Oscar, The (1966): Rouse’s Trashy Melodrama about the Award Starring Stephen Boyd

With such friends, who needs enemies?

Russell Rouse’s The Oscar is a trashy, lurid melodrama about behind the scenes operations of the coveted golden statue.

Stephen Boyd is the protagonist, a contender who would do everything and anything to achieve success and win the award.

As co-written by Rouse, Harlan Ellison and Clarence Greene, the tale unfolds in a series of flashbacks that depict that ruthless career of Boyd.

The cast includes singer Tony bennett (in a dramatic role). Elke Sommer as the love interest, Eleanor Parker, Milton Berle, Joseph Cotten, Jill St. John, Ernest Borgnine, Ed Begley, Walter Brennan, James Dunn and Peter Lawford.

Among the cameo appearances were Bob Hope, Hedda Hopper, Merle Oberon, Frank Sinatra, and Edith Head (also nominated for an Oscar for this picture as costume designer).

Surprisingly, the Academy honored this risible picture with two Oscar nods.

Oscar Nominations:

Art Direction-Set Decoration (color): Hal Pereira and Arthur Lonergan; Robert Benton and James Payne

Costume Design (color): Edith Head

Oscar Awards: None

Oscar Context:

The Art Direction Oscar went to Fantastic Voyage, and the Costume Design to Elizabeth Haffender and Joan Bridge for The Man For All Seasons, which swept the major Oscar, including Best Picture, Director (Zinnemann) and Actor (Paul Scofield).