I’d like to thank the Academy…

Monday, February 12th, 2007 | All Things, Film

From February 12 through Oscar Saturday, February 24, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences displayed for public viewing 50 newly minted Oscar statuettes in New York at Times Square Studios, home of ABC’s Good Morning America.

Oscar Evolution

Oscars Case

Included in the “Meet the Oscars” exhibit were two statuettes previously owned by Hollywood legends Bette Davis and Clark Gable. Academy Award winners are required to sign a waiver, preventing them from ever selling their award. To dispose of an unwanted statuette, owners must sell it back to the Academy for $1. Oscars awarded before 1950 — including the two on display here — are exempt from the rule. In 2001, Steven Spielberg paid $578,000 for the Oscar Davis won for Jezebel  in 1938, with the express purpose of returning it to the Academy. Five years earlier, Spielberg bought Gable’s 1934 Oscar (for It Happened One Night) for $607,500, returning that statuette to the Academy as well. (Each of these was a relative bargain compared to the $1.54M Michael Jackson paid at auction for David O. Selznick’s producing Oscar for Best Film Gone With The Wind  (1939).

Davis and Gable Oscars

Oscar stands 13.5 inches tall and weighs a surprisingly hefty 8.5 pounds. The best part: the Academy made one golden statuette available for members of the public to pick up and hold (and perhaps fantasize a little bit.) How could I resist?


On Oscar Sunday, I was thrilled to see New York filmmaker Martin Scorsese win his long overdue Academy Award after three decades and seven previous nominations — five for directing (Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York  and The Aviator) and two for screenplays (for co-writing Goodfellas  and The Age of Innocence.)

In his acceptance speech, Scorsese remarked of his drought:

I just want to say too that so many people over the years have been wishing this for me. Strangers. You know, I went walking in the street, people say something to me. I go in a doctor’s office, I go in a whatever. Elevators, people saying, “You should win one, you should win one.” I go for an X-Ray, “you should win one.”

So typical of New Yorkers!

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