent much of her career on television. This was the big one for Jean. Her Lina is bigger than life and dumber than dirt. She is a colorful soul sister to Norma Desmond (oh, another snub I weep over) and truly a shimmering glowing star.... oh, well, you know the rest. She shudda won!!!!

Robert Preston as Toddy in Victor/Victoria

And now to one of my all-time favorite he-mans and actors: Robert Preston. From the intense other man tho the charismatic Professor Harold Hill, Preston always filled the screen 100% with his almost too much personality. From Bs to As to a great career on the stage, Preston had acting power, manly-man power and staying power. Never quite the star until The Music Man, he always delivered and was always the professional. 

Here are the 1982 contenders for Best Supporting Actor:

Lou Gossett, Jr. - An Officer and a Gentleman
Robert Preston - Victor/Victoria
James Mason - The Verdict
John Lithgow - The World According to Garp
Charles Durning - The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
Toddy saves the day
I say NO CONTEST here. Preston's turn as the outrageously gay queen Toddy was made even more winning because of his ultra masculine aura. He was compassionate, wily and a little sad - and truly the heart of the film. His final scene in drag was absolutely fearless. Sorry other nominees, no disrespect, but I demand a recount! To this day this loss still makes me so mad!

How do you NOT honor this performance?

I am sure that Miss Hagen and Mr. Preston behaved like perfect good sports when their names were not called. What else could they do? So, it is up to us fans to cry foul, stamp our feet and tune in next year to see if the Academy agrees with our superior choices.

Happy viewing on March 2nd. Let's hope the 86th Academy Awards get it right!


Patti said...

Oh, I am so with you on Jean Hagan. She is beyond amazing in "Singin' in the Rain."

For me, the 1948 lead actor was a robbery. In fact, the man I think worthy of the win that year wasn't even nominated. That would be Humphrey Bogart for "Treasure of the Sierra Madre." Although Bogey had many brilliant performances, for me, "Sierra Madre" is his absolute best. That he wasn't even nominated that year, let alone walk away with the win, is an oversight on the part of the Academy.

Patti said...

Me again. Probably the one that irks me the most is 1944's best actor. Bing Crosby in "Going My Way" over Charles Boyer in "Gaslight?" I mean, seriously! And Fred MacMurray didn't even get a nomination for "Double Indemnity!"

Also, 1951's lead actor. As I said above, I think Bogey deserved a win for Treasure of Sierra Madre, but for The African Queen? No way...that year belonged to either Montgomery Clift for "A Place in the Sun" or Fredric March for "Death of a Salesman."

Caftan Woman said...

In our hearts Jean Hagen is always a winner.

Last week watching "Victor/Victoria" the hubby and I were bemoaning Lesley Ann Warren's loss in the supporting actress category to Jessica Lange in "Tootsie". Sometimes the ways of the Academy are unfathomable.

The Lady Eve said...

"Oscar snubs" is a subject that sets me off - there have been soooo many...don't get me started!

You spotlight two notable major mis-fires by academy voters and plead the cases of Jean Hagen and Robert Preston with admirable passion and outrage.

The Gal Herself said...

I agree with you about Robert Preston. If you watch those 5 movies today, the two performances that really stand out are Preston and, surprisingly enough, Charles Durning. It's great to watch his dance no. in Whorehouse because you can see his feet the whole time. I think he was hurt because Whorehouse is such a crappy movie.

My favorite Preston role is Dark at the Top of the Stairs. I am completely biased when it comes to him. He brought such humanity and charm to every role.

Here's my post on Oscar snubs:

Do you know who is hosting this weekend? I'd like to read other posts but I can't find the hub.

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Patti. I think was safely say Jean was robbed. And you are so right about Boyer in "Gaslight." Ingrid got the Oscar, but his performance was so powerful. Love that man!

FlickChick said...

CW - Lesley Ann was so funny in V/V - so many great performances there. Like so many of Blake Edwards' comedies, it gets better with time.

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Patty - I was made the night Preston lost I nearly broke the TV!

FlickChick said...

Hi Gal- I can't find the hub, either! I sure will get over to your post. Looking forward to it.

Danny said...

Jean was brilliant in Singin'-- such a snub! She plays despicably air-headed better than anyone since.

Silver Screenings said...

I've not seen "Victor/Victoria" but, judging by the list of nominations, I am surprised Robert Preston wasn't chosen as winner.

As for Jean Hagen, don't get me started! She was THE BEST PART of "Singin' in the Rain". Sheesh!


I should have known Jean Hagen was coming... It's incredible what she does in Singin' in the Rain. I saw her also in The Asphalt Jungle, and she had a total metamorphosis to be Lina Lamont.
Oh, how much I want to bitch-slap th Academy for Peter O'Toole! And Peter Sellers! And Richard Burton!
I believe, unfortunately, that this year DiCaprio will be snubbed once again... :(

Irish Jayhawk said...

Thanks SO much for participating in our blogathon! So many Oscar snubs out there it's kinda tough to narrow down but you chose 2 perfect examples. Singin' In The Rain would NOT be the same without Jean Hagen. Makes me wonder how different her career would have been had she won at that point. Preston is another shocker, too. Sensational write-up!

Citizen Screen said...

I caaaaaaan't staaaaand 'im!!! Oscar that is for leaving out Lina Lamont!! Jaysus is right! She makes me cry each and every time I watch her in RAIN.

And, you got it right again with Toddy! Two well-deserved shout outs for inexplicable snubs!

Keep 'em coming, sistah!


Vintage Cameo said...

I just recently rewatched Singin' in the Rain and was overcome by how much I loved Ms. Hagen. Lina Lamont could totally have been a throwaway character, yet she stands out as one the most vivacious, memorable things from an already wonderful movie. Viva Jean!

Paula said...

I have to agree, Hagen had a thankless role in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and she was flawless. I wonder if the nature of the character didn't influence some Academy members' votes.

ClassicBecky said...

Boy am I late with this one? I hope my past record of slavish following will put me back in right with you, Chick! Hardy har. I too am amazed that Jean didn't get the statue. The only real contender she had, in my opinion, was Colette Marchand in Moulin Rouge, who gave a marvelous performance. The others really weren't that special, good, but not great. But Jean's performance was so plainly sterling -- you just can't trust the politics sometimes. As for Robert, again the only other real contender was Lou Gossett, who was truly fine, but Robert was a standout. I am madly in love with him, by the way. Loved this article!

FlickChick said...

Danny: she was so awful and yet - I love her!

FlickChick said...

Silver Screenings - Mr. Preston is one of my favorite actors and he was in the twilight of his career when he gave that performance. His loss crushed me.

FlickChick said...

Le - you KNOW I had to add Lina - what am I, dumb or something?

FlickChick said...

Kelee - thanks for your comment and thank you so much for hosting this fun event. Can't wait to read the month-long entries.

FlickChick said...

Citizen Screen - I know! Every time I watch that film I think she should be the name above the title.

FlickChick said...

Vintage Cameo - than you for your comment. I just discovered your site and love it.

FlickChick said...

Paula - it;s true her character was a mean diva - but I caaaaaaaaan't help it - I love her!

FlickChick said...

Hey, Becky - good to see you. Yeah, while others may have done well, these 2 stand out as my 2 biggest gripes (aside from Peter O'Toole and Cary Grant).

Anonymous said...

Oscar snubs are such an emotive topic and I love the two you chose to write about.

For me, Jean Hagan is the winner. Even if the 'decision makers' didn't agree, I know I'm right... said...

Never thought about Preston in Victor Victoria, but I LOVE that performance. You're so right. Great post (though I'm a bit late to the game in commenting on it:))