Oscar coming to town

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 28, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &045; To kickoff the opening weekend of the Hellman-Wyler Festival, William Wyler’s Oscar for &8216;The Best Years of Our Lives’ will be on display at three locations in Demopolis this Saturday and Sunday.

The Oscar will be on display at Robertson Bank this Saturday from 10 a.m. until noon. It will also be displayed at the matinee performance at 2 p.m. of &8216;The Little Foxes’ that same day and at the Regina Party at Lyon Hall that night.

Gantt, who is responsible for the premise of the Hellman-Wyler Festival as well as getting the Oscar to accompany it, said he was surprised when the Wyler family agreed to his request. He said the agreement to provide the Oscar for display came with the stipulation that the festival be able to provide the Oscar with the proper safeguards to ensure its safety.

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Gantt said the director of the museum, who will be accompanying the Oscar to Demopolis, said the Oscar is an important piece of art deco sculpture. He said the museum would oversee most of the care and transportation for the piece when it is in Alabama.

Gantt said Wyler won three Oscars during his career, one for &8216;Ben Hur,’ &8216;Mrs. Miniver’ and for &8216;The Best Years of our Lives.’ Gantt said the latter is one of his most important films due to the portrayal of the acclimation of troops to civilian life after returning from World War II.