1929 Oscars 1st Academy Awards

1929 Oscars 1st Academy Awards

Winners announced on May 16, 1929
Held at: Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel’s Blossom Room.
Host: Actor Douglas Fairbanks.
Eligibility Year: 1927/1928


  • The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Foundation were started by MGM boss, Louis B. Mayer.
  • There were 230 original members of the Academy.
  • Adolph Hitler was such a big fan of Charlie Chaplin that he trimmed down his handlebar mustache.
  • The Oscar Statuette was designed by MGM’s art director, Cedric Gibbons. It is 14 inches tall and weighs 7 pounds.
  • Best Actor Emil Jannings could not compete for talking roles with his German accent. He went back to Germany and became a Nazi propagandist. After the war, we had very little demand for his talents.
  • “You Ain’t Heard Nothin’ Yet” was the first line ever heard in a feature film, The Jazz Singer
  • 7th Heaven earned 5 nominations, winning 3

1929 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Outstanding Picture:
Wings – Lucien Hubbard for Paramount Pictures (WINNER)
7th Heaven – William Fox for Fox Film Corporation
The Racket – Howard Hughes for The Caddo Company
Best Unique and Artistic Picture:
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – William Fox for Fox Film Corporation (WINNER)
Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness – Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack for Paramount Pictures
The Crowd – Irving Thalberg for MGM
Best Director, Comedy Picture:
Lewis Milestone – Two Arabian Knights (WINNER)
Ted Wilde – Speedy
Best Director, Dramatic Picture:
Frank Borzage – 7th Heaven (WINNER)
King Vidor – The Crowd
Herbert Brenon – Sorrell and Son
Best Actor:
Emil Jannings – The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh (WINNER)
Richard Barthelmess – The Noose and The Patent Leather Kid
Best Actress:
Janet Gaynor – 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (WINNER)
Louise Dresser – A Ship Comes In
Gloria Swanson – Sadie Thompson
Best Original Story:
Underworld – Ben Hecht (WINNER)
The Last Command – Lajos Bíró
Best Adaptation:
7th Heaven – Benjamin Glazer, based on the play by Austin Strong (WINNER)
Glorious Betsy – Anthony Coldeway, based on the play by Rida Johnson Young
The Jazz Singer – Alfred A. Cohn, based on the story “The Day of Atonement” and the play The Jazz Singer by Samson Raphaelson
Best Art Direction:
The Dove and Tempest – William Cameron Menzies (WINNER)
7th Heaven – Harry Oliver
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – Rochus Gliese
Best Cinematography:
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – Charles Rosher and Karl Struss (WINNER)
The Devil Dancer – George Barnes
The Magic Flame – George Barnes
Sadie Thompson – George Barnes
Best Engineering Effects:
Wings – Roy Pomeroy (WINNER)
(No specific film) – Ralph Hammeras
(No specific film) – Nugent Slaughter
Best Title Writing:
(No specific film) – Joseph W. Farnham (WINNER)
(No specific film) – George Marion Jr.
The Private Life of Helen of Troy – Gerald Duffy (posthumous nomination)
Honorary Awards:
Charlie Chaplin “For versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus”.
Warner Brothers Production “For producing The Jazz Singer, the pioneer outstanding talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry”.
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