1. At the 41st Academy Awards, held on April 14, 1969, Jane Fonda participated in the best — or worst, or best worst — presentation of a category the Oscars have ever seen.
Joined by “[her] friends, the Soul Rascals,” Fonda announced to the audience at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion that she would be presenting the nominees for Best Costume Design. And goodness, did she ever.
2. First, Fonda presented the “Jazz-age work clothes” from the film Star!, and that’s when models emerged wearing the costumes — and getting their serious groove on.
This performance was set to the song “Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy.” Indeed!
3. Yes, there was a catwalk into the audience.
And yes, this really happened!
4. Next, the “12th century casuals” from A Lion in Winter — where the dancers began with movement appropriate to the period costumes, and then, well, not.
This was set to The Doors’ “You’re Lost Little Girl,” by the way.
5. Then, the “tacky splendor” from Oliver!, at which point the audience, recognizing that children were performing, responded with applause. Applause!
6. Once the child performers left the stage, the man in Fagin’s rags did a little jig. Fonda just kept smiling.
(Note: This was all to purely instrumental music.)
7. Foreshadowing things a bit, Fonda introduced the costumes from Romeo & Juliet as “gorgeous.”
The song: “I Can’t See Your Face In My Mind,” by The Doors.
Nice dissolve, by the way!
8. Finally, because things weren’t insane enough already, the dancer representing Planet of the Apes emerged from a seat in the audience, and startled the childhood right out of Best Supporting Actor nominee Jack Wild (Oliver!).
9. Then the dancer turned his (her?) attention to Fonda, and Fonda couldn’t help but nervously dance along.
10. The craziest moment, however, came after Fonda announced Romeo & Juliet was the winner, and “symbolically” presented the Oscar to the dancers wearing the film’s costumes.
The actual winner of the Oscar, Danilo Donati, didn’t even get to come up on stage.