Hollywood: Forty Is a Dangerous Age

"I've never seen six hours rush by so fast," quipped Bob Hope. He had a point. Last week's Academy Award ceremonies took 21 hours, but they seemed twice as turgid and ten times as tasteless.

Part of the fault was Hope himself, the Academy's perennial and usually excellent M.C. It was difficult to be funny under the circumstances. The Academy had postponed its awards by 48 hours, to honor the period of mourning for Dr. Martin Luther King. Judging by Hope's monologue, it would have been better not to try. "About the delay...