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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Longest Oscar Acceptance Speech

Greer Garson

~~ "I do wish I could tell you my age but it is impossible.
It keeps changing all the time." ~~

I was watching our annual television award program, The Logies, the other night and the subject of an adequate time for an acceptance speech came up.  It was said that Greer Garson's Oscar acceptance speech went for a long 47 minutes!  Now that is incorrect; it may have seemed that long but the Guinness Book of World Records says 5½ minutes.  Patrick Stockstill, historian at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, says 7 minutes and another person says 6 minutes.

In 1943 Greer came on to accept her Best Actress award for 'Mrs Miniver' (1942) and said, "I'm practically unprepared"; minutes on, presenter Joan Fontaine looked for a seat.  It was the last speech of the night and nearly 2am!  The Academy was compelled after that to limit speeches to 45 seconds.  By the way, Greer's Oscar was destroyed in a house fire and The Academy sent a replacement.  

The shortest acceptance Oscar speech was given by Alfred Hitchcock; in accepting the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for creative producers in 1968; he simply said, "Thank you".

Our Logie Awards were named after John Logie Baird (1888-1946), a Scottish engineer and inventor of the world's first working television system, also the world's first fully electronic colour television tube.  

13 comments:

Sam Liu said...

Great post, a lot of interesting information. I like Mr. Hitchcock's acceptance speech, very dry, with a tint of irony, "Thank you"...seems adequate to me :D

alaine@éclectique said...

Sam...yes, typical Hitchcock! When I was little I thought he was a real sulky puss!

Paul C said...

I loved the movie Mrs. Minivar and Garson was a sight for sore eyes. Maybe that's why she thought she could ramble on a bit.

alaine@éclectique said...

Paul....haha. She was a clever girl; gained a degree in 18th century literature at King's College, London. Perhaps she should have précis'ed down her thesis on winning an Oscar! :)

willow said...

Don't you just love Greer Garson, though? She just had that fresh air of grace and loveliness.

alaine@éclectique said...

Willow...oh, she was one of my favourites; a real lady.

Susan said...

I love her! And 'Mrs. Miniver'! Bawled my eyes out when I watched it the first time. She was a very classy and beautiful woman. Too bad we can't listen to her speech, her voice was lovely.

I didn't know your awards were called Logies. Very interesting!

alaine@éclectique said...

Susan...I've just been over to your page copying that shot of Clear Creek to show Mick. So glad David liked the site and that he caught a fish!

Yes, apparently there is no footage of Greer's speech and no transcript either - a real pity.

Yes, the TV awards are the Logies and the AFI (Australian Film Institute) Awards for film.

Derrick said...

Hi Alaine,

Isn't it strange that these luminaries of stage and screen often seem incapable of rational speech unless some else has written it?! I seem to recall Vanessa Redgrave causing eyes to glaze over with an awards acceptance. I hate to hear actors thanking everyone under the sun, including the budgie! :0) But Greer was lovely!

maggie's garden said...

I'm hoping that hairdo comes back in style...mine would easily fall into this do with it's "C" curls. I've never seen this movie...so I'll put it on my movie list. So glad the academy put a limit on how long a speech can be. Some get so long winded...kinda like my posts. ha!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I understand people verbally ramble, as I tend to do that very thing. I am ..wordy. It isn't that I have so many things to say, it's that I have so many ways to say it. Often my husband would tell me "you've already told me that!" I never did understand that because to me I had only just begun to describe something. Ah well...it takes all kinds and I really do love having something in common with Greer Garson!! :)

P.S. I want to thank you for following my blog.. :) Made me smile!!

alaine@éclectique said...

MG...If I had natural hair like that, I'd let it be, blow fashion!

alaine@éclectique said...

Mona (WOC)... My Mother used to say of her MIL (my Grandmother) that she was always repeating herself and said "If I've already told you something, please tell me!" - now I say the same to my daughter.

Thanks for visiting, Mona.