One Night
Vita Janulaitis
I convinced everyone they couldn't lose with Cooper and Kelly. Everything was pointing in the right direction. Tonight would be the vindication that an artist standing alone would triumph. It would a glorious night with the most glamorous people in attendance. There were days I thought I would never make it, especially when the deals began to fall apart. It wasn't over, but at least I didn't have to worry about shooting schedules, salaries, overtime, studio executives who never saw anything but dollars and cents.
With all those nominations we had to win something. But in my heart I knew which ones I wanted. They were meant to be mine. I deserved them. When they announced Best Picture I stood up with my prepared speech and then sat down unable to breathe. I couldn't believe "The Greatest Show on Earth" won.
"High Noon" was a movie about integrity. How dare they mock the Academy Awards with clowns and trapeze artists! I knew there should have been a train wreck at the end of my movie.
After losing Best Director and Best Picture, I put on a brave face and saw all my dreams vanishing in a cloud of thinning steam. Not unlike the Marshall, forsaken by society.

First published: August 1999