A look back at this day in film history
November 29
April 15, 1971
George C. Scott Snubs Oscar

On this day in 1971, George C. Scott thumbed his nose at the movie establishment by turning down the Academy Award for Best Actor for his universally lauded performance as General George S. Patton in Patton. Though Marlon Brando sent a (fake) native American to turn down the Best Actor award the following year, Scott was the first person to say no to the golden fellow. The snub was not, however, a massive surprise as a decade earlier Scott had asked the Academy to rescind a Best Supporting Actor nod for his role in The Hustler, and prior to the Oscar ceremony honoring the films of 1970 he had been vocal about his lack of respect for the award in question. When Scott’s name was read out by an excited Goldie Hawn, the actor was not at the award show but at his New York home with his wife, actress Colleen Dewhurst, and their two sons. Scott once referred to the ceremony as a “goddam meat parade,” yet the telegram he’d sent to the Academy when nominated for Patton was at least a little more polite: “I respectfully request that you withdraw my name from the list of nominees. My request is in no way intended to denigrate my colleagues. Furthermore, peculiar as it may seem, I mean no offense to the Academy. I simply do not wish to be involved.” Scott was filming The Hospital at the time of writing and, ironically, was Oscar-nominated for Best Actor for his role in that film. He did not, however, win nor was he ever nominated again for an Academy Award.

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Jorge Muller and Carmen Bueno November 29, 1974
Carmen Bueno and Jorge Muller arrested

On Friday, November 29, 25-year-old film actress Carmen Bueno and 27 year-old cameraman Jorge Muller were working a documentary for the Peace Committee of the Chilean Churches when a dark car pulled beside them, shoved them in the back seat, and tore off.

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November 29, 1981
Natalie Wood dies

Hollywood legend Natalie Wood died November 29, 1981, at the age of 43. Wood first impressed audiences at the age 9 when she appeared in two Hollywood films: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and, most famously, Miracle on 34th St.

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November 29, 1945
Wilder's Lost Weekend

In 1945 Billy Wilder followed his hit film Double Indemnity, co-written with Raymond Chandler, with what was, for its era, a bold and startling movie––The Lost Weekend. “How daring can the screen dare to be?” asked the marketing materials, as Wilder and star Ray Milland chronicled a frustrated writer’s four-day drinking binge with the same expressionistic lighting and camera that Wilder previously used to depict noir obsession and betrayal. The film won four Oscars, including Best Actor, Director and Screenplay, surprising those who argued, pre-release, that the film was too shocking for theater audiences. Also, the alcohol industry lobbied Paramount Pictures against releasing the film (Wilder claimed Paramount was offered $5 million to shelve the picture) while temperance groups fought against it too, feeling that the pic glamorized drinking.  But there were still some aspects of its story that the filmmakers avoided. In the Charles Jackson novel on which the film is based, Milland’s character is driven to drink by the shame of a homosexual affair. In the film, his alcoholism is “explained” by a case of writer’s block.

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