Oscar History: Academy Award Winning Movies and Actors of 1941

A look at Oscar winners and nominees, behind the scenes on the decisions for best picture, actor, etc for 1941, How Green Was My Valley gets top honors.

1941

Best Picture

NOMINEES: Here Comes Mr. Jordan, Citizen Kane, Blossoms in the Dust, How Green Was My Valley, Hold Back the Dawn, The Little Foxes, The Maltese Falcon, One Foot in Heaven, Sergeant York, Suspicion

THE WINNER: How Green Was My Valley (20th Century-Fox)

DIRECTOR: John Ford

PLAYERS: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Donald Crisp, Roddy McDowall, Anna Lee, Sara Allgood

Best Actor

NOMINEES: Cary Grant (Penny Serenade); Gary Cooper (Sergeant York); Walter Huston (All That Money Can Buy); Robert Montgomery (Here Comes Mr. Jordan); Orson Welles (Citizen Kane)

THE WINNER: Gary Cooper

BEST ACTRESS

NOMINEES: Bette Davis (The Little Foxes); Greer Garson (Blossoms in the Dust); Joan Fontaine (Suspicion); Olivia De Havilland (Hold Back the Dawn); Barbara Stanwyck (Ball of Fire)

THE WINNER: Joan Fontaine

Behind the Oscar

After being canceled because of Pearl Harbor, the Award ceremony was revived and held in February, 1942. Bette Davis, president of the Academy, wanted to open the ceremony to the public for the benefit of the Red Cross. The Academy governors turned her down. She quit her presidency. Sisters Olivia De Havilland and Joan Fontaine were both up for the best actress Oscar. Joan won. Olivia was distressed. A feud was ignited. Orson Welles' Citizen Kane was wiped out--voted down in best picture, best-director, best-acting categories. The Academy membership never liked one-man films, especially if the one-man was a newcomer and a genius.

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