Thursday, December 27, 2007

12th Academy Awards

The 12th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 1939, were held on February 29, 1940 at a banquet in the "Coconut Grove", Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles.

This was the year of Gone with the wind. The movie received the most nominations of the year, with thirteen. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Stagecoach, Love Affair, The Wizard of Oz, The Rains Came, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men and Dark Victory were among the films with multiple nominations. Prior to the announcement of nominations, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gone with the Wind were the two films most widely tipped to receive a significant number of them. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington premiered in Washington with a party hosted by the National Press Club. The film's theme of political corruption was condemned, with the film being denounced in the U.S. Senate. Frank Capra, the director, and James Stewart, the film's star were considered front runners to win awards. Gone with the Wind premiered in December 1939 with a Gallup poll taken shortly before its release concluding that 56.5 million people intended to see the film. The New York Film Critics Award was given to Wuthering Heights after thirteen rounds of balloting had left the voters deadlocked between Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Gone with the Wind. The press were divided in their support for the nominated actors. Time Magazine favoured Vivien Leigh and used her portrait for their Christmas 1939 edition, and the Hollywood Reporter predicted a possible win by Leigh and Laurence Olivier The newspapers, particularly in Los Angeles, predicted Bette Davis would win for Dark Victory.

The director Frank Capra was the incumbent President of the Academy, and in a first for Academy Awards ceremonies, sold the rights for the event to be filmed. Warner Brothers obtained the rights, for $30,000 to film the banquet and the presentation of the awards, to use as a short, and it was shot by the cinematographer, Charles Rosher. Variety Magazine noted that the stars in attendance were conscious of being filmed at the event for the first time, and that the event was marked by glamour with fashion conscious actresses wearing the best of gowns, furs and jewelry. Despite a promise to withhold the results of the voting, by the time the final guests were arriving, the Los Angeles Times had already printed a substantially accurate list of winners, with many of the nominees learning before the ceremony who had won.

Finally, it was Gone with the wind that took the award for Best Picture (with 9 more). As a movie fan and an Oscar buff this is my old time favorite film, and many other people think or thought the same. Adapted from Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel of the same name and directed by Victor Fleming, the epic, set in the American South in and around the time of the Civil War, starred Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard and Olivia de Havilland. It told a story of the Civil War and its aftermath from a white Southern point of view.It was awarded ten Academy Awards, a record that would stand for years. It has been named by the American Film Institute as number four among the top 100 American films of all time. It has sold more tickets than any other film in history. Today it is considered one of the most popular films of all time, and one of the most enduring symbols of the golden age of Hollywood. Adjusting for inflation, the film is the highest grossing of all time. We are all familiar with the many famous lines in the movie, especially the last scene when Rhett Butler finally leaves Scarlett with the famous "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" or the last line Scarlett delivers "Tomorrow is another day. Behind the scenes it was a whole different story. Producer David O. Selznick, head of Selznick International Pictures, decided that he wanted to create a film based on the novel after his story editor Kay Brown read a pre-publication copy in May 1936 and urged him to buy the film rights. A month after the book's publication in June 1936, Selznick bought the rights for $50,000, a record amount at the time. Major financing for the film was provided by Selznick business partner John Hay Whitney, a financier who later went on to become a U.S. ambassador. The casting of the two lead roles became a complex, two-year endeavor. Many famous or soon-to-be-famous actresses were either screen-tested, auditioned, or considered for the role of Scarlett. Four actresses, including Jean Arthur and Joan Bennett, were still under consideration by December 1938. But only two finalists, Paulette Goddard and Vivien Leigh, were tested in Technicolor, both on December 20. Selznick had been quietly considering Vivien Leigh, a young English actress little known in America, for the role of Scarlett since February 1938, but for publicity reasons David arranged to meet her for the first time on the night of December 10, 1938, when the burning of the Atlanta Depot was filmed. For the role of Rhett Butler, Clark Gable was an almost immediate favorite for both the public and Selznick. Nevertheless, as Selznick had no male stars under long-term contract, he needed to go through the process of negotiating to borrow an actor from another studio. Gary Cooper was thus Selznick's first choice, because Cooper's contract with Samuel Goldwyn involved a common distribution company, United Artists, with which Selznick had an eight-picture deal. However, Goldwyn remained noncommittal in negotiations. Warner Bros. offered a package of Bette Davis, Errol Flynn, and Olivia de Havilland for the lead roles in return for the distribution rights. But by then Selznick was determined to get Clark Gable, and eventually found a way to borrow him from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Selznick's father-in-law, MGM chief Louis B. Mayer, offered in May 1938 to fund half of the movie's budget in return for a powerful package: 50% of the profits would go to MGM, the movie's distribution would be credited to MGM's parent company, Loew's, Inc., and Loew's would receive 15 percent of the movie's gross income. Selznick accepted this offer in August, and Gable was cast. Nevertheless, the arrangement to release through MGM meant delaying the start of production until Selznick International completed its eight-picture contract with United Artists. Principal photography began January 26, 1939, and ended on June 27, 1939, with post-production work (including a fifth version of the opening scene) going to November 11, 1939. Director George Cukor, with whom Selznick had a long working relationship, and who spent almost two years in preproduction on Gone with the Wind, was replaced after less than three weeks of shooting. Victor Fleming, who had just directed The Wizard of Oz, was called in from MGM to complete the picture, although Cukor continued privately to coach Leigh's and De Havilland's performances. Another MGM director, Sam Wood, worked for two weeks in May when Fleming temporarily left the production due to exhaustion. The film premiered in Atlanta, Georgia, on December 15, 1939 as the climax of three days of festivities hosted by the mayor which consisted of a parade of limousines featuring stars from the film, receptions, thousands of Confederate flags, false antebellum fronts on stores and homes, and a costume ball. The governor of Georgia declared December 15 a state holiday.

The best director award went to Victor Flemming for Gone with the wind though he was also nominated for The wizard of Oz. In 1932 Fleming joined MGM and directed some of the studio's most prestigious films. Red Dust (1932), Bombshell (1933), and Reckless (1935) showcased Jean Harlow, while Treasure Island (1934) and Captains Courageous (1937) brought a touch of literary distinction to boy's-own adventure stories. His two most famous films came in 1939, when The Wizard of Oz was closely followed by Gone with the Wind. Their fame has outstripped that of their credited director. Both were essentially producer-led projects, and in each case Fleming replaced the original directors after filming had begun, although he alone received director credit on both (he replaced Richard Thorpe on The Wizard of Oz after George Cukor had briefly come in and altered some of the makeup. Cukor's alterations remained in the film, and, by coincidence, it was Cukor whom Fleming replaced on Gone With the Wind. )Fleming's few remaining films were disappointing to some, and he died quite suddenly from a heart attack soon after completing Joan of Arc (1948) with Ingrid Bergman. Fleming's film version of the life of Joan remains the definitive one for many movie lovers, and despite mixed reviews, received seven Academy Award nominations, winning two Oscars. In recent years, it has been restored to its full-length of 145 minutes, causing a more positive re-evaluation of the film based on the complete version.

The Best Actor award was contested between Clark Gable and James Stewart though neither won. It was Robert Donat who won for his role in Goodbye Mr.Chips. Donat made his first stage appearance in 1921 and his film debut in 1932 in Men of Tomorrow. His first great screen success came with The Private Life of Henry VIII (playing Thomas Culpepper), under the renowned film director and producer Alexander Korda. He had a successful screen image as an English gentleman who was neither haughty nor common. That made him something of a novelty in British films at the time, and he was likened by critics to Hollywood's Clark Gable and Gary Cooper. His most successful films included The Ghost Goes West (1935), Hitchcock's The 39 Steps (1935), The Citadel (1938), for which he received his first Oscar nomination, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939). He was a major theatre star, however, he suffered from ill-health (chronic asthma) which shortened his career and limited him to twenty films. His final role, as the mandarin of "Yang Cheng" in The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958) is memorable because it is apparent that he knew that he was close to death. He died of an asthma attack on June 9 of that year at age 53 in London, England. Donat was twice married, first to Ella Annesley Voysey (1929-1946), by whom he had 3 children, and subsequently to British actress Renée Asherson (1953-1958). About Gable's loss, Carole Lombard was quoted as comforting Gable afterwards, with the comment "don't worry, Pappy. We'll bring one home next year". Gable replied that he felt this had been his last chance, to which Lombard was said to have replied, "Not you, you self-centered bastard. I meant me."

The Best Actress award went to Vivien Leigh as predicted by many. An English actress, she won two Academy Awards for playing "southern belles": Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939) and Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), a role she had also played in London's West End. She was a prolific stage performer, frequently in collaboration with her husband, Laurence Olivier, who directed her in several of her roles. During her thirty-year stage career, she played parts that ranged from the heroines of Noël Coward and George Bernard Shaw comedies to classic Shakespearean characters such as Ophelia, Cleopatra, Juliet and Lady Macbeth. Lauded for her beauty, Leigh felt that it sometimes prevented her from being taken seriously as an actress, but ill health proved to be her greatest obstacle. Affected by bipolar disorder for most of her adult life, she gained a reputation for being a difficult person to work with, and her career went through periods of decline. She was further weakened by recurrent bouts of tuberculosis, with which she was first diagnosed in the mid-1940s. She and Olivier divorced in 1960, and Leigh worked sporadically in film and theatre until her death from tuberculosis. The filming of Gone with the wind proved difficult for Leigh; Cukor was dismissed and replaced by Victor Fleming, with whom Leigh frequently quarrelled. She and Olivia de Havilland secretly met with Cukor at night and on weekends for his advice about how they should play their parts. She befriended Clark Gable, his wife Carole Lombard and de Havilland, but she clashed with Leslie Howard, with whom she was required to play several emotional scenes. Adding to her distress, she was sometimes required to work seven days a week, often late into the night, and she missed Olivier, who was working in New York. In February 1940, Jill Esmond agreed to divorce Olivier, and Holman also agreed to divorce Leigh, although they maintained a strong friendship for the rest of Leigh's life. Esmond was granted custody of Tarquin, her son with Olivier, and Holman was granted custody of Suzanne, his daughter with Leigh. On August 30 Olivier and Leigh were married in Santa Barbara, California, in a ceremony attended only by their witnesses, Katharine Hepburn and Garson Kanin. By 1948 Olivier was on the Board of Directors for the Old Vic Theatre, and he and Leigh embarked on a tour of Australia and New Zealand to raise funds for the theatre. During their six-month tour, Olivier performed Richard III and also performed with Leigh in The School for Scandal and The Skin of Our Teeth. The tour was an outstanding success, and although Leigh was plagued with insomnia and allowed her understudy to replace her for a week while she was ill, she generally withstood the demands placed upon her, with Olivier noting her ability to "charm the press." Members of the company later recalled several quarrels between the couple, the most dramatic occurring in Christchurch when Leigh refused to go onstage. Olivier slapped her face, and Leigh slapped him in return and swore at him before she made her way to the stage. By the end of the tour, both were exhausted and ill, and Olivier told a journalist, "You may not know it, but you are talking to a couple of walking corpses." Later he would comment that he "lost Vivien" in Australia. Leigh next sought the role of Blanche DuBois in the West End stage production of Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire, and was cast after Williams and the play's producer Irene Mayer Selznick saw her in the The School for Scandal and Antigone. After 326 performances, Leigh finished her run; however, she was soon engaged for the film version. Her irreverent and often bawdy sense of humour allowed her to establish a rapport with her co-star Marlon Brando, but she had difficulty with the director Elia Kazan, who did not hold her in high regard as an actress. In January 1953, Leigh travelled to Ceylon to film Elephant Walk with Peter Finch. Shortly after filming commenced, she suffered a breakdown, and Paramount Studios replaced her with Elizabeth Taylor. In 1958, considering her marriage to be over, Leigh began a relationship with the actor Jack Merivale, who knew of Leigh's medical condition and assured Olivier he would care for her. In 1960, she and Olivier divorced, and Olivier married the actress Joan Plowright. In May 1967, she was rehearsing to appear with Michael Redgrave in Edward Albee's A Delicate Balance when she became ill with tuberculosis but, after resting for several weeks, seemed to be recovering. On the night of July 7, Merivale left her as usual, to perform in a play, and returned home around midnight to find her asleep. About thirty minutes later (by now July 8), he returned to the bedroom and discovered her body on the floor. She was cremated, and her ashes were scattered on the lake at her home, Tickerage Mill, near Blackboys, East Sussex, England. A memorial service was held at St Martin-in-the-Fields, with a final tribute read by John Gielgud. In the United States, she became the first actress honoured by "The Friends of the Libraries at the University of Southern California". The ceremony was conducted as a memorial service, with selections from her films shown and tributes provided by such associates as George Cukor.

Last year's winner Fay Bainter announced the winners for the Best Supporting role. The Best Supporting actor went to Thomas Mitchell. He was an Academy, Emmy, and Tony award winning American film actor as well as a screenplay writer. He is remembered as one of the premier character actors in motion picture history. Mitchell's breakthrough role was as the regenerate embezzler in Frank Capra's classic 1937 film Lost Horizon. Following this performance, he was much in demand in Hollywood. That same year he would also be nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his performance in the film The Hurricane directed by John Ford. Over the next few years Mitchell's credits read like a list from the greatest films of the 20th century. In 1939 alone he would enjoy key roles in five classic films: Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Only Angels Have Wings, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Gone with the Wind. While probably better remembered as Scarlett O'Hara's loving but doomed father in Gone with the Wind, it was for his performance as the drunken Doc Boone in Stagecoach, co-starring John Wayne (in Wayne's breakthrough role), that Mitchell won the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Throughout the 1940s and 50's Mitchell would continue to find work in a wide variety of roles in generally high-quality productions, such as 1944's The Keys of the Kingdom (opposite Gregory Peck and 1952's High Noon (as the town mayor). He is probably best known to audiences today for his role as sad-sack Uncle Billy in Capra's 1946 Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life opposite James Stewart.Throughout the 1950s and into the early 1960s Mitchell would find considerable work in the new medium known as television.Thomas Mitchell died in 1962 at age 70 from cancer in Beverly Hills, California.

It was the Best supporting actress that marked a turning point in movie history. The winner was Hattie McDaniel as the first black performer to win the award for the role of of Mammy in Gone with the Wind. In 1975, she was inducted into the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, and in 2006 became the first black Oscar winner honored with a US postage stamp. 1934's Judge Priest, directed by John Ford and starring Will Rogers, was the first film in which she would receive a major role. She had a leading part in the film and demonstrated her singing talent, including a duet with Rogers. McDaniel and Rogers became friends during filming. McDaniel had prominent roles in 1935 with her classic performance as a slovenly maid in RKO Pictures' Alice Adams, and a delightfully comic part as Jean Harlow's maid/traveling companion in MGM's China Seas, the latter her first film with Clark Gable. She had a featured role as Queenie in Universal Pictures' 1936 version of Show Boat starring Irene Dunne, and sang a verse of Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man with Helen Morgan, Paul Robeson, and the African-American chorus. Later in the film she and Robeson sang "I Still Suits Me", a song written especially by Kern and Hammerstein for the film. After Show Boat she had major roles in MGM's Saratoga (1937), starring Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, The Shopworn Angel (1938) with Margaret Sullavan, and The Mad Miss Manton (1938), starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. The competition in Gone with the Wind (1939), for Mammy had been almost as stiff as that for Scarlett O'Hara. McDaniel did not think she would be chosen, because she was known for being a comic actress. Clark Gable recommended the role to go to McDaniel, and when she went to her audition dressed in an authentic maid's uniform, Selznick knew he had found Mammy. Gable was delighted to be working again with Hattie. While the Jim Crow laws kept McDaniel from the Atlanta premiere, she did attend the Hollywood debut on December 28, 1939. This time, upon Selznick's insistence, her picture was featured prominently in the program. She made her last film appearances, Mickey and Family Honeymoon (1949), but was still quite active in her final years on radio and television, becoming the first major African American radio star. McDaniel learned she had breast cancer and by the spring of 1952, she was too ill to work. McDaniel died at age 57, in the hospital on the grounds of the Motion Picture House in Woodland Hills, on October 26, 1952. She was survived at the time by her brother, Sam "Deacon" McDaniel, a film actor. Thousands of mourners turned out to remember her life and accomplishments. It was her wish to be buried in the Hollywood Cemetery on Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood, along with her fellow movie stars. The owner, Jules 'Jack' Roth, refused to allow her to be interred there, because they did not take blacks. Her second choice was Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. In 1999, Tyler Cassity, the new owner of the Hollywood Cemetery, who had renamed it Hollywood Forever Cemetery; wanted to right the wrong and have Miss McDaniel interred there. Her family did not want to disturb her remains after the passage of so much time, and declined the offer. Hollywood Forever Cemetery then did the next best thing and built a large cenotaph memorial on the lawn overlooking the lake in honor of McDaniel. It is one of the most popular sites for visitors. Olivia de Havilland was among those to make their way to McDaniel's table to offer congratulations after her win at the Oscar ceremony, though it was reported that de Havilland then fled to the kitchen, where she burst into tears. The press reported that an irritated Irene Mayer Selznick followed her, and told her to return to their table and stop making a fool of herself.

The Best Song Oscar went to Over the rainbow from The wizard of Oz sang by Judy Garland who also recieved the Special Juvenile award that year. "Over the Rainbow" (also known as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow") is a popular song with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg. It was written to showcase Judy Garland's talents in the star vehicle movie The Wizard of Oz, and it became her signature song. She would forever be called upon to sing it in all her public appearances. The song's plaintive melody and simple lyrics depict a pre-adolescent girl's desire to escape from the "hopeless jumble" of this world, from the sadness of raindrops to the bright new world "over the rainbow." It expresses the childlike faith that a door will magically be open to a place where "troubles melt like lemon-drops". The song tops the "Songs of the Century" list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. It also topped the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Songs" list.
The Honorary awards went to:

Jean Hersholt (president); Ralph Morgan (chairman of the executive committee); Ralph Block (first vice-president); Conrad Nagel; Motion Picture Relief Fund- Acknowledging the outstanding services to the industry during the past year.
Technicolor Co.- For its contributions in successfully bringing three-color feature production to the screen.
Douglas Fairbanks- Recognizing the unique and outstanding contribution of Douglas Fairbanks, first president of the Academy, to the international development of the motion picture
Gone with the Wind (1939) - William Cameron Menzies- For outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone with the Wind

The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award was awarded to:

David O. Selznick one of the iconic Hollywood producers of the Golden Age. He is best known for producing the epic blockbuster Gone with the Wind (1939) which earned him an Oscar for Best Picture. Not only did Gone with the Wind gross the highest amount of money at the box office of any film ever (adjusted for inflation), but it also won seven additional Oscars and two special awards. He would make film history by winning the Best Picture Oscar a second year in a row for Rebecca (1940). He studied at Columbia University and worked as an apprentice in his father's company until his father went bankrupt in 1923. In 1926, Selznick moved to Hollywood and with his father's connections, got a job as an assistant story editor at MGM. He left MGM for Paramount Pictures in 1928, working there until 1931 when he joined RKO as Head of Production. In 1933 he returned to MGM to establish a second prestige production unit to parallel that of Irving Thalberg who was in poor health. His blockbuster classics included Dinner at Eight (1933), David Copperfield (1935), Anna Karenina (1935) and A Tale of Two Cities (1935). He longed to be an independent producer and establish his own studio. In 1935 he realized that goal by forming Selznick International Pictures and distributing his films through United Artists. His successes continued with classics such as The Garden of Allah (1936), The Prisoner of Zenda (1937), A Star Is Born (1937), Nothing Sacred (1937), The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1038), Made for Each Other (1939), Intermezzo (1939) and, of course, his magnum opus, Gone with the Wind (1939). In 1940, he produced his second Best Picture Oscar winner in a row, Rebecca, the first Hollywood production for British director Alfred Hitchcock. Selznick had brought Hitchcock over from England, launching the director's American career. Rebecca was Hitchcock's only film to win Best Picture. After Rebecca, Selznick closed Selznick International Pictures and took some time off. His business activities included loaning out to other studios for large profits the high-powered talent he had under contract In 1944 he returned to producing pictures with the huge success Since You Went Away, which he wrote. He followed that with the classic Spellbound (1945) as well as Portrait of Jennie (1948). In 1949, he co-produced the memorable Carol Reed picture The Third Man. Selznick spent most of the 1950s obsessing about nurturing the career of his second wife Jennifer Jones. His last film, the big budget production, A Farewell to Arms (1957) starring Jones and Rock Hudson, was ill received. But in 1954, he ventured successfully into television, producing a two hour extravaganza called Light's Diamond Jubilee, which, in true Selznick fashion, made TV history by being telecast simultaneously on all networks. Selznick married Irene Gladys Mayer, daughter of MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer, in 1930. They divorced in 1948. They had two sons, Daniel Selznick and Jeffrey Selznick. He became interested in actress Jennifer Jones, who was then married to actor Robert Hudson Walker, and persuaded her to divorce him; he married her in 1949. They had one daughter, Mary Jennifer Selznick, who committed suicide in 1975. Selznick's brother Myron Selznick became one of the most powerful agents in Hollywood, defining the profession for those that followed. He died in 1944. Selznick died in 1965 following several heart attacks.

The awards were hosted for the first time by Bob Hope, an english born entertainer. Paramount Pictures signed Hope for the 1938 film The Big Broadcast of 1938. During a duet with Shirley Ross as accompanied by Shep Fields and his orchestra, Hope introduced the bittersweet song later to become his trademark, "Thanks for the Memory", which became a major hit and was praised by critics. The sentimental and fluid nature of the music allowed Hope's writers (whom he is said to have depended upon heavily throughout his career) to later invent endless variations of the song to fit specific circumstances, such as bidding farewell to troops while on tour. Hope's regular appearances in Hollywood films and radio made him one of the best known entertainers in North America, and at the height of his career he was also making a large income from live concert performances. Hope was host of the Academy Awards ceremony 18 times between 1939 and 1977. His alleged lust for an Oscar became part of his performing shtick, perhaps most memorably in a scene from Road to Morocco in which he suddenly erupted in a crazed frenzy, shouting about his imminent death from starvation and heat. Bing Crosby reminds him that rescue is just minutes away, and a disappointed Hope complains that Crosby has spoiled his best scene in the picture, and thus, his chance for an Academy Award. Although Hope never did win a Oscar for his performances (nor a nomination), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honored him with four honorary awards, and in 1960, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. While introducing the 1968 telecast, he famously quipped, "Welcome to the Academy Awards, or, as it's known at my house, Passover." Hope would also gain some recognition as "America's Favorite Funnyman" as well. In 1934 Bob Hope married Dolores Reade, and adopted four children, Linda, Anthony, Laura and Kelley. From them he had four grandchildren. Hope celebrated his 100th birthday on May 29, 2003, joining a small group of notable centenarians in the field of entertainment (including Irving Berlin, Hal Roach, Senor Wences, George Abbott, and George Burns.) To mark this event, the intersection of Hollywood and Vine in Los Angeles was named Bob Hope Square and his centennial was declared Bob Hope Day in 35 states. Hope spent the day privately in his Toluca Lake, Los Angeles home where he had lived since 1937. Hope lived so long that he suffered premature obituaries on two separate occasions. On July 27, 2003, Bob Hope died at his home at 9:28 p.m. According to one of Hope's daughters, when asked on his deathbed where he wanted to be buried, he told his wife, "Surprise me."

Further controversy erupted following the ceremony, with the Los Angeles Times reporting that Leigh had won over Davis by the smallest of margins, and that Donat had likewise won over James Stewart by a small number of votes. This led Academy officials to examine ways that the voting process, and more importantly, the results, would remain secret in future years. They considered the Los Angeles Times publication of such details as a breach of faith.

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