Oscar History

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Entries in Oscar Trivia (415)


120 days til Oscar. "Best Dance Direction," anyone?

by Nathaniel R

It's your useless morning trivia! Guess what the 120th Oscar handed out was? If my calculations are correct -- I carefully counted through "Inside Oscar"'s brilliant year-by-year history to determine the order -- it was Best Dance Direction 1936 which went to Seymour Felix for "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" from The Great Ziegfeld. The famous number led up to the film's intermission. The film also won Best Picture. 

"Best Dance Direction" only lasted three years at the Oscars from 1935 through 1937.

Rather hilariously, the genius Busby Berkeley never won it though he was nominated all three years running and is the only man among the 11 nominated for that award that has any name recognition in the 21st century. Remember when Ryan Gosling was going to star as him in a biopic ? Too bad that never materialized! 

Here's Felix's winning number:


121 sea-faring days 'til Oscar

Oscar night will be here before you know it! It's time for your daily Oscar trivia. Today's is Biblical epic style... sort of.

So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
-Genesis 1:21

Oscar's favorite sea-faring and/or sea-creature adventures are after the jump but soon we will have to add The Shape of Water (now opening December 1st -- one week earlier than as originally planned) to this list. Where do you think it will land in the following list:


01 Titanic (1997) - 14 nominations | 11 wins including Best Picture

02 Life of Pi (2012) - 11 nominations including Best Picture | 4 wins

03 Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) - 8 nominations | 1 win for Best Picture (and by extension it's remake Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) 7 nominations including Best Picture...

Click to read more ...


123 days until Oscar... we've got Bette Davis eyes

by Nathaniel R

It's time for your morning dose of highly unneccessary Oscar-mad trivia.

Did you know that Bette Davis, Oscar's third favorite actress of all time (after Hepburn & Streep), had exactly 123 screen credits to her name?! Her debut film The Bad Sister (1931) was released a week before her 23rd birthday and her 123rd and final project, Wicked Stepmother (1989), was released eight months before her death of breast cancer at 81. That's 58 years of big-eyed, inimitably voiced, ferocious performances.  

Two Bette-inspired questions for the day...

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124 days until Oscar... 

Just 124 days until Hollywood's High Holy Night, now. Time for a little silly trivia. Only two Best Picture winners have ever been exactly 124 minutes long. Curiously enough, those titles were back-to-back winners: Ordinary People (1980) and Chariots of Fire (1981) both of which beat critically-obsessed-over competition in Raging Bull (1980) and Reds (1981).

Admit it: You heard the Chariots of Fire theme song in your head and visualized Mary Tyler Moore's ice cold mom as soon as you read the titles. 

Where else did your mind's eye take you?


Harvey Weinstein Expelled From the Academy

By Nathaniel R

It's the end of an era. Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences given the avalanche of sexual harassment and rape claims that have hit in the past week. That's quite a downfall for a man once synonomous with Oscar Night. Or as The Los Angeles Times succinctly puts it

The move... in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.

The Oscars aren't the house that Harvey built, of course. They have survived many scandals and scandalous members and will survive this. The organization predates his birth by 25 years though how's this for an eery bit of Oscar/Harvey trivia: the very first televised Oscars were held on the night of baby Harvey's first birthday on March 19th, 1953. The producing giant didn't come into prominence until the early 1990s with the rise of Miramax but once he did he changed the way Oscar campaigns ran, was thanked relentlessly in acceptance speeches, and made prestige mini-majors the dominant Oscar players across town. 

Of course one could argue that the Weinstein era had ended years ago. The Weinstein Company has struggled in recent years against the rise of now-powerful awards players like Fox Searchlight, A24, Amazon Studios and more. There isn't even much to say about the way the Weinstein sexual harassment scandals will affect the Oscars this year. TWC only had one release this year that was successful enough to justify a campaign of any kind (Wind River) but that was a long shot at best even before the company was embroiled in this scandal. The period drama The Current War was their Christmas hopeful but its festival response was tepid and with the company falling apart and cries to "dissolve the board" out there it seems unlikely that it will see release any time soon.  

The Academy's Board of Governors (incidentally just one woman shy of being 50% women) was right to get this scandal off their plate immediately given that the Honorary Oscars are just around the corner. Who could be celebratory with anything like this depressing hurtful story on their minds? But on a deeper level they're taking a stand against the way Hollywood has been run for years. They state that they made the move in order to send a message:

The era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

Well done. 


Thoughts I Had... While Staring at "Wonder Wheel" and "Tomb Raider" Posters

by Nathaniel R

Movie posters aren't everything. In fact, it's arguable that they do little to change whether or not someone wants to see a movie, at least not half as much as a trailer, commercial, or recommendation might. Still, there's a certain thrill in looking at them if you love movies. Reactions can vary all the way from amping up excitement about a movie you're already interested in, to puzzlement and pondering over how anyone in Hollywood marketing departments keeps their jobs. Every reaction inbetween those two poles happens, too.

So let's look at new posters for Wonder Wheel and Tomb Raider after the jump with unedited thoughts as they come. (Please to do the same in the comments!)

Click to read more ...


Vintage '85: Madonna, Stallone, Marty McFly, Golden Girls...

by Nathaniel R 

click on the image to embiggen

1985 is our "Year of the Month", as we work towards the Supporting Actress Smackdown (Sunday October 1st!). We'll be periodically peppering the blog with takes on showbiz from that year. But first a "TOTALLY 80s" overview of the year that was in movies, music, theater, and tv after the jump... 

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OTD: Yul Marries, Macy Screams, Fellini Premieres

on this day in showbiz-related history...

1944 Yul Brynner marries his first wife, actress Virginia Gilmore, in Los Angeles. They're both in their mid 20s. She's already made 15 movies but he's just starting out with two Broadway shows under his belt. Their marriage will last 16 years and they will have one child together. Rock Brynner (their son) will go on to write a book about his dad and their family history.

1954 Federico Fellini's La Strada premieres at the Venice Film Festival and goes on to win the Best Foreign Film Oscar. Fellini will go on to completely own that category, winning thrice more with The Nights of Cabiria (1957), 8½ (1963), and Amarcord (1974)

Macy Gray, The King's Speech, and more after the jump...

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