"Man, he wanted to swallow Hollywood like a cat with a canary. And he did it! The parts got bigger, and Frankie was hooked! Like a junkie shooting pure quicksilver into his veins, Frankie got turned on by the wildest narcotic known to man: success! The parts got bigger and bigger... Frankie got hungrier and hungrier."The Oscar is a 1966 film directed by Russell Rouse adapted by Harlan Ellison® from a 1963 novel by Richard Sale. The All-Star Cast includes Stephen Boyd, Elke Sommer, Milton Berle, Eleanor Parker, Joseph Cotten, Jill St. John, Edie Adams, Ernest Borgnine, and Tony Bennett.The film centers around Frankie Fane (Boyd), a Jerkass actor nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. At the ceremony, his former buddy Hymie Kelly (Bennett) recalls the events that got him there. Once, he had a girlfriend named Laurel (St. John), whom he dumped for Kay (Sommer). With the support of Hymie, he breaks into show business. After getting the Oscar nomination, he becomes an even bigger Jerkass than ever.Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson listed this as one of the most entertaining bad movies ever. Parodied on SCTV in "The Nobel", about a Jerkass surgeon nominated for the Nobel Prize.
— Hymie Kelly, saying what someone (quite possibly Harlan Ellison®!) thought would be meaningful dialogue.
This work features examples of:
- Assumed Win: Frankie stands up when presenter Merle Oberon announces "the winner is Frank Sinatra!"note
- Curse of the Ancients: "Birdseed!"
- Drama Bomb: Hymie reveals to Frankie that Laurel died years ago miscarrying Frankie's baby. One suspects the plot twist was going to be a botched abortion but there may have been a reluctance to mention abortion in a 1966 film.
- Horrible Hollywood: Tries a little too hard to invoke this trope and ends up as Narm.
- Jerkass: Frankie Fane, especially in the novel where he deliberately tries to sabotage his fellow nominees' chances for success.
- Melodrama: So much that upon release reviews were considering the movie an unintentional comedy.
- Narrator: Hymie tells the story of his ex-buddy Frankie.
- Non-Actor Vehicle: Tony Bennett's only acting role. He reportedly hated it so much that he opted never to do another movie. Though he does appear as himself at the end of Analyze This.
- Oscar Bait: It's pretty obvious what they were gunning for here.
- Real Award, Fictional Character: Frankie Fane is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, only to see the Oscar be awarded to Frank Sinatra instead.