Monday, August 03, 2009

I Cayyyyn't Stand It

... that Jean Hagen didn't win the Oscar for Singin' in the Rain.

Lina Lamont: Gee, this wig weighs a ton! What dope'd wear a thing like this?
Rosco: Everybody used to wear them, Lina.

Lina Lamont: Well, then everybody was a dope
Hagen would've been 86 today. She never got the big film career she deserved after her Lina Lamont triumph and soon transferred over to television. Ironically, the actress who gifted us one of the cinema's all time funniest vocal characterizations died of throat cancer when she was only 54.

I'd love to watch Singin' in the Rain back-to-back with Bullets Over Broadway to see Lina's closest modern equivalent, Jennifer Tilly as "Olive Neal", in direct succession. What is it about fine actresses playing bad actresses that thrills so?
Lina Lamont: 'People'? I ain't 'people.' I am a - 'a shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament.' It says so right here.
More Lina? Try this Film Experience Classic: JA watches Singin' In the Rain for the first time while guest blogging in March 2008

10 comments:

Cengiz said...

"I cayyyyn't stand" how this movie got shut out of the Oscars all together. One of the BEST movie musicals (Hell, BEST movie, in general) of all time got royally snubbed. For shame...FOR SHAME!!!!

dusty said...

Totally. One of the ten best supporting female performances EVER.

Encore Entertainment said...

It's just something about good films needing time to become ingrained in our psyche. Look at Bringing Up Baby, Kate, Cary and Hawks did some of their finest work...and it's only now that audiences realise its great cinema. I guess it goes the same for Singin' in the Rain.

And Nathaniel Bullets Over Broadway...why is that Woody film so underrated?

steve said...

that the film was only *nominated* for 2 Oscars is also mind boggling

for all its self-serving hype, the Academy is often way off mark with what eventually resonates in film history (Hitchcock anyone?)

susannah said...

Thank you so much! The best performance in one of my top two or three favorite movies of all time. I've been watching this movie since I was five-years-old (nearly, ahem, 30 years), and I still find something new in it every time. But my favorite Lina line is in reference to Lina getting Cathy Selden fired from the Coconut Grove: "Darn tootin' she did; I arranged it."

Anonymous said...

wow i thought i was the only person who loved her performance in such a great movie

Kent said...

In terms of voice characterizations, I also think Judy Holliday's 'Billie Dawn' in BORN YESTERDAY belongs up there. Exceptional comedic work.

Anonymous said...

Even if she didn't win the Oscar...Hagen will have my "vote" forever. actually I love also Gloria Grahame, who received a bad snub on her own by the Academy the following year when she wasn't nominated for her maybe more celebrated role in THE BIG HEAT.

Actually the reception SINGIN' IN THE RAIN received by the Academy is incredible...I mean: they selected AN AMERICAN IN PARIS as Best Picture and they overlooked this one!!!!! I imagine they could believed that two musical in the row as Best Picture was too much, but honestly...and it's also sadder if you think that the Best Picture of the year was DeMille's movie about circus...well...I haven't anything against DeMille...but are we sure that THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH was the best way to honour his long and commanding filmography?

mirko s.

mirko s.

Rick said...

Great supporting role .. no question she shhould have won...

Having been a dancer myself, West Side Story and Singing in the rain are my two most loved musicals... for the dancing alone... Donald O'Connor to me was the best dancer ever... very different from Astaire and Kelley who were more ballet trained.

By the way, Donald O'Connor's daughter lives across the street from us.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Hagen is definitely in a class by herself, but wasn't it also weird how when Tilly got nominated, so much of the press was like, "How did she get in there??" A lot of people really talked about that as a total clunker of a nod, maybe because she hadn't been on other lists, and they couldn't figure out how Mama Gump and Jenny got pushed aside, and she hadn't had the most blazing career up till then. But my God! Tilly is six and a half hoots in that film. Charmed! Charmed! Charmed!