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The first Academy Awards

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Feb 26th, 2017
2017
Feb 26

AMPAS HISTORY

Film efforts rewarded

 

 

Academy announces fifteen awards of statuette for elevating standards of screen

 

Los Angeles Times
February 18, 1929

The first awards for individual meritorious achievements in motion pictures were announced yesterday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The fifteen awards are for outstanding achievements for 1928 and were made after an exhaustive survey.

As a reward for and in recognition of their efforts in raising the standards of motion pictures the winners are to be presented with statuettes in bronze and gold, designed by George Stanley, sculptor, under the supervision and selection of Cedric Gibbons, art director at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio.

The statuette is twelve inches high with a Belgian marble base and consists of an idealized male figure standing on a representation of a reel of motion-picture film. It was announced the trophies will be presented at a later meeting of the academy at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.

The winners of the merit awards follow:

Emil Jannings, first award for his outstanding performances in The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command. Honorable mention to Richard Barthelmess for his performance in The Noose and The Patent Leather Kid.

Janet Gaynor, first award for best performances among actresses in Seventh Heaven, Sunrise and The Street Angel. Honorable mention to Gloria Swanson for performance in Sadie Thompson and to Louise Dresser in A Ship Come In.

For direction of dramatic pictures, Frank Brozage received first award for Seventh Heaven. Honorable mention to Herbert Brenon for his directorial work in Sorrell and Son and to King Vidor for The Crowd. Lewis Milestone received first award for directing a comedy picture, Two Arabian Knights. Honorable mention to Ted Wilde for Harold Lloyd’s Speedy.

The first award for writing an original story was given to Ben Hecht for Underworld with honorable mention to Lajos Biros for The Last Command, while Benjamin Glazer received first award for adaptation of Seventh Heaven with honorable mention to Alfred Cohn for adapting The Jazz Singer and to Anthony Coldewey adapting Glorious Betsy.

For title-sriting the first award went to Joseph Farnham with honorable mention to George Marion, Jr., and Gerald Duffy.

The cinematography award is shared by Charles Rosher and Karl Struss for Sunrise.

George Barnes gets honorable mention for his work in Sadie Thompson, The Devil Dancer and Magic Flame.

The art direction award was given to William C. Menzies for The Tempest and The Dove, with honorable mention to Rochus Gliese for Sunrise and Harry Oliver for Seventh Heaven.

The engineering effects award goes to Roy Pomeroy for Wings, with honorable mention to Nugent Slaughter and to Ralph Hammeras.

The Paramount Famous Lasky Corporation received the first award for the production of the outstanding picture of the year, Wings. Honorable mention went to the Fox company for Seventh Heaven and to the Caddo company for Two Arabian Knights. This is the only award which was decided on box-office returns.

The Fox company won first award for the production of the most unusual and artistic picture, Sunrise, while honorable mention was received by Paramount for Chang and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for The Crowd.

Special first award was given to Warner Brothers for producing the pioneer outstanding talking picture, The Jazz Singer, with Al Jolson, while another first special award was given to Charles Chaplin for acting, writing and producing The Circus.

It was announced by the central board of judges which made the award that the board felt that Warner Brothers and Chaplin should be considered separately from the other award classifications owing to the unique character of their accomplishments.

In deciding to make the first awards for individual achievements, the academy members made twelve classifications in addition to the two special awards. The nominations were turned in by the members last August. One thousand nominations were received and these were then referred to class committees consisting of five judges. These judges made three nominations which were then turned over to a central board of judges. This, it was explained, is responsible for the length of time taken in making the awards.

The central board of judges was composed of Alec Francis, Sid Grauman, Frank Lloyd, and A. George Volck. The awards were made for pictures first publicly released during the year ending August 1, 1928, and is the first time the academy has made the awards.

The preceding article is the announcement of the first Academy Awards from the Los Angeles Times in 1929. In the beginning the awards were announced before the ceremony instead of being a surprise that night.

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Academy Award Nominations

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jan 25th, 2011
2011
Jan 25

AWARDS

Academy Award Nominations: King’s Speech Leads With 12

 

  

By Gregg Kilday
Hollywood Reporter

 

With 12 nominations, The King’s Speech led the pack as nominations were announced early Tuesday morning for the 83rd Academy Awards.

  

The circle of 10 best picture nominees encompasses Black Swan, The Fighter, Inception, The Kids Are All Right, The King’s Speech, 127 Hours, The Social Network, Toy Story 3, True Grit and Winter’s Bone.

 

Nominated for best actress are Annette Bening, who plays a lesbian mom protecting her family in The Kids Are All Right; Natalie Portman, who steps in the pointe shoes of a ballerina descending into madness in Black Swan; Nicole Kidman, who stars as a mother dealing with grief in Rabbit Hole; Jennifer Lawrence, who appears as a backwoods girl trying to hold her family together in Winter’s Bone; and Michelle Williams, who portrays a young woman whose marriage is falling apart in Blue Valentine.

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Christian Bale led off the list of best supporting actors for his performance as a meth-addled ex-boxer in The Fighter. He’ll compete against John Hawkes, for his tough backwoods character in Winter’s Bone; Jeremy Renner, for his hopped-up street tough in The Town; Mark Ruffalo, for his sperm donor of a dad in The Kids Are All Right; and Geoffrey Rush for his shrewd speech therapist in The King’s Speech.

 

The best supporting actress nominees are Amy Adams, for her feisty girlfriend in The Fighter and Melissa Leo, who plays a formidable mom in the same movie; Helena Bonham Carter, for her portrait of the young Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech; newcomer Hailee Steinfeld, who her spunky avenger in True Grit; and Aussi actress Jacki Weaver, for playing another manipulative matriarch in Animal Kingdom.

 

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem, Buitiful
Jeff Bridges, True Grit
Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
James Franco, 127 Hours

 

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale, The Fighter
John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner, The Town
Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush, The King’s Speech

 

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence, Winter’s Bone
Natalie Portman, Black Swan
Michelle Williams, Blue Valentine

 

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams, The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter, King’s Speech
Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingrdom

 

Directing
Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
David O’ Russell, The Fighter
Tom Hooper, The King’s Speech
David Fincher, The Social Network
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit

 

Best Picture
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
127 Hours
The Social Network
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

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The Academy Awards…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Feb 22nd, 2009
2009
Feb 22

AWARDS

Slumdog Millionaire’ fulfills its Oscar destiny

 

The Academy Awards (MSNBC)

 The Kodak Theatre is seen before the start of the 81st Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009. (Damian Dovarganes / AP)
 

Rags-to-riches tale wins best picture; Penn, Winslet take top acting honors

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The Associated Press
Feb. 22, 2009
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LOS ANGELES – “Slumdog Millionaire” took the best-picture Academy Award and seven other Oscars on Sunday, including director for Danny Boyle, whose ghetto-to-glory story paralleled the film’s unlikely rise to Hollywood’s summit.

 

The other top winners: Kate Winslet, best actress for the Holocaust-themed drama “The Reader”; Sean Penn, best actor for the title role of “Milk”; Heath Ledger, supporting actor for “The Dark Knight”; and Penelope Cruz, supporting actress for “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Academy Award Nominations…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Jan 22nd, 2009
2009
Jan 22

AWARDS

And the Oscar nominees are…

  

Slumdog-Millionaire

Slumdog Millionaire is one of the five nominated films with 10 nominations

 

‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ leads all contenders with 13 nods including best actor for Brad Pitt.

 

By Susan King
Los Angeles Times
January 22, 2009

 

“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” a fable about a man who ages in reverse, dominated the 81st annual Academy Award nominations this morning, earning 13 nods, including best film, best actor for Brad Pitt and best director for David Fincher.    (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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Special Oscar for Jerry Lewis…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Dec 11th, 2008
2008
Dec 11

CELEBRITY NEWS

Jerry Lewis to receive special Oscar

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By Gregg Kilday

 

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – Jerry Lewis finally is getting some respect from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, whose board of governors has voted to honor him with a special Oscar for his humanitarian work.

  

The prolific filmmaker, who has never been nominated for an Oscar, will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award during the 81st Annual Academy Awards ceremony on February 22.

 

“Jerry is a legendary comedian who has not only brought laughter to millions around the world but has also helped thousands upon thousands by raising funds and awareness for those suffering from muscular dystrophy,” Academy president Sid Ganis said.

 

Lewis, 82, who made his screen debut with nightclub-act partner Dean Martin in 1949’s My Friend Irma, began making local and national televised appeals on behalf of the newly founded Muscular Dystrophy Assn. during the early 1950s. He has been the organization’s national chairman since 1952 and has spearheaded the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon, which has raised more than $2 billion, since 1966.

 

Lewis starred alongside Martin in 16 films before establishing a solo career as a screen performer, director and producer with such films as The Bellboy, The Nutty Professor, The Disorderly Orderly and Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy.

 

A series of lectures on filmmaking that Lewis delivered as an adjunct professor at USC was published as The Total Film-Maker in 1971.

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Fight Over Mary Pickford’s Oscars…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Dec 3rd, 2008
2008
Dec 3

Trial over Mary Pickford’s Oscars opens in L.A.

 

 

Academy hopes to prevent heirs from selling the famous statuettes

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The Associated Press
Wed., Dec. 3, 2008
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LOS ANGELES – Jurors deciding the fate of Oscars awarded to silent film star Mary Pickford were treated during the trial’s opening Wednesday to a taste of Hollywood, complete with props, fancy visuals and a little intrigue.

 

Pickford was part of early Hollywood’s royalty and a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presented her two Academy Awards over her lifetime.

 

Heirs of a woman married to Pickford’s third husband, actor and band leader Buddy Rogers, hope to sell a statuette given to the actress for her performance in 1929’s Coquette. They claim their mother, Beverly Rogers, wanted the Oscar sold and the money donated to charity.

 

They also claim they are not bound to academy restrictions barring the sale of honorary Oscars awarded later to Pickford and Rogers.

 

But the academy has sued to stop any sale, claiming that Pickford agreed to rules allowing the organization to purchase the award back for $10. They say they are trying to protect their most important symbol.

 

Just in case anyone needed a reminder what that is, academy lawyers had placed a pair of Oscar statuettes on a table, the little gold men directly facing the jury box.

 

To explain the case — and Pickford’s importance to a jury comprised mostly of people too young to remember her work — Wednesday’s opening statements featured a lengthy biography of the actress known as “America’s Sweetheart.”

 

Brangelina of early Hollywood


Before her marriage to Rogers, Pickford was the wife of Douglas Fairbanks, an influential actor, director and producer.

 

Academy attorney Chris Tayback likened the pair to a contemporary power couple. “They were comparable to Brad and Angelina,” Tayback said.

 

To help jurors follow the story of Pickford’s life and the journey of her Oscars, Tayback displayed photos of the actress, images of documents with highlighted passages and even a timeline onto a large screen near jurors. He also played the complete presentation of an honorary Oscar given to Pickford in 1976 in her lavish Beverly Hills home, which was a wedding gift from Fairbanks.

 

It was that award — and a signature attributed to Pickford on a document agreeing not to sell any of her Oscars — that the academy claims gives it the right to block any sale.

 

Attorneys for Rogers’ heirs said Wednesday that they will introduce testimony casting doubt on whether Pickford signed that agreement, and contend that Rogers’ heirs aren’t bound to it anyway because they’re not heirs to Pickford’s estate.

 

Besides, attorney Mark Passin told jurors, the agreement was signed after the 1976 Oscar was given to Pickford. “She already owned the statuette,” he said, adding his contention that made the agreement “unenforceable.”

 

Passin said Pickford would have likely approved of selling her best-actress Oscar and donating the proceeds to charity.

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Win Oscar Bleacher Seats…

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 17th, 2008
2008
Sep 17

Fans can win bleacher seats for 2009 Oscars

 

(AMPAS)

 

The Academy will put 300 seats up for grabs in an online lottery

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The Associated Press
Tues., Sept. 16, 2008
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Stargazers seeking an up-close glimpse of Hollywood’s royalty can win seats on Oscar night along the red carpet.

 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday that 300 bleacher seats will be up for grabs in an online lottery.

 

Beginning at 9 a.m. PDT Monday, movie buffs can enter for a chance to win a seat in front of the Kodak Theater for the Oscars scheduled for Feb. 22. The lottery runs through 9 p.m. Sept. 28.

 

Applicants can register for up to four seats at www.oscars.org/bleachers.

 

In previous years, as many as 20,000 fans have applied online for the bleacher seats.

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Obit…Wonderful Smith

Posted by Allan Ellenberger on Sep 15th, 2008
2008
Sep 15

Comedian Wonderful Smith, whose edgy routines helped break racial stereotypes, dies at 97

 

 

Wonderful Smith appears with Hattie McDaniel, center, and ABC commentator Frances Scully at the 1947 Academy Awards. His bold comedy routine in Duke Ellington “Jump for Joy” regularly brought down the house. (Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research)

 

The comedian was featured in Duke Ellington’s musical revue ‘Jump for Joy’ and regularly brought the house down with his ‘Hello, Mr. President?’ monologue.

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By Valerie J. Nelson
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 15, 2008

 

Wonderful Smith, whose boundary-pushing comedy routine in Duke Ellington’s satirical revue Jump for Joy — staged in Los Angeles in 1941 — helped the black cast counter against racial stereotypes in entertainment, has died. He was 97.   (Click on ‘Continue Reading’ for more)

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