Oscar Snubs: Alfred Hitchcock

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The Oscars are one of Hollywood’s greatest traditions, but they’re also one of the more inherently divisive. In any situation where you’re attempting to name a singular, unequivocal “Best” in a subjective category—not just a collection of “Very Goods” or “Great Efforts”—you’re going to draw some criticism. That’s partly because movies aren’t math problem sets: there’s not a single right way to do things, nor a single right answer upon which to arrive, and in reality, one person’s interpretation of a film can be entirely different than what someone else sees. And so, those films and filmmakers that do win Oscars necessarily have to appeal to votes based on the quality of the film, as well as appealing to the sense of populism they need to secure the majority of votes.

And that’s maybe why the Academy’s notorious, career-spanning snub of Alfred Hitchcock—one of film history’s most enduringly entertaining AND well-respected filmmakers—is especially perplexing.

Cagney as Cohan in The Seven Little Foys

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I was trying to think of a new category of posts to write about, since that helps to keep me in line, and it took me an embarrassingly long time to put together the fact that I’ve named my film blogging site The Vintage Cameo and that maybe, hmm, I don’t know, I can perhaps highlight some literal vintage cameos? To be fair, I didn’t even really “come up” with it–I was just watching The Seven Little Foys and was surprised by the sudden James Cagney appearance.