The Oscar Memorial Reel: Who Got Snubbed This Year?
Another year, another botched attempt by the Academy to honor its own.
For a lot of movie lovers—classic-film fans especially—Oscar’s memorial-reel oversights have become a cringe-inducing annual tradition, and this year certainly lived down to expectations. The usual excuse for the snubs is that it’s a time issue: they simply can’t fit everyone we lost in the past year into a brief little montage. But here’s the thing: They’re the ones who decide to set aside only a minute or two to honor people who’ve given their whole lives to their craft.
The producers could easily cut out a lame-ass production number, shorten the embarrassing pre-fab banter at the podium, or even—dare I say it?—eliminate a few commercials. But they choose not to. So please, this year, spare us the “if only we had the time” lamentations, which are about as genuine as Eve Harrington’s humble acceptance speech at the Sarah Siddons Awards.
As I’m writing this, the show’s still going on—but let’s face it, I could be saying that a week from now—so this is pretty much off the top of my head, but these are the snubs I noticed: Marian Seldes, Phyllis Frelich, Polly Bergen, Richard Kiel, Sheila MacRae, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Donald Sinden, Carla Laemmle, Mary Anderson, Renee Asherson, Mona Freeman, Billie Whitelaw and Lizabeth Scott. Then a friend quickly pointed out Elaine Stritch. Please post in Comments to add anyone else from the film community who was overlooked; let’s make sure they’re all honored somewhere, even if just in our classic-film family.
I don’t know if Bette Davis really did name the Academy Award statuette Oscar because his backside resembled her husband’s. But when it comes to honoring those who’ve left us after giving so much to the movies, Oscar certainly makes an ass of himself every year.