The House of Squibb presents ACADEMY AWARD
“Hollywood’s finest, the great picture plays, the great actors and actresses,
techniques and skills, chosen from the honor roll of those who have won
or been nominated for the famous golden Oscar of the Academy
of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”
That was the opening for each week’s episode of Academy Award Theater, an anthology series centered on the Academy Awards. Or rather, movies and actors that had won or had been nominated for the golden statuette. The show’s premise was to have the actors who created Oscar-nominated roles in films recreate them for the series and in many cases it turned out that they were able to, as in the case of the two episodes featured below. In cases where the original actors could not appear other popular stars would make the roles their own.
It’s unfortunate that Academy Award Theater lasted only one season probably due to many factors, including the looming medium of television and the fact that aside from paying the actors a good sum to appear on the weekly shows, the show’s sponsor, Squibb also had to pay the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences a decent sum for the use of the title in each week’s show. In any case, we’re lucky to have the shows produced to enjoy.
Academy Award Theater began its thirty-nine show run with an impressive one-two punch, Bette Davis premiered the series on March 30, 1946 with a production of “Jezebel,” with Ginger Rogers following in “Kitty Foyle,” roles for which both actresses won Oscars for leading actress. Now, I must complain – I had included both of these episodes in this post but in just a couple of days, by the time I am making this “live” the “Jezebel” episode was removed and is no longer available. This bothers me to no end because as far as I’m concerned these shows should be shared with as many people as possible, they are treasures to be admired. Also, they are in the public domain. In any case, for now of the two only “Kitty Foyle” is included. As an added attraction I’m including the production of “Shadow of a Doubt” in which Joseph Cotten recreates his famous Uncle Charlie in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1943 film, which received only one Academy Award nomination, Best Writing, Original Story. Cotten’s depiction of the uncle in a “typical American family” is wonderful in this – as it is in the picture. His voice is chilling. Enjoy!
Academy Award Theatre – “Kitty Foyle” starring Ginger Rogers (4/6/1946)
Click on Ginger’s image to access audio of “Kitty Foyle”