***SPOILERS*** One of the greatest bad movies of all times "The Oscar" has it all ham acting laughable dialogue ridicules plots and most of all those in it thinking that their involved with one of the greatest and thought provoking films ever to be released since "Birth of a Nation" back in 1915.
If there ever was a movie about the behind the scenes activities before and during the Academy Award over-hyped Oscar Night this is it! With at least a dozen real life Oscar winners in it's cast who know full well what it takes, besides their acting, to win one. Actor Frankie Fane, Stephen Boyd, has gone from the gutter to the glittering heights of Hollywood's elite as we first see him on Oscar Night waiting to win the coveted prize that he's been scheming for all these years. It's then that we get first hand the lowdown, and I mean low, to Frankie's life from his good friend Hymie Kelly, Tony Bennett, who together with Frankie's estrange wife the gorgeous blond beauty Kay Bergdahl, Elke Summers, are in the audience.
Starting out as a two bit bar and strip-joint hustler Frankie worked himself up to the top by screwing everyone, especially a bevy of beautiful women, who helped him on his climb on the ladder to success. Not caring for no one but #1, himself, Frankie made a slew of enemies on his way to the top whom he knew had their knives sharpened to do him him when he finally starts to fall from grace in the eyes of the movie moguls in Tinsel Town. It was that fanatical passion to stay on top that lead Frankie to the events he was to face as the film "The Oscar" came to its shocking but very predictable conclusion.
With Frankie nominated for best actor for his role as a lowlife creep and shyster, which he is in real life, in the film "Breakthrough" he still had doubts that he won't be able to win the Oscar against the likes of fine and seasoned actors like Richard Burton and Burt Lancaster that he resorted to type, in the swine that he is, to fix the vote in his favor! Frankie gets private eye for the stars Barney Yale, Earnest Borgnine, to plant a story about him Hymie and his late girlfriend Laurel Scott, Jill St. John, being busted five years ago in the south on morals charges: pimping and prostitution. Frankie knew that the members of the Academy of Motion Pictures, who vote on who's to win the Oscar, would flock to him knowing that one of the other nominees, for best actor, leaked the story in order to destroy Frankie's chances of winning! Of all the lowdown sleazy and outrageous things that Frankie pulled during the movie this was by far he sleaziest!
***SPOILERS*** It's when a greedy Barney starts feeling that Frankie didn't pay him enough, a measly $2,000.00, for securing him the Oscar that he blackmails Frankie into giving him $15,000.00 or else he'll reveal not who paid him to release this shocking information about his past but who did't! Frankie in a fit of hysteria tries to get his good friend and now full time gofer Hymie Kelly to do in Barney in order to keep him from talking!
Hymie, or Tony Bennett, in what has to be one of the most explosive performances since the taxi scene between Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger in "On the Waterfront" comes to his senses in finding out what a creep and back-stabbing lout his good friend Frankie Fane really is! It's then that Frankie gets a dose of his own medicine in not only getting creamed, from behind, by Hymie but finding the reason his former girlfriend Laurel died and also his part leading to her untimely death! But by far the best, or worst, was yet to come for Frankie when later at the Academy Awards when the best actor was announced the roof or sky fell on top of his head with him finally getting all that he had coming to him which he so rightfully deserved!
P.S Despite his eye-popping performance as Hymie Kelly in the film Tony Bennett never was in another movie in an acting, but only in a singing, part! You go figure it out!
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