The Oscar (1966) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Oscar (1966)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Oscar Photos

Movie Info

A heartless actor scrambles to the top of show business' sleazy summit in this drama. Frank Fane (Stephen Boyd) is a Hollywood leading man who is desperate to boost his career by winning an Academy Award, and he doesn't care who he has to betray to achieve his goals -- including his former best friend and PR man, Hymie Kelly (Tony Bennett), lonely acting coach Sophie Cantaro (Eleanor Parker), slimy agent Kappy Kapstetter (Milton Berle), and long-suffering girlfriend Kay Bergdahl (Elke Sommer). However, as Frank waits for his name to be called, certain that victory is in his grasp, fate has a little secret in store for him. The Oscar marked Tony Bennett's onscreen acting debut. The screenplay, based on the novel by Richard Sale, was written in part by award-winning author Harlan Ellison, who is known to often take comical potshots at the film, which he considers a low point in his career.


Stephen Boyd
as Frank Fane
Elke Sommer
as Kay Bergdahl
Milton Berle
as Kappy Kapstetter
Eleanor Parker
as Sophie Cantaro
Joseph Cotten
as Kenneth H. Regan
Jill St. John
as Laurel Scott
Tony Bennett
as Hymie Kelly
Edie Adams
as Trina Yale
Ernest Borgnine
as Barney Yale
Walter Brennan
as Orrin C. Quentin
James Dunn
as Network Executive
Peter Lawford
as Steve Marks
Jean Hale
as Cheryl Barker
Eddie Ryder
as Marriage Broker
Chris Alcaide
as Ledbetter
John Holland
as Stevens
Jean Bartel
as Secretary
Ross Ford
as Lochner
Walter Reed
as Pereira
Edith Head
as Herself
Hedda Hopper
as Herself
Bob Hope
as Himself
Merle Oberon
as Herself
Johnny Grant
as Himself
View All

News & Interviews for The Oscar

Critic Reviews for The Oscar

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (3)

This is the story of a vicious, bitter, firstclass heel who rises to stardom on the blood of those close to him. Without a single redeeming quality, part played by Stephen Boyd is unsympathetic virtually from opening shots.

December 20, 2007 | Full Review…

Tacky Tinseltown soaper, logging the unscrupulous rise to stardom of an Academy-nominated actor in a succession of flashbacks, featuring numerous stellar walk-ons and dreadful dialogue.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A piece of expensive claptrap, loaded with harrowing clichés.

May 9, 2005 | Rating: 1.5/5 | Full Review…

A melodrama whose seriousness is so overbearing that it's long been hailed as a kitsch classic in some circles.

February 22, 2020 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Worth watching for the truly bizarre plotting and dialogue, which plays like a bad daytime soap opera complete with dramatic music stingers.

February 21, 2020 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

iI's all one big, crushing bore.

July 2, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Oscar

"The Oscar" is bad, sure, but it's not as hilariously bad as I was led to believe. Not bad enough to worth taking the time to see. The script has many terrible attempts at "snappy wit," but the stale lines aren't as notable as Stephen Boyd's awful lead performance as a heartless, second-tier actor conspiring to save his career -- he adopts some ape-like mannerisms that are truly bewildering. An incredible set of stars passes through the film (Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Merle Oberon, Peter Lawford, Hedda Hopper, Broderick Crawford, Ed Begley Sr., Joseph Cotten, Tony Bennett), and Milton Berle (as Boyd's agent) and Ernest Borgnine (as a shady private investigator) have some good moments in supporting roles. But if you're looking for campy laughs from this era, other silly bombs such as "Skidoo," "Valley of the Dolls," "Candy," "The Cool Ones" and "Myra Breckenridge" provide greater rewards.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


Overblown and hoky but compulsively watchable nontheless.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

The Oscar Quotes

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