1932 Oscars 4th Academy Awards

1932 Oscars 4th Academy Awards

  • The 4th Academy Awards took place on November 10, 1931.
  • The ceremony was hosted in the Sala D’Oro at the Biltmore Hotel.
  • Lawrence Grant, a British character actor, took on hosting duties.
  • Eligibility for awards was for films released between August 1, 1930, and July 31, 1931.

Noteworthy Moments:

  • Cimarron became the first Western to win Best Picture.
  • Marie Dressler won Best Actress for her role in Min and Bill, making her the oldest actress to win this category.
  • Wesley Ruggles won Best Director for Cimarron.
  • Cimarron earned 7 nominations, winning 3. It was the first Western to win Best Picture. The second was Dances With Wolves in 1990.
  • Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights received no nominations.
  • Also Snubbed: Dracula, Frankenstein, Little Caesar, Public Enemy, Applause


  1. This was the first year where the awards started acknowledging sound in a separate category: Best Sound Recording.
  2. The film The Front Page was nominated for three major awards but won none. It would later be remade as His Girl Friday in 1940.
  3. Skippy, based on a comic strip, is the earliest film to receive a Best Director nomination that is still copyrighted.
  4. This year was the first and only time the Academy handed out an award for Best Assistant Director.
  5. This ceremony was among the shortest, lasting only about an hour.

4th Academy Awards Oscar Nominees and Winners

Outstanding Production:
Cimarron – William LeBaron for RKO Pictures (WINNER)
East Lynne – Winfield Sheehan for Fox Film Corporation
The Front Page – Howard Hughes for United Artists
Skippy – Adolph Zukor for Paramount Pictures
Trader Horn – Irving Thalberg for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Best Director:
Norman Taurog – Skippy (WINNER)
Wesley Ruggles – Cimarron
Clarence Brown – A Free Soul
Lewis Milestone – The Front Page
Josef von Sternberg – Morocco
Best Actor:
Lionel Barrymore – A Free Soul as Stephen Ashe (WINNER)
Jackie Cooper – Skippy as Skippy Skinner
Richard Dix – Cimarron as Yancey Cravat
Fredric March – The Royal Family of Broadway as Tony Cavendish
Adolphe Menjou – The Front Page as Walter Burns
Best Actress:
Marie Dressler – Min and Bill as Min Divot (WINNER)
Marlene Dietrich – Morocco as Amy Jolly
Irene Dunne – Cimarron as Sabra
Ann Harding – Holiday as Linda Seton
Norma Shearer – A Free Soul as Jan Ashe
Best Original Story:
The Dawn Patrol – John Monk Saunders (WINNER)
The Doorway to Hell – Rowland Brown
Laughter – Harry d’Abbadie d’Arrast, Douglas Doty, and Donald Ogden Stewart
The Public Enemy – John Bright and Kubec Glasmon
Smart Money – Lucien Hubbard and Joseph Jackson
Best Adaptation:
Cimarron – Howard Estabrook, based on the novel by Edna Ferber (WINNER)
The Criminal Code – Seton I. Miller and Fred Niblo Jr., based on the play by Martin Flavin
Holiday – Horace Jackson, based on the play by Philip Barry
Little Caesar – Francis Edward Faragoh and Robert N. Lee, based on the novel by William R. Burnett
Skippy – Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Sam Mintz, based on the comic strip by Percy Crosby
Best Sound Recording:
Paramount Publix Studio Sound Department (WINNER)
MGM Studio Sound Department
RKO Radio Studio Sound Department
Samuel Goldwyn-United Artists Studio Sound Department
Best Art Direction:
Cimarron – Max Rée (WINNER)
Just Imagine – Stephen Goosson and Ralph Hammeras
Morocco – Hans Dreier
Svengali – Anton Grot
Whoopee! – Richard Day
Best Cinematography:
Tabu – Floyd Crosby (WINNER)
Cimarron – Edward Cronjager
Morocco – Lee Garmes
The Right to Love – Charles Lang
Svengali – Barney McGill
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