December 3, 2008

Pickford Oscar Trial Begins

Here is an interesting piece from The Hollywood Reporter. Opening statements have begun in a case that will decide the fate of Mary Pickford's 1929 Oscar statue, which she won for her performance in Coquette.

The heirs of Pickfords third husband are attempting to sell the statue. According to the defendants Pickford, who passed away in 1979, wanted the statue to be auctioned off and the money donated to charity. This seems all well and good, although I have to wonder why they waited nearly thirty years to do so, or why she did not auction it off herself.

Anyway, the Academy institued a rule in 1950 that they have first rights to buy back the award for $10 before it hits the open market. It appears they do not want the statue going out to the public and wish to fork of the ten-spot in exchange for the nearly 80-year-old statue.

I wonder what their grounds are for the lawsuit? Was their 1950 rule worded to be retroactive? If not, I cannot see how the lawsuit would hold watert as this the award was clearly given out prior to the institution of the rule.

In any case, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.


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