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At DeOscarize.com we’ve been exclusively concerned with injustices done to deserving actors
and actresses in starring
and supporting roles
as well as directors
But now we’re going to broaden our parameters because of a blatant, bare-faced injustice done by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to one of the 20th century’s greatest composers. Lennon and McCartney did you say?
Close but no cigar
which is the operative prop when speaking of this composer, for this site is about making right what the Academy got wrong way back when and SOMETIMES EVEN UP TO WAY BACK NOW.
That’s on the To Be DeOscarized List for the future. That’s a new category as well.
Meanwhile back in 1937 not a lot of nice things happened. There was that.
And then there was that.
On the other hand there was that.
I guess that wasn’t so wrong.
Speaking of getting it wrong the members of the Academy sure got it that way; wrong, in 1937 when they denied George Gershwin
the Best Original Song Award for They Can’t Take That Away From Me.
This wonderful composition by the great Gershwin, who by the way died that same year was even denied a posthumous win because, for some reason, the Academy favoured instead a trite little tune called Sweet Leilani.
Granted, Gershwin’s song has achieved immortality on its own merit as it would, but to be denied anything by something like Sweet Leilani is a bridge too far as the trite writers say, when they can’t express it, in any other way.
How did this happen? Well, one movie that had a great song was a flop
and the not-so-great song was in a move that was a hit. And that’s what happens when it comes to awards from the academy. It’s that simple.
Bing Crosby gave Waikiki Wedding the heft that was needed to make a tidy profit for Paramount. Crosby was a huge star in America at this time.
Number 1 on the hit parade. Number 4 at the box office.
While Fred Astaire was tied with Ginger Rogers, Number 7 at the box office
and Shall We Dance, the movie that features They Can’t Take That Away From Me barely made enough money to make Fred Astaire’s percentage of the profits at RKO studios hardly worthwhile.
Astaire would leave RKO two years later
when the Independent Theatre Owners Association declared Fred Astaire to be box office poison.
Let us take a moment to study this term “Box Office Poison”. Box Office Poison is the characterization given to those movie stars who do not deserve the salaries they’re getting because of the box office returns, they are not earning. As you can see some of these names survived the sobriquet of Box Office Poison
while others did not and quickly faded by way of an early retirement.
Except for him.
So, for the first time in this category Best Original Song,
Welcome to DeOscarize.com where you may affirm or appeal my decision to DeOscarize Sweet Leilani
and make the great George Gershwin’s They Can’t Take That Away From Me the NEW Best Original song of 1937.
was dieing when he worked on this project and should have received the recognition then that he is finally receiving now. Looks good on a great artist. And that makes me feel good. That too is what DeOscarize.com is all about. Feel good with us. Thanks for stopping by.
Of course I can see where folks might think I’m wrong. I’m prepared to make my case for DeOscarizing Sweet Leilani. Can you make the case to prevent it? Is there another song from 1937 that you would DeOscarize Sweet Leilani for? If not They Can’t Take That Away from Me then what? If not Gershwin than whom? Let’s discuss it.
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