Russell over Hepburn?!

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  • Jake
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    #71956

    Please if there’s someone who would be able to explain it, I’d really appreciate it. How Rosalind Russell won Golden Globe for “A Majority of One” over Audrey Hepburn’s turn on “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”? The former is now largely forgotten and the latter is the classic and Hepburn was the one to get Oscar nomination. Is this some shady “Les Girls” tie kind of win? 

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    Scottferguson
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    #71958

    Russell likely worked it, Hepburn likely didn’t win. The HFPA is not now nor has it even been a serious group, and rarely choose on the basis of merit, far less than the Oscars for all their uneven record. Audrey Hepburn likely didn’t give a damn, whereas Russell or her people thought it was important for her chances of getting a nomination (or winning had she gotten one).

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    dannyboy.
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    #71959

    Never seen ‘Majority of One’.. Was she good?

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    Scottferguson
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    #71960

    She acted up a storm.

    Her later career was guided by producer husband Freddy Brisson, who basically made all her professional decisions for her. My guess is he worked the HFPA hard – she needed a career boost, and even though people paid far less attention to these people then than they mistakenly do now, it was still something that he likely felt would help her. 

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    tonorlo
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    #71961

    Very nearly from its inception, the HFPA proved to be particularly disposed to Russell’s performances; all three of her final Oscar nominated performances won her Golden Globe Awards.

    In its day, “A Majority of One” was a much-adoed play, and Gertrude Berg won the Tony for playing the role Russell inherited in the film. Russell did indeed campaign hard for a fifth Oscar nomination, both for “One” and later, for “Gypsy.” And “Majority” made a minor splash as a film when it was released; it did reasonable business, although many critics carped at the casting of Alec Guinness (for a role Sir Cedric Hardwicke had played onstage, with little attendant fuss). In addition to winning the Golden Globe for “Best Comedy,” “One” also won the now-defunct Golden Globe for  “Best Film Promoting International Understanding.” (Its sole Oscar nomination, however, came for Harry Stradling’s cinematography.) Unfortunately for Russell, 1961 (and especially 1962) were unusually stacked years for Best Actress, and as time would tell, she never came close to recapturing the professional esteem and publicity she garnered onstage and on film playing “Auntie Mame.”

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    babypook
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    #71962

    Never seen ‘Majority of One’.. Was she good?

    She was marvelous and intense. What a shame that she didnt win the Oscar. Seems to me Hepburn won a Golden Globe as well. I wonder if she flushed it down the toilet afterwards……(heavy sarcasm)

    Imo, as elegant as Hepburn is in her films, I think her persona, “ingenue-ness” and graceful beauty overshadowed her acting abilities, which didnt shine until later, in films like A Nun’s Story, and Wait Until Dark. Her win for Roman Holiday is debatable.

    Sacrilege! Dont get me wrong. I loved her screen presence and her humanitarianism. I just think that, Russell may have been the better actor.

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    Scottferguson
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    #71963

    I agree she did improve. Two for the Road and Robin and Marion are both sublime, brilliant performances.

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    Jake
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    #71964

    She was fantastic actress, always trying to improve and run away from formulatic romantic comedies/light dramas she did between “Roman Holiday” and “Love in the Afternoon”. I think she still deserved Oscar for “Roman Holiday” given her competition although it’s not her best performance. She should have been nominated for “My Fair Lady” too, her own singing voice or not. Her range was pretty good as she worked just fine in genres like western, drama, comedy, romance, crime, action, musical or thriller. 

    Thanks for some insight. 

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    BTN
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    #71965

    Breakfast at Tiffany’s has become the classic and has the presence now but in 1961 it was just more even. There is the campaign factor of Russell and that was important. Using others anti-globe agenda as the only reason for the Russell victory is just not the whole story.  

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