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Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards

Wiley, Mason;Bona, Damien;Jarrett, Gail Maccoll

7 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0345344537 / ISBN 13: 9780345344533
Published by Ballantine Books, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A., 1987
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From citynightsbooks (Allston, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

First printing of the updated edition, 1987. Black cloth spine, black boards, gilt titles. A year-by-year chronicle of the awards from 1927-1985 with photos and commentary on the proceedings.Very good with overall aging, shelfwear. 869 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 12217

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the ...

Publisher: Ballantine Books, Westminster, Maryland, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1987

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


"A giddy social history of our place and time...Mr. Wiley and Mr. Bona have found just the right tone for writing about this most particular of American phenomena."
--Vincent Canby
The New York Times
"This is the book for your film reference library, not merely because it reveals where the bodies are buried, but also because it serves as a useful sociological and aesthetic guide to the Hollywood rat race over the past six decades."
--Andrew Sarris
The Village Voice
"A grand, grotesque Hollywood party, and what a guest list!"
--Michael Musto
Saturday Review
"A fat volume of facts, trivia, trash, and gossip (perfectly fitting for the occasion)."
--Patricia Holt
San Francisco Chronicle
"Gossipy fun and a browser's delight! Everyone may know bits and pieces, but no one has ever gathered this kind of material in such a convenient and diverting format."
--Desmond Ryan
The Philadelphia Inquirer
"The fullest--and funniest--chronicle ever accorded the Golden Guy...a remarkable closeup of Oscar--warts and all."
--Harry Haun
New York Daily News
"There are probably more solid laughs on any ten pages of this book than in the last ten years of Academy Award telecasts."
--Dennis Brown
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"It may be the only hilariously funny reference book in the world. At whatever point you open it, your total attention is engaged."
--Quentin Crisp
The New York Native


This huge, hefty history of the hottest night for Hollywood hotshots is everything an "unofficial" account of the Academy Awards should be: exhaustively researched, informative, catty, and packed with amazing gossip. Authors Mason Wiley and Damien Bona describe the awards and their highlights from a number of different perspectives, quoting Hollywood insiders, reporters, and other public figures as well as offering revealing insights of their own. Inside Oscar reviews every ceremony from the '20s to the '90s, dividing each year into three sections. The first gives a full account of the movies that competed for the season's honors, focusing on the hopes, dreams, and squabbles of the actors, directors, and producers who were nominated. The second section, entitled "The Big Night," recounts the ceremony in full detail, conveying the suspense of the evening, relating the funniest quips by presenters and pundits, and describing the most arresting outfits worn by the celebrities in attendance. "Aftermath" covers the press reactions to the event and follows the fates of some of the winners.

Inside Oscar covers everything from the frenzy surrounding Gone with the Wind to the first televised awards to the disastrous 1994 ceremony, which was hosted by a terminally unfunny David Letterman. Each year is great fun to relive, but readers of this book may agree that the most memorable decade for Oscar was the 1970s, when the unexpected consistently prevailed. In 1970, George C. Scott, nominated for Patton, shocked the industry by declining the Best Actor Award. In '72, Marlon Brando refused his prize for The Godfather, sending a Native American woman, Sacheen Littlefeather, to chastise the astonished celebrities for their ill treatment of her people. Vanessa Redgrave accepted the statuette for Julia in 1977, delivering an anti-Zionist diatribe from the podium. And let's not forget the streaker who bolted onstage in '73.

You'll find full accounts of these events and many, many others in a book that's as much fun to thumb through as it is to read from cover to cover. This volume conveys the anticipation, the glamour, the viciousness, the surprises, and the fallout of the ceremonies with tremendous detail and high enthusiasm. --Raphael Efrem Shargel

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