Hollywood get reel: OPINION

21st March 2017 9:30 AM

NOW THAT the furore has died down over the Oscars' ceremony, at which septuagenarians Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were thrown to the lions by being given the wrong envelope for the winner of the best movie category, it's time to take a look at Hollywood's clangers in general.

Many jokes were made at the time about the age of the presenters; I reckon Bonnie and Clyde were doing pretty well, considering not just their ages, but also the excessive lifestyles they both pursued in their younger days.

If my body was dealing with that particular fallout, I'd be thrilled if I remembered to get out of bed each morning, frankly.

I haven't trusted Hollywood for a long time; not since I learned that Krakatoa was, in fact, west of Java and not east as the title of the 1969 movie stated so boldly.

I realised that the spin-doctors would have their way and never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Hollywood was dodgy for a great many years before then, of course.

You have only to look at the casting choices - think me harsh, but if I were making a film about the Mongol leader Genghis Khan, John Wayne would not have been my first choice to play him in the 1956 movie The Conqueror.

And then there was Breakfast at Tiffany's - the gorgeous Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly was supported by a Coke-bottle-glasses wearing, buck-toothed Mickey Rooney as her Japanese nemesis Mr Yunioshi.

(And let's not even mention the whitewashing - if you'll pardon the pun - of Holly from a glamorous call-girl in the Truman Capote novel to "New York socialite" in the screen version.)

You'd think casting directors would have learned their lesson using actors out of their ethnic group, but as recently as 2015, the appalling Aloha featured freckled strawberry-blonde Emma Stone as the quarter-Chinese, quarter-Hawaiian character Allison Ng.

And let's not even start on Jesus Christ always (always!) being played by white Anglo-Saxon men.

Even in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ - so "authentic" the language used was Aramaic - the actor portraying JC was the Slovakian/Irish/American actor Jim Caviezel.

Hollywood gaffes are not confined to cultural miscasting, of course.

Those in charge of continuity hopefully had their pay docked for some of the screamers that made it to the final cut.

Whoopsies such as white vans in Braveheart, or a gas canister powering a chariot in Russell Crowe's Gladiator.

My mother probably wouldn't have adored The Sound of Music as she did had she realised the Von Trapp family escaped WWII Nazis by fleeing Austria via Salzburg which would have landed them in ... Germany.

Faye and Warren got off lightly, I reckon.