1937 Oscars 9th Academy Awards


1937 Oscars 9th Academy Awards

  • The 9th Academy Awards unfolded on March 4, 1937, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
  • The host for the evening was George Jessel, an actor, singer, and comedian known for his work on stage and screen.
  • Films released in the calendar year of 1936 were eligible for awards.

Noteworthy Moments:

  • The Great Ziegfeld won Best Picture, making it the first musical film to ever win this category.
  • Luise Rainer bagged the Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Great Ziegfeld, marking her first win; she’d win again the following year.
  • Anthony Adverse, Dogsworth and The Great Ziegfeld each received 7 nominations.
  • The “Academy Award of Merit” is what the Oscar statue is officially called.
  • The standard length of a 35 mm film reel is 1,000 feet (305 m), which runs approximately 11 minutes for sound film (24 frames per second) and about 15 minutes for silent film at the speed of 16 frames per second.
  • My Man Godfrey was the first film to receive nominations in all four acting categories
  • This ceremony marked the first time when the categories of Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress were included in the awards list.
  • This was the first year that the Academy recognized Supporting Acting performances with official nominations, as opposed to the previous year where a write-in vote determined winners.


  1. Paul Muni lost the Best Actor award to himself. Confused? Muni was nominated twice for Best Actor, once as a write-in and once as an official nominee, both for his role in The Story of Louis Pasteur. He won.
  2. Luise Rainer’s win started her on a path that would make her the first actor to win back-to-back Oscars, a feat she achieved for The Good Earth the following year.
  3. This was the first year the Best Supporting Actor and Actress awards were given as official categories, but the miniature “Oscar” statuettes for supporting categories weren’t introduced until 1943.
  4. The Best Dance Direction category made its debut and was awarded to Seymour Felix for his work on The Great Ziegfeld.
  5. This year’s ceremony saw the Oscars grow in scale, reflecting the industry’s evolution and the increasing significance of film in American culture.

1937 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Outstanding Production:
The Great Ziegfeld – Hunt Stromberg for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (WINNER)
Anthony Adverse – Henry Blanke for Warner Bros.
Dodsworth – Samuel Goldwyn and Merritt Hulbert for Samuel Goldwyn Prod. and United Artists
Libeled Lady – Lawrence Weingarten for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – Frank Capra for Columbia
Romeo and Juliet – Irving Thalberg for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
San Francisco – John Emerson and Bernard H. Hyman for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Story of Louis Pasteur – Henry Blanke for Warner Bros.
A Tale of Two Cities – David O. Selznick for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Three Smart Girls – Joe Pasternak and Charles R. Rogers for Universal
Best Director:
Frank Capra – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (WINNER)
William Wyler – Dodsworth
Robert Z. Leonard – The Great Ziegfeld
Gregory La Cava – My Man Godfrey
W. S. Van Dyke – San Francisco
Best Actor:
Paul Muni – The Story of Louis Pasteur as Louis Pasteur (WINNER)
Gary Cooper – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town as Longfellow Deeds
Walter Huston – Dodsworth as Sam Dodsworth
William Powell – My Man Godfrey as Godfrey
Spencer Tracy – San Francisco as Father Tim Mullin
Best Actress:
Luise Rainer – The Great Ziegfeld as Anna Held (WINNER)
Irene Dunne – Theodora Goes Wild as Theodora Lynn/”Caroline Adams”
Gladys George – Valiant Is the Word for Carrie as Carrie Snyder
Carole Lombard – My Man Godfrey as Irene Bullock
Norma Shearer – Romeo and Juliet as Juliet
Best Supporting Actor:
Walter Brennan – Come and Get It as Swan Bostrom (WINNER)
Mischa Auer – My Man Godfrey as Carlo
Stuart Erwin – Pigskin Parade as Amos
Basil Rathbone – Romeo and Juliet as Tybalt
Akim Tamiroff – The General Died at Dawn as General Yang
Best Supporting Actress:
Gale Sondergaard – Anthony Adverse as Faith Paleologus (WINNER)
Beulah Bondi – The Gorgeous Hussy as Rachel Jackson
Alice Brady – My Man Godfrey as Angelica Bullock
Bonita Granville – These Three as Mary Tilford
Maria Ouspenskaya – Dodsworth as Baroness Von Obersdorf
Best Original Story:
The Story of Louis Pasteur – Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney (WINNER)
Fury – Norman Krasna
The Great Ziegfeld – William Anthony McGuire
San Francisco – Robert Hopkins
Three Smart Girls – Adele Comandini
Best Adaptation:
The Story of Louis Pasteur – Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney (WINNER)
After the Thin Man – Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, based on a story by Dashiell Hammett
Dodsworth – Sidney Howard, based on the play by Howard and the novel by Sinclair Lewis
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – Robert Riskin, based on the story “Opera Hat” by Clarence Budington Kelland
My Man Godfrey – Eric Hatch and Morris Ryskind, based on the story “1101 Park Avenue” by Hatch
Best Live Action Short Subject, One-Reel:
Bored of Education – Hal Roach and MGM (WINNER)
Moscow Moods – Paramount
Wanted – A Master – Pete Smith and MGM
Best Live Action Short Subject, Two-Reel:
The Public Pays – MGM (WINNER)
Double or Nothing – Warner Bros.
Dummy Ache – RKO Radio
Best Live Action Short Subject, Color:
Give Me Liberty – Warner Bros. (WINNER)
La Fiesta de Santa Barbara – Louis Lewyn and MGM
Popular Science J-6-2 – Paramount
Best Short Subject, Cartoon:
The Country Cousin – Walt Disney Productions and United Artists (WINNER)
The Old Mill Pond – Harman-Ising and MGM
Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor – Paramount
Best Scoring:
Anthony Adverse – Warner Bros. Studio Music Department (WINNER)
The Charge of the Light Brigade – Warner Bros. Studio Music Department
The Garden of Allah – Selznick International Pictures Music Department
The General Died at Dawn – Paramount Studio Music Department
Winterset – RKO Radio Studio Music Department
Best Song:
“The Way You Look Tonight” from Swing Time – Music by Jerome Kern; Lyrics by Dorothy Fields (WINNER)
“Did I Remember” from Suzy – Music by Walter Donaldson; Lyrics by Harold Adamson
“I’ve Got You Under My Skin” from Born to Dance – Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter
“A Melody From the Sky” from Trail of the Lonesome Pine – Music by Louis Alter; Lyrics by Sidney Mitchell
“Pennies from Heaven” from Pennies from Heaven – Music by Arthur Johnston; Lyrics by Johnny Burke
“When Did You Leave Heaven” from Sing, Baby, Sing – Music by Richard A. Whiting; Lyrics by Walter Bullock
Best Sound Recording:
San Francisco – Douglas Shearer (WINNER)
Banjo on My Knee – Edmund H. Hansen
The Charge of the Light Brigade – Nathan Levinson
Dodsworth – Thomas T. Moulton
General Spanky – Elmer A. Raguse
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – John P. Livadary
The Texas Rangers – Franklin Hansen
That Girl from Paris – John Aalberg
Three Smart Girls – Homer G. Tasker
Best Art Direction:
Dodsworth – Richard Day (WINNER)
Anthony Adverse – Anton Grot
The Great Ziegfeld – Cedric Gibbons, Eddie Imazu, and Edwin B. Willis
Lloyds of London – William S. Darling
Magnificent Brute – Albert S. D’Agostino and Jack Otterson
Romeo and Juliet – Cedric Gibbons, Fredric Hope, and Edwin B. Willis
Winterset – Perry Ferguson
Best Cinematography:
Anthony Adverse – Tony Gaudio (WINNER)
The General Died at Dawn – Victor Milner
The Gorgeous Hussy – George J. Folsey
Best Film Editing:
Anthony Adverse – Ralph Dawson (WINNER)
Come and Get It – Edward Curtiss
The Great Ziegfeld – William S. Gray
Lloyds of London – Barbara McLean
A Tale of Two Cities – Conrad A. Nervig
Theodora Goes Wild – Otto Meyer
Best Dance Direction:
The Great Ziegfeld – Seymour Felix (WINNER)
Born to Dance – Dave Gould
Cain and Mabel – Bobby Connolly
Dancing Pirate – Russell Lewis
Gold Deggirs of 1937 – Busby Berkeley
One in a Million – Jack Haskell
Swing Time – Hermes Pan
Best Assistant Director:
The Charge of the Light Brigade – Jack Sullivan (WINNER)
Anthony Adverse – William Cannon
Garden of Allah – Eric G. Stacey
The Last of the Mohicans – Clem Beauchamp
San Francisco – Joseph M. Newman
Academy Honorary Awards
W. Howard Greene and Harold Rosson “for the color cinematography of the Selznick International Production, The Garden of Allah.”
The March of Time “for its significance to motion pictures and for having revolutionized one of the most important branches of the industry – the newsreel.”
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