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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Filmmaking > Compilation > 30 Years Of Academy Awards: 1972 - 2002

30 Years Of Academy Award Winners: 1972 - 2002


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: D     Programs: B



One of the hardest things to access is footage on the Academy Awards.  Except for an older anniversary title the Academy issued through Columbia-TriStar as a benefit, anything is bootleg, if you can find that.  Broken into actually 31 years and segments, themselves broken into six sections on two DVDs, Passport Video’s 30 Years Of Academy Award Winners: 1972 – 1992 is a well researched, smart, entertaining compilation that mixes after-award interviews, interview clips, trailer footage and well-written narration that pulls off a well-rounded telling of what happened in context to each year’s contests and the results.


Adding up to about six hours, the programs do a great job of recalling the behind-the-scenes talk and legitimate gossip and controversies that occurred for each show, though even more exists.  The shows pull no punches either, not afraid to criticize or tell it like it was about each year’s activities in a way I doubt we would ever see an official Academy-sanctioned video pull off.  Sadly, they were no able to license any of the actual Oscar footage, but they have some good stills just the same.


It also shows the rise and fall of Hollywood’s last golden era as a new era of commercial blockbusters arrived, so it shows an interesting, unspoken and even unfortunate twist in how seriously film is being taken, even at the Oscars.  It is not to say that later films that received the prized statuette were somehow lesser, but that choices for the awards have become increasingly harder and even safer.  You can watch and be the judge, but either way, this is a great set for film fans.


The image throughout varies in quality, with some of the trailer information being at least partly letterboxed.  There is a bit more black and white than expected, but this is consistently interesting throughout.  The Dolby Digital is monophonic at best, but is half-composed of recently recorded voiceover narration, but there are no extras.  However, this is not some cheapo, rip-off set exploiting the Oscars, 30 Years Of Academy Award Winners: 1972 – 1992 is a fun and even referential set very much worth your time.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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