< HOME  Saturday, March 21, 2009

Vanessa Redgrave's Oscar Speech


Redgrave was nominated for Julia, a film based on Linda Hellerman's memoir Pentimento. The film also starred Jane Fonda and Jason Robards and sports a bit role for the then unknown Meryl Streep. Fonda played Linda Hellerman while Redgrave played the part of Julia, Hellerman's strong-willed friend who teachers her the importance of sticking to her beliefs even while Europe descends into Nazi terror.

Why then, would she come under attack from Jewish groups? In addition to starring in Julia, Redgrave also funded a documentary entitled The Palestinian in which she backed a Palestinian homeland and, more controversially, danced with an Kalashnikov rifle.

Some of the more militant Jewish groups took this as a signal that she was an anti-Semite. A confrontation was inevitable and when the Academy Award nominations were announced with Redgrave among the nominees, the time and place was set. Around seventy-five Jewish Defense League (JDL) members and two hundred Palesinte Liberation Organization (PLO) followers and sympathizers were present for the media circus outside.

John Travolta, wearing a white silk scarf around his neck (similar to the one Redgrave wore in 1968 while portraying Isodora Duncan and ironically so, considering she was about to hang herself career-wise) riding high on the success of Saturday Night Fever, presented the Best Actress award and, as you already know, Redgrave won. Here is the memorable speech she gave that night:

"My dear colleagues, I thank you very much for this tribute to my work. I think that Jane Fonda and I have done the best work of our lives and I think this is in part due to our director, Fred Zinnemann. [Audience applauds.]

And I also think it's in part because we believed and we believe in what we were expressing - two out of millions who gave their lives and were to prepared to sacrifice everything in the fight against fascist and racist Nazi Germany.

And I salute you and I pay tribute to you and I think you should be very proud that in the last few weeks you've stood firm and you have refused to be intimidated by the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums [gasps from the audience followed by a smattering of boos and clapping] whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world and their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression.

And I salute that record and I salute all of you for having stood firm and dealt a final blow against that period when Nixon and McCarthy launched a worldwide witch-hunt against those who tried to express in their lives and their work the truth that they believe in [some boos and hissing]. I salute you and I thank you and I pledge to you that I will continue to fight against anti-Semitism and fascism."

Redgrave and Travolta embraced and left the stage together to loud applause. Not present for the diatribe were the "Zionist hoodlums." They were just outside the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion burning an effigy of the Best Supporting Actress and shouting "Vanessa is a murderer!".

Paddy Chayefsky, who undermined William Friedkin efforts to keep Peter Finch's widow off the stage the previous year, had had enough of these political speeches at the Academy Awards. So when it came his turn to announce an award winner (for Best Writing), he gave a political speech of his own:

"Before I get on to the writing awards, there's a little matter I'd like to tidy up - at least if I expect to live with myself tomorrow morning. I would like to say, personal opinion, of course [a clear reference to the Bob Hope fiasco a few years earlier], that I'm sick and tired of people exploiting the Academy Awards [loud applause] for the propagation of their own personal propagana.

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. [Loud applause.]

Chayefsky - so full of himself after this invective - forgot to read the nominations and was screamed at from backstage when he opened the envelope to read the winner. Adapted Screenplay winner Alvin Sargent, who ironically won for his work on Julia, remarked in his speech, "I like to think this Oscar represents those things and the free expression of all our good thoughts and feelings, no matter who we are or what we have to say."

After the show, Jack Nicholson deadpanned (we hope) the following when asked about the speech, "I'm not a well-read person, you can see that. What are these Zionists? Are they reds? There've been threats? I've been skiing." Best Foreign Film winner (for Madame Rosa) and Israeli director Moshe Mizrahi added "basically, she's right."

Los Angeles Herald-Examiner writer Denis Hamill was more distressed with Chayefsky: "Paddy Chayefsky is a hypocrite when he stood up to criticize Vanessa Redgrave for using her speaking time... to make a political statement. Anyone who castigates another person for exercising her right to free speech is making a political statement... He was pontificating."

Chayefsky later blamed producer Daniel Melnick for the stunt, claiming he'd asked him to do it in the men's room.

Redgrave's support of the Palestinian Arabs has reduced her opportunities in Hollywood and even back home in England, where such support was and is more common. Redgrave almost certainly would have been made a Dame by now but for her outspoken views.

She was once married to director Tony Richardson who once said about her, "Vanessa Redgrave is controversial, her enemies hate her, and her friends dislike her." Others admire her belief of justice for the oppressed, which has led her to such places as Sarajevo and Tibet.


At Saturday, March 21, 2009, Blogger Nepos Libertas said...

Superlative post for a historical moment.

Not many people were aware of the plague of Zionism until 2000's, when the Internet offers an alternative view on the true nature of Zionism and its effect on foreign relations, world peace, etc.

I console Mrs. Redgrave for her loss of a daughter who passed away in a tragic accident.

A true American do not recant and apologize because of Hollywood Jews' threat to sabotage her acting career by withholding offers for acting gigs.

She has sacrificed career for humanity after that pivotal Oscar moment that I image shocked the majority of the ignorant television audience who were constantly reminded of the Holohoax & persecution of the Jews and nothing else.

60 Minutes segment aired in 2007: The New Direction of Vanessa Redgrave

At Saturday, March 21, 2009, Blogger andie531 said...

Best Foreign Film winner (for Madame Rosa) and Israeli director Moshe Mizrahi added "basically, she's right.

Wonder what happened to him?

At Friday, September 10, 2010, Blogger Carmina said...

I have read Linda Hellerman's memoir Pentimento and it was really cool, but I have not watch the film yet, I will try to get it, after I finish reading the Chronicles of Sildenafil Citrate which is fascinating so far

At Saturday, December 11, 2010, Blogger Michael Tonello said...

Pentiment was written by Lillian Hellman, not Linda Hellerman.

I have worked with Vanessa Redgrave and I must say that she is an extraordinarily kind and generous person, in addition to be a superb actress. Kudos to her!

At Wednesday, May 25, 2011, Blogger Emma jacob said...

I adore your blog because I never know about Handwriting expert what I am getting into when I open a new post. You do a great Job, regarding Handwriting analyst Quality content always have a dash of personal life and my next task I collect some more info about Handwriting analysis .Any how Keep up the great blogging and! Good luck with your new project--I hope everything works out for you! Happy 2011 :).

Forged documents | Forgery

At Friday, February 17, 2012, Blogger Boleyn Babe said...

Just an fyi, I believe Vanessa Redgrave won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, not the Best Actress in a Leading Role award.

Also, it was revealed in 2003 that she had been offered the title of "Dame" from Tony Blair's New Labour Government. Vanessa declined the honor, so her political affiliations haven't gotten in the way of her being granted the title, but they apparently did get in the way of her accepting it.

At Monday, January 06, 2014, Blogger Fastbet said...

I am truly inspired by this online journal! Extremely clear clarification of issues is given and it is open to every living soul. I have perused your post, truly you have given this extraordinary informative data about it. Agen Sbobet

At Wednesday, June 03, 2015, Blogger michael angelo rosal said...

When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the same comment. Is there a way you are able to remove me from that service? Appreciate it! Visit us
bola tangkas
agen bola sbobet
taruhan bola online

At Monday, September 14, 2015, Blogger gelo cly said...

When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!cyber-bola.com

At Monday, October 12, 2015, Blogger rhed edler atrieda said...

Stay at home and do betting on your favorite and trusted betting websites online and enjoy betting.
tips mix parlay

At Monday, October 19, 2015, Blogger rhed edler atrieda said...

I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely loved every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check out new stuff you post…
Biblical Beauty Secrets Super Sexy Skin

At Tuesday, October 27, 2015, Blogger Election t-shirts said...

Election season is upon us!! Stop into T-shirt Kings and get your official presidential election t-shirts . We have multiple presidential candidate T-shirts available. You can customize your own presidential election t-shirts or you can select one of our designs featured on the website! We are now featuring Republican candidate Donald Trump T-shirts ! We have many T-shirts that display his campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again”. Come in or order online and show your support for the presidential candidates and get your shirt today!!!

At Wednesday, October 28, 2015, Blogger rhed edler atrieda said...

It’s hard to find educated people about this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
Agen Ibcbet

At Monday, November 02, 2015, Blogger rhed edler atrieda said...

Howdy! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your great information you've got right here on this post. I am coming back to your blog for more soon.
betting tips for ibcbet

At Monday, December 07, 2015, Blogger Admin said...

nice article sir
thanks for information ..

Situs poker, Bandar Bola, Live kasino terbaik bisa di mainkan secara mudah dan gratis di 1bet2u Bandar Poker - Judi Bola - Live Kasino Terbaik

At Thursday, December 24, 2015, Blogger Admin said...

nice article sir
thanks for information ..

Situs poker, Bandar Bola, Live kasino terbaik bisa di mainkan secara mudah dan gratis di 1bet2u Bandar Poker - Judi Bola - Live Kasino Terbaik

At Sunday, February 07, 2016, Blogger T-Shirt Kings said...

photo t-shirts
screen print t-shirts
company shirts
buy t-shirts
dye sublimation shirts
how to design t-shirts

At Sunday, February 14, 2016, Blogger T-Shirt Kings said...

Family Reunion Shirts

At Saturday, March 12, 2016, Blogger T-Shirt Kings said...

photo t-shirts
screen print t-shirts
company shirts
buy t-shirts
dye sublimation shirts
how to design t-shirts
Family Reunion Shirts

At Tuesday, June 07, 2016, Blogger Cmovieshd Net said...

best site to watch movies online free putlocker

At Monday, June 20, 2016, Blogger Gladys Poker said...

Very nice article . thanks for information !!

Kabar gembira bagi anda semua telah hadir sebuah situs Agen Judi yang memberikan layanan permainan Taruhan Bola dan Sbobet Casino dengan layanan terbaiknya maka dijamin anda akan ketagihan.

Agen Bola
Domino Qiu Qiu Online , Poker Uang Asli

At Friday, July 01, 2016, Blogger Admin said...

I am very happy to be able to get information from you through this site , I hope you continue to provide good information and content .sincerely,,

agen judi bola & poker online

At Sunday, August 07, 2016, Blogger Dheztyvanesh Axelia said...

This is a good site! come on and join with us!

agen poker , agen bola

At Monday, August 15, 2016, Blogger Dheztyvanesh Axelia said...

This is a good site! come on and join with us!

casino online , agen casino

At Tuesday, August 16, 2016, Blogger Dheztyvanesh Axelia said...

This is great, you are good, i like your post and i still waiting our next post!

agen bola , taruhan bola

At Thursday, August 18, 2016, Blogger jagoanpapamama said...

I really appreciate the kind of topics post here. Thanks for sharing us a great information that is actually helpful. Good day!

agen casino | pokerclub | pokerclub | pokerace | afapoker

At Thursday, September 01, 2016, Blogger Jenita Aniston said...

livescore Ole365
Check live soccer score in Ole365 livescore, EPL, La Liga, Bundesliga, and Serie A result complete with fixtures and statistic

poker online Poker5star
Poker5star adalah situs judi poker online dan Domino Online, aneka games Menarik Poker Online, Domino qq , Blackjack Online Dan Bandar Ceme

judi online Bet-host
Bet-Host adalah agen bola terpercaya yang menyediakan permainan judi online populer seperti SBOBET dan IBCBET

poker online Pokerhost24
Pokerhost24 merupakan situs poker online dan Domino Online terpercaya dengan beragam permainan seperti poker online, judi kiu kiu, capsa susun, dan adu kiu

livescore Senigoal
Senigoal menyajikan livescore setiap saat dan jadwal bola serta hasil dan skor bola secara online dan terupdate, lengkap sesuai dengan real time dan waktu yang tepat

At Friday, September 02, 2016, Blogger Eny Winasari said...

Agen sbobet Idola188
Idola188 adalah Agen SBobet terpercaya & Bandar Taruhan Judi Bola Online Indonesia, permainan SBOBET, MAXBET, CMDBET, SBOBET CASINO, TOGEL, POKER ONLINE

agen poker Armani Poker
ArmaniPoker adalah Agen Poker Online dan Agen Domino Terpercaya dengan game favorit seperti Judi Poker, Domino Kiu Kiu, Capsa, Q Kick, dan Ceme dengan uang asli

judi online Bethost24
bethost24 adalah Agen bola & Bandar Taruhan Judi Bola Online Dgn beragam permainan Taruhan SBOBET , IBCBET , LIVE CASINO , LAGA AYAM , Togel Dll

At Saturday, September 03, 2016, Blogger Joaquin Auricto said...

Thanks for the info, maybe I can use this ended my tufted marketing and
I've been use untold anulus media in run a interaction and they someone existing a big amend on me.
cerita sex
cerita dewasa

At Sunday, October 02, 2016, Blogger Mary P. Lomas said...

Thanks for sharing your great post. I’m starting with the most obvious idea. However, it’s actually one that’s sorely lacking

on many web design blogs. Advise people on the different styles, graphics, structures and

functions a website can have. People want to be inspired and guided through the

possibilities that exist. They also want to know you really do understand the many

complexities of designing a website.

At Thursday, October 06, 2016, Blogger Info Report said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Thursday, October 06, 2016, Blogger Info Report said...

judi online Interwin, agen sbobet M88club, bandar bola Ibet44cash, agen sbobet Sbobet138


Post a Comment

<< Home