The Academy Awards, affectionately known as The Oscars, celebrate the very best in movies. The idea had been formed during a dinner at Louis B. Mayer’s beach house in early 1927. Within two months Articles of Incorporation were presented, and the first officers were elected: Douglas Fairbanks (president), M. C. Levee (treasurer), and Frank Woods (secretary).
The first awards ceremony was presented the following year with just 250 people in attendance at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. The ceremony itself last just 15 minutes. Emil Jannings was the first person to receive an Oscar having been given his some time earlier because he was going to be in Europe at the time of the ceremony.
Here then is the first of our new series documenting the Oscars year by year.
Best Production: Wings, Paramount
Best Actor: Emil Jannings in The Way Of All Flesh, and The Last Command, Paramount.
Best Actress: Janet Gaynor in Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise, Fox.
Best Direction: Frank Borzage, Seventh Heaven.
Best Direction (comedy): Lewis Milestone, Two Arabian Knights, United Artists.
Best Writing (original story): Ben Hecht, Underworld, Paramount.
Best Writing (adaptation): Benjamin Glazer, Seventh Heaven.
Best Writing (title): Joseph Farnham, Fair Co-Ed, Laugh, Clown,Laugh, and Telling The World, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Best Cinematography: Charles Rosher, Karl Struss, Sunrise.
Best Art Direction: William Cameron Menzies, The Dove, and The Tempest, United Artists.
Best Engineering Effects: Roy Pomeroy, Wings.
Best Artistic Quality of Production: Sunrise.
Warner Brothers, for producing The Jazz Singer, the pioneer talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry.
Charles Chaplin, for versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing and producing The Circus.