I'm less interested in the alleged camp value of this film that I am in the opportunity to again see so many of the names with which I grew up working. It was business as usual in those days fifty years past, and anytime they surface again, in any form, it is to treasure. This film IS Hollywood of the mid '60s.
The Oscar isn't any worse than 75% of the films of the era. --Or today, when you get down to it. In that day, an all-star cast was employed to conceal all inadequacies; these days, CGI fulfills the very same function. I get it. A lot of people don't, simply because CGI is so big and bombastic by its very nature as to overwhelm judgment. Another fifty years from now, I think there are going to be lots of films like The Oscar, films that people laugh at because they have nothing going for them but an obvious patch meant to cover their weakness. You can bet on it.
The film is built around three male roles, with everyone else more or less stepping out of their way for the big acting moments given to them. Boyd, always the stony-jawed, steely-eyed manly male actor, is exactly as you remember him. Tony Bennett does a really nice job, which is a pity, given this films negative rep. Milton Berle was a surprisingly good dramatic actor, and proved it in many films and TV shows, just like this one. Eleanor Parker rises above the secondary status to which the actresses in this film are consigned. She makes the development from haughty to pathetic entirely credible.
Bottom line: Enjoy it as a chance to see names, names, names, even if you don't buy the drama or the story. It comes straight from the heart of the last demi golden age, just past the decline and disappearance of The Golden Age of Hollywood. It commemorates this unique time and place as well as any film.
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