Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Third Academy Awards

The 3rd Academy Awards were awarded to films completed and screened in 1929/1930 on November 5th 1930, in the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles. For the third and last time, the statuettes are made of bronze castings with 24k gold plating. Later statuettes are all made of britannium.

The Best Picture award went to All quiet on the western front, based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel All Quiet on the Western Front. It was directed by Lewis Milestone, also winning an Oscar for Best Director, and stars Louis Wolheim, Lew Ayres, John Wray, Arnold Lucy and Ben Alexander.Released in 1930, it is considered a realistic and harrowing account of war and World War I, and was named #54 on the AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies. Also, in 1990, this film was selected and preserved by the United States Library of Congress' National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

The Best Actor award went to George Arliss for his portrayal of Benjamin Disraeli. He began his film career with The Devil (1921), followed by Disraeli and four other silent films. Today, only The Devil and The Green Goddess (1923), based on Arliss's hit stage play of the early 1920s, are known to have survived. He remade Disraeli (1929) in sound (and won the Academy Award), converting successfully at the age of 61 from a star of the legitimate theater, then silent films, to the talkies. Also he was the first British actor to win the Oscar.

The Best Actress Oscar was awarded to Norma Shearer for her role in The Divorcee. Shearer was one of the most popular actresses in the world from the roaring 20s until her retirement in 1942. Her early films cast her as the girl-next-door, but after her 1930 film The Divorcee, she played sexually liberated women in sophisticated contemporary comedies and dramas, as well as several historical and period films.she began her career as a fashion model and film extra in 1920, but later that year, she received her first supporting part in The Stealers, attracting the attention of a young producer named Irving Thalberg, whome she would later marry and have two children with. Shearer was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress on six occasions, winning for her role in The Divorcee in 1930. She was nominated the same year for her role in Their Own Desire, in 1931 for her role in A Free Soul, in 1934 for The Barretts of Wimpole Street, in 1936 for Romeo and Juliet, and in 1938 for Marie Antoinette which was reportedly her favorite role. Reportedly she had an ongoing fued with Joan Crawford over stardom throughout that decade. After Thalberg's death of pneumonia in 1936 Shearer embarked on a string of romances with then unmarried actors. In 1942, after passing up roles in Gone With the Wind and Mrs. Miniver, and public indifference to her last few films, Shearer retired from acting.Later that year, she married Martin Arrougé (March 23, 1914 - August 8, 1999), a former ski instructor twelve or fourteen years her junior. Confounding the skeptics, they were still happily married at the time of her death (from pneumonia and Alzheimer's disease) at 82 years old.

The awards were hosted by Conrad Nagel a successful American screen actor and matinee idol of the silent film era and beyond. He was also a well known television actor and radio performer.In 1940, Nagel was given an Honorary Academy Award for his work with the Motion Picture Relief Fund. He was the host of the 3rd Academy Awards ceremony held on November 5, 1930, the 5th Academy Awards on November 18, 1932, and a co-host with Bob Hope at the 25th Academy Awards ceremony on March 19, 1953. The 21-year gap between his appearances in 1932 and 1953 is a record for an Oscar ceremonies host.

No comments: