The Academy Awards

Trivia, Quotes, Notes and Allusions

Quotes (109)

  • Hattie McDaniel : (when accepting her award for Actress in a Supporting Role) Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science[s], fellow members of the motion picture industry and honored guests. This is one of the happiest moments of my life, and I want to thank each one of you who had a part in selecting me for one of the awards for your kindness. It has made me feel very, very humble and I shall always hold it as a beacon for anything I may be able to do in the future. I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry. My heart is too full to tell you just how I feel. And may I say thank you and God bless you.

  • Vivien Leigh : (accepting her award for Best Actress) Ladies and gentlemen, please forgive me if my words are inadequate in thanking you for your very great kindness. If I were to mention all those who have shown me such wonderful generosity through Gone with the Wind I should have to entertain you with an oration as long as Gone with the Wind itself. So if I may, I should like to devote my thanks on this occasion to that composite figure of energy, courage, and very great kindness, in whom all points of Gone with the Wind meet...Mr. David Selznick.

  • Teresa Wright : (accepting her award for Actress in a Supporting Role) Thank you. I wish Major Wyler were here tonight so I could thank him first for his splendid direction. And I'd like to thank Mr. Mayer and Mr. Franklin for giving me the part. And I'd like to thank the people who gave me this because they're the people I work with and therefore it's doubly thrilling to get it from them. Thank you.

  • Greer Garson : (accepting her award for Best Actress) Ladies and gentlemen, I came to this country as a stranger five years ago. I've been very happy and very proud to be a member of this community and of this industry all that time. And from everybody I met or worked with truly I have received such ready kindness that for quite a long while I couldn't believe that it was true, but tonight you have made me feel that you have really set the door of your friendship wide open and that welcome is officially on the mat, and that is why I'm so happy.

  • Van Heflin : (accepting his award for Actor in a Supporting Role) Well, I'll just say...I'm...I'm so grateful to Mervyn LeRoy for helping me, to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, to Mr. Mayer, for giving me a chance, to the New York theater for training me for it. (laughs) To the Army for letting me come down and get this.

  • James Cagney : (accepting his award for Best Actor) Ladies and gentlemen: Very happy. [Audience yells, "Louder"] I said, ladies and gentlemen – I bend into my work here – very happy, very happy. According to the highly personal quality of our business, I've always had the feeling ever since coming into it, that you can only be as good as the other fellow thinks you are, or, I might add, as bad. And it seemed that quite a number of people have thought a good job has been done, and that makes me very happy. And just one added thought, I might say it was a pretty good part. Thank you.

  • Claude Jarman, Jr.: (accepting a special award as an outstanding child actor) Thank you. This is about the most exciting thing that can happen to anybody. I wanted to thank Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for all they've done for me, and Mr. Sidney Franklin for letting me play "Jody," and Mr. Clarence Brown for picking me out of my schoolroom and bringing me here, and Miss Lillian Burns at the studio who has helped me so much. And to all of you for liking me. I'm very proud and grateful.

  • Harold Russell : (accepting a special award for his work in the film The Best Years of Our Lives) Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. This is the proudest and happiest moment of my life. I wish to sincerely thank Mr. Wyler and Mr. Goldwyn and all the other wonderful people who helped me so much in the picture "The Best Years of Our Lives." Shirley [Temple], I'd like to accept this trophy in the name of all those thousands of disabled veterans who are laying in hospitals all over the country. Thank you very much.

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Notes (187)

  • This year's awards ceremony was the only one that was never broadcast in some way.

  • All six of the nominees for Best Cinematography came from United Artists except the winner, Sunrise which came from Fox.

  • There were three writing categories for this first Oscar year. Aside from the Original and Adapted categories there was also an award for "Title Writing" which became defunct after this year.

  • The Racket was nominated for Best Picture and nothing else.

  • There were actually two winners for Best Director, one for a comedy and the other for drama. The Drama award was given to Frank Borzage for Seventh Heaven and the comedy direction award went to Lewis Milestone for Two Arabian Knights

  • Because all the winners had been announced some weeks before, it took only five minutes to hand out the awards.

  • Wings in the only silent film to win Best Picture.

  • The Way of All Flesh (for which Emile Jannings won Best Actor) is the only Oscar winning that has been lost. No print is know to exist.

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Trivia (113)

  • It takes 12 people 20 hours to make one Oscar statuette.

  • An Oscar statuette is 34.3cm (13.5 inches) tall.

  • The first ever Academy Awards lasted only 5 minutes and tickets cost just $10.

  • This was the first time a director would win for a movie which also won "Best Picture", something which is the norm now.

  • Will Rogers created some embarrassing confusion when presenting the award for Best Picture. When he opened the envelope, he said "Come on up and get it, Frank!". Frank Capra leapt from his seat, thinking he had won for Lady for a Day. When he arrived at the podium, he realized that Rogers had meant Cavalcade producer Frank Lloyd. Embarrassed, Capra told the press that he would not attend another Academy Awards ceremony, yet he attended the following year and did receive the award for It Happened One Night.

  • During Walt Disney's acceptance speech, he became the first winner to publicly acknowledge the statuette as "Oscar" even though the name wasn't officially adopted until 1939.

  • This was the first year that the gold statuettes were officially nicknamed the "Oscars."

  • Spencer Tracy's Oscar for "Boys Town" was inscribed with the name "Dick Tracy".

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Allusions (7)

  • The 61st Annual Academy Awards After an elaborate stage performance of "Be Our Guest" from Beauty and the Beast, as the performers dressed as large Disney characters from the film were leaving the stage, host Billy Crystal commented "Is Allan Carr producing the show again?" This is a reference to the producer of The 61st Annual Academy Awards who has become infamous for his embarrassing, overproduced Rob Lowe/Snow White production number that opened that show.

  • Billy Crystal's Opening Skit references the movies; West Side Story (1961), The Graduate (1967), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Deliverance (1972), The Exorcist (1973), E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and American Beauty (1999).

  • Joel Grey (presenting "Best Actor in a Supporting Role"): Last year's winner of this award won for traipsing through the desert on a demonic path to shoot and kill our next nominee (...) Josh Brolin. Last year's winner was Javier Bardem for No Country For Old Men. His character Anton Chigurh chased Llewelyn Moss (played by Josh Brolin) to kill him.

  • Kunio Katô (accepting the Best Animated Short Award): Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto. Those are the lyrics of the 1983 song "Mr. Roboto" by Styx.

  • Whoopi Goldberg: It's not easy playing a nun. She was talking about her role in the 1992 movie Sister Act, and, in it's 1993 sequel Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit.

  • Jerry Lewis: I shall pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. This speech was once said by Mahatma Ghandi.

  • When Ben Stiller and Natalie Portman appeared to present the award for Best Cinematography, Stiller's look was a spoof of Joaquin Phoenix's recent appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman.