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Star Power
Discuss the people who make what we watch.
59

O'Toole Snubs Honorary Oscar
Topic by: Eoliano
Posted: January 29, 2003 - 11:39 AM PST
Last Reply: February 15, 2003 - 10:13 AM PST

author topic: O'Toole Snubs Honorary Oscar
Eoliano
post #1  on January 29, 2003 - 11:39 AM PST  
Peter O'Toole turned down an honorary Oscar offer from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, saying that he is "still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright."
dwhudson
post #2  on January 29, 2003 - 1:23 PM PST  
This is really a nice little story; here's more from the BBC. Note that his letter was handwritten and that he did say he was "enchanted" by the gesture. You wonder. After all, he's been nominated seven times:

1963 - Lawrence of Arabia
1965 - Becket
1969 - The Lion in Winter
1970 - Goodbye Mr Chips
1973 - The Ruling Class
1981 - The Stunt Man
1983 - My Favorite Year

The Academy has replied that it's giving him the Oscar anyway and that it'll be "at the Academy for you to pick up when you're 80 or whenever you're ready."
Eoliano
post #3  on January 29, 2003 - 4:54 PM PST  
The Academy stated that "The board unanimously and enthusiastically voted you the honorary award because you've earned and deserved it."

They owe him more than one, that's for sure.
Eoliano
post #4  on January 30, 2003 - 10:25 AM PST  
>> This is really a nice little story; here's more from the BBC.

This is amusing: "The award is for achievement and contribution to the art of the motion picture, not for retirement" Frank Pierson - Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The BBC's dates are a little confused:

1962 - Lawrence of Arabia
1965 - Becket*
1969 - The Lion in Winter
1970 - Goodbye, Mr Chips
1973 - The Ruling Class
1981 - The Stunt Man
1983 - My Favorite Year

As the following list shows, O'Toole faced some stiff competition, although there are some glaring anomalies.

1962
Burt Lancaster - Birdman of Alacatraz
Jack Lemmon - Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni - Divorce Ita;lian Style
Peter O'Toole - Lawrence of Arabia
Gregory Peck - To Kill a Mockingbird [Winner]

1964
Richard Burton - Becket
Rex Harrison - My Fair Lady [Winner]
Peter O'Toole - Becket
Anthony Quinn - Zorba the Greek
Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove

1968
Alan Arkin - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Alan Bates - The Fixer
Ron Moody - Oliver!
Peter O'Toole - The Lion in Winter
Cliff Robertson - Charley [Winner]

1969
Richard Burton - Anne of a Thousand Days
Dustin Hoffman - Midnight Cowboy
Peter O'Toole - Goodbye, Mr Chips
Jon Voight - Midnight Cowboy
John Wayne - True Grit [Winner]

1972
Marlon Brando - The Godfather [Winner]
Michael Caine - Sleuth
Laurence Olivier - Sleuth
Peter O'Toole - The Ruling Class
Paul Winfield - Sounder

1980
Robert De Niro - Raging Bull [Winner]
Robert Duvall - The Great Santini
John Hurt - The Elephant Man
Jack Lemmon - Tribute
Peter O'Toole - The Stunt Man

1982
Dustin Hoffman - Tootsie
Ben Kingsley - Ghandi [Winner]
Jack Lemmon - Missing
Paul Newman - The Verdict
Peter O'Toole - My Favorite Year

*Incidentally, a DVD of Becket is scheduled for release in May.
dwhudson
post #5  on January 30, 2003 - 11:33 AM PST  

> As the following list shows, O'Toole faced some stiff competition,

Wow, he certainly did...

>although there are some glaring anomalies.

Agreed, on both points. Just for the fun of it, who would you have chosen? Some of these performances are a bit hazy in my memory now, but what the heck...

> 1962
> Burt Lancaster - Birdman of Alacatraz
> Jack Lemmon - Days of Wine and Roses
> Marcello Mastroianni - Divorce Ita;lian Style
> Peter O'Toole - Lawrence of Arabia
> Gregory Peck - To Kill a Mockingbird [Winner]

Hm. Tough one. Not Peck, though. I think... ultimately... I'd go for Lancaster on this one.

> 1964
> Richard Burton - Becket
> Rex Harrison - My Fair Lady [Winner]
> Peter O'Toole - Becket
> Anthony Quinn - Zorba the Greek
> Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove

Peter Sellers. Period.

> 1968
> Alan Arkin - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
> Alan Bates - The Fixer
> Ron Moody - Oliver!
> Peter O'Toole - The Lion in Winter
> Cliff Robertson - Charley [Winner]

I'm trying to think if I remember O'Toole's performance as being so terrific because Katharine Hepburn was so incredible she lifted everyone else's boat, too. I'm afraid I don't remember the other performances well enough to make a serious choice, and further, I'm not sure that if O'Toole were ever to get just one Oscar it ought to be for this film, but given all that: O'Toole.

> 1969
> Richard Burton - Anne of a Thousand Days
> Dustin Hoffman - Midnight Cowboy
> Peter O'Toole - Goodbye, Mr Chips
> Jon Voight - Midnight Cowboy
> John Wayne - True Grit [Winner]

Dustin Hoffman.

> 1972
> Marlon Brando - The Godfather [Winner]
> Michael Caine - Sleuth
> Laurence Olivier - Sleuth
> Peter O'Toole - The Ruling Class
> Paul Winfield - Sounder

The Academy shoots and... scores! Who cares that he didn't accept it. Brando was the right choice.

> 1980
> Robert De Niro - Raging Bull [Winner]
> Robert Duvall - The Great Santini
> John Hurt - The Elephant Man
> Jack Lemmon - Tribute
> Peter O'Toole - The Stunt Man

8 years later, the Academy scores again! Yep, De Niro.

> 1982
> Dustin Hoffman - Tootsie
> Ben Kingsley - Ghandi [Winner]
> Jack Lemmon - Missing
> Paul Newman - The Verdict
> Peter O'Toole - My Favorite Year

Very tough. Very, very tough. One of O'Toole's most enjoyable performances. Newman was great but he'd have other moments, too. Hoffman worked his butt off, yes, but it shows, too, so points off for that. Lemmon in Missing... well, he's wonderful, of course; I'd have to see it again. Did his character really have all that much depth to dive into? The more I think about it, yeah, probably. Hm... The thing about the Kingsley choice is that without this Oscar, that career might not have happened. I guess that kind of taints my choice: Go, Ben.
NeilCresswell
post #6  on January 30, 2003 - 11:48 AM PST  
>Just for the fun of it, who would you have chosen?

1962
Gregory Peck - To Kill a Mockingbird [Winner]

1964
Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove

1968
Peter O'Toole - The Lion in Winter

1969
Peter O'Toole - Goodbye, Mr Chips

1972
Marlon Brando - The Godfather [Winner]

1980
John Hurt - The Elephant Man
Have to comment on this one - how could they not give it to JH. TEM is his masterpiece performance and is an outstanding film.

1982
Ben Kingsley - Ghandi [Winner]
Eoliano
post #7  on January 30, 2003 - 1:08 PM PST  
>> Agreed, on both points. Just for the fun of it, who would you have chosen? Some of these performances are a bit hazy in my memory now, but what the heck...

1962
Burt Lancaster - Birdman of Alacatraz
Jack Lemmon - Days of Wine and Roses
Marcello Mastroianni - Divorce Italian Style
Peter O'Toole - Lawrence of Arabia
Gregory Peck - To Kill a Mockingbird [Winner]

>> Hm. Tough one. Not Peck, though. I think... ultimately... I'd go for Lancaster on this one.

This was a very tough year. All marvelous performances in their own right. I recently watched Birdman, and have very distinct memories of having seen it in '62, which overall, was one hell of a year. O'Toole's performance has weathered the passage of time, and if my memory is correct, I was pulling for him that year, so I have to give this one to O'Toole.

For me, Lancaster should have won in '57 for his riveting performance in Sweet Smell of Success, but he wasn't even acknowledged. Alec Guinness won for Kwai that year. And again, in '63, for The Leopard, but his performance was again ignored. It only goes to show that Hollywood only liked him in the flashier roles, although Birdman was one of his restrained and internalized performances.

As to The Leopard, it was aced in the foreign category by 8 1/2. I think that '63 was a great year for Italy, too. But then, as you are well aware, I am shamelessly biased.

Quick rant: One thing that has always irritated me is that only one film is allowed per country. Other than Knife in the Water, the rest of the films nominated as Best Foreign Film in '63 are long forgotten. How many of us can recall Los Tarantos, The Red Lanterns and Twin Sisters of Kyoto? Early signs of political correctness, I suppose.

1964
Richard Burton - Becket
Rex Harrison - My Fair Lady [Winner]
Peter O'Toole - Becket
Anthony Quinn - Zorba the Greek
Peter Sellers - Dr. Strangelove

>>Peter Sellers. Period.

This is a tough one. I don't know that I agree with you or not on this one. I loved Becket and admired both performances tremendously, and let's face it; Harrison's Higgins was a lark. I seem to remember that everyone thought that Quinn was the odds on favorite, but I may be wrong. I'll only give my nod to Peter Sellers by default, remembering how Strangelove blew me away and saw Strangelove repeatedly when it came out!

1968
Alan Arkin - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Alan Bates - The Fixer
Ron Moody - Oliver!
Peter O'Toole - The Lion in Winter
Cliff Robertson - Charley [Winner]

This is an alarmingly glaring anomaly! I mean Cliff Robertson? Give us a break! I'm with you on this one; O'Toole hands down.

1969
Richard Burton - Anne of a Thousand Days
Dustin Hoffman - Midnight Cowboy
Peter O'Toole - Goodbye, Mr Chips
Jon Voight - Midnight Cowboy
John Wayne - True Grit [Winner]

>> Dustin Hoffman.

Ditto. His performance as Ratso is indelible to this day. Wayne gave much finer performances in Red River and The Searchers. Once again, the Academy was playing catch up.

1972
Marlon Brando - The Godfather [Winner]
Michael Caine - Sleuth
Laurence Olivier - Sleuth
Peter O'Toole - The Ruling Class
Paul Winfield - Sounder

>> Brando was the right choice.

No argument here - agreed 100 percent, though certainly not Brando's last hurrah, and Last Tango was it.

1980
Robert De Niro - Raging Bull [Winner]
Robert Duvall - The Great Santini
John Hurt - The Elephant Man
Jack Lemmon - Tribute
Peter O'Toole - The Stunt Man

De Niro, undoubtedly gave THE performance of a lifetime. Raging Bull should have swept the boards that year! Okay, Ordinary People was a terrific directorial debut for Redford, but not a Best Picture, no way. Period. The Elephant Man moved me to tears, but Ordinary People didn't even cause a quiver to my tear ducts, and I just watched it again two nights ago! Without De Niro, I would have cast my vote for John Hurt.

1982
Dustin Hoffman - Tootsie
Ben Kingsley - Ghandi [Winner]
Jack Lemmon - Missing
Paul Newman - The Verdict
Peter O'Toole - My Favorite Year

This wasn't too tough to decide. I was very pleased that Kingsley got the award; he rightfully deserved it. Gandhi would not have been the film it is without him. My second choice would be Paul Newman as the doubly betrayed, alcoholic attorney. The performance is one of his best.
Eoliano
post #8  on January 30, 2003 - 8:31 PM PST  
With the Oscar nominations coming in less than two weeks, this discussion could lead to another thread relating to the Academy's worst selections and/or omissions, of which there have been many; just realizing that Citizen Kane lost to How Green Was My Valley is enough to get one started. And if that's not enough, take a look at the list below and weep!

Here are the nominees for Best Picture in 1941:

Blossoms in the Dust
Citizen Kane
Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Hold Back the Dawn
How Green Was My Valley
The Little Foxes
The Maltese Falcon
One Foot in Heaven
Sergeant York
Suspicion

Notice that the field was much wider than it is now, and, I might add, a much fairer one at that. Extend that concept to the actor/actress categories as well as foreign titles and we might be getting somewhere.
Eoliano
post #9  on February 4, 2003 - 9:41 PM PST  
Oscar producer Gil Cates calls Peter O'Tooleawfully silly.

Eoliano
post #10  on February 15, 2003 - 10:13 AM PST  
Peter O'Toole has agreed to accept an honorary Academy Award Peter O'Toole to Attend Oscars After All

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