'Menace,' Jackson are MTV favorites


The urban drama "Menace II Society" and big-screen newcomers Janet Jackson and Alicia Silverstone took home top honors Saturday at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards.

"Menace II Society," the directorial debut from twin brothers Allen and Albert Hughes, was named best movie by MTV viewers who phoned in their votes. The New Line feature upset more acclaimed nominees "The Fugitive," "Jurassic Park," "Philadelphia" and "Schindler's List."

MTV will air the awards show Thursday.

Dance music diva Jackson, who made her theatrical debut in "Poetic Justice," nabbed two MTV statuettes for her role in the modern-day street romance. Ms. Jackson was awarded the prize for best female performance as well as for most desirable female. In winning the most desirable female award, Ms. Jackson beat out Ms. Silverstone, another multiple winner. "I guess I should thank my makeup person and hairdresser," Ms. Jackson joked.

As the psycho, obsessed teen-ager in Warner Bros.' "The Crush," Ms. Silverstone was recognized in the breakthrough performance category. She also picked up the award as best villain.

The only other multiple winner was "The Fugitive." Harrison Ford and Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones were recognized as the best on-screen duo, while the train wreck that opens the film was named best action sequence.

William Baldwin was named most desirable male for his role as the sleazy, voyeuristic landlord in "Sliver," while Robin Williams, as the cross-dressing nanny in "Mrs. Doubtfire," took home the best comedic performance prize.

After winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his role in "Philadelphia," Tom Hanks added the MTV award for best male performance to this year's take. He beat out Mr. Ford, Mr. Williams, Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer.

Speaking of his incredible year, Mr. Hanks said he feels like he "bagged the white whale at a very early age. I am honored and, yes, a little proud."

Mr. Hanks said the recognition of "Philadelphia" by the traditionally young MTV voting audience was important in that it means AIDS "is now part of the social consciousness of that age group."

In one of the more unusual categories, Woody Harrelson and Demi Moore were feted for their interplay in Paramount's "Indecent Proposal." The two were presented with the best kiss award.

While Ms. Jackson's acting seemed to overwhelm her MTV audience, brother Michael was awarded best song for "Will You Be There," featured in the film "Free Willy."

"The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star Will Smith was host of the event and presented the lifetime achievement award to Richard Roundtree for the film series "Shaft."

But it was the first-ever live performance by the "Backbeat" band

that stole the show. Performing three tunes, Backbeat features alternative music's top players -- members of Afghan Whigs, Sonic Youth, Nirvana, R.E.M. and Soul Asylum.

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