Friday, December 9, 2011

The Academy Awards: 1935

It's time to continue with the Academy Awards! Next up is the 1935 ceremony in all it's glory, so if you're
ready lets take a look at the winners, losers and snubs.

Winner: Mutiny On the Bounty, Nominees: Alice Adams, The Broadway Melody of 1936, Captain Blood, David Copperfield, The Informer, The Lives of Bengal Lancer, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Les Miserables, Naughty Marietta, Ruggles of Red Gap and Top Hat

Winner: Victor McLaglen in "The Informer", Nominees: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone all in "Mutiny On the Bounty", Paul Muni was a write-in for "Black Fury"

Winner: Bette Davis in "Dangerous", Nominees: Elisabeth Bergner in "Escape Me Never", Claudette Colbert in "Private Worlds", Katharine Hepburn in "Alice Adams", Miriam Hopkins in "Becky Sharp" and Merle Oberon in "The Dark Angel"

You did it Bette! You deserve to smile.

Winner: John Ford for "The Informer", Nominees: Michael Cortiz for "Captain Blood", Henry Hathaway for "The Lives of Bengal Lancer" and Frank Lloyd for "Mutiny On the Bounty"

1935 Oscar Snubs and Omissions:
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire for their performance is "Top Hat"
Busby Berkeley for not being nominated under Best Dance Director for "Top Hat" (more on Busby a bit later)
Alfred Hitchcock for Directing "Thirty-Nine Steps"
James Whale for Directing "Bride of Frankenstein"
the Marx Brothers for "Night at the Opera"
Elsa Lancaster and Boris Karloff for "Bride of Frankenstein"
Paul Muni in "Bordertown"
"Dante's Inferno"
Joseph von Sternberg for Directing "The Devil is a Woman"
The Musicals "Roberta" and Reckless" omitted as well as their casts
Shirley Temple for "The Little Rebel" and "Curly Top"

My Honorable Mentions:

"Bride of Frankenstein" with James Whale Directing, Elsa Lancaster and Boris Karloff in one of our most iconic horror films.

Top Hat's two stars, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing their way into our hearts with Busby Berkeley showcasing his massive talent.

"David Copperfield" and it's outstanding cast, Freddie Bartholomew, W.C. Fields, Lionel Barrymore, Elsa Lancaster and Elizabeth Allan. George Cukor for Directing. 

"Anna Karenina" with Greta Garbo, Fredric March and Basil Rathbone being ignored for their performances. Director Clarence Brown also snubbed.

Oscar Trivia and Fun Facts:
The 1935 ceremony was held at the Bitmore Hotel in Los Angeles in March of 1936. The host for the ceremony was Frank Capra.

This would be the first year that the statuette would be publicly referred to as "Oscar".

This was the first year that the category "Best Dance Direction" was introduced. Three years later with much lobbying the category would be removed.  1935 was the perfect year for Busby Berkeley to win and Oscar in this category for "Top Hat" and for his choreography for two dance numbers for "Gold Diggers of 1935" but sadly it wasn't meant to be.  The statuette went to David Gould for "Broadway Melody of 1936.  Busby Berkeley would never receive and Academy Award which is a shame.

Dudley Nichols won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Informer" but he refused to accept the award due to union disagreements. The first time an Oscar would be declined but not the last! (Hello Marlon Brando). "The Informer" was nominated for six awards and it won four. Also Best Music Scoring. It should be noted that Nichols did claim his Oscar three years later once the union disputes were resolved.

Walt Disney would win his fourth consecutive Oscar in the Short Subject category for the cartoon "Three Orphan Kittens".

A Special Award was given to Director D.W. Griffith for his pioneering efforts pre-Academy Award Films.

Lullaby of Broadway won Best Song for the film "Gold Diggers of 1935".

Even though Claudette Colbert and Katharine Hepburn were nominated for Oscars for outstanding performances they had won an Oscar previously so Bette Davis was given the award to make up for her slight the previous year for her performance in "Of Human Bondage".  (She was a write-in the previous year and her snub created a lot of controversy in the acting community).

John Ford received his first Oscar for Directing "The Informer", this would be his first of four Academy Award wins. Ironically he would never win for a Western.

Charles Laughton was the second actor to appear in three Best Picture nominated films the same year. Claudette was the first in 1934.

This would be the first year that a studio would campaign with press ads with MGM going all out for a win with "Ah, Wilderness!". The film received zero nominations.

This would be the second and last year that write-ins were allowed. Paul Muni, a write-in for Best Actor and Hal Mohr for Cinematography for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (the only time a write-in would win an Oscar)

Thanks for joining me for my Oscar series and stay tuned as we approach the holidays for more fun posts. Please enjoy a quick montage of all of the winners for 1935 below.


  1. Is that Clark Gable in the poster for Mutiny On The Bounty? It looks like Jack Lord.

  2. It looks like a very photoshopped Clark! : )

  3. Do you know why write-in ballots were discontinued?

  4. Ah, Garbo snubbed yet again! But, I think the choices were pretty good this year.

  5. @Rich, Guessing the decision to disallow write-ins was by the Academy members because it looked a bit embarrassing that they couldn't get noms correct plus after the outrage the prev year over Bette. Then with Hal Mohr actually winning as a write-in, sure the voters weren't thrilled that their decisions were trumped.

    While I was adding that Garbo poster I thought of you and I knew exactly what you would say! lol I know how you feel about Garbo being snubbed year after year.
    There were actually tough competitors that year and if Bette hadn't been 'due' I see Hepburn having won for Alice Adams.

    Have a great weekend you two and thanks for stopping by!

  6. I can not believe that Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, were snubbed for their performance in "Top Hat".

    Also, can not believe that Busby Berkeley, was not nominated for, Best Dance Director in"Top Hat".

  7. Dawn
    Of all of Fred and Ginger's collaborations you would think Top Hat would have gotten them a nom. And Busby NOT ever winning an award and being overlooked the first year that Best Dance Direction was introduced is quite surprising given his history in Hollywood with so much work put into their extravaganzas pre-1935.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. "Mutiny on the Bounty", "Les Miserables" and "Ruggles of Red Gap." Yep, 1935 was definitely Charles Laughton's year. Wow!

    Very interesting about the write-in history. I knew about Hal Mohr but not Paul Muni. I really enjoy these Oscar round-ups.

  9. This series is excellent, Page. I love the history behind the Oscars. It was quite a yeaer for good movies. McLaughlin deserved his award, no doubt, but Laughton would have made a good tie for this prize. Comedies have always been snubbed for the most part, with a few exceptions -- but how appropriate it would have been to give something special to the Marx Brothers for their brilliant Night At The Opera. Same with horror movies and Whale's Bride. Really good article...

  10. Hi Kevin, I'm glad you're enjoying the Oscar series since I've been having a lot of fun doing it. It's been fun to look back at how things began and how different things are today. I always look forward to Oscar season every year and I try to go see as many of the nominated films that I can. Going to see Hugo in 3D Weds. night and really looking forward to it.

    There were some great films during the 30's so I bet it was difficult for the Academy voters. They needed more than 5 nominees per category then they wouldn't have the write-in issues.
    Really glad you're enjoying these posts.

  11. Wow that's an awesome video! I love how it was put together with the winning Song in the background. The song really sends you back to that era.