Tag Archives: oscars
Now that your eye bleach has had a nice time to soak in from the Snow White number, I figure you’re ready for the even more bewildering number from the Oscars 20 years ago.
Oscar Stars of Tomorrow!
Part 1 (optional):
Introduction with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball and 20-year-old topical humor (Steve Garvey! Dan Quayle!)
Part 2 (mandatory):
19 of tomorrow’s biggest award-winning stars sing and dance for, like, 17 hours straight. Featuring two Coreys, a TV doctor, a talk show host, and an actually talented person. Plus 14 other people. Grief counselors will be available if you make it through the whole thing.
Next: Where are they now?
Sure, the Rob Lowe/Snow White opening number is awful to watch on TV, but imagine having to sit through it in person! Let’s take a look at some of the brave celebrities who endured.
Jack Nicholson Age (in ’89): 51
Then: Was on a roll. Followed up “Terms of Endearment” (for which he won an Oscar) with “Prizzi’s Honor” and “Witches of Eastwick.”
After: Has been alternating great and “eh” films pretty solidly since then. For every “The Departed,” there’s a “Man Trouble,” for every “A Few Good Men,” there’s a “Wolf.” Still has a better career than everyone on this list.
Anjelica Huston Age: 37
Then: Won an Oscar a few years before for “Prizzi’s Honor.”
After: Ended her 16-year relationship with Nicholson that year after he knocked up another woman. Then she really broke out, with “Enemies, A Love Story,” “The Grifters,” and “Addams Family.” Now she’s in everything Wes Anderson does.
Michael Douglas Age: 44
Then: Right at the end of a string of great hits, “Romancing the Stone,” “Wall Street,” and “Fatal Attraction.”
Now: Too busy staring at Catherine Zeta-Jones and thinking, “Boy, am I one lucky bastard” to make very good movies. Mostly misses since then, with some glaring exceptions (ie. “Wonder Boys.”)
Robin Williams Age: 37
Then: Had just finished segueing to serious films with “Dead Poets Society.”
Now: He’s got six movies slated for 2009 release. God help us all.
Kevin Kline Age: 41
Then: The guy about to get a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “A Fish Called Wanda.”
After: A couple good movies (“Soapdish” – go rent it), a lot of bad ones, and theater. Let’s not talk about the Pink Panther remake, OK? It’s too upsetting.
Michelle Pfeiffer Age: 30
Then: Was seriously in her golden age in ’89. She’d just done “Married to the Mob,” and “Dangerous Liaisons;” “Fabulous Baker Boys” was up next.
Now: Took some time off for her kids and got much more selective. Seems to have started to work more often.
Martin Landau Age: 57
Then: Work horse character actor (he was in six movies in 1987, none very interesting.) Nominated that night for “Tucker: A Man and His Dream.” Appears absolutely delighted by Snow White singing at him.
After: Scored two more nominations in the next five years, winning for “Ed Wood.” Continues to be a work horse.
Tom Hanks Age: 32
Then: Broke several years of floundering to get an Oscar nomination for “Big.”
After: More years of floundering followed, until “A League of Their Own.” The next two years, he won Oscars. Now he’s big fancy Hollywood actor/producer/director guy.
Sigourney Weaver Age: 39
Then: Was having the best year ever. Scored the rare feat of two Oscar noms in a single year – one for “Working Girl,” one for “Gorillas in the Mist.”
After: Didn’t win either. Is now taking supporting or ensemble roles, usually in idiosyncratic stuff. Looks better at her age than you do at yours.
Sylvia Sidney, sitting right behind her, made one more movie (“Mars Attacks”) before passing on in 1999, age 88.
Dustin Hoffman Age: 51
Then: Had made up for “Ishtar” the previous year by making “Rain Man.”
After: Won Oscar that night. Also taking more supporting and idiosyncratic roles, but just got a bunch of attention for “Last Chance Harvey.”
Glenn Close Age: 42
Then: One-two punch of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Fatal Attraction.”
Now: One-two punch of “The Shield” and “Damages.”
Ryan O’Neal Age: 47
Then: Career was chugging along, but he was about to take a break from acting. “Tough Guys Don’t Dance” got slammed hard the previous year.
Now: Recently sentenced to rehab after he was arrested (with his son) for meth possession.
Farrah Fawcett Age: 42
Then: Had tried on to critical acclaim she got for “The Burning Bed” with middling success.
After: Several brief TV shows, weird Letterman appearance, showing up here and there. Now battling anal cancer.
Cybill Shepherd Age: 39
Then: Star of “Moonlighting,” which had jumped the shark a year before. Ratings were down after a long hiatus due to a Writer’s Strike, and Bruce Willis had just had a massive hit with “Die Hard.”
After: Moonlighting went off the air six episodes later (though the last one is pretty funny.) Her ’90s self-named TV show ran for three years, since then, TV movies and gig on “The L Word.”
Then: Oh, we’ll be getting to him. But that might be Norman Fell he’s sitting with. The former Mr. Roper died in 1999.
Robert Downey Jr. Age: 23
Then: Break-out brat packer thanks to “Less Than Zero.” Sitting with girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker – you know, that girl from “Flight of the Navigator.”
After:“Chaplin,” drugs, drugs, drugs, jail, drugs, drugs, drugs, “Ally McBeal,” drugs, drugs, rehab, “Iron Man.”
Gregory Hines Age: 43
Then: Dancer who broke out into actor/dancer roles in “White Nights,” and “Tap.”
After: Started choreographing and acting more, dancing less, showing up in “Waiting to Exhale” and “Will and Grace.” He passed away in 2003.
So, you’ve watched the ’89 opening number. Good for you.You might wonder: What’s happened to these people in 20 years? Has Rob Lowe sung since? Are any of the Cocoanut Grove folks still with us? Want to know who behind the scenes is to blame for this catastrophe? Read on!
The Oscar presentation in 1989 – 20 years ago! – was a watershed in bad taste. I usually like things that are tacky and overdone, but this just stretched all credulity. It takes something special to drive Julie Andrews to trash you to the press.
We’re going to be taking a look at the two god-awful numbers of the evening: The infamous opening number starring Snow White and Rob Lowe, and the lesser-known “Stars of Tomorrow” number which is somehow just as bad on a smaller budget.
Up first: The opening number!
Note: The videos and images are all taken from a second-generation copy of a 20-year-old VHS tape. I’m not apologizing, because all considering, they look good.