If the Golden Globes are any sort of Oscar indicator, writer-director Oliver Stone better send his tuxedo straight back to the dry cleaners and start rehearsing his acceptance speech for the next round of awards.
"Platoon," Stone's powerful and personal account of the horrors of the Vietnam War, captured three of the evening's most coveted trophies: best picture, best director and best supporting actor (Tom Berenger). "Through this award you acknowledge the Vietnam veteran and you say you understand what happened over there and that it should never happen again," Stone told the packed house at the Beverly Hilton's Conrad International Ballroom.
In the most dramatic moment of the evening, hearing-impaired actress Marlee Matlin, who portrayed the anguished deaf student in "Children of a Lesser God," accepted her best actress award in sign language. "I'm not much of a speaker, he is," she said pointing towards the interpreter she brought on stage with her. "I can't believe it, I'm shaking!"
The Globes ceremony marked the official start of the annual awards derby which culminates with the Oscars broadcast March 30. In the past, the Globes have been little more than a glittering starfest, a glitzy media extravaganza that is the only major awards night where TV and movie stars are honored together.
But in recent years the once-troubled awards show (given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association) has been gaining credibility with a loyal following within the industry. "They do certainly get talked about and written about on TV and in the newspapers," says veteran press agent Bobby Zarem. "I don't think the Academy is affected by them, but the consumer can be. If a picture wins, it makes people say, 'I probably should go see that movie.' "
Still, certain Globes traditions die hard. Once again the no-show winners (i.e. Paul Hogan, best performance by an actor in a motion picture--musical or come dy; Bob Hoskins, best performance by an actor in a motion picture--drama and others) nearly kept pace with those who did show up. And, once again, the evening has unofficially toppled the record for most sequins gathered in a hotel ballroom at once.
For those of you who missed the TV broadcast Saturday evening there is a complete list of winners at the end of this story. There were also a number of golden moments that time prohibited from including in the broadcast but that the record should reflect. Some highlights:
Best segue by a host or hostess during the broadcast: Cheryl Ladd, who followed co-host William Shatner's opening line "Welcome to the 44th annual Golden Globes!" with this improv gem: "It sure is." Huh?
Best apology for a no-show co-star in a series, mini-series or TV movie: James Woods who told reporters backstage that James Garner couldn't make it because he was "busy at a celebrity golf tournament, trying to support his handicap."
Safest acceptance speech: Loretta Young (accepting for best performance by an actress in a mini-series or TV movie) "I want to thank everyone anyplace and everywhere that had anything at all to do with this."
Most candid backstage remark: Steve Guttenberg (a presenter), who, stepping off the podium, was overheard saying, "I really don't know what I'm doing or saying here."
Best hair, actor in a series, miniseries or TV movie: Tie: Ted Danson (for height) and James Brolin (for texture).
Best tan, actor in a series, miniseries, TV movie or feature: George Hamilton. (He was there but we would have given it to him even if he weren't.)
Best hair, actress in a series, miniseries or TV Movie: Jane Seymour.
Best dress, actress in a motion picture--musical or comedy: Jane Seymour (only double winner) who arrived in a stunning off-the-shoulder Victorian white gown designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel.
Most intriguing couple: Dennis Hopper (with blow-dried hair!) and Maria Conchita Alonso, who appeared more interested in each other than the proceedings.
Most sentimental moment: Anthony Quinn (who was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille award for career achievement) dancing up a storm with Charlton Heston.
The real award winners:
Best performance by an actor in a mini-series or TV movie: James Woods, "Promise."
Best performance by an actress in a mini-series or TV movie: Loretta Young, "Christmas Eve."
Best mini-series or TV movie: "Promise," Garner-Duchow Productions, Warner Bros. Television, CBS.
Best performance by an actor in a TV series, musical or comedy: Bruce Willis, "Moonlighting."
Best performance by an actress in a TV series, musical or comedy: Cybill Shepherd, "Moonlighting."
Best TV series, musical or comedy: "The Golden Girls," Witt/Thomas/Harris Productions, NBC.
Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a motion picture: Maggie Smith, "A Room With a View."
Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a motion picture: Tom Berenger, "Platoon."
Best performance by an actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy: Paul Hogan, "Crocodile Dundee."
Best performance by an actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy: Sissy Spacek, "Crimes of the Heart."
Best screenplay, motion picture: Robert Bolt, "The Mission."
Best foreign language film: "The Assault," the Netherlands.
Best performance by an actor in a supporting role in a series, mini-series or TV movie: Jan Niklas, "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna."
Best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series, mini-series or TV movie: Olivia de Havilland, "Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna."
Best performance by an actor in a TV series, drama: Edward Woodward, "The Equalizer."
Best performance by an actress in a TV series, drama: Angela Lansbury, "Murder, She Wrote."
Best TV series, drama: "L.A. Law," 20th Century Fox TV, NBC.
Best motion picture, musical or comedy: "Hannah and Her Sisters," Orion Pictures.
Best original score, motion picture: Ennio Morricone, "The Mission."
Best original song, motion picture: "Take My Breath Away" (from "Top Gun"), Giorgio Moroder and Tom Whitlock.