I watched the Academy Awards last night and waited for the segment that I enjoy watching every year. This is when the Oscars salute the people who have taken the Final Taxi in the last year. They usually have film clips that we can see on our TV screens and play music in the background but this year they did something different by have Queen Latifah sing the song “I’ll Be Seeing You.” She did a wonderful job but the attention was more on her than on those who died during the year. We did not see many of the names due to this.
In case you missed seeing who was in the tribute last night here is the list:
Bud Stone (executive)
Ollie Johnston (animator)
J. Paul Huntsman (sound)
Charles H. Joffe (producer)
Kon Ichikawa (director)
Charles H. Schneer (producer)
Abby Mann (screenwriter)
David Watkin (director of photography)
Robert Mulligan (director)
Claude Berri (director)
Maila Nurmi (Known onscreen as Vampira)
Leonard Rosenman (composer)
Manny Farber (film critic)
Jules Dassin (director)
John Michael Hayes (screenwriter)
Warren Cowan (publicist)
Joseph M. Caracciolo (producer)
Stan Winston (special effects)
Ned Tanen (producer, executive)
Anthony Minghella (director, producer)
At first I was a little taken back not seeing Heath Ledger’s name on that list. He had just won Best –Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight an hour earlier. Then I remembered that he was on the 2007 list from last year.
There were several others that should have been on that list last night.
First for me was the ‘voice’ of Hollywood- Don LaFontaine. Time was that you could not go to a movie and not hear a preview without hearing his voice. He provided the narration to thousands of movie trailers over the past three decades.
Mel Ferrer, an actor, director, producer in over 100 productions, was also left off the list. Missing as well was John Phillip Law who will be most known as the blind angel in “Barbarella” but I enjoyed his roles in “Jason and the Argonauts” & “The Golden Voyage of Sinbad.”
I can never think about Hammer horror films without thinking of Hazel Court so she was missed and also the sexy Eartha Kitt was not listed.
I think the Academy has something about comedians as they forget about them every year. We did not get to see the films that George Carlin was in or those of Harvey Korman, I can see Korman in his scene from Blazing Saddles where he is talking to the band of villains he has hired to destroy Rock Ridge. “Men, you are about to embark on a great crusade to stamp out runaway decency in the west. Now you men will only be risking your lives, whilst I will be risking an almost certain Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor….”
It’s a shame Harvey was not remembered on this night.
Also missing was Patrick McGoohan who most people know from TV’s The Prisoner. He stared in over 30 feature films including as King Edward in Mel Gibson’s “Braveheart”, the warden in Clint Eastwood’s “Escape From Alcatraz” and the villain Roger Devereau in “Silver Streak.”
The slap in the face to me was forgetting Anita Page, the last surviving silent film star. This would have be a time to reflect on the early days of the Academy. She starred with Hollywood legends such as Lon Chaney Sr., Robert Montgomery, Ramon Novarro, Joan Crawford, Buster Keaton and Clark Gable. She was also the last living attendee of the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.
I wish one year someone at the Academy Awards would pay tribute to these people who helped pave the way for the actors who received the Oscar last night.
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