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For the first time an actor is about to be deoscarized to make way for a more deserving recipient not for the role for which he was nominated but for the role for which he should have been nominated and should have won. But first the act of deoscarizing must be explained. In the entire 86 year history of the Academy Awards the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have seen fit to award three or more acting awards to only three film actors in all of those years. They are Katharine Hepburn with 4 Best Actress awards,
Daniel Day-Lewis has exceeded every other actor by winning three best Actor Academy Awards
and three awards for best actor in a supporting role went to Walter Brennan.
Walter Brennan? You might ask if you are not an actual, bona fide aficionado of classic films. There are many films I can think of whereby Walter Brennan would well deserve an award for best performance by an actor in a supporting role. Just off the top of my head he should’ve won an award for his performance in Sergeant York, the Pride of the Yankees, My Darling Clementine, Red River, Bad Day at Black Rock, Rio Bravo and How the West Was Won. And I believe he didn’t win them for these great films because he’d already won two awards for what can best be described as mediocre roles in mediocre movies. Do you remember these films? Of course you don’t. Come and Get It
has some historical value for it featured the tragically misunderstood actress Frances Farmer.
If you get the chance see this film Frances starring Jessica Lange with a compelling performance that tells a compelling story.
And there is Kentucky;
not my favourite state and
certainly not a memorable movie especially when one considers the great performances of the great roles in these great films of 1938. How is it, Walter Brennan could have prevailed? There is an answer. In the 1930’s movie extras, of which there were a multitude
in Hollywood were considered acting members of the Academy and thus had a vote for Best Actor and subsequently Best Supporting Actor.
Walter Brennan started his film career as an extra and became an extra who made good engendering the sympathy and support of every extra in Hollywood who could vote and did vote for Walter Brennan no matter the role, no matter the movie, no matter the performance.
Even Walter Brennan was embarrassed when he won in 1938, especially when he, like everyone else at the banquet that night considered the great performances of the nominees for Best Supporting Actor that year 1938. Best Supporting Actor Nominees 1938 John Garfield
– his first film role and he gets nominated because he is the darling of the Hollywood liberals who were in the driver’s seat at the time. That would all change a few years later and the right wingnuts would get their revenge especially on John Garfield
. Gene Lockhart – Algiers as Regis –
His character is too smarmy to deserve an award. That happens! Besides, I liked him much better as the Judge in Miracle on 34th Street.
Robert Morley – Marie Antoinette as King Louis XVI
– Now here is a role, a film and an actor who deserves a second look for an award as he should have and would have then in 1938, had the extras not had a say in the matter. And now we come to Basil Rathbone nominated Best Supporting Actor 1938 for his performance as King Louis XI in If I Were King
while for some reason his legendary and eternal performance as Sir Guy of Gisbourne in The Adventures of Robin Hood
is overlooked as was his performance in Anna Karenina
and his performance in David Copperfield. He should have won Best Supporting Actor 1938 for his performance in The Adventures of Robin Hood and that’s exactly what’s about to happen. Not only did Basil Rathbone play legendary villains, he will also be legendary for his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes
and we shall not forget his performance in the Court Jester. Get it?
Over looked and underrated in 1938 all because Hollywood extras voted blindly and en masse for Walter Brennan. It is time to DeOscarize Walter Brennan.
Support or appeal my decision to DeOscarize Walter Brennan for an Award even he was embarrassed about and make Basil Rathbone the New Best Supporting Actor 1938
for his wonderful performance in The Adventures of Robin Hood and who should have received more nominations for some great performances over the years. Giving credit where credit is due preventing mediocrity from prevailing over greatness! If not in the real world then in the world of DeOscarize dot com.! Let us seek cinema justice together. By the way, the academy put a stop to extras voting the following year which I believe helped Hattie McDaniel win her award in 1939
in the Westerner, starring Gary Cooper. It was the award and the performance for which he was most proud.
Of course I can see where folks might think I’m wrong. I’m prepared to make my case for DeOscarizing Walter Brennan. Can you make the case to prevent it? Is there someone else you would DeOscarize Walter Brennan for? Let’s discuss it.
Pick a year! Pick a category! Pick a Nominee! Name your own Nominee!
It’s Your Choice! It’s Your Universe!
Enjoy! Discuss! Prevail!
Copyright © 2014 Thomas O’Neill