Oscar: Memorable Moments (Part 3)

Vive Democracy!

“It’s very fortunate to live in a country where any man, no matter how humble his origins, can become a president, and to be part of an industry where any picture, no matter how low its budget, can win an Oscar.” Producer Harold Hecht (Marty)

The Thrill of It All:

“I don’t think ever in my life so many people were so directly responsible for my being so very, very happy.” Mumbling Brando (On the Waterfront)

“Oh, boy. No matter how much you try to imagine what this is like, it’s just so incredibly thrilling right down to your toes.” Meryl Streep (Sophie’s Choice)

“I never expected in a million years that I would be in this position, it’s a miracle…I am on Cloud 9! Jessica Tandy, the Academy’s oldest winner (Driving Miss Daisy).

Don’t Forget the Crew:

“On behalf of the sixty-odd thousand people who worked on this show.” Producer Mike Todd (Around the World in 80 Days).

“I’d like to thank the Screen Actors and Screen Extras Guilds because we have had a lot of ups and downs together.”  Dorothy Malone (Written on the Wind)

“I’d like to thank….the stunt men and women who taught me so well.” Honorary Oscar recipient Barbra Stanwyck.

Grabbing the Oscar While the Going’s Good:

“I hope this isn’t a mistake, because I won’t give it back for anything in the world. Yul Brynner (The King and I)

Dream Come True:

“I’ve been daydreaming about this since I was 9 years old….I’d like to thank my parents for having more faith in me than anyone could.” Tearful Joanne Woodward (The Three Faces of Eve)

“Ever since I was a little kid, I wanted this….My brother’ sitting there and he’s saying ‘Thank God we don’t have to listen to that anymore.” Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost)

Credit Where Credit’s Due

“It reflects a more particular credit on the freedom of expression we have in our American society and the lack of censorship from the government or the people who put up the money.” Warren Beatty (Reds), thanking Barry Diller for greenlighting a studio movie about Communism.

Dont’ Forget the Props:

“Half of this Oscar belongs to a horse someplace out in the valley.” Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou).

“Maybe the award should really go to my car.” Gene Hackman (The French Connection), alluding to the breathtaking chase scene.

“If I’d known what I know now, I’d have put a patch on my eye 35 years ago.” John Wayne (True Grit).

International Oscar:

“If Hollywood had not done so many funny pictures, I would not be here tonight.  For all those great comedians, I am not the uncle, but the nephew.” Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle)

“I wanted to be dignified ….but I can’t. You can’t imagine what it means to me, being French.” Simone Signoret (Room at the Top).

“What you’ve done for the British film industry!…You may have started something: The British are coming!” Colin Welland, Original Screenplay (Chariots of Fire).

“All you lovely people over here at the Academy for always making us so welcome when we come over here.  We love you all and we’re available for September.” Freddie Francis, Cinematographer (Glory).

Pride and Prejudice:

“As a little kid I lived in the projects and you’re the people that made me want to be an actor.  I’m proud to be an actor.  And I’m gonna keep on acting.” Whoopi Goldberg (Ghost).

Don’t Drink and Always Stay in Your Seat:

“I’m so loaded down with good-luck charms I could hardly make it up the stairs.”                 David Niven (Separate Tables)

“I am trapped downstairs in the gentleman’s lounge.  It seems I rented a faulty tuxedo. I’d like to thank you upstairs for this great honor.”                 Best Story and Screenplay (Pillow Talk) Maurice Richlin, reading a note from partner Stanley Shapiro

Colleagiality–but the Oscar Is Still Mine:

“It would only be proper to cut it in half and give it to the two most valuable players–Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine.” Billy Wilder (The Apartment)

“I want to thank all who expressed this kind of confidence by voting for me and right now I’m so happy I want to thank all the members who didn’t vote for me.”  Burt Lancaster (Elmer Gantry).

“I’d like to thank Sidney Poitier whose friendship gave me the knowledge to enhance my performance‑‑and we shall overcome.” Rod Steiger (In the Heat of the Night).

“I think we’re all marvelous…but I’ve got it.”  Milena Canonero, Costume Design (Chariots of Fire) acknowledging her peers.

“And all you other four guys, this is ours.” Louis Gossett Jr. (An Officer and a Gentleman)

“Me, instead of Jack Nicholson?…..I love it. It’s great.  He made my sets look so small.”  Art director Anton Furst, Batman

Ladies First:

“I wish I could take this lady home with me rather than this little Oscar.”  Emil Kosa, Special Effects (Cleopatra), referring to presenter Angie Dickinson.

“I have to thank two fair ladies.” Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady), referring to Julie Andrews, losing the screen role to Audrey Hepburn, who was snubbed by the Academy.

“I am grateful to have Dustin Hoffman as my leading lady.” Jessica Lange (Tootsie)

Here’s Looking at You:

“Oh, boy, it’s heavy!” Estelle Parsons (Bonnie and Clyde)

“Hellow, gorgeous!” Barbra Steisand, citing her line from Funny Girl.

Restoring Justice:

“This is unfair.  I want this award to go to Valentina Cortesa (Day for Night).  Please forgive me Valentina, I didn’t mean to.”  Ingrid Bergman (Murder on the Orient Express), winning a third Oscar for the tinniest of roles.

Agents and Percentages:

“I’d like to thank the first secretary in a Broadway casting office who let me in to get my first job.” Charlton Heston (Ben‑Hur).

“I’d like to thank Mary Pickford who, incidentally, was the first actor to get a percentage of her pictures… Speaking of percentages, last but not least, I thank my agent, who about ten years ago said I had no business being an actor.”  Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest).

Mixed Nuts:

“I guess this proves there are many nuts in the Academy as anywhere else.” Jack Nicholson (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)

“It looks like you all hated me so much that you are giving me the award for it…..All I can say is I’ve loved being hated by you.” Nicholson’s co-star, Louise Fletcher.

Sour Grapes

“When I was 19 years old, I was the number One star for two years.  When I was forty, nobody wanted me. I couldn’t get a job.” Honorary Oscar recipient Mickey Rooney.

“I’m especially grateful that this does not come wrapped as a gift certificate to Forest Lawn.” Honorary awardee Paul Newman.

Oscar as the Nobel Prize:

“Your great folk hero, Martin Luther King Jr. was inspired by Gandhi. Lech Walesa, that noble Polish patriot, came out of prison the other day and said that what he had attempted to do was not going to work. The only way in which we could find human dignity and peace was through the philosophies and teachings of Gandhi.  It’s not me…you truly honor.”  Richard Attenborough (Gandhi)

Oliver’s Sermons:

“What you’re saying is that for the first time you really understood what happened over there….and that it should never, ever in our lifetime happen again.  Oliver Stone (Platoon)

“My deepest thanks for your acknowledgement that Vietnam is not over, although some people say it is….Vietnam is a state of mind that continues all over the world, for as long as man, in his quest for power, interferes in the affairs of other men.”  Oliver Stone (Born on the Forth of July)

All You Need Is Love:

“I have had an orthodox career and I wanted more than anything to have your respect. The first time, I didn’t feel it, but this time I feel it and I can’t deny the fact you like me–right now, you like me.”      Sally Field (Places in the Heart)