Check Your History: A Cultural Flashback

Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit

An Oscar loser who’s still a winner

By Steve Wiecking January 23, 2009

We have about a month of Hollywood weirdness ahead of us so let’s take that time and try to be honest with ourselves about this whole Oscar thing while we can. Has anyone ever really deserved an Oscar?

People, check your history. Some of our finest Americans have committed to celluloid for public consumption what most of us couldn’t pull off in the privacy of our own homes.

Has anyone deserved an Oscar? Come back to 1975 with me. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest swept the Academy Awards that year, shutting out an act of bravery that should still be talked about in the smallest corners of the planet. I speak, of course, about Ann-Margret’s performance in Tommy.

You don’t have to know what was happening in Tommy to appreciate this clip. I own Tommy and I still don’t know what was happening. I do know that Ann-Margret walked onto a movie set one fine day and, in the name of a better world, gave us something new to see using only bubbles, baked beans, chocolate, and a particularly accommodating bed pillow. We’ll never witness the likes of this again.

I suppose I should label this clip NSFW—yet where else but the workplace would be a more suitable venue for recorded proof that you can indeed make the most of anything?

Ann-Margret: Oscar loser. Liberator.

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