Today’s Orlando Sentinel Calendar section has some clever (as usual) commentary from the writer known only as “Commander Coconut,” especially in regard to Academy Award trivia. With the Oscars bearing down on us two nights from now, I thought it was worth noting a couple of these that I found particularly interesting.
“Fredo” himself, the late John Cazale, only made five feature films in his abruptly shortened film career (1972-78): THE GODFATHER, THE CONVERSATION, THE GODFATHER PART II, DOG DAY AFTERNOON, and THE DEER HUNTER. He wasn’t personally nominated for any of them, but all five were nominated for Best Picture. How’s that for picking good projects?
Teresa Wright was nominated for supporting or leading actress for her first three movies in 1941 and 1942: THE LITTLE FOXES, MRS. MINIVER (for which she won), and THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES. She was never nominated again despite a career that lasted up to 1997’s THE RAINMAKER, but her fourth film was probably the best of the lot: Hitchcock’s amazing SHADOW OF A DOUBT in 1943.
And Alice Brady won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for IN OLD CHICAGO in 1937, but wasn’t in attendance at the ceremony. A man came up out of the audience and accepted the award on her behalf, and neither he nor the Oscar were ever seen again. Unbelievable!
Remember that if, as expected, DREAMGIRLS’ Jennifer Hudson wins an Oscar for her very first movie role, it’s not that unusual. In fact, it’s been done 13 times before, including Eva Marie Saint, Julie Andrews, Tatum O’Neal, Marlee Matlin, and even Babs herself (for FUNNY GIRL in 1968).
So, happy viewing. May you all win your Oscar pools, and may THE DEPARTED sure as hell win something major if there’s any justice in the world!