Oscar History: Academy Award Winning Movies and Actors of 1927-1928

A look at Oscar winners and nominees, behind the scenes on the decisions for best picture, actor, etc.

Motion Picture Academy Award-winning Films and Actors


Best Picture

NOMINEES: The Last Command, The Racket, Seventh Heaven, The Way of All Flesh, Wings

THE WINNER: Wings (Paramount)

DIRECTOR: William A. Wellman

PLAYERS: Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Richard Arlen

Best Actor

NOMINEES: Richard Barthelmess (The Noose, The Patent Leather Kid); Charles Chaplin (The Circus); Emil Jannings (The Way of All Flesh, The Last Command)

THE WINNER: Emil Jannings

Best Actress

NOMINEES: Louise Dresser (A Ship Comes In); Janet Gaynor (Street Angel, Sunrise, Seventh Heaven); Gloria Swanson (Sadie Thompson)

THE WINNER: Janet Gaynor

Behind the Oscar

The 1st Golden statuette (actually 92.5% tin) was given by the newly formed Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It was designed by Cedric Gibbon, art director of MGM. Movie columnist Sidney Skolsky was said to have dubbed it "Oscar." The Academy Award did not originate awards in Hollywood. Photoplay magazine's popularity award was initiated 7 years earlier. The 1ST Academy Award Ceremony was attended by 200 persons. No television audience yet. All the competing films were silent pictures. The winning picture, Wings, featured simulated combat actually filmed in the sky. No process shots. One player with a bit role in the film would later become famous. His name was Garry Cooper. Brooklyn-born Emil Jannings, who gained fame in Berlin, was notified in advance of his victory, so that he could pose for pictures with his statuette before leaving for Germany. The winning actress, 21-year-old Janet Gaynor, shed tears upon accepting her award form Douglas Fairbanks, president of Academy.

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