Oscars shockeroo: Best Song bid for ‘Alone Yet Not Alone’ rescinded, no replacement named

After causing a stir as a surprise Best Song nominee, the title track “Alone Yet Not Alone” was disqualified by the academy’s Board of Governors on Wednesday. There will be no replacement, leaving just four tunes in the running. (Be sure to vote for which one you think will win at the bottom of this post.)

Turns out that composer Bruce Broughton — a one-time governor (2003 – 2012) and current executive committee member — had broken the rules by emailing fellow members of the music branch during the nomination period to bring his tune to their attention. Add in that the producers of the picture had not purchased the requisite advertising for the Oscar qualifying-run and the academy were left with no choice to make this the fifth nomination it has rescinded in the 86-year history of its awards. 

Broughton, who lost his 1985 Score bid for “Silverado” to John Barry for “Out of Africa,” penned this tune with lyricist Dennis Spiegel for a Christian film that focused on the hardships facing 18th century settlers in the Ohio Valley. Evangelical minister Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadripilegic due to a 1967 diving accident, sang the song in the little-seen film.   

As per the academy statement: 

“The board determined that Broughton’s actions were inconsistent with the Academy’s promotional regulations, which provide, among other terms, that ‘it is the Academy’s goal to ensure that the awards competition is conducted in a fair and ethical manner. If any campaign activity is determined by the board of governors to work in opposition to that goal, whether or not anticipated by these regulations, the board of governors may take any corrective actions or assess any penalties that in its discretion it deems necessary to protect the reputation and integrity of the awards process.'”

Besides the four instances where nominations were rescinded with no other contender reaping a nomination in their place, there have been four other occasions when nominations were withdrawn; in two of those instances they were replaced with a new nominee. The most famous of those was also in the music field. (All eight are detailed below.)

Back in 1972, Nino Rota‘s haunting score for “The Godfather” was disqualified after it was discovered that he had used part of it in “Fortunella” (1958). The academy boosted sixth place finisher “Sleuth” with a score by Oscar champ John Addison (“Tom Jones”) into the competion. However, it was Charlie Chaplin‘s 1952 film “Limelight,” which was not screened in Los Angeles for two decades, that won the award. The multi-hyphenate Chaplin shared the Oscar, his first, with the late Raymond Rasch and Larry Russell. Ironically, Chaplin had been nominated for four Oscars at the first ceremony back in 1928 for writing, directing, producing and starring in “The Circus” but the academy substituted a special award in place of these competitive bids. 


1931/32: Short Subject (Comedy) – “Stout Hearts and Willing Hands”
Originally announced as one of the nominees in this category, but before the final voting was done, this film was disqualified and was replaced by another RKO Radio short, “Scratch-As-Catch-Can.” No documentation has been found as to why this film was disqualified.

1968: Documentary Feature – “Young Americans” 
At the 41st Awards ceremony on April 14, 1969, “Young Americans” was announced as the winner of the Documentary Feature Oscar. On May 7, 1969, the film was declared ineligible after it was revealed that the film had played in October of 1967, therefore ineligible for a 1968 Award. The first runner-up, “Journey into Self,” was awarded the statuette on May 8, 1969.

1992: Foreign Language Film – “A Place in the World” (Uruguay)
After nominations were announced, information came to light that showed that this film was wholly produced in Argentina, and had insufficient Uruguayian artistic control. The film was declared ineligible and removed from the final ballot.

2011: Live Action Short – “Tuba Atlantic”
After the awards ceremony on February 26, 2012, the Academy was made aware that “Tuba Atlantic” had been shown on Norwegian television in 2010, making the film ineligible for the 84th Awards under the rules governing the category. In July 2012, the nomination was rescinded by the Board of Governors.


1942: Best Effects – “Dive Bomber” 
Dropped and replaced by another Warner Bros. title, “The Sea Wolf.” No reason known. 

1954: Best Writing (Motion Picture Story) – “Hondo”
The producer and nominee (James Edward Grant) questioned its inclusion into the Motion Picture Story category since the film is based on the Louis L’Amour short story “The Gift of Cochise” published in Collier’s magazine in July 1952, a fact not represented in the film’s credits. The nomination was withdrawn and only four films were included on the final ballot. 

1956: Best Writing (Motion Picture Story) – “High Society” 
The film was accidentally included on the ballot in category for the Academy Award for Best Story. Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman, the screenwriters for The Bowery Boys comedy, acknowledged their nomination was a mistake and successfully requested their removal from the Academy Award ballot. Their efforts had been mistaken for another film with the same title – the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production of the Cole Porter musical “High Society” starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra – that had been adapted from Philip Barry’s play “The Philadelphia Story.” 

1956: Best Adapted Screenplay – “Friendly Persusasion”
Oscar champ Michael Wilson (“A Place in the Sun,” 1951) had been blacklisted in 1952 and, as such, his name did not appear on the credits of this picutre. This prompted the academy to withdraw his nomination. In 1984, he was posthumously awarded an Oscar for his part in scripting “Bridge on the River Kwai” (1957).  

Who do you think is going to win Best Song? Vote below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. Come back and change your predictions as often as you like till Oscar night, March 2.

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