And the winner is... memorable Oscars moments

From winners sobbing uncontrollably to shocking political outbursts, bizarre snubs and streakers, the Oscars have seen it all, and Sunday's Academy Awards could provide fresh drama of its own.

Organizers of Hollywood's biggest night are white-knuckled as they brace for more unscripted moments that could anger viewers or throw the finely-calibrated global telecast off schedule.

But the raw emotion and surprise events, in what remains a tightly choreographed extravaganza, are also what makes Oscars night memorable.

With a global television audience in the billions, the temptation to use the event as a platform for political statements has proved irresistible for past winners, from Marlon Brando to Michael Moore.

Boos rang out around the Kodak Theater in 2003 when maverick filmmaker Moore launched a vitriolic attack on then-US president George W. Bush for waging war in Iraq.

But Moore was only following the tradition of turning the winners' podium into a bully pulpit.

Arguably, the most famous example came in 1973, when a woman calling herself Sacheen Littlefeather stood before the stunned audience to collect Marlon Brando's best actor Oscar for "The Godfather."

Littlefeather promptly refused to collect the award on Brando's behalf to protest the movie industry's treatment of Native Americans.

Four years later, Vanessa Redgrave drew gasps and boos from the Oscars faithful when she thanked the Academy for honoring her in "Julia" despite "the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums."

Oscars presenter Paddy Chayefsky chastised her to much applause: "I am sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards for the propagation of their own personal propaganda.

"I would like to suggest to Miss Redgrave that her winning an Academy Award is not a pivotal moment in history, does not require a proclamation, and a simple 'thank you' would have sufficed."

Sometimes, the choice of awards recipients can stoke controversy.

The decision to grant director Elia Kazan a lifetime achievement award in 1999 divided the glitterati, with dozens of stars refusing to rise or applaud, in protest at the filmmaker's decision to co-operate with the authorities during the 1950s communist witch-hunts.

Politics aside, Oscars night has been littered with memorable one-offs.

In 1974, a naked man invaded the stage as actor David Niven was hosting the show, prompting him to quip: "The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping... and showing his shortcomings."

More recently Italian Roberto Benigni euphorically leapt from seat back to seat back when he won best foreign film for "Life Is Beautiful" in 1999 - the same year Gwyneth Paltrow famously sobbed her way through her victory speech.

Then in 2003, actor Adrien Brody stunned viewers and superstar Halle Berry by kissing her passionately on the lips as she presented his best actor statuette, creating an Oscars signature moment.

Last year, the most memorable moment arguably came when Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman in history to win the best director Oscar, for Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker."

"Well the time has come," screen legend Barbra Streisand said as she announced the winner.

Meanwhile, organizers have again urged winners of the coveted statuettes to avoid dull acceptance speeches reading off a list of names of people to thank.

Veteran Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks reminded all Oscar winners to keep it "short, sharp and shiny," in a video played to a lunch for all this year's nominees on February 7.

"Looking down to read a long list of names only shows us your bald spot," warned Hanks.

This year, the 45 seconds they have will be underlined by a visual aid: a warning triangle on a monitor in front of the lucky winners, which grows relentlessly toward its point as they use up the precious time.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices