MovieChat Forums > Jaws (1975) Discussion > How The Hell Did Robert Shaw NOT Get An ...

How The Hell Did Robert Shaw NOT Get An Oscar Nomination???


I am still baffled by this. What an iconic performance. Just brilliant! This was a big miss for the Academy, and that was way back when the Academy was legitimately nominating movies for the best performances.

One of my all time favorite film performances. It's still a crime all these years later that Shaw didn't get an Oscar nomination at the very least.

reply

It sure is and I couldn’t agree with you more. At the very least he totally deserved a nomination. Maybe the Academy considered his part too small for a nod, I don’t know.

Do you know that, in the majority of his scenes Shaw was drop dead drunk? Apparently he told Spielberg that he could perform better whilst inebriated. Seemed to work didn’t it. Fantastic performance and an iconic film.

reply

Considering some of the nominations to veteran actors in popcorn movies that were thrown out during the 1970s (Maureen Stapleton and winner Helen Hayes in Airport, Shelley Winters in The Poseidon Adventure.., Fred Astaire in The Towering Inferno...) I have always found it surprising that Shaw's memorable performance was overlooked - one would think that the Indianapolis speech alone would have secured him a spot.

Maybe the fact that Shaw allegedly considered Jaws 'a piece of crap written by committee' turned some voters off checking his name?

reply

You have to remember even back then the awards were political. Although if you look at the actors that were nominated the only one that is questionable is Jack Warden in Shampoo... God only knows why people took that stinking pile of poop seriously is beyond me, the movie was just god awful bad.

reply

I’d rate the winner as least deserving - partly because The Sunshine Boys just isn’t all that good and partly because placing George Burns in support was category fraud at its worst.

I didn’t care for Shampoo at all either - although I did think that Warden was very good, the one performance in the film that truly shone.

As well as Shaw it’s a little surprising that none of the male actors in Nashville managed a nomination - Henry Gibson or Ned Beatty in particular.

reply

I spent years thinking he had a nomination. It was just one of those things that seemed so obvious about the film. You know the film recieved multiple Oscars and when you watch his performance you instantly go “yep, there’s one of the Oscars!” Very hard to believe he didn’t even get nominated. The SS Indianapolis monologue seemed like it should be one of the great Oscar moments.

reply

I guess creature features like this were the superhero movies of their day. Frowned upon by stuffy old guard elitist voters as trendy trash.

reply

This is the same group of geniuses that awarded "Shakespear in Love" over "Saving Private Ryan" for Best Picture in 1999 and "The Hurt Locker" over "Inglorious Basterds" in 2009. I wouldn't think too much into it.

reply

Part of the confusion, nominations-wise, may well have been:

Which category? Best Actor...or Best Supporting Actor?

Jaws rather famously "balances out" the three leads. But as a matter of "anchoring" the story, the lead is Roy Scheider's police chief Brody.

Indeed, after his first appearance at the public meeting, and less one shot of him on his boat chugging by the marina -- Quint is missing for most of the first hour of Jaws. So that makes him Supporting Actor, yes?

Except everybody really remembers Quint the most. He has the "big" part. The flashy part -- the other two guys mainly stay out of his way once they are on the boat together. And he's got...The Speech.

So I'm guessing that's what happened: Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor? Which to nominate him for. Which to win.

I wonder what category Universal put Shaw forth in nomination? Actor or Supporting Actor?

Which do you think he should have been nominated for?

reply