Monday, March 8, 2010

Favorite Oscar® moment - The Streaker (David Niven,1974)




I watched the Academy Awards last night although I had not seen either of the two films ("Avatar", "The Hurt Locker") that were the main contenders for Best Picture. The show is always diverting to me because its basically a live show and people sometimes use the "Oscar Awards" to make some interesting political or social statements about their work. (It also gives me a chance to see which documentaries and short subjects might be worth renting at the local DVD store or looking up here on the computer.)

My favorite Oscar moment goes back a long time. I saw it when I was thirteen and involved that impeccable actor, author and chat-show raconteur David Niven. At the time, for whatever reason, a lot of people were involved in "streaking" in America. They would cast off their clothes and dash about in a public place like at a football game or a college graduation ceremony. It was like the last embers of the 1960's freedom movements dying out before the popular culture turned away from controversy to conformity.

Anyway this is the bit that Niven contributed to that telecast seen 'round the world.

12 comments:

  1. It really is! His timing is great.

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  2. I loved David Niven.
    Remember Ray Steven's song "The Streak"?

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  3. Yes, that was one of his best!

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  4. Very classic Doug! Laughing as it was a time that it was all to funny back then. David Niven was something. I might just be getting old as last night I had watched them and I certainly do miss some of the old timers. Yet this was a time within the Oscars that it was very fun to watch and as well the streak, I recall it as if it was yesterday.

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  5. Yes, I do too Jack. Nobody really replaced a guy like Niven. The closest I've seen to his genial way with presenting at an awards show is Stephen Fry whose not much seen in America.

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  6. There was a 'streaker' at my local football stadium just a few months ago....we seem to be about a quarter of a century behind the times around here....he was arrested of course. Personally I think it should happen at the Oscars every year and at Trooping the Colour, I might be tempted to tune in myself if it was guaranteed to happen on Horse Guards Parade.

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  7. Niven was one of my favourite actors of the period. You could never accuse him of being a 'great' actor in the mold of Olivier or Burton were at the same time. But as a character actor, often in 'light' comedy, he was unsurpassed I feel.

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  8. LOL! That would take the starch out of Her Majesty's riding uniform I'd say!


    With the superlative British knack for Pomp and Circumstance, AA, I think that would definitely fall under the heading of a Circumstance.

    Perhaps this fellow who streaked at the football stadium had come through a wormhole in the time-space continuum from the 70's---or, perhaps I've watched one too many seasons of "Doctor Who". :-)

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  9. I totally agree Jim. Two great things about David Niven were that he (a) didn't take himself all that seriously in interviews and (b) that he could make a dud film watchable (like "Casino Royale", et al ) or improve an otherwise stolid dramatic war flick with a bit of levity.

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  10. I loved David Niven in Force 10 from Navarone. He had some great lines

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  11. That's a good example Fred. In "Guns of Navarone" he turns to a bunch of Nazis that the group has taken hostage and stolen their uniforms and says: "Shocking taste in undies...seig heil everybody". :-)

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