- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
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Collectible: Davis' Final AFI Appearance
And what a wonderful performance she gave. Only expected to be a presenter of the Best Actor award to none other than Paul Newman, who had never won a competitive Oscar, Davis took to the mic doing a schtick with director Robert Wise. If you know nothing about Miss Davis, one thing you must is that she was a very funny lady in person. Yes, she played several different types of comedic characters and was just as great in that genre as all others she did. But, this was pure ad lib, on the spot, live and on television! I agree with Michelles' title that this was Davis' style of making a grand exit: an exit from planet Earth this time for she would never return to that Oscar podium.
A Master Class on How to Make an Exit
Sixty-two year old Paul Newman (1925-2008) won his 1st competitive Oscar (after 7 nominations) for his performance as Fast Eddie, in "The Color of Money." It'is a belated sequel to Newman's classic "The Hustler." Director Robert Wise was trying to accept the Best Actor Oscar for Newman since he was absent. But guess who the presenter was? 79yo Bette Davis! It was remarkable that Davis was well enough to be there, let alone take over the event. With no script, Davis and Wise ad libbed at the mic during a live broadcast, arguing in jest over who would speak about Paul Newman first. Since this was Bette Davis' final Oscar appearance, let's say that she went out true to herself and in the style she loved: humor. If you get your hands on this broadcast, own it. It's priceless.
One Hilarious Finale: Bette Davis
They, Bette Davis and Robert Wise, were supposed to be presenting the Best Actor Oscar that spring evening in 1987. Instead, the two venerables began a verbal sparring schtick that totally stold the fancy show. It was a director-actor battle, or a man vs. woman romp, who knows for sure since it was all ad lib. The hosts Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn had lost control of one of the most watched television shows and Davis & Wise had it in the palm of their very able hands. The moment was hilarious as they argued back and forth over who would get to speak about the poor Oscar winner first. The audience was rolling in the floor laughing. This was the final Oscar appearance of Miss Bette Davis.
Davis & Wise Steal the Show Ad Libbing
You have to understand what an amazing feat it was for Bette Davis to be the presenter of the Best Actor Oscar in 1987. She's had a mastectomy followed by a serios stroke a year earlier and fiercely battled her way back to performing. Paul Newman finally won his 1st competitive Oscar (as Fast Eddie in "The Color of Money," the sequel to his classic, "The Hustler." This was his 7th nomination! Since he wasn't present, director Robert Wise accepted it for him. But, Bette Davis was the Oscar presenter. She and Wise went into an ad lib schtick arguing over who would speak 1st about Newman! It is one of the most hilarious Oscar presentation moments ever. Their mics were cut off while the audience roared with laughter. Their antics will always be remembered, especially since this is the final Oscar appearance that Bette Davis ever made before she died a year and half later. Own this as a collectible VHS for this scene alone!
Last Oscar Ceremony Appearance
Bette Davis lived from 1908-1989. This was her final appearance at an Oscar ceremony. For collectors of Bette Davis' filmed appearances, this would be collectible footage.