×

No-shows beset Griffith Awards

An epidemic of no-shows by winners plagued the 75th annual D.W. Griffith Awards, which instead emphasized a nostalgic point-of-view Monday at Equitable Auditorium.

As career achievement awardwinner Shirley Temple Black (most recently serving as U.S. ambassador to Czechoslovakia for the Bush administration) quipped: “Only the person who isn’t working could come. I’ve been between films for 44 years.”

The former child star was introduced by Roddy McDowall, who delivered a thoughtful speech decrying the public’s stereotype that child actors never segued into successful adult careers.

Entertaining event was co-hosted by the husband and wife team of Jane Powell and Dick Moore, latter a former child star who appeared with greats ranging from Temple (in “Miss Annie Rooney”) to Marlene Dietrich (in “Blonde Venus”).

Big winners of the evening were the Sony Pictures Classics team of Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcie Bloom, who picked up best picture (“Howards End”) and foreign film (“Indochine”) awards for their less than one-year-old distribution company.

“Howards End” director James Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant sent a videotape of their acceptances for best pic and director from India, where Merchant is directing his first fiction feature “In Custody.”

Best actress for “Howards End,” Emma Thompson, was ill and couldn’t come, with frequent winner Jessica Tandy accepting on her behalf.

Last year the National Board of Review had a much better talent turnout for the Griffiths, led by Warren Beatty (with Annette Bening) to pick up his best actor kudos. This year’s actor nod went to Jack Lemmon for “Glengarry Glen Ross, ” following his prior Griffith career achievement accolade. Matthew Broderick accepted in Lemmon’s absence.

Funniest routine of the night was delivered impromptu by Tony Randall, introduced as a “close friend of Jack Nicholson,” to accept Nicholson’s supporting actor prize for “A Few Good Men.”

Randall satirized the pinch-hitting process, noting how he had only met Nicholson once 12 years ago but that the actor had taken him aside at that time and instructed him passionately on how to accept an award for him in the future.

Completing the acting winners’ blackout, Judy Davis (supporting actress winner for “Husbands and Wives”) sent a letter of acceptance, while stage actress Lea Salonga (of “Miss Saigon”) was Robin Williams’ designated hitter, accepting a special award for his interpretation of the genie in Disney’s “Aladdin.”

Perhaps most disappointing, given the mounting hype in recent months, was the absence of Jaye Davidson, singled out by the National Board of Review for “a special award for an auspicious film debut” in “The Crying Game.”

Pic’s producer Stephen Woolley accepted for Davidson, who had never acted before the film.

On hand to personally take home their Griffith citations were Bruce Sinofsky and Joe Berlinger for best docu “Brother’s Keeper”; Ric Burns for TV miniseries “The Donner Party”; and Julian Schlossberg of Castle Hill Prods., accepting on behalf of Beatrice Welles-Smith for the recovery of her father Orson Welles’ film “Othello.”

Among the mainly Broadway stage talent recruited as presenters and accepters were Alec McCowen, Geraldine Fitzgerald, John Neville, Peter Riegert, Lee Grant, Mandy Patinkin, Eddie Bracken and Jerry Orbach.

More Film

  • Don Edkins, documentary filmmaker

    Documentary Filmmaker Don Edkins on ‘Creating an African Voice’ 

    DURBAN–For the 10th Durban FilmMart (DFM), the industry program of the Durban Intl. Film Festival, a new strand was created to look at the unique challenges and opportunities facing documentary filmmakers in Africa. The two-day program, Durban Does Docs, offers a series of conversations, seminars and workshops with an intensive focus on the aesthetics, funding, distribution [...]

  • A Faithful Man

    Film Review: 'A Faithful Man'

    French actor Louis Garrel has been married twice, first to Iranian talent Golshifteh Farahani, and now to model-cum-actress Laetitia Casta. He has also directed two features, the first a free-wheeling love-triangle comedy called “Two Friends” in which Garrel plays the cad who comes between his best friend and the object of his obsession (played by [...]

  • LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With

    LGBTQ Film Festival Outfest Opens With Documentary About Gay Porn Shops Circus of Books

    Granted, the red carpet at the opening night of Outfest in DTLA may not have been the most star-studded but it was without a doubt the most diverse, inclusive and, yes, fabulous. “I’ve never been here before,” admitted “RuPaul’s Drag Race” vet Trixie Mattel, who stars in the documentary “Moving Parts.” “It’s supposed to be [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Russ Tamblyn's Career Had Legs After Childhood

    With an acting career that spans work for Cecil B. DeMille and Joseph Losey to Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch, Russ Tamblyn’s creativity and longevity is proof that there’s life after child stardom. In Tamblyn’s case, there’s also been a bounty of juicy film and TV roles long after his legendary legs no longer kicked [...]

  • Olivia Wilde Booksmart Director

    Film News Roundup: Olivia Wilde to Direct Holiday Comedy for Universal

    In today’s film news roundup, Olivia Wilde has landed another directing gig following “Booksmart” and revenge thriller “Seaside” and “Woodstock: The Directors Cut” get August release dates. PROJECT LAUNCH Olivia Wilde will direct and produce an untitled holiday comedy project for Universal Pictures with her “Booksmart” partner Katie Silberman. Universal outbid five other studios for [...]

  • Choas Charles Mansion and the CIA

    Amazon Studios Takes Film Rights to Manson-Centered Drama 'Chaos' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Just in time for the 50th anniversary of the grisly murders executed by the followers of Charles Manson, Amazon Studios has optioned film rights to a nonfiction title about a journalist who spent decades obsessively following the case. The studio will adapt “Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties,” from [...]

  • Sword of Trust

    Marc Maron on 'Sword of Trust,' Lynn Shelton and Conspiracy Theories

    Marc Maron has interviewed everyone from Bruce Springsteen to President Obama, so he’s probably learned a few things about being a good interview. Of course, as he points out, he generally has over an hour to talk leisurely speak with his guests in his home and draw out stories beyond the public narrative; it’s a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content