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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    And the loser is … Oscar’s biggest mistakes

    And the loser is …

    Marlon Brandoin “”A Streetcar Named Desire.””Anne Bancroftin “”The Graduate.””Al Pacinoin “”The Godfather.””Bette Davisin “”All About Eve.””

    They’re among the indelible performances that Oscar has spurned, contributing to a list that’s often more memorable than the official rundown of winners:Stanley Kowalskiand Mrs. Robinson,Michael CorleoneandMargo Channing— all rejected.

    Such slights, misdeeds and surprises make the Academy Awards an irresistible, win-lose double feature, full of wincing, debating, guessing, wagering. Oscar sparks more arguments that Emmy, Tony and Grammy combined.

    So this story is devoted to the glorious losers. For space and sanity, it begins in the 1950s (so apologies to losers of earlier decades, such as “”Citizen Kane,”” “”The Grapes of Wrath”” and “”Duck Soup.””)

    The envelopes, please.

    —1950: Slipping in

    BEST ACTRESS: Davis’ fasten-your-seat-belts performance in “”All About Eve”” competed withGloria Swanson’shypnotic turn in “”Sunset Boulevard.”” But the Oscar went toJudy Hollidayin “”Born Yesterday.””

    —1951: Nostalgia

    BEST ACTOR: Brando in “”Streetcar”” loses toHumphrey Bogart(“”The African Queen””). Was this delayed compensation for the “”Casablanca”” affront?

    BEST PICTURE: “”An American in Paris“” dances over “”A Place in the Sun”” and “”Streetcar.””

    —1952: The worst, part I

    BEST PICTURE:Cecil B. DeMille’sthree-ring soap opera, “”The Greatest Show on Earth,”” wins. The classic, politically charged “”High Noon”” is left to clean up after the elephants.

    NOT NOMINATED: “”Singin’ in the Rain””

    —1956: The worst, part II

    BEST PICTURE: The endless “”Around the World in 80 Days”” beats “”Giant.””

    NOT NOMINATED:John Ford’stowering Western “”The Searchers.””

    BEST ACTOR:Kirk Douglas(“”Lust for Life””) loses toYul Brynner(“”The King and I””).

    NOT NOMINATED:John Wayne(“”The Searchers””).

    —1958: Champagne and songs

    BEST PICTURE: “”Gigi”” wins, continuing the costume-musical theme.

    NOT NOMINATED:Alfred Hitchcock’speerless “”Vertigo”” andOrson Welles’“”Touch of Evil.””

    —1964: Culture clash, part I

    BEST PICTURE: “”My Fair Lady”” dances all night. (At least Stanley Kubrick’s “”Dr. Strangelove”” was nominated.)

    —1967: Culture clash, part II

    BEST PICTURE: “”In the Heat of the Night”” defeats “”The Graduate”” and “”Bonnie and Clyde.””

    BEST ACTRESS:Katharine Hepburnwins for “”Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,”” beating Bancroft as the carnivorous Mrs. Robinson.

    —1968: Past as future

    BEST PICTURE: The as-long-as-he-needs-me musical “”Oliver!”” nabs top honors.

    NOT NOMINATED: “”2001: A Space Odyssey,”” “”Planet of the Apes”” andMel Brooks’“”The Producers.”” (“”Funny Girl,”” however, was.)

    —1969: Duke-ing it out

    BEST ACTOR:John Waynerewarded for Rooster Cogburn in “”True Grit,”” putting away Ratso Rizzo andJoe Buck(Dustin HoffmanandJon Voight) in “”Midnight Cowboy,”” which wins best picture.

    —1970: Warfare

    BEST PICTURE: Traditional, serious “”Patton”” wins over nontraditional, hilarious “”M(ASTERISK)A(ASTERISK)S(ASTERISK)H.””

    NOT NOMINATED: DirectorBob Rafelsonfor “”Five Easy Pieces.””

    —1971: The chase

    BEST PICTURE: “”The French Connection”” speeds ahead of “”The Last Picture Show”” and “”A Clockwork Orange.””

    NOT NOMINATED: “”McCabe & Mrs. Miller”” (and its director,Robert Altman).

    —1972: High crimes

    SUPPORTING ACTOR:Joel Grey(“”Cabaret””) robsAl Pacino(“”The Godfather””).

    —1973: Low crimes

    BEST PICTURE, DIRECTOR: “”The Sting”” and directorGeorge Roy Hill.

    NOT NOMINATED: “”Mean Streets”” andMartin Scorsese.

    —1976: Punchy, part I

    BEST PICTURE: In the year of “”All the President’s Men,”” “”Network”” and “”Taxi Driver,”” best picture goes to “”Rocky.””

    —1980: Punchy, part II

    BEST PICTURE: “”Ordinary People”” KOs “”Raging Bull.””

    BEST DIRECTOR: Likewise,Robert RedforddecisionsMartin Scorsese.

    —1982: Size matters, part I

    BEST PICTURE: “”Gandhi”” named over “”Tootsie”” and “”E.T.””

    —1990: Whacked

    BEST PICTURE: “”Dances With Wolves”” rubs out “”GoodFellas.””

    —1996: Size matters, part II

    BEST PICTURE: “”The English Patient”” wins; “”Fargo”” loses.

    —1997: Sail away

    BEST PICTURE: The year of “”Titanic,”” not “”L.A. Confidential.””

    NOT NOMINATED:Russell Crowefor “”L.A. Confidential.””

    —2001: Best snub

    BEST ACTOR: Temperamental Crowe (“”A Beautiful Mind””) loses toDenzel Washington(“”Training Day””).

    —2002: Off-key

    BEST ACTOR:Daniel Day-Lewis’stunning portrayal of Bill the Butcher in “”Gangs of New York“” rejected in favor ofAdrien Brodyin “”The Pianist.””


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