I'm back to continue counting down the Academy Awards and this week we'll be looking at the Oscars for 1936, the first year that the Supporting Actor category was introduced. If you're ready, let's discuss the winners, nominees and the snubs.
Winner: The Great Ziegfeld, Nominees: Anthony Adverse, Dodsworth, Libeled Lady, Mr. Deed Goes to Town, Romeo and Juliet, San Francisco, The Story of Louis Pasteur, A Tale of Two Cities, Three Smart Girls
Winner: Paul Muni in "The Story of Louis Pasteur", Nominees: Gary Cooper in "Mr. Deed Goes to Town", Walter Huston in "Dodsworth", William Powell in "My Man Godfrey", Spencer Tracy in "San Francisco"
Best Picture Winner, Paul Muni
Winner: Luise Rainer in "The Great Ziegfeld", Nominees: Irene Dunne in "Theodora Goes Wild", Gladys George in "Valiant is the Word for Carrie", Carole Lombard in "My Man Godfrey", Norma Shearer in "Romeo and Juliet"
Best Actress Winner, Luise Rainer
Winner: Walter Brennan in "Come and Get It", Mischa Auer in "My Man Godfrey", Stuart Erwin in "Pigskin Parade", Basil Rathbone in "Romeo and Juliet", Akim Tamiroff in "The General Died at Dawn"
Supporting Actor Winner, Walter Brennan
Winner: Gale Sondergaard in "Anthony Adverse", Beulah Bondi in "The Gorgeous Hussy", Alice Brady in My Man Godfrey", Bonita Granville in "These Three", Maria Ouspenskaya in "Dodsworth"
Supporting Actress Winner, Gale Sondergaard
Winner: Frank Capra for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town", Nominees: Gregory La Cava for "My Man Godfrey", Robert Z. Leonard for "The Great Ziegfeld", W.S. Van Dyke for "San Francisco"
Best Director Winner, Frank Capra
OSCAR SNUBS AN OMISSIONS:
My Man Godfrey not being nominated for Best Picture
Modern Times (Chaplin's last silent film) should have been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director AND Best Actor
Swing Time should have garnered Best Actress/Actor nods for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Fury for not getting a Best Picture nod or Best Director nod for Fritz Lang
The Charge of the Light Brigade should have given David Niven a Best Supporting Actor nod and Michael Curtiz a Best Director nod
Suzy, once again Franchot Tone and Jean Harlow were snubbed
Clark Gable and Jeannette MacDonald were snubbed for San Francisco and Spencer Tracy should have been nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Jean Arthur for Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
My Honorable Mentions:
The cast and director of The Charge of the Light Brigade
Modern Times was completely ignored
Fury for not recognizing director Fritz Lang or Spencer Tracy, Sylvia Sidney and Bruce Cabot
OSCAR TRIVIA FOR 1936:
Let me get something out of the way real quick. I don't think it's a secret that I adore Charlie Chaplin and I've expressed many times here on my blog and especially during my Oscar series that I'm distraught over his snubs and unfair treatment in Hollywood. But to completely ignore his last and stellar silent film. Modern Times is a disgrace! It's hard to put it into words how deeply this saddens me. He deserved so much more and he should have been admired for keeping his integrity, continuing with his craft long after sound was introduced and silents were a thing of the past. Sure, he was righted a wrong years later when he received his honorary Oscar but it was over 30 years too late. It's really hard to talk about it without getting choked up so we'll move along.
The Academy Awards was held at the Biltmore Hotel on March 4th, 1937 and hosted by George Jessel.
My Man Godfrey was the first film to receive all four acting nominations but not a Best Picture nod and no wins. Libeled Lady took it's place in the Best Picture category. I have to admit that I love biopics but The Great Ziegfeld isn't one of them! I could barely get through it and I really like the stars.
This was the first year that the Best Supporting Actor/Actress category was introduced. A category that remains today.
Bonita Granville was the first child to be nominated in the Best Supporting Actor category.
Walt Disney received his fifth consecutive Oscar in the Best Animated Short Film category for Country Cousin
Jean Harlow passed away just three months after the Academy Award ceremony in 1937, her last chance to receive an Oscar for her performance in Suzy or Libeled Lady (failed to receive a nomination) . She was only 26 at the time of her death. Sadly, Carole Lombard would not win for her performance in My Man Godfrey as it would be her only Academy Award nomination as she also passed too soon in 1942 at the age of 33.
During the Academy Awards and long after, there was shock and disappointment that My Man Godfrey or Dodsworth did not win Best Picture over The Great Ziegfeld. Perhaps the mentality hasn't changed much since we know that biopics, dramas or epics rule the day and comedies are just not considered Oscar worthy.
Swing Time did win for Best Song, The Way You Look Tonight then it received a nod for Best Dance Direction but it lost out to The Great Ziegfeld. Busby Berkeley was also nominated for Gold Diggers of 1937.
Gale Sondergaard won in the Best Supporting Actress category in her film debut. This would be the first time and not repeated again for another 10 years when Harold Russell won for his performance in The Best Years of Our Lives (1946).
Irene Dunne lost out to Luise Rainer for Best Actress, something she would become very familiar with as this would be her second nod out of five nominations and no wins. Her role as Theodora Lynn was her first comedic role nod.
Five of the Best Picture nominations were MGM films. Their picture The Great Ziegfeld would take home the statuette. The film with it's elaborate dance direction and twenty three songs was nominated for a whopping seven nominations with three wins. It was MGM's most costly biopic to date with a budget of 2 million.
San Francisco received five nominations and one win for Best Sound Recording. It would garner Spencer Tracy his first of three consecutive Academy Award nominations.
MGM Producer, Irving Thalberg passed away suddenly from pneumonia at the end of 1936 at the age of 37. He had been collaborating with his wife, Norma Shearer for her Oscar nominated role, Romeo and Juliet as well as just finishing up San Francisco which he had pushed to get made as well as Mutiny on the Bounty the previous year. Irving, not one to want credit for his work would not be credited on screen until the 1937 film, The Good Earth then again for Goodbye Mr. Chips in 1939 with a special dedication at the beginning of the film. A film that he had set in motion but didn't live to see. He had also been working on pre-production for A Day at the Races and Marie Antoinette (another vehicle for his wife Norma) at the time of his death.
Thank You for joining me for another look back at the Oscars and please let me know what you think of the winners and nominees for 1936. Below is a quick montage of the Award winners that I hope you'll take the time to enjoy.