A Bad TV Show About Good Movies

David Niven and friendToday we focus on movies by way of a glitzy, Vegas-style revue show that has almost nothing to do with brilliant film-making. It’s Hoillywood celebrating Hollywood with schmaltz, and it’s evolved from a rather subdued black tie dinner at Sid Grauman’s theater to a megcast shown around the world and widely reviled for its length, its lack of pacing, and its tacky showbiz numbers. Through the years, there have been a number of “Oscar moments” by way of the television product – the streaker behind David Niven and Marlon Brando’s non-acceptance leap to mind. We’re celebrating the Academy Awards here on newcritics in words and commentary, but I thought we could use some video – at least as a preview of tonight’s madness. So I did some YouTube research and – after the jump – found some Oscar gold through the years. Enoy the preview!

In 1965, Judy Garland sang a tribute to Cole Porter, introduced by host Gene Kelly!In this clip from 1976, Muhammad Ali shadowboxes with a triumphant ‘Rocky’ Stallone:

Olivia Newton-John performs 1979 – one of those big numbers that make my hair hurt:

Meryl Streep’s 1983 acceptance speech runs on and on…

In 1986, Howard Keel sings in a tribute to the greatest leading ladies of movie musicals. June Allyson, Leslie Caron, Cyd Charisse, Marge Champion, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Miller, Jane Powell, Debbie Reynolds, and Esther Williams.

The Snow White opening in 1989 was widely reviled for its lame production and goofy premise. Watch as Rob Lowe sings and dances with Snow White and Michael Douglas and Robin Williams look on horrified, while Tom Hanks seems genuinely embarassed:

Michael Jackson and Madonna were in item in 1991:

Oscar infamy – 1995’s David Letterman “Uma, Oprah” fiasco:Finally, here’s an Oscar moment I really enjoyed – Woody Allen’s post-9/11 tribute to New York movies from 2002:

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