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Gallup Poll: American Public Votes Best Picture Oscar for 'The Green Mile'

Aired March 24, 2000 - 1:24 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDRIA HALL, CNN ANCHOR: Oscar excitement is building in Hollywood. Tinseltown is polishing up its assets to see who will take home the golden statuettes as the best of the best.

Gallup poll Editor in Chief Frank Newport joins us now from Princeton, New Jersey with a look at who the public is picking on Oscar night.

Frank, I'm wondering what their record is, though.

FRANK NEWPORT, GALLUP POLL EDITOR IN CHIEF: Not very good. I think last year the public was all in favor one of the years of "Saving Private Ryan" and it didn't win. So the public's choices don't always mirror what the academy says. And I think we'll show you in a minute, it's unlikely the public's choice this year will happens Sunday night.

First let's show you something that we call marquee value, which is something Gallup's been asking for a long time. It says, is there a star that you would make a special effort to go see in the movies. And for those who said, yes, we said, who are they? This is open- ended. We didn't prompt with these names. These are spontaneous. And you can see, Julia Robert, who has a good movie out right now, of course, at 22 percent is number one, Tom Hanks, Harris Ford, Bruce Willis and then Denzel Washington.

Back in 1941, it was Spencer Tracy and Betty Davis in our Gallup poll way back then, I might show you.

Now to the big question: You know, what's in the envelope? Who do the public think? Well, it's a Tom Hanks movie. "The Green Mile," 29 percent of the public says that's their choice to win the Academy Award on Sunday night, followed by "The Sixth Sense."

Now, all the critics and pundits are saying that "American Beauty" should win -- it's the front-runner, but only 12 percent of the public comes in in favor of that Kevin Spacey and Annette Bening movie. "The Green Mile" incidentally was not seen as much as "The Sixth Sense," but it still wins. In fact, here's only 21 percent of the public has seen "The Green Mile" even though 29 percent say they would vote for it. We asked why. It may be because it's a Stephen King novel that it was based on and maybe a lot of people were familiar with it there. But, nevertheless, it remains the public's front-runner. A lot of people say, however, they want to go see it. It's certainly going to help that box office.

Now, the last thing we'll show you here is the songs. There's a controversial "Blame Canada" song that Robin Williams is going to sing. The public, however, say, in general, they like those nominated songs to be included in the broadcast. As you can see, two-thirds say that's the case.

That's where the American public comes in on the Academy Awards, Andria. Back to you.

HALL: OK, Frank, thanks a lot.

You can catch a preview of the Oscars on the big night, which of course is Sunday night. Find out who is walking down the red carpet and what they're wearing. Watch "Film, Fashion and Fame" Sunday at 7:00 Eastern, 4:00 Pacific.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com

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