The Trade: Grand Illusion

"Regrettably, each year a few nave resorted to outright excessive and vulgar solicitation of votes," said the booklet sent out to the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "This becomes a serious embarrassment to the Academy and our industry."

It also can become the shortest line to an Oscar—as Cliff Robertson proved at this year's Academy Awards show. Competitors like Alan Arkin and Alan Bates may have been content to rest on their performances; Robertson knew better. Starting in October 1968, ads on his behalf were placed in...

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