The Oscar

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 13


Audience Score

User Ratings: 96
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The Oscar Photos

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.


Stephen Boyd
as Frank Fane
Elke Sommer
as Kay Bergdahl
Milton Berle
as Kappy Kapstetter
Eleanor Parker
as Sophie Cantaro
Joseph Cotten
as Kenneth H. Regan
Jill St. John
as Laurel Scott
Tony Bennett
as Hymie Kelly
Edie Adams
as Trina Yale
Ernest Borgnine
as Barney Yale
Walter Brennan
as Orrin C. Quentin
James Dunn
as Network Executive
Peter Lawford
as Steve Marks
Jean Hale
as Cheryl Barker
Eddie Ryder
as Marriage Broker
Chris Alcaide
as Ledbetter
John Holland
as Stevens
Jean Bartel
as Secretary
Ross Ford
as Lochner
Walter Reed
as Pereira
Edith Head
as Herself
Hedda Hopper
as Herself
Bob Hope
as Himself
Merle Oberon
as Herself
Johnny Grant
as Himself
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News & Interviews for The Oscar

Critic Reviews for The Oscar

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (2) | Rotten (11)

Audience Reviews for The Oscar

  • Jul 03, 2012
    "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 B Super Reviewer
  • May 17, 2009
    Overblown and hoky but compulsively watchable nontheless.
    jay n Super Reviewer

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