TCM kicks off the 31 Days of Oscar today with all of the 1939 Best Picture nominees. This installment of interesting facts does take a look at that year (the 12th) as well as many others . . .
-Frank Capra racked up his third Best Director win for You Can’t Take It With You, the first to do so.
-Michael Curtiz, despite not winning Best Director, did have an impressive two nominations in the category: Angels with Dirty Faces and Four Daughters.
-Spencer Tracy became the first person to win back-to-back Best Actor awards, a feat only achieved twice.
-Of the 13 categories Gone with the Wind could have been eligible for, it received nominations for all but one–Best Supporting Actor. With ten wins total, it only lost in two categories.
-One of those winners was Hattie McDaniel for Best Supporting Actress, the first African-American to win any award.
-This was the first year to feature the Best Visual Effects category.
-David O. Selznick became the first to produce two consecutive Best Picture winners, with the win for Rebecca.
-Although Rebecca was nominated for 11 awards, it only picked up two wins.
-The five nominations for The Great Dictator marked the first time Charlie Chaplin was nominated for any competitive award. It did not win in any category.
-This was the first year for the Best Documentary category.
–The Little Foxes received nine nominations with no wins, a record at the time.
-This marked the last of five straight years that Bette Davis was nominated for Best Actress. After skipping the next year with no nomination, she would follow it up with another nomination the year after.
-Four films won for Best Documentary, out of 25 nominees, the largest nominee pool ever.