May 20, 2009

Random Musing: Meeting Oscar

...John Ford's third, that is. Yesterday, at Indiana University's Lilly Library, I stood one foot from it. Only a glass barrier stood between me and it, this "golden boy." Before yesterday, I had never actually seen an Oscar in person. Can you believe it? For about four years now, I have been obsessed with the Oscars, stuffing my memory to capacity with its winners and nominees, and I have never once seen an Oscar in real life. But yesterday, I became blessed enough to see what this hunk of metal—the ambition of thousands of actors, directors, producers, and others—is really like. It is as beautiful in person, I promise you. It was so beautiful that I could not take my eyes off of it. It is a moment I will never forget...

In 1941, John Ford won his third "Best Director" Oscar for "How Green Was My Valley" (following 1935's "The Informer" and 1940's "The Grapes of Wrath"). Ford won one other "Best Director" Oscar for 1952's "The Quiet Man."

Indiana University's Lilly Library is also the home to John Ford's second "Best Director" Oscar, as well as many other Hollywood treasures (including Rita Hayword's makeup case and personal articles and drafts of original screenplays, including those of the Garbo vehicle, "Anna Christie" (1930), the first "Best Picture" Oscar-winner, "Wings" (1927), and the first American "talkie," "The Jazz Singer" (1927)).

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