The glitz, the glamour, the bloopers. There is more to Oscar night than the films says CONSTANTINOS PSILLIDES

Despite a drop in ratings in recent years, the Oscars has always captured the attention of audiences around the globe. While this year’s winners may have split opinion, we take a look at the most memorable moments that have taken place at the ceremony, with the exception of that one. You know which one.

David Niven is brutal AF (1974 Oscars)

Streaking during live events is not uncommon. To be honest, it’s a wonder it only happened once at the Oscars. That time was during the 1974 ceremony with British actor David Niven on stage to present an award. Little did he know of the drama unfolding behind his back, as a man stripped naked and ran in front of the cameras. Unphased, slightly awkward but never losing his smile, Niven then proceeded with a burn so scolding that it’s a wonder the streaker didn’t spontaneously burst into flames. “Isn’t it fascinating that probably the only laugh this man will ever get is stripping naked and showing his shortcomings?” Ouch!

DeGeneres selfie

It was the picture that broke Twitter. Literally. Retweeted more than 75,000 times in 45 minutes, the selfie Ellen DeGeneres posted took down the platform for several minutes. Just look at those celebs! They are goofy, just like you and me!

Problem is that it was all a lie.

What appeared to be a genuinely impulsive thing, a spur of the moment, was painstakingly prepared. Twitter got in touch with DeGeneres and asked her if she was up for a little stunt: taking a selfie with the audience. DeGeneres agreed but had a different idea during rehearsals. Spotting Meryl Streep’s name on a seat near the stage, she suggested that she takes a selfie with her instead. She started practising when she was spotted by one of the Samsung marketing team – a major sponsor – taking a selfie with her iPhone. They weren’t thrilled.

They instead presented the presenter with a tray of Samsung phones to choose from, all of them pre-set to take a selfie. She had but to press the button. When the time came, DeGeneres decided to go a bit off-script and invite other celebrities that were seated nearby, and despite Bradley Cooper snatching the phone from her hand, the rest is history.

Sacheen Littlefeather

The mercurial Marlon Brando was capable of the highest highs and the lowest lows; from delivering unforgettable performances to making such outlandish requests on a set that it destroyed both the movie and the director’s career.

His reaction to being nominated for an Oscar for his role as the Godfather in 1973 goes square in the ‘Pros’ column. Moved by the plight of Native Indians, Marlon Brando decided to boycott the Oscars and instead sent activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. When Brando’s name was announced, Littlefeather took to the stage and politely read a statement, asking the movie industry and the country to acknowledge the hardships the native population had been through. Her speech was met with some applause, but a significant portion of the attendees jeered, booed and heckled. Among them, Mr True Grit himself, John Wayne who had to be physically restrained to not rush the stage and beat Littlefeather. Sacheen dealt with everything gracefully and left the ceremony. She went on to live a full life and died, loved and cherished. As for John Wayne, well, let’s say history was not too kind on him.

La La who?

The 2017 ceremony was coming to an end. The biggest award of the night, Best Picture, was up, with veterans Warren Beaty and Faye Dunaway presenting. Beaty took one of the envelopes from backstage and took to the stage, opened it and read “Emma Stone, La La Land”. Slightly confused, he did what all actors do when they are presented with something unexpected while they are performing: he improvised, adapted and adhered to that timeless adage, show must go on. He announced La La Land as the winner and greeted them on stage with joy! Behind the scenes, panic broke out. The man in charge of the sealed envelopes realised, to his horror, that Beaty had taken the wrong one and that the real winner was Moonlight. With the “La La Land” crew still on stage, one of the producers took the mike and said, “Sorry, guys, hold on. There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won best picture. This is not a joke.”