The Oscar (1966)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A heartless actor scrambles to the top of show business' sleazy summit in this drama. Frank Fane (Stephen Boyd) is a Hollywood leading man who is desperate to boost his career by winning an Academy Award, and he doesn't care who he has to betray to achieve his goals -- including his former best friend and PR man, Hymie Kelly (Tony Bennett), lonely acting coach Sophie Cantaro (Eleanor Parker), slimy agent Kappy Kapstetter (Milton Berle), and long-suffering girlfriend Kay Bergdahl (Elke Sommer). However, as Frank waits for his name to be called, certain that victory is in his grasp, fate has a little secret in store for him. The Oscar marked Tony Bennett's onscreen acting debut. The screenplay, based on the novel by Richard Sale, was written in part by award-winning author Harlan Ellison, who is known to often take comical potshots at the film, which he considers a low point in his career.
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Ernest Borgnine
as Barney Yale
Walter Brennan
as Orrin C. Quentin
Bob Hope
as Himself
Milton Berle
as Kappy Kapstetter
Nancy Sinatra
as Herself
Joseph Cotten
as Kenneth H. Regan
Jill St. John
as Laurel Scott
Frank Sinatra
as Himself
Elke Sommer
as Kay Bergdahl
Stephen Boyd
as Frank Fane
Eleanor Parker
as Sophie Cantaro
Peter Lawford
as Steve Marks
Merle Oberon
as Herself
James Dunn
as Network Executive
Edie Adams
as Trina Yale
Jean Hale
as Cheryl Barker
Hedda Hopper
as Herself
Jack Soo
as Sam
Tony Bennett
as Hymie Kelly
Walter Reed
as Pereira
John Holland
as Stevens
Ross Ford
as Lochner
Eddie Ryder
as Marriage Broker
Chris Alcaide
as Ledbetter
Johnny Grant
as Himself
Ed Begley Sr.
as Grobard
Edith Head
as Herself
Jean Bartel
as Secretary
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News & Interviews for The Oscar

Critic Reviews for The Oscar

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

This is the story of a vicious, bitter, firstclass heel who rises to stardom on the blood of those close to him. Without a single redeeming quality, part played by Stephen Boyd is unsympathetic virtually from opening shots.

Full Review… | December 20, 2007
Top Critic

Tacky Tinseltown soaper, logging the unscrupulous rise to stardom of an Academy-nominated actor in a succession of flashbacks, featuring numerous stellar walk-ons and dreadful dialogue.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

A piece of expensive claptrap, loaded with harrowing clichés.

Full Review… | May 8, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

It may be the quintessential Hollywood movie, except that it was greeted with guffaws on sight.

Full Review… | July 7, 2010

A dreadful empty film.

Full Review… | March 8, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The plot here is so melodramatic and so unrealistic that the film becomes laughable.

Full Review… | December 20, 2007
TV Guide

Audience Reviews for The Oscar


***Due to the recent RT changes that have basically ruined my past reviews, I am mostly only giving a rating rather than a full review.***

Steve Smith
Steve Smith

Tacky Tinseltown soaper, logging the unscrupulous rise to stardom of an Academy-nominated actor in a succession of flashbacks, featuring numerous stellar walk-ons and dreadful dialogue.

Greg Wood
Greg Wood

"The Oscar" is bad, sure, but it's not as hilariously bad as I was led to believe. Not bad enough to worth taking the time to see. The script has many terrible attempts at "snappy wit," but the stale lines aren't as notable as Stephen Boyd's awful lead performance as a heartless, second-tier actor conspiring to save his career -- he adopts some ape-like mannerisms that are truly bewildering. An incredible set of stars passes through the film (Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Merle Oberon, Peter Lawford, Hedda Hopper, Broderick Crawford, Ed Begley Sr., Joseph Cotten, Tony Bennett), and Milton Berle (as Boyd's agent) and Ernest Borgnine (as a shady private investigator) have some good moments in supporting roles. But if you're looking for campy laughs from this era, other silly bombs such as "Skidoo," "Valley of the Dolls," "Candy," "The Cool Ones" and "Myra Breckenridge" provide greater rewards.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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