Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Oscar that got away.

Here’s my little Oscar tribute to Judy who, in 1954 was robbed of an Academy Award.

For any of you who haven’t seen this second of three very different versions of A Star is Born, you are missing out on seeing two great screen giants, James Mason and Judy Garland give outstanding performances in a movie musical that carried as much drama and pathos as it did great "tunes".

Judy was making a comeback (one of many to follow) having being unceremoniously dropped by MGM Studios. This was her first movie outing after four years of battling depression, suicide attempts and drug problems.

Unfortunately, she chose the year when Grace Kelly (who would win for A Country Girl) starred in several major films and whose beauty and "grace". was as far removed from the scandal ridden Miss Garland as Doris Day would be to Amy Winehouse (had they lived at the same time, on the same planet).

Judy couldn't make it to the Oscars that night because whe was in her hospital room having just given birth to her son, Joey Luft. This was when new Moms actually had time to unpack their overnight cases before being booted out once the baby made his/her appearance.

The room was filled with news cameramen who were there to capture her reaction and, presumably, her acceptance speech as she was favoured to win. She didn't, and the cameramen left before Grace Kelly made it up to the stage to accept her award.

Judy would joke later that the camera crew didn't even say goodbye and Groucho Marx sent her a telegram declaring that this was the biggest robbery since Brinks.

This humiliation thrust Judy into another depressive tailspin and she wouldn't do another film until Stanley Kramer’s Judgment at Nuremburg in 1961.

Below are three excerpts from the movie that show the range and epic talent of this legend. The first, appropriately enough, is the classic scene where her character is making her Oscar acceptance speech...

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