Film: The Oscar

Why Stephen Boyd was not nominated for an actual Oscar for this remains a mystery.

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.
Hymie Kelly, saying what someone (quite possibly Harlan Ellison!) thought would be meaningful dialogue.

The Oscar is a 1966 film adapted by Harlan Ellison from a 1963 novel by Richard Sale. It concerns the tale of Frankie Fane, a Jerkass actor nominated for the Best Actor Oscar. At the ceremony, he recalls the events that got him there. Once, he had a girlfriend named Laurel, whom he dumped for Kay. With his buddy Hymie Kelly's support, he breaks into show business. He gets an Oscar nomination, and he becomes an ever bigger Jerkass than ever.

Parodied on SCTV in "The Nobel" about a Jerkass surgeon nominated for the Nobel Prize.

This work features examples of:

  • Academy Award: In universe! After the mega-flop that was this film, AMPAS has been highly reluctant to allow the trademarks "Academy Award" or "Oscar" in scripted entertainment.
  • 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.
  • Jerkass: Frankie Fane, especially in the novel where he deliberately tries to sabotage his fellow nominees' chances for success.
  • 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.