Monday, February 09, 2009

Pyewacket (and that other movie award)

Pyewacket (and friend): A Most Bewitching Winner
The Oscar has been somewhat diminished during the past decade or so as movie awards shows started to multiply one after the other.

But there is only one movie award for animals - The PATSY Award, which is an acronym for Picture Animal Top Star of the Year and which, like the Oscar, was thought up as a public relations stunt. The Hollywood office of the American Humane Association, which is supposed to oversee and monitor the use of animals in films and curtail any potential for abuse, conceived the award in 1939 after a horse was killed during an accident on Henry King "Jesse James," starring Tyrone Power and Henry Fonda.

But for some bizarre reason, the first actual PATSY wasn't awarded until 1951 and it went to the titular mule in Universal's "Francis the Talking Mule" - and it wasn't until 1958 that the award was actually presented. It went to the inimitable Pyewacket, Kim Novak's chatty "familiar" in "Bell, Book and Candle." According to Hollywood legend, Novak - a noted animal lover/activist - bonded so completely with the Siamese that he was given to her at the commencement of filming.

Anyway, you can check out Pyewacket's memorable turn in Richard Quine's "Bell, Book and Candle" when Turner Classic Movies airs it three times over as many months, starting, Thursday, 12 February at 10p.m., est., followed by encore performances on Sunday, 15 March at 4 p.m. and Wednesday, 22 April at 11:15 a.m.

Note in Passing: Check out this terrific take on "Bell, Book and Candle" by Jeremy Richey. From "The Amplifer."

3 comments:

Carrie said...

Ah, Pyewacket, perhaps Kim Novak's sexiest co-star and absolutely moy vote for most expressive movie animal. Take that, Marley!

Brian Doan said...

Oh my, great image of Novak. Thanks for mentioning Bell, Book and Candle, a film I think is highly underrated.

Watch movies said...

Wow! I didn't knew that :) Thanks for the post! if you're asking for my opinion - I suggest to give the honorary award for lassie :)