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Movies: Oscar's No Award Winner

Updated on December 7, 2017
William F. Torpey profile image

Graduated NYU in 1964. Worked in NYC for 2 years in public relations then as reporter and editor before retiring from The Hour newspaper.

Making of the Oscar Statuette

A Chicago factory is manufacturing the statuettes that will be handed out at next month's Academy Awards. Anacledo Medina has cast every Oscar made in the past 24 years.
A Chicago factory is manufacturing the statuettes that will be handed out at next month's Academy Awards. Anacledo Medina has cast every Oscar made in the past 24 years.

The Oscar Statuette

Bing Crosby won his Oscar in 1944 for his role as Father O'Malley in "Going My Way." He reprised the role in "The Bells of St. Mary's" and was nominated but did not win.
Bing Crosby won his Oscar in 1944 for his role as Father O'Malley in "Going My Way." He reprised the role in "The Bells of St. Mary's" and was nominated but did not win.

Chances are you are among the one billion people around the world who watched the 65th Academy Awards on ABC-TV Tuesday night. And, if you're like most people who've tuned in over the years you probably found it a little long and a little boring.

Personally, I rarely watch the show anymore largely because I rarely go to the movies these days. I prefer to watch the great old movies from the '30s, '40s and '50s -- you remember, the ones without the frequent off-color remarks, obscene gestures and explicit sex scenes.

But, because my spouse opted to videotape the TV spectacle -- despite the fact that neither of us had seen even one of the movies nominated for the awards -- I skimmed through the more than three-hour show, mostly on fast-forward. The way I see it, why should I waste time watching movies I do not like (I've seen enough to make that judgment over the past 30 years) when I have dozens of titles I like on videotape such as Bing Crosby's titles including "Pennies From Heaven" and "Going My Way," as well as "Gunga Din" and "Beau Geste" -- well, you get the idea.

The Show Must Go On

Actually, I like Clint Eastwood well enough; he certainly deserves kudos for his acting accomplishments. The problem is that we heap praise on Hollywood's finest (including the legitimate theater and, now Cable TV) by contrived means; contrived because the awards are calculated to build up the box office so the actors and moguls can make even more dough than they do now. Perhaps the original awards were meant to honor the work of the actors and others, but today it's just "show business."

If Hollywood can do it, why can't everyone else? I'll bet that, if pressed, you could single out some long unrecognized co-worker for doing a yeoman's job. I know that here at The Hour there are people in every department that deserve commendation for Best Reporter, Best Editor, Best Pressman, Best Advertising Person, Best Circulation Promoter, Best Computer Operator, Best Manager and Best Office Worker.

And the Winner Is . . .

The truth is that I have little respect for most awards anyway not because the people who win them are less than deserving but rather because of the people who do not receive them -- often those who are not even considered. Awards, generally, are given primarily to promote something other than those who receive them (If you're in the insurance business and want to boost profits in the casualty business, give an award to a safe driver -- it helps promote the industry and perhaps will reduce accidents and claims.)

Just think. How many awards have you received? How about your fellow workers who toil without recognition? Sure we all get salaries, but so does Clint!

If we are going to give awards, with the accompanying hoopla, why not give them to people we can hold up as examples of a worthy ideal for which we would all wish to strive?

Doctor, lawyer or Indian chief, we all need recognition. But if we can only honor a few, let's honor those who reflect our best and truest values. Let's not forget the little guy.

This column was written for The Hour newspaper of Norwalk, Conn., on April 10, 1993. I now write my views on a wide variety of topics on HubPages.

Trailer for 'Going My Way' -- 1944 Oscar Winner Bing Crosby

Bing Crosby Sings 'Swinging on a Star'


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    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 3 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I didn't watch the Oscars yesterday, Peggy W. I haven't seen any movies in any theaters since 2005 (and I doubt that I ever will again -- unless they show the great movies of decades ago.) The last three movies I saw were "Cinderalla Man," "The Interpreter" and "Aviator." They could have been good movies, but were ruined by the very poor direction, especially the psychedelic scene changes every few seconds and the emphasis on "trick shots" rather than the story line.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We did not see any of the movies up for nominations this year. I really do like the older movies when ratings did not even have to exist. Most would have been rated G or PG back then had they been rated. Whether one watches tonight or not there will be sound bytes on tomorrows news citing the winners, fashions and the like.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      I've long since stopped watching the Oscars -- and virtually all contemporary entertainment TV -- Andy Webb. In fact, I'm watching Errol Flynn in "Objective Burma" at this very moment. Why waste time watching today's psychedelic babble with no story line, flashing screenshots, car chases, explosions and poor acting? They give out Oscars for that?

    • Andy Webb profile image

      Andy Webb 7 years ago

      The last time I sat and watched the Oscars must be going on 15 years and although from an entertainment point of view it was okay I found myself questioning why certain movies and so called stars were being awarded let alone nominated. Like yourself I’ve found myself ignoring a lot of modern cinema, preferring to go back to the 60s and earlier where what was important was a great storyline over effects and so called stars.

      But the importance of the Oscars has certainly been weakened not only by the rubbish which masquerades as movies but also by the fact there are just too many award shows with too many pointless categories.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      If the movies can give Oscars to their actors and actresses, gunsock, maybe HubPages should give a Felix Award to its writers! Perhaps a Statue and Statuette for a HubPages Odd Couple?

    • gunsock profile image

      gunsock 8 years ago from South Coast of England

      Very interesting hub William and I couldn't agree more. There are too many of these self-congratulatory, backslapping award ceremonies and they are ceasing to have any real meaning (as they once had.) And then there are the acceptance speeches from sobbing actresses......

    • profile image

      JBM 9 years ago

      Great Hub. Thanks!

    • DJ Funktual profile image

      DJ Funktual 9 years ago from One Nation Under a Groove

    • compu-smart profile image

      Compu-Smart 10 years ago from London UK

      Great hub and very well said..I have to agree with you whole heatedly.. I think it's all about connections when it comes to who actually receives the many awards on offer every year..

      I'm glad we have people like you to tell the world how it really is.