When we asked Douglass M. Stewart Jr., who has supervised Oscar's film sequences for the last five years, about this year's clips, he reacted like a kid at Christmas: "We just got a rare piece of film from 1928 that we really wanted!"
It's from Paramount's "Abie's Irish Rose," with Charles (Buddy) Rogers and the late Jean Hersholt in a scene together (Rogers as a soldier, Hersholt as his rabbi/father). It will be shown when Rogers is presented the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Stewart's staff of 15, working since mid-December, was able to get a copy (just in time!) from the British Film Institute.
"This year's show will have more film than ever before," Stewart said. Other highlights:
Seldom-seen film of famous directors at work, including Chaplin, Griffith, DeMille, Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg (behind-the-scenes on "Indiana Jones").
To illustrate the importance of film scores, you'll see familiar sequences without music (such as the runners on the beach in "Chariots of Fire," sans the theme).
A five-minute montage of Paul Newman clips, preceding his acceptance of an honorary Oscar. Alas, scenes from "The Silver Chalice"--a 1954 Newman toga turkey, his first lead--will not be included.