GEORGE C. SCOTT BLOWS OFF HIS OSCAR
George C. Scott won the 1969 Best Actor Oscar for portraying General George S. Patton in the still wildly entertaining and watchable (largely because of his performance) 'Patton.' But did this mean anything special to George C.? Apparently not. He was always hypercritical of awards, feeling that they did a disservice to actors by pitting them against each other. Good for him! I'm in total agreement and, having had the dubious distinction of having lost an Oscar for my first film, have always felt that the final five nominations (or ten, or whatever they do now) should be the award--you're in a group of elite achievers that a body of professionals have voted to honor. Enough already with picking the 'best' one. As a voting member of the Academy I can assure you that the final selection process is a dubious one at best.
Unlike Brando (see yesterdays post), George C. didn't send anyone up on stage to make an announcement about why he was refusing the Oscar. Indeed, nobody watching at the time knew that he was actually refusing it--just that he wasn't there to accept it. Instead, 'Patton's' producer Gen. Frank McCarthy (now there's an interesting man--distinguished military man, movie producer and more or less openly gay at a time when that was unusual...I'll have to write about him sometime)...where was I? Ah, yes, McCarthy accepted the award on Scott's behalf and thanked the distinguished body of members for honoring such a great artist blah blah blah. The fun here isn't watching the event (as with Sacheen Littlefeather) but rather in watching the non-event. Poor McCarthy puts on a good face but he really is eating a bowl of it and you can't help but feel for the position he was in.
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Posted by Raymond De Felitta at 2:42 PM