With TCM set to begin it’s 31 Days of Oscar programming this weekend, it’s time to introduce a new running feature: interesting facts and info about the Academy Awards of yesteryear. Throughout the next month, we’ll run through some information about each ceremony which could be considered from the “classic” or old movie era. Talking about last year’s awards, for instance, would seem a little out of place on this blog.
This won’t include the full list of winners and nominees, which can easily be found multiple places online. Instead, we’ll take a look at some interesting information and little tidbits. Let’s start out with the first five awards:
–The Jazz Singer remains to this day probably the most notable film released in 1927 due it’s status as the first feature length talkie. Wings also follows closely behind with the notable achievement of being the first film to win Best Picture (then called Outstanding Picture). But for all of the historical significance and sensation The Jazz Singer caused, it was only nominated for one official award– Adapted Screenplay. It did, however, receive an honorary award for its significance.
-This is the only year where no film one more than one Oscar.
-Although the name is not well known now, Elliot Clawson was nominated for a remarkable four Oscars for best writing. He pulled this off in his final year of work, a writing career that began in 1913 with 81 films to his credit.
-Three of the five nominees for Best Actor received two nominations: George Arliss (who won), Maurice Chevalier and Ronald Colman.
-This was the debut of the Best Sound Recording category. Two of the five nominated were musicals: The Love Parade and The Song of the Flame. The latter is notable for being a technicolor film, and the first color film used with a widescreen sequence. It is now lost.
-Jackie Cooper, at nine years old, was the youngest person nominated for any award for 48 years. He lost to Lionel Barrymore, the oldest nominee that year.
-Helen Hayes, in only her third screen appearance (and first sound role), won her first Oscar. It would be 39 years until she won again.
-As both producer and director of The Champ, King Vidor was nominated for both Best Picture and Best Director. He lost in both categories.
–Grand Hotel is the only Best Picture winner to have not been nominated in any other category.