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VALLEY NEWSWATCH / A SPECIAL REPORT: OSCAR MADNESS

March 21, 1994|David E. Brady

CRITICS CHOICE: It doesn't matter what the Academy thinks. "Schindler's List" is a shoe-in because of Siskel and Ebert. . . . That's Manuel Siskel, a retired engineer from Woodland Hills, and Catherine Ebert, who runs a day-care center from her Canoga Park home. Both pegged Steven Spielberg's drama as their pick for the best picture of 1993.

DUELING VALLEYS: OK, so 1941's Best Picture winner, "How Green Was My Valley," wasn't exactly a tribute to the good life north of the Ventura Freeway. . . . Still, the San Fernando Valley did play a key role in the multi-Oscar winner. Parts of the John Ford drama about a close-knit family of Welsh coal miners were filmed at the former Fox Ranch in Calabasas, now called Malibu Creek State Park.

LOCAL ACTION: He said he'd be back, and seven years after his original turn as a murderous cyborg, Arnold Schwarzenegger returned to the Valley in "Terminator 2: Judgment Day." The action-packed 1991 thriller was filmed at several Valley locations, including the Northridge Fashion Center and the Lake View Medical Center. . . . Its visual effects won that year's Oscar, beating out "Hook" and "Backdraft."

HOMETOWN GAL: After capturing her first Best Actress Oscar for 1979's "Norma Rae," ebullient Sally Field paid homage to her Valley roots in answering a reporter's question backstage. "I've wanted to be an actress since I was 2 and growing up in Encino," she quipped. . . . Five years later, her second Oscar for "Places in the Heart" would cause her to gush, "You like me!"

ROOMS FOR RENT: Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller "Psycho" lost the Oscar for art direction and set direction to "The Apartment," but the Bates Motel facade still stands in the Valley. . . . In fact, it's the only set among that year's five nominated movies to be part of a popular local tourist attraction. Film fans can catch a glimpse of Norman Bates' abode on the back-lot tour at Universal Studios.

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