Reviewed by John Weber
Rating: 8 Beans
very year around the Academy Awards, this trashy little flick should be seen. Stephen Boyd ("Ben-Hur") stars as a strip joint comedian who stomps on top of all the little people on his way to success. He is nasty, repulsive and without any saving graces at all. Boyd plays him with a perpetual sneer. And Tony Bennett (Tony Bennett?!?) plays his lifelong pal who puts up and puts up with Boyd’s crap until the very end. If only Tony could have sung his lines...it would have been so much better.
Anyway, Boyd catches some showbiz breaks by being a total jerk. He’s up (gets some film roles). He’s down (no one sees his pictures). He overspends until he’s broke. Then he gets an Oscar nomination that he thinks will save his career - and allow him to continue being a jerk. A rich jerk. What will happen? Will the jerk win? In real Hollywood, sure. In this soap opera...well, what do you think. And you’ll never guess who co-wrote this script. Wouldja believe acclaimed sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison, who wrote several classic "Twilight Zone" episodes? Harlan Ellison?!? Tony Bennett?!?
There must have been a total eclipse the night this project was finalized.
Now here’s some science fiction - agents (represented by Milton Berle, who’s restrained, dignified and not bad) in "The Oscar" are good, kindly, upstanding people who will do what’s morally right - not financially correct. Sure.
Lots of cameos - Bob Hope starts out the picture playing…well, Bob Hope, hosting the Oscars. Frank Sinatra turns up, also as himself. Broderick Crawford is a corrupt sheriff. Joseph Cotton is a studio head. Walter Brennan. Hedda Hopper. Nancy Sinatra. Peter Lawford as an actor turned waiter who never got his big break (except for the waiter stuff, pretty true to life, don’t you think?). Oh, did I mention Jack Soo (Yemana from "Barney Miller") as Boyd’s houseboy/bartender?
Some of the worst lines you’ll ever hear in movies pop up in "The Oscar". I’ll let you discover them. Perfect advance viewing for the Oscar telecast, another place to hear bad writing delivered by stiff actors. Take a look at "The Oscar" -it’s not a winner, but it will make the Oscar TV show more fun.
Other reviews for this movie:
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