Epic Oscar Mistake! Faye Dunaway And Warren Beatty Deserve Better! This Legendary Duo’s Greatest Work!


The Oscar Mistake Heard Round The World!

Yes, we all know now that Best Picture presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were given the wrong envelope on Oscar night, and inadvertently announced “LaLa Land” as Best Picture instead of “Moonlight.”

Warren Beatty holds the card for the Best Picture Oscar awarded to "Moonlight," after announcing by mistake that "La La Land" was winner. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Warren Beatty holds the card for the Best Picture Oscar awarded to “Moonlight,” after announcing by mistake that “La La Land” was winner. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

This led to one of the most chaotic endings to the Awards ever – and cast Beatty and Dunaway as Oscar’s “out of touch older generation” who can’t even read a name off an envelope.

This is horribly unfair, and without delving into the controversy any more, I was also saddened to read on social media afterwards that many people didn’t even know who the two stars were!

I just wanted to remind everyone why both Beatty and Dunaway are iconic Hollywood stars who deserve more respect than this incident gave them…


Let’s begin with their joint masterpiece, “Bonnie & Clyde.” This Oscar-nominated 1967 film set new standards for violence in film, and was at the forefront of the new “honest and raw” cinema that emerged at the end of that decade.

faye dunaway death scene

My friend Alison Martino held an amazing screening and conversation in LA for this film, and you can see that event here:


This film was at the forefront of a sea change in Hollywood, and Dunaway and Beatty went on to make some of the greatest films of all time.

Dunaway didn’t win an Academy Award for “Bonnie & Clyde”, but when she did win, she was captured the morning after in one of the greatest Hollywood photos of all time:

Faye Dunaway Best Actress Network

This was Dunaway the morning after the 1976 Awards, sitting at the Beverly Hills Hotel pool surrounded by newspaper coverage of her win…with Oscar, of course…her victory was for one of the greatest performances ever, in a film full of them:

Network I'm as mad as hell

“I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'”


This brilliant indictment of television news was Oscar-nominated for Best Picture in 1976 – with an oscar-winning script by Paddy Cheyefky that saw the sordid future of TV – which has come true.

Here are the opening lines of the movie:

“This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, effective in two weeks. The news was broken to him by Max Schumacher, who was the president of the news division at UBS. The two old friends got properly pissed.”

This is a brilliant dissection of a business just waiting to be perverted by greed, money – and ratings.

Take a look at the trailer:

The movie won a slew of Oscars in 1976, including Peter Finch as Best Actor – his nomination and award were posthumous. Finch became the first posthumous winner in an acting category. Faye Dunaway won Best Actress, leading to this legendary photo the next morning.

Faye Dunaway Best Actress Network

Best Actress in a Supporting Role went to Beatrice Straight. Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen was awarded to the brilliant Paddy Chayefsky.

Network I'm as mad as hell

Dunaway was in some of the greatest films ever, including this masterpiece from 1974:


You can read more about that performance here:


As for Beatty, check out seminal films like “Shampoo”, “Heaven Can Wait” and “Red”…all classic films from one of Hollywood legends.

I hope that Beatty and Dunaway are given more respect than what came out right after the live mistake, and I plan to check out more of their great work!

Faye Dunaway Best Actress Network

Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Golden Globes, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized

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9 replies

  1. Dunaway — I just watched her in ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ and of course, her best work in ‘Chinatown’. How cool you got to meet her. I’ve always liked Beatty, too, since Shampoo. I’m sure the guy/girl backstage who gave out the wrong envelope has been canned by now. Poor stage manager.
    It will be an Oscar to remember and a reminder to all that live events will always have their glitches when run by humans, so give it a rest.

  2. How dare people not know who Dunaway and Beatty are! I bet they would if either of them chose to ‘put it out there’ and create some scandal. A sad indictment of the publicity machine. Good for you for writing about their work.

  3. It wasn’t the fault of the presenters, but it was an unforgivable fiasco. I’m glad I didn’t watch it.
    The photo you feature was taken by Terry O’Neill not long before he married her, I believe.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. By the way John I have always liked this classic photo of Faye Dunaway but never really knew its story until your post prompted me to look into Terry O’Neil. What an interesting life he led. A bit like you, knowing Dunaway, what a treat.

  5. Here and fuckin here. I couldn’t agree more, I feel bad about the whole thing even though I’m also rare there are more important things going on in the world. Beatty of course is a legend. I know him for Bulworth, Dick Tracy and Bugsy. Hardly his classics and yet enough for me to be a huge fan of his talent. Dunaway I know more for Supergirl, Network and Chinatown. If you’ve seen the latter two you know what supernova star and insightful actress she is. I fear she may have had plastic surgery judging by her appearance at the Oscars last night but she will always remain one of the greats and very sexy.

    • Lloyd, I was lucky enough to spend some time with Dunaway – intense, focused and a true talent – and her work in the 70’s is superb – and it really saddened me to see a lot of social media treat them both poorly…sad

      • I’m fortunate to have not seen much of that because it probably make my blood boil. I don’t know if the Academy will have presenters over 65 present Best Picture again but what happened has nothing to do with age. I for one enjoyed a lot of the callbacks to the past and creating a sense of community which I’ve championed in the past. Dunaway and Beatty are giants, pity any little people who would be disrespectful to them. It does not make the latter bigger or reduce the former one iota in my eyes.

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