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Really Weird Oscar Trivia

February 18, 2019

The Academy Awards are around the corner. Here are some of the weirdest nominations and wins in the ceremony’s long history.

THERE’S GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

The Razzies, or “Golden Raspberry Awards” are the anti-Oscar and hand out cheap plastic trophies to the year’s worst movies. While many performers have won both awards for different films (for example, Halle Berry, an Oscar-holder for Monster’s Ball and Razzie recipient for Catwoman), only one movie took home both awards. That’s the 1987 financial drama Wall Street. Michael Douglas won a Best Actor statuette for the movie, while Daryl Hannah won the Worst Supporting Actress Razzie.

WHAT A TWO-TIMER

The church-set musical Going My Way was the top-grossing movie of 1944 and won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Barry Fitzgerald played Father Fitzgibbon and earned an Oscar nomination for Best Actor…and also won for Best Supporting Actor. He won the latter, and lost the former to costar Bing Crosby. After that, the Academy established rules to prevent actors and actresses from getting nominated twice for the same performance.

IT’S A SIGN

You might know Bill Engvall as the very popular in the ‘90s standup comedian who had a gimmick called “Here’s your sign.” The idea was that people who say and do stupid things (which Engvall would detail) should have to wear a sign that says “I’m stupid.” Engvall rode that popularity to a short-lived show on the relatively obscure TBS cable network called The Bill Engvall Show. It produced two Academy Award nominees: June Squibb (Nebraska) and Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook).

SORRY, AL

In 1932, there were only three nominees for Best Actor, as opposed to the customary five. The honorees: Wallace Beery for The Champ, Fredric March for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Alfred Lunt for The Guardsman. In an extremely rare occurrence, there was a tie: Beery and March both won. That left Lunt the only nominee in his category who didn’t take home an Oscar that night.

THIS SEEMS FAMILIAR

In 1953, screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky wrote a teleplay called Marty. Aired on the anthology series The Philco Television Playhouse, it starred Rod Steiger as a lovelorn butcher. Two years later, Chayefsky expanded and adapted his script into a feature film also called Marty. It won Best Picture at the Academy Awards — the only movie based on a TV show to win that prize.

YOU AGAIN?

Paul Newman and Robert De Niro are two of the greatest American actors to ever hit the silver screen, and both won Academy Awards. Newman was nominated eight times and won once, for The Color of Money. De Niro has received seven nominations and won twice, for The Godfather Part II and Raging Bull. What do The Color of Money and the second Godfather have in common then? They’re the only two sequels to feature Oscar-winning performances.

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