1st Academy Awards

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1st Academy Awards
1stOscars 1929.jpg
The first Academy Awards was at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.
DateMay 16, 1929 (1929-05-16)
Site Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Hosted by Douglas Fairbanks
Highlights
Best Picture Wings [1]
Most awards 7th Heaven and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (3)
Most nominations7th Heaven (5)

The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1927 and 1928 and took place on May 16, 1929 at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. AMPAS president Douglas Fairbanks hosted the show. Tickets cost $5 (which would be $73 in 2018 considering inflation), 270 people attended the event and the presentation ceremony lasted 15 minutes. Awards were created by Louis B. Mayer, founder of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation (at present merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). It is the only Academy Awards ceremony not to be broadcast either on radio or television. The radio broadcast was introduced the following year in 1930.

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honorary organization of film professionals

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a professional honorary organization with the stated goal of advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures. The Academy's corporate management and general policies are overseen by a Board of Governors, which includes representatives from each of the craft branches.

The following is an overview of 1927 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.

The following is an overview of 1928 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths. Although some movies released in 1928 had sound, most were still silent.

Contents

During the ceremony, the AMPAS presented Academy Awards, now known as the Oscars in 12 categories. Winners were announced three months before the live event. Some nominations were announced without reference to a specific film, such as for Ralph Hammeras and Nugent Slaughter, who received nominations in the now defunct category of Engineering Effects. [2] Unlike later ceremonies, an actor could be awarded for multiple works within a calendar year for the same category. Emil Jannings, for example, was given the Best Actor award for his work in both The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command . Also, Charlie Chaplin and Warner Brothers each received an Honorary Award. [3] [4]

Academy Awards American awards given annually for excellence in cinematic achievements

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are a set of awards for artistic and technical merit in the film industry. Given annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the awards are an international recognition of excellence in cinematic achievements as assessed by the Academy's voting membership. The various category winners are awarded a copy of a golden statuette, officially called the "Academy Award of Merit", although more commonly referred to by its nickname "Oscar".

Ralph Hammeras was an American special effects designer, cinematographer and art director. He was nominated for three Academy Awards. He created a large-scale miniature of the city of London for the film The Sky Hawk, he also created special mechanical effects for it.

Nugent Slaughter provided the special effects and sound mixing for the 1927 film, The Jazz Singer. His efforts in this project earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Engineering Effects.

Major winners at the ceremony included 7th Heaven and Sunrise , which each received three awards, and Wings , receiving two awards. Among its honors, Sunrise won the award for Unique and Artistic Picture and Wings won the award for Outstanding Picture (now known as Best Picture). These two categories at the time were regarded equally as the top award of the night intended to honor different and important aspects of superior filmmaking. The next year, the Academy dropped the Unique and Artistic Picture award, and decided retroactively that the award won by Wings was the highest honor that could be awarded. [2]

<i>7th Heaven</i> (1927 film) 1927 American silent romantic drama film directed by Frank Borzage

7th Heaven is a 1927 American silent romantic drama directed by Frank Borzage, and starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell. The film is based upon the 1922 play Seventh Heaven, by Austin Strong and was adapted for the screen by Benjamin Glazer. 7th Heaven was initially released as a standard silent film in May 1927. On September 10, 1927, Fox Film Corporation re-released the film with a synchronized Movietone soundtrack with a musical score and sound effects.

<i>Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans</i> 1927 film directed by F. W. Murnau

Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans is a 1927 American silent romantic comedy-drama directed by German director F. W. Murnau and starring George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, and Margaret Livingston. The story was adapted by Carl Mayer from the short story "The Excursion to Tilsit", from the collection with the same title by Hermann Sudermann.

<i>Wings</i> (1927 film) 1927 film by William A. Wellman, Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast

Wings is a 1927 American silent war film set during the First World War produced by Lucien Hubbard, directed by William A. Wellman and released by Paramount Pictures. It stars Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers and Richard Arlen. Gary Cooper appears in a small role which helped launch his career in Hollywood.

Background

In 1927, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was established by Louis B. Mayer, originator of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation, which then would be joined into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM). Mayer's purpose in creating the award was to unite the five branches of the film industry, including actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. [5] Mayer commented on the creation of the awards "I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them ... If I got them cups and awards, they'd kill them to produce what I wanted. That's why the Academy Award was created". [6] Mayer asked Cedric Gibbons, art director of MGM, to design an Academy Award trophy. [5] [7] Nominees were notified through a telegram in February 1928. [5] In August 1928, Mayer contacted the Academy Central Board of Judges to decide winners. [5] However, according to the American director King Vidor, the voting for the Academy Award for Best Picture was in the hands of the AMPAS founders Douglas Fairbanks, Sid Grauman, Mayer, Mary Pickford, and Joseph Schenck. [8]

Louis B. Mayer American-Canadian film producer

Louis Burt Mayer was an American film producer and co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios (MGM) in 1924. Under Mayer's management, MGM became the film industry's most prestigious movie studio, accumulating the largest concentration of leading writers, directors and stars in Hollywood.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer American media company

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. is an American media company, involved primarily in the production and distribution of feature films and television programs. One of the world's oldest film studios, MGM's headquarters are located at 245 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California.

Cedric Gibbons American art director, set decorator

Austin Cedric Gibbons was an Irish-American art director and production designer for the film industry. He also made a significant contribution to motion picture theater architecture from the 1930s to 1950s. Gibbons designed the Oscar statuette in 1928, but tasked the sculpting to George Stanley, a Los Angeles artist. He was nominated 39 times for the Academy Award for Best Production Design and won the Oscar 11 times, both of which are records.

Ceremony

The ceremony was held on May 16, 1929 [9] [3] [4] [10] at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, located in Los Angeles. [3] It consisted of a private dinner with 36 banquet tables, [11] where 270 people attended and tickets cost five dollars (equivalent to $72.96in 2018). [3] Actors and actresses arrived at the hotel in luxury vehicles, where many fans attended to encourage celebrities. [11] The ceremony was not broadcast on radio or television, [3] and was hosted by AMPAS director Fairbanks [9] [3] [4] [12] during a 15-minute event. [10]

Winners and nominees

Winners were announced three months before the ceremony. [3] [4] [10] The recipients included: Emil Jannings, the inaugural first award recipient [3] for Best Actor ( The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command ); [4] [10] Janet Gaynor for Best Actress ( 7th Heaven , Street Angel , and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans ); Frank Borzage for Best Director, Drama ( 7th Heaven ); Lewis Milestone for Best Director, Comedy ( Two Arabian Knights ); and Wings for Best Picture (the most expensive film of its time). [9] [2] Two presentations were made of a Special Award: Charlie Chaplin, a multiple nominee for one movie (Best Actor, Best Writer and Best Director, Comedy; all for The Circus ) having been removed from the list so as to recognize his total contribution to the industry; [4] and Warner Brothers, an award for pioneering talking pictures ( The Jazz Singer ). Three categories were eliminated for subsequent presentations: Best Engineering Effects, Best Title Writing, and Best Unique and Artistic Quality of Production. [2] The larger film producers received the preponderance of awards: Fox Film Corporation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures, Radio-Keith-Orpheum, and Warner Bros.. [5]

Emil Jannings German actor

Emil Jannings was a German actor, popular in 1920s film in Hollywood. He was the first Oscar recipient, honored with the Academy Award for Best Actor at the 1929 ceremony. To date, he is still the only German to have won the Best Actor Oscar.

Academy Award for Best Actor award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy Award for Best Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry. The award was traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actress winner.

<i>The Way of All Flesh</i> (1927 film) 1927 film by Victor Fleming

The Way of All Flesh is a 1927 American silent drama film directed by Victor Fleming, written by Lajos Bíró, Jules Furthman, and Julian Johnson from a story by Perley Poore Sheehan. It is now considered a lost film.

Awards

Winners are listed first and indicated with double dagger Double-dagger-14-plain.png

Best Unique and Artistic Picture
Best Engineering Effects
Best Title Writing

Honorary Awards

Multiple nominations and awards

See also

Related Research Articles

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The Academy Award for Best Cinematography is an Academy Award awarded each year to a cinematographer for work on one particular motion picture.

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Academy Award for Best Actress award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

The Academy Award for Best Actress is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the film industry. The award was traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Actor winner.

Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor one of the Academy Awards of Merit

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References

  1. "The 1st Academy Awards Memorable Moments". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences .
  2. 1 2 3 4 "The Official Academy Awards Database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved February 18, 2012. Reader must select "1927/28" in the "Award Year(s):" drop-down menu and press "Search".
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "History of the Academy Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on April 8, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Dirks, Tim. "1927–28 Academy Awards Winners and History". Filmsite . Rainbow Media. Archived from the original on July 24, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2010.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 Cosgrave 2007 , p. 1
  6. Eyman 2005 , p. 117
  7. Eyman 2005 , p. 209
  8. Eyman 2005 , p. 138
  9. 1 2 3 4 "This day in History". History. A&E Television Networks. Archived from the original on March 7, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  10. 1 2 3 4 Pawlak, Debra Ann. "The Story of the First Academy Awards". The MediaDrome{{inconsistent citations}}
  11. 1 2 Cosgrave 2007 , p. 4
  12. "Names make news". Time . Time Inc. May 27, 1929. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2010.
  13. Decherney, Peter (August 14, 2012). "Hollywood and the Culture Elite: How the Movies Became American". Columbia University Press via Google Books.

Bibliography