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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.
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;
a runaway hit that year that garnered the first ever BIG FIVE awards for Best Picture,
and Best Screenplay;
the first time in movie history and not repeated until forty-one years later with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest in 1975.
Back to 1934 now with that unprecedented Big Five win for It Happened One Night.
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
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,
at that time the First Lady of MGM
and the wife of Movie mogul Irving Thalberg
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.
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
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,
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.
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
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
where the rules keep changing until they get the group they want. Anyway, Bette Davis was nominated
and of course, won Best Actress 1935 for her performance in a rather predictable melodrama called, Dangerous
with a scene eerily similar to the scene in Of Human Bondage that got her all that attention the year before.
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,
the Bette Davis-Miriam Hopkins feud
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;
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.
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.
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COME SEE US SOON FOR DeOSCARIZE BETTE DAVIS BEST ACTRESS 1935 PART TWO!
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