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Great Acceptance Speeches: Stanley Donen, Honorary

A big thank you to Dancin Dan, Chris Feil, Eurocheese, and Ben Miller who shared favourite acceptance speeches with us as we got hyped up for Oscar. There are so many more speeches we could have highlighted if we have more time or a bigger team, but well wrap up th speech appreciation with something that seems totally appropriate for a number of reasons: Stanley Donen's Honorary Oscar acceptance speech for, and we'll quote the Oscars here:

in appreciation of a body of work marked by grace, elegance, wit and visual innovation.

The speech is a thing of complete and utter beauty and wit and gratitude and every time we see it we're reminded of how much Oscar night lost when it opted to no longer included the Honoraries on the broadcast. (Honestly we wouldn't mind half as much if they also televised those on a different night, but alas, they don't.)

As you may have heard cinema lost Donen this week at age 94. He was one of Hollywood's purest pleasure-makers, directing or co-directing musical classics like Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Funny Face. But that's not all! He also made beloved non-musicals with Audrey Hepburn like Charade and Two for the Road among other films. Donen is survived by his also brilliant partner of the past 20 years, the actress/director Elaine May (who just completed a much-raved Broadway run in the play Waverly Gallery so you might see her at the Tonys this year) so our condolecences go out to her this week. 

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Reader Comments (11)

RIP Stanley Donen!! Thank you for yo Magic n esp yo three wonderful collab w Audrey Hepburn!! ♥

He shld've been nom for Singin in the Rain and/or Two for the Road. I guess he made everything seems so effortless, award bodies juz took him for granted. His acceptance speech for his Honorary Award is such a JOY to watch!!

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

more dance breaks in acceptance speeches!

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

I'd never seen his acceptance speech before. It's maybe one of the best ever? Wow.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike

Just beautiful.

R.I.P. to one of the best Hollywood directors.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

I love that Scorsese presented this award. I know he never made a musical, but in my head I can see him studying the composition of the barn dance in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and just being blown away by it.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCash

Thanks for this. We have got the Honorary Awards broadcast in the future.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMarshako

Thanks for picking this speech by that wonderful gentleman Stanley Donen, his speech is perfect in every way. I love his work with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. (I had no idea that Elaine May was his partner) RIP, his work will live on and bring pleasure to many future generations.

Cash - Scorsese has done a musical of sorts, "New York, New York" has musical numbers including a show stopping "The World goes Round". This film is under-appreciated.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

I saw Singin' in the Rain a few years ago and.... man.... that film blew me away. R.I.P. Stanley.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

I recently finished directing my first feature film and this acceptance speech kept popping into my head. It's all about the team that you build on the set. Get the right people, and stay out of there way! Like that!


February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCory Rivard

And being drunk on Oscar excitement is as good a reason as any to accidentally slip in the wrong 'there' on your favorite film website.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCory Rivard

Magic! Bring back the Honoraries, they provide some of the best moments of any of the shows.

February 24, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

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