A BETTE DAVIS MOMENT PART I

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So, we were supposed to be choosing a Best Supporting Actress 1935 as part of the DeOscarize.com, WHAT-IF WORLD that we started last time, with Best Supporting Actor. Please see CLARK GABLE GOT ROBBED by the Academy.

NOMINEE BEST ACTOR 1935 CLARK GABLE 1901-1960 MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY

NOMINEE BEST ACTOR 1935
CLARK GABLE
1901-1960
MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY

 Now as that title implies, an injustice was done to Clark Gable that was sort of rectified the following subsequent years when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences established award categories for Supporting Players. In point of fact it was not rectified for Gable, really because Gable never won another award after winning in 1934 for It Happened One Night;

WINNER Best Picture 1934 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

WINNER Best Picture 1934
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

a runaway hit that year that garnered the first ever BIG FIVE awards for Best Picture,

THE FIRST BIG FIVE IN ACADEMY HISTORY. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT BEST PICTURE

THE FIRST BIG FIVE IN ACADEMY HISTORY.
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT
BEST PICTURE

Best Director,

WINNER BEST DIRECTOR 1934 FRANK CAPRA 1897-1991 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

WINNER
BEST DIRECTOR 1934
FRANK CAPRA
1897-1991
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

 

Best Actor,

WINNER BEST ACTOR 1934 CLARK GABLE 1901-1960 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

WINNER
BEST ACTOR 1934
CLARK GABLE
1901-1960
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

Best Actress

WINNER BEST ACTRESS CLAUDETTE COLBERT 1903-1996 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

WINNER
BEST ACTRESS
CLAUDETTE COLBERT
1903-1996
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

and Best Screenplay;

WINNER BEST SCREENPLAY 1934 ROBERT RISKIN 1897-1955 IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

WINNER
BEST SCREENPLAY 1934
ROBERT RISKIN
1897-1955
IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT

 

the first time in movie history and not repeated until forty-one years later with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.

WINNER BEST PICTURE 1975 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

WINNER
BEST PICTURE 1975
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

 

PRODUCER MICHAEL DOUGLAS Born: 1944

PRODUCER
MICHAEL DOUGLAS
Born: 1944

 

WINNER BEST DIRECTOR 1975 MILOS FORMAN Born: 1932 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

WINNER
BEST DIRECTOR 1975
MILOS FORMAN
Born: 1932
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

 

WINNER BEST ACTOR 1975 JACK NICHOLSON Born: 1937 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

WINNER
BEST ACTOR 1975
JACK NICHOLSON
Born: 1937
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

 

WINNER BEST ACTRESS 1975 LOUISE FLETCHER Born: 1934 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

WINNER
BEST ACTRESS 1975
LOUISE FLETCHER
Born: 1934
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST

 

WINNER BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY 1975 BO GOLDMAN Born: 1932

WINNER
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY 1975
BO GOLDMAN
Born: 1932

Back to 1934 now with that unprecedented Big Five win for It Happened One Night.

WINNER 1934 BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS, BEST SCREENPLAY

WINNER 1934
BEST PICTURE, BEST DIRECTOR, BEST ACTOR, BEST ACTRESS, BEST SCREENPLAY

Something else happened in 1934 that was unprecedented. For the first and only time the Academy experienced a bit of a backlash when Bette Davis

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY BEST ACTRESS 1934 BETTE DAVIS 1908-1989 OF HUMAN BONDAGE

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY
BEST ACTRESS 1934
BETTE DAVIS
1908-1989
OF HUMAN BONDAGE

was snubbed by the Academy for Best Actress 1934 despite her wonderful performance in Of Human Bondage. The Hollywood community rebelled. One of the nominees, Norma Shearer,

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1934 NORMA SHEARER Born: Montreal, Quebec 1902-1983 THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1934
NORMA SHEARER
Born: Montreal, Quebec
1902-1983
THE BARRETTS OF WIMPOLE STREET

at that time the First Lady of MGM

NORMA SHEARER 1902-1983 6 NOMINATIONS 1 WIN

NORMA SHEARER
1902-1983
6 NOMINATIONS
1 WIN

and the wife of Movie mogul Irving Thalberg

IRVING THALBERG MGM EXECUTIVE 1899-1936

IRVING THALBERG
MGM EXECUTIVE
1899-1936

conducted a campaign to rectify the injustice done to Bette Davis for what was a remarkable performance of a role no other actress in Hollywood had the courage to accept.

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY BEST ACTRESS 1934 BETTE DAVIS 1908-1989 OF HUMAN BONDAGE

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY
BEST ACTRESS 1934
BETTE DAVIS
1908-1989
OF HUMAN BONDAGE

 

And my very best to Norma Shearer, a woman obviously after my own heart for a rather selfless undertaking in the name of cinematic justice.

 

At that time, nominations were made by a committee and Norma Shearer’s hard work cowered the Academy into allowing, for the first and only time, the acting members to write-in an actress of their choice in addition to the nominees already selected by the committee. Bette Davis

BETTE DAVIS with LESLIE HOWARD (1893-1943) OF HUMAN BONDAGE 1934

BETTE DAVIS with LESLIE HOWARD (1893-1943)
OF HUMAN BONDAGE 1934

was the first ever write-in candidate and came in second to Claudette Colbert.

 

Because of the impact of her performance in Of Human Bondage, Bette Davis thought she’d finally earned a chance to play the better movie parts and was thrilled to have been requested by Columbia Pictures to play the lead opposite Clark Gable in a movie called, wait for it, perhaps you guessed, It Happened one Night. Unfortunately, Harry Warner,

HARRY WARNER 1881-1958 WARNER BROS. STUDIO

HARRY WARNER
1881-1958
WARNER BROS. STUDIO

Bette Davis’ boss at Warner Brothers studioswarners logocolour, got mad at Columbia Picturescolumbia logo boss, Harry Cohn

HARRY COHN 1891-1958 COLUMBIA PICTURES

HARRY COHN
1891-1958
COLUMBIA PICTURES

for some reason or another and refused him his actress’ services. So, Claudette Colbert got the part and got the prize.

 

Claudette Colbert was nominated again the next year.

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1935 CLAUDETTE COLDBERT 1903-1996 PRIVATE WORLDS

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1935
CLAUDETTE COLDBERT
1903-1996
PRIVATE WORLDS

 

PRIVATE WORLDS 1935

PRIVATE WORLDS 1935

As for Bette Davis, it appears the Academy was bound and determined to make sure she would win a Best Actress award. She tied with the fifth place nominee

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1935 MIRIAM HOPKINS 1902-1972 BECKY SHARP

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1935
MIRIAM HOPKINS
1902-1972
BECKY SHARP

becky sharp poster

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1935 ELIZABETH BERGNER 1897-1986 ESCAPE ME NEVER

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1935
ELIZABETH BERGNER
1897-1986
ESCAPE ME NEVER

 

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1935 KATHARINE HEPBURN 1907-2003 ALICE ADAMS

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1935
KATHARINE HEPBURN
1907-2003
ALICE ADAMS

 

ALICE ADAMS 1935

ALICE ADAMS 1935

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1935 MERLE OBERON 1911-1979 THE DARK ANGEL

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1935
MERLE OBERON
1911-1979
THE DARK ANGEL

 

THE DARK ANGEL 1935

THE DARK ANGEL 1935

and so the Academy changed the rules and went with six nominees rather than the five previously agreed upon. Kinda like a Fox News presidential debate

FOX NEWS REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 2015

FOX NEWS REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 2015

where the rules keep changing until they get the group they want. Anyway, Bette Davis was nominated

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1935 BETTE DAVIS 1908-1989 DANGEROUS

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1935
BETTE DAVIS
1908-1989
DANGEROUS

and of course, won Best Actress 1935 for her performance in a rather predictable melodrama called, Dangerous

DANGEROUS 1935

DANGEROUS 1935

with a scene eerily similar to the scene in Of Human Bondage that got her all that attention the year before.

WINNER BEST ACTRESS 1935 BETTE DAVIS 1908-1989 DANGEROUS

WINNER
BEST ACTRESS 1935
BETTE DAVIS
1908-1989
DANGEROUS

 

Oh, but there’s more. Lot’s more. Investigating the circumstances of 1935 have led to all kinds of revelations and reminders that will be discussed further on the next edition of DeOscarize.com. We’re going to hear all about the Bette Davis-Joan Crawford feud,

LEFT: BETTE DAVIS (1908-1989) RIGHT: JOAN CRAWFORD (1904-1977) WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE 1962

LEFT: BETTE DAVIS (1908-1989) RIGHT: JOAN CRAWFORD (1904-1977)
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE 1962

the Bette Davis-Miriam Hopkins feud

NOMINEE BEST ACTRESS 1935 MIRIAM HOPKINS 1902-1972 BECKY SHARP

NOMINEE
BEST ACTRESS 1935
MIRIAM HOPKINS
1902-1972
BECKY SHARP

and we’re going to DeOscarize Bette Davis for an award that she always considered a consolation prize anyway and name a NEW Best Actress 1935;

DEOSCARIZE BETTE DAVIS BEST ACTRESS 1935

DEOSCARIZE BETTE DAVIS
BEST ACTRESS 1935

a nominee in the alternate reality of DeOscarize.com who wasn’t even nominated in the real world back then but sure should have been.

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY BEST ACTRESS 1935 JEAN ARTHUR 1900-1991 THE WHOLE TOWN`S TALKING

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY
BEST ACTRESS 1935
JEAN ARTHUR
1900-1991
THE WHOLE TOWN`S TALKING

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY BEST ACTRESS 1935 GRETA GARBO 1905-1990 ANNA KARENINA

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY
BEST ACTRESS 1935
GRETA GARBO
1905-1990
ANNA KARENINA

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY 1935 JANET GAYNOR 1906-1984 THE FARMER TAKES A WIFE

SNUBBED by the ACADEMY 1935
JANET GAYNOR
1906-1984
THE FARMER TAKES A WIFE

So please be on the lookout for the next edition of DeOscarize.com, PART TWO. That’s another first in an alternate reality that’s getting to feel a little too real. Not quite Twilight Zone time at DeOscarize.com but we may be getting there.twilight zoneserve

 

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COME SEE US SOON FOR DeOSCARIZE BETTE DAVIS BEST ACTRESS 1935 PART TWO!

 Copyright © 2015 Thomas O’Neill

 

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