Culture

A look back on the 89th anniversary of the Oscars


Happy Birthday, Mister Oscar.

Today marks 89 years to the date that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences first handed out its annual awards, way back in the scary year of 1929.

It took place at a dinner party for around 250 people held in the Blossom Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, a much more humble gathering than the red-carpeted glitter-fest we are all used to these days. The ceremony was a dream of movie producer Louis B. Mayer, head of the powerful MGM film studio. And the dinner came two years after the Academy was first organized as a non-profit whose purpose was to advance and improve the film industry.

One big difference between that first event and the Academy Award show we now watch each year: Back then the winners of the first Oscars, as those dazzling golden statuettes would later be called, were named before the awards ceremony even got underway.

In honor of that auspicious day in Hollywood history, here’s a brief look back at five of the more memorable moments in a great American tradition that is chock full of memorable moments:

When that Naked Dude Ran Across the Stage

How can we forget? Even those of us not yet born will never get the moment out of heads. It was the 1974 Academy Awards, hosted by David Niven. As he stood at the microphone and got ready to announce Elizabeth Taylor as the presenter for Best Picture, a young and totally nude man darted behind him across the stage. And as if that weren’t memorable enough, the guy (soon identified as photographer and gay rights campaigner Robert Opel) flashed a peace sign as he ran by. Nivens was pure understatement. After a momentary loss for words, the debonair Brit famously known for his portrayal of Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days waited for the audience roar to fade and then quipped: “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

When They Gave Moonlight’s Best Picture Award to La La Land

It was one of the most cringe-worthy moments in Oscar history. And It was just last year, but god how we wish it were further back in time.

With host Jimmy Kimmel looking on, presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway proceeded to launch one of the biggest mix-ups in Oscar history, accidentally giving the Best Picture award to La La Land when it was supposed to have gone to Moonlight. Beatty was given the task of opening the envelope that was supposed to contain the winner. He said “And the Academy Award . . .,” paused and then, looking at Dunaway, said ” . . . for best picture . . . ”

“You’re impossible,” Dunaway jokingly told Beatty. “Come on,” she prompted him.

After he showed her the card, Dunaway said: “‘La La Land.”

“La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz was the first to speak. Producer Marc Platt was next. …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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