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Titanic Sails Home With Gold ‘As Good As It Gets,’ Stars, Also Win Golden Globes

Mon., Jan. 19, 1998, midnight

The box-office smash “Titanic” and romantic comedy “As Good as It Gets” steamed off with top honors at the 55th annual Golden Globe Awards presentation Sunday night in Beverly Hills, in what turned out to be a wild evening by staid award-show standards.

Fulfilling its epic scope, “Titanic” took home a quartet of trophies, more than any other film. The movie began its voyage early in the broadcast by winning for best musical score and the song “My Heart Will Go On,” later garnering honors as best dramatic picture and director.

“As Good as It Gets,” meanwhile, nabbed three awards. In addition to the movie being chosen as best musical or comedy, stars Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt each won in the lead comedy acting categories.

“I warned Jim this would give me another decade of not having to behave myself,” said Nicholson, who mockingly mooned the crowd a la fellow nominee Jim Carrey. Nicholson dedicated his award to the film’s director, James L. Brooks, while Hunt thanked Nicholson, calling him “my hero as an actor.”

Director James Cameron seemed to feel especially vindicated claiming his award after many wrote off “Titanic” as reports surfaced that the production had spiraled wildly over budget, becoming the most expensive movie ever made. Since then, the 3-hour-plus epic has become a huge box-office hit, grossing more than $235 million domestically thus far.

Cameron also brought the cast - including the film’s young stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet - on stage, though the movie was shut out in acting categories, which turned into a celebration of comebacks and Hollywood veterans.

Peter Fonda and Judi Dench were named best dramatic actor and actress, respectively, for playing a beekeeper and Queen Victoria in two movies of considerably more modest scale, “Ulee’s Gold” “(Her Majesty) Mrs. Brown.”

“God, it’s great to be back,” said an emotional Fonda of what amounted to his comeback performance, saying in closing, “I wish my dad were here tonight” - referring to the late star Henry Fonda.

The night opened with Burt Reynolds striking a similar comeback chord when he was announced as best supporting actor for “Boogie Nights,” in which he played a director of pornographic movies. The supporting actress award went to Kim Basinger as a prostitute in the 1950s police drama “L.A. Confidential” - the only award for that film, which has topped numerous critics’ lists.

“If you hang on to things long enough, they get back in style,” said Reynolds, who added that his career has been “real quiet, for about three years.”

Actors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck won best screenplay for the movie “Good Will Hunting,” in which they also starred.

Shirley MacLaine received an extended ovation after being presented the lifetime-achievement Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Though television generally plays a supporting role at the event, the night’s most poignant and unusual moments occurred in those categories.

The wildest highlight came when Ving Rhames - openly weeping as he accepted a Golden Globe for his showy performance as fight promoter Don King in the Home Box Office movie “Don King: Only in America” - beckoned fellow nominee Jack Lemmon to the stage and gave the trophy to him.

“I feel that being an artist is about giving, and I’d like to give this to you, Mr. Jack Lemmon,” Rhames said, bringing many in the room to their feet.

A somewhat flustered Lemmon called it “one of the nicest, sweetest moments I’ve ever known in my life.” Rhames refused to take the award back despite Lemmon’s efforts, and Lemmon eventually relented, saying backstage that he would keep the award, with the Hollywood Foreign Press agreeing to provide Rhames with another.

In perhaps the night’s biggest upset, Fox’s first-year series “Ally McBeal” - a one-hour program that some felt belonged as a drama - was selected outstanding comedy, also nabbing honors for relatively unknown star Calista Flockhart. Series creator David E. Kelley noted that a few pundits had dismissed the program about a young lawyer as “too different for its own good.”

Fox’s “The X-Files” also claimed outstanding drama for the second consecutive year.

Another out-of-the-ordinary moment happened when Christine Lahti was named best actress for the CBS drama, “Chicago Hope.” After a lengthy delay, a frazzled Lahti emerged from the ladies’ room, still clutching a paper towel, to claim her prize.

“I was just flushing the toilet when someone said ‘you won’ and I thought, ‘what a terrible joke,”’ she said.

MEMO: Two sidebars appeared with the story: 1. Oscar preview? The Golden Globes are considered a possible indication of winners at the Academy Awards on March 23. In the last 15 years, 11 films that won best motion picture honors at the Golden Globes went on to take the same prize at the Oscars.

2. Golden Globe winners Winners of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe awards, presented Sunday night: Motion pictures Drama: “Titanic” Actress, drama: Judi Dench, “(Her Majesty) Mrs. Brown” Actor, drama: Peter Fonda, “Ulee’s Gold” Musical or comedy: “As Good As It Gets” Actress, musical or comedy: Helen Hunt, “As Good As It Gets” Actor, musical or comedy: Jack Nicholson, “As Good As It Gets” Foreign language: “My Life in Pink” (“Ma Vie en Rose,”) Belgium Supporting actress, drama, musical or comedy: Kim Basinger, “L.A. Confidential” Supporting actor, drama, musical or comedy: Burt Reynolds, “Boogie Nights” Director: James Cameron, “Titanic” Screenplay: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, “Good Will Hunting” Original score: James Horner, “Titanic” Original song: “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic” Television Drama series: “The X-Files” Actress, drama: Christine Lahti, “Chicago Hope” Actor, drama: Anthony Edwards, “ER” Musical or comedy series: “Ally McBeal” Actress, musical or comedy: Calista Flockhart, “Ally McBeal” Actor, musical or comedy: Michael J. Fox, “Spin City” Miniseries or movie made for television: “George Wallace” Actress, miniseries or movie made for television: Alfre Woodard, “Miss Evers’ Boys” Actor, miniseries or movie made for television: Ving Rhames, “Don King: Only in America” Supporting actress, series, miniseries or movie made for television: Angelina Jolie, “George Wallace” Supporting actor, series, miniseries or movie made for television: George C. Scott, “12 Angry Men”

Two sidebars appeared with the story: 1. Oscar preview? The Golden Globes are considered a possible indication of winners at the Academy Awards on March 23. In the last 15 years, 11 films that won best motion picture honors at the Golden Globes went on to take the same prize at the Oscars.

2. Golden Globe winners Winners of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe awards, presented Sunday night: Motion pictures Drama: “Titanic” Actress, drama: Judi Dench, “(Her Majesty) Mrs. Brown” Actor, drama: Peter Fonda, “Ulee’s Gold” Musical or comedy: “As Good As It Gets” Actress, musical or comedy: Helen Hunt, “As Good As It Gets” Actor, musical or comedy: Jack Nicholson, “As Good As It Gets” Foreign language: “My Life in Pink” (“Ma Vie en Rose,”) Belgium Supporting actress, drama, musical or comedy: Kim Basinger, “L.A. Confidential” Supporting actor, drama, musical or comedy: Burt Reynolds, “Boogie Nights” Director: James Cameron, “Titanic” Screenplay: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, “Good Will Hunting” Original score: James Horner, “Titanic” Original song: “My Heart Will Go On” from “Titanic” Television Drama series: “The X-Files” Actress, drama: Christine Lahti, “Chicago Hope” Actor, drama: Anthony Edwards, “ER” Musical or comedy series: “Ally McBeal” Actress, musical or comedy: Calista Flockhart, “Ally McBeal” Actor, musical or comedy: Michael J. Fox, “Spin City” Miniseries or movie made for television: “George Wallace” Actress, miniseries or movie made for television: Alfre Woodard, “Miss Evers’ Boys” Actor, miniseries or movie made for television: Ving Rhames, “Don King: Only in America” Supporting actress, series, miniseries or movie made for television: Angelina Jolie, “George Wallace” Supporting actor, series, miniseries or movie made for television: George C. Scott, “12 Angry Men”


 
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