Free-Floating Hostility

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Snarks Always Win: A History Lesson

Here's a recounting of one of my favorite bits of classic celebrity lore, taken at random from this site. It would have been most relevant during Oscar season, but still.

John Wayne ran an Academy-Award campaign in 1961 for the film The Alamo—"the most expensive picture ever made on American soil"—that sparked some industry controversy....The film's co-star, Chill Wills, nominated for Best Supporting Actor, was running his own campaign with ads saying the cast was praying for a Will's [sic] Oscar "harder than the real Texans prayed for their lives at the Alamo." Pushing it to the limit, another ad listed the names of all the Academy members and said, "Win, lose or draw, you're still my cousins, and I love you all."

Academy member Groucho Marx responded by taking out an ad that said, "Dear Mr. Wills. I am delighted to be your cousin, but I'm still voting for Sal Mineo."

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