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Frankie Fane has clawed his way to the top of the Hollywood heap. Now, as he's preparing to win his Oscar, his friend Hymie Kelly reminisces over their life together, and Frankie's ruthless struggle to the top and the people he's stepped on (i.e., everyone else in the movie) to make it there. Written by
This expose of a Hollywood heel plays like a bush-league attempt at the baroque language of SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, but man, does it work. Stephen Boyd is the absurdly mannered amoral punk who'd screw over his mother and steal her shoes to make it to the top. Among those with his shoeprints on their neck are Milton Berle (horny, melancholy, used-up agent), Jill St. John (tragic "roundheels broad"), Tony Bennett (as Hymie Kelly, the tragic Jewish-Irish second banana) and Elke Sommer (Swedish zaftig-bomb with a conscience). As directed by Russell Rouse, THE OSCAR has the feel of Sam Fuller doing overbright TV. The movie is way beyond "campy" or "good-bad;" nearly every scene is a diamond-plated jaw-dropper.
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