With the Oscars quickly approaching it's time to take another look back at the previous winners, losers, snubs and trivia for the 13th Annual Academy Awards.
Rebecca (Winner), Foreign Correspondent, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Dictator, All This, and Heaven Too, Kitty Foyle, The Letter, Our Town, The Philadelphia Story, The Long Voyage Home
Joan Fontaine and C. Aubrey Smith on the set of "Rebecca"
James Stewart (Winner) in "The Philadelphia Story", Charles Chaplin in "The Great Dictator", Henry Fonda in "The Grapes of Wrath", Laurence Olivier in "Rebecca", Raymond Massey in "Abe Lincoln in Illinois"
Ginger Rogers (Winner) in "Kitty Foyle", Joan Fontaine in "Rebecca", Bette Davis in "The Letter", Katharine Hepburn in "The Philadelphia Story", Martha Scott in "Our Town"
Jimmy Stewart and Ginger Rogers pose with their Oscars.
Walter Brennan (Winner) in "The Westerner", William Gargan in "They Knew What They Wanted", Albert Basserman in "Foreign Correspondent", Jack Oakie in "The Great Dictator", James Stephenson in "The Letter"
Best Supporting Actress:
Jane Barwell (Winner) in "The Grapes of Wrath", Ruth Hussey in "The Philadelphia Story", Judith Anderson in "Rebecca", Barbara O'Neil in "All This, and Heaven Too", Marjorie Rambeau in "Primrose Path"
John Ford (Winner) for "The Grapes of Wrath", George Cukor for "The Philadelphia Story", Alfred Hitchcock for "Rebecca", William Wyler for "The Letter", Sam Wood for "Kitty Foyle"
Oscar Snubs and Omissions:
Cary Grant for "The Philadelphia Story" and "His Girl Friday"
Rosalind Russell for "His Girl Friday"
William Holden and Fay Bainter for "Our Town"
Frank Morgan and Margaret Sullavan for "The Shop Around the Corner"
George Sanders for "Rebeccca"
Howard Hawks for "His Girl Friday"
(Perhaps I'm forgetting a few so please leave a comment with your own snubs.)
My Honorable Mentions Go To:
W.C. Fields in "The Bank Dick"
The film and cast of "Pride and Prejudice" as well as the director, Robert Leonard
The ceremony for the 13th Annual Academy Awards was held in the Biltmore Bowl at the Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. The event was hosted by Walter Wanger.
After the previous years debacle with the winners announced the night before by the LA Times, the tradition to present a sealed envelope with the winners was started. Going forward, Price Waterhouse would count and secure the ballots until the actual ceremony. This would also cause the nominees to actually start showing up to the event instead of sitting it out, knowing ahead of time that they were losers.
Bob Hope was presented an Honorary Oscar this year and the Irving G. Thalberg Award was not given out to anyone.
President, Franklin Roosevelt gave a five minute radio address during the ceremony. The first time a president would speak during the Oscars.
"Rebecca" came away with the most nominations with a well deserved 11 with "The Grapes of Wrath" close behind with 7 nods then "The Foreign Correspondent", "The Philadelphia Story", The Long Voyage Home" and "Our Town" tied with 6 nominations each. "The Great Dictator" would receive 5. (Go, Charlie!)
With Walter Brennan's win for "The Westerner" he was the first actor to win three Academy Awards. This record would hold for 28 years until Kate Hepburn won her 3rd Oscar for "The Lion in Winter" in 1968.
Walt Disney (no stranger to Oscar) would take home another two Oscars for "Pinocchio". Best Original Score and Best Song for When You Wish Upon A Star.
Two new categories were introduced this year. Writing and Original Screenplay.
"Rebecca" was Alfred Hitchcock's first American made film and his first win. Perhaps, producer, David O. Selznick had a lot to do with that. Coming off of his previous win for "Gone With the Wind", Selznick, working as an independent producer, promoted the heck out of "Rebecca". With his pull, reputation in Hollywood, "Rebecca" was a shoe-in. (Yes, I think the film was deserving. It is my favorite film of all time after all and Joan Fontaine is my favorite classic actress.) With the most nominations, 11, it's surprising that it would only take home one win, for Best Picture. Judith Anderson was the expected winner for her outstanding performance but Barwell would win out. (The Academy when given the opportunity will go with heartwarming over evil every time!)
Ginger Rogers was the dark horse that year, always missing out for her comedic performances, grueling dance numbers never considered Oscar worthy so perhaps her win for "Kitty Foyle" was a bit of a consolation prize for all of the years she was overlooked. (I'm not saying that Ginger didn't give a great performance in the film though. Just my thoughts and we've seen this a lot throughout the history of the Oscars. Actors/Actresses winning the golden statuette a couple of years after they were snubbed.) Perhaps a great example, even this year is Jimmy Stewart's win over Henry Fonda. It's easy to assume his win was to make up for his loss the previous year for the more deserving performance in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
Charlie Chaplin would be the first to receive nominations in the same year for Best Actor, Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. (Acting, directing and writing) Of course this achievement wouldn't last long with "Citizen Kane" on the horizon but congrats to Charlie!) The Oscar for Original Screenplay would go to Preston Sturges for "The Great McGinty" this year.
Well, that's a wrap for the Academy Awards for 1940. I do hope you'll leave a comment on the winners and losers, snubs. Let us know if you agree with the winners and nominees.
See ya soon and thanks for stopping by!