The 13th Academy Awards honored American film achievements in 1940. This was the first year that sealed envelopes were used to keep secret the names of the winners which led to the famous phrase: "May I have the envelope, please?" The accounting firm of Price Waterhouse was hired to count the ballots, after the fiasco of leaked voting results in 1939 by the Los Angeles Times.
Independent producer David O. Selznick, who had produced the previous year's big winner Gone with the Wind (1939), also produced the Best Picture winner in 1940, Rebecca – and campaigned heavily for its win. Selznick was the first to produce two consecutive winners of the Best Picture Oscar. Although Rebecca had eleven nominations, it only won for Best Picture and Best Cinematography (Black and White), marking the last time a film would win Best Picture but not win for either directing, acting, or writing.
The film's distributor – United Artists – was the last of the original film studios (the others were Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia, 20th Century-Fox, Warner Bros., RKO Radio, Universal, and Paramount) to win the Best Picture Oscar. Rebecca was the first American-made film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and the only film from him to win Best Picture. Hitchcock had two films nominated for Best Picture, the other being Foreign Correspondent. Two other directors also had two films in the running this year: Sam Wood (Our Town and Kitty Foyle) and John Ford (The Long Voyage Home and The Grapes of Wrath, which won Best Director).
The Thief of Bagdad received the most Oscars of the evening, three, the first time a film not nominated for Best Picture won the most awards.
|13th Academy Awards|
|Date||February 27, 1941|
|Site||Biltmore Bowl, Biltmore Hotel|
Los Angeles, California
|Hosted by||Bob Hope|
|Most awards||The Thief of Bagdad (3)|
|Most nominations||Rebecca (11)|
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
For the first time, names of all winners remained secret until the moment they received their awards.
These films had multiple nominations:
The following films received multiple awards.
The 25th Academy Awards ceremony was held on March 19, 1953. It took place at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, and the NBC International Theatre in New York City.
It was the first Academy Awards ceremony to be televised, and the first ceremony to be held in Hollywood and New York City simultaneously. It was also the only year that the New York ceremonies were to be held in the NBC International Theatre on Columbus Circle, which was shortly thereafter demolished and replaced by the New York Coliseum convention center.A major upset occurred when the heavily favored High Noon lost to Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth, eventually considered among the worst films to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The American film magazine Premiere listed the film among the 10 worst Oscar winners and the British film magazine Empire rated it #3 on their list of the 10 worst Oscar winners. It has the lowest spot on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the 81 films to win Best Picture. Of all the films nominated for the Oscar this year, only High Noon, and Singin' in the Rain would show up 46 years later on the American Film Institute list of the greatest American films of the 20th Century. For a film that only received two nominations, Singin' in the Rain went on to be named as the greatest American musical film of all time and in the 2007 American Film Institute updated list as the fifth greatest American film of all time, while High Noon was ranked twenty-seventh on the same 2007 list, as well.
The Bad and the Beautiful won five awards, the most wins ever for a film not nominated for Best Picture. It was also the second Academy Awards in which a film not nominated for Best Picture received the most awards of the evening, excluding years where there were ties for the most wins. The only other film to do this was The Thief of Bagdad at the 13th Academy Awards; as of the 89th Academy Awards, it has not happened since.
Until Spotlight won only Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards, this was the last year in which the Best Picture winner won just two Oscars. It was also the second of three years to date in which two films not nominated for Best Picture received more nominations than the winner (The Bad and the Beautiful and Hans Christian Andersen, both with six). This occurred again at the 79th Academy Awards.
Shirley Booth became the last person born in the 19th century to win an Oscar in a Leading Role. She is also the first woman in her 50s to win the award, at the age of 54 (the second woman in her 50s to win, Julianne Moore, was 54 when awarded at the 87th Academy Awards).
John Ford's fourth win for Best Director set a record for the most wins in this category that remains unmatched to this day.
For the first time since the introduction of Supporting Actor and Actress awards in 1936, Best Picture, Best Director, and all four acting Oscars went to six different films. This has happened only three times since, at the 29th Academy Awards for 1956, the 78th for 2005, and the 85th for 2012.Dr. Cyclops
Dr. Cyclops is a 1940 American Technicolor science fiction horror film from Paramount Pictures, produced by Dale Van Every and Merian C. Cooper, directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack, and starring Thomas Coley, Victor Kilian, Janice Logan, Charles Halton, Frank Yaconelli, and Albert Dekker.The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects by (Farciot Edouart and Gordon Jennings) at the 13th Academy Awards.Dr. Cyclops' is based on a short story of the same name by fantasy and science fiction writer Henry Kuttner, which first appeared in the June 1940 issue of the pulp magazine Thrilling Wonder Stories.Edmund H. Hansen
Edmund H. Hansen (November 13, 1894 – October 10, 1962) was an American sound engineer. He won two Academy Awards; one for Best Sound Recording and the other Best Visual Effects. He was nominated for another 12 films across the two categories.Eyes of the Navy
Eyes of the Navy is a 1940 American short documentary film. It was nominated for an Academy Award at the 13th Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel).Herbert Norsch
Herbert Norsch (August 15, 1908 – July 28, 1955) was an American sound engineer. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects on the film Women in War at the 13th Academy Awards.Hit Parade of 1941
Hit Parade of 1941 is a 1940 American film written by Bradford Ropes, F. Hugh Herbert and Maurice Leo and directed by John H. Auer. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Song at the 13th Academy Awards with the song Who Am I?, with music by Jule Styne and lyric by Walter Bullock. Also nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Score in the same ceremony for composer Cy Feuer.Joe Lapis
Joe Lapis (10 April 1899 – 26 October 1991) was a Hungarian sound engineer. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects on the film The Boys from Syracuse at the 13th Academy Awards. He worked on more than 170 films during his career.More About Nostradamus
More About Nostradamus is a 1941 American short film directed by David Miller. In 1941 it was nominated for an Academy Award at the 13th Academy Awards for Best Live Action Short Film, One-Reel.Music in My Heart
Music in My Heart is a 1940 Columbia Pictures romantic musical starring Tony Martin and Rita Hayworth. Hayworth's first musical for the studio, the film was recognized with an Academy Award nomination for the song, "It's a Blue World", performed by Martin and Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra.Quicker'n a Wink
Quicker'n a Wink is a 1940 American short documentary film about stroboscopic photography, directed by George Sidney. In 1941, it won an Oscar for Best Short Subject (One-Reel) at the 13th Academy Awards.R. T. Layton
R. T. Layton (16 April 1884 – 3 November 1941) was an English special effects artist. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects on the film The Long Voyage Home at the 13th Academy Awards.Service with the Colors
Service with the Colors is a 1940 American short drama film directed by B. Reeves Eason. It was nominated for an Academy Award at the 13th Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel).Siege (film)
Siege is a 1940 documentary short about the Siege of Warsaw by the Wehrmacht at the start of World War II. It was shot by Julien Bryan, a Pennsylvanian photographer and cameraman who later established the International Film Foundation.Siege was nominated for an Oscar for Best One-reel Short at the 13th Academy Awards in 1941, and, in 2006, it was named to the National Film Registry by the Librarian of Congress as "a unique, horrifying record of the dreadful brutality of war".Teddy, the Rough Rider
Teddy, the Rough Rider is a 1940 American short drama film directed by Ray Enright. It won an Oscar at the 13th Academy Awards for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel).The Blue Bird (1940 film)
The Blue Bird is a 1940 B&W and Technicolor American fantasy film directed by Walter Lang. The screenplay by Walter Bullock was adapted from the 1908 play of the same name by Maurice Maeterlinck. Intended as 20th Century Fox's answer to MGM's The Wizard of Oz, which had been released the previous year, it was filmed in Technicolor and tells the story of a disagreeable little girl (played by Shirley Temple) and her search for happiness.
Despite being a box office flop and losing money, the film was later nominated for two Academy Awards. It is available on both VHS and DVD.The Boys from Syracuse (film)
The Boys from Syracuse is a 1940 American musical film directed by A. Edward Sutherland, based on a stage musical by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, which in turn was based on the play The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare. It was nominated for two Academy Awards; one for Best Visual Effects (John P. Fulton, Bernard B. Brown, Joe Lapis) and one for Best Art Direction (Jack Otterson).Typhoon (1940 film)
Typhoon is a 1940 American Technicolor adventure film directed by Louis King and starring Dorothy Lamour and Robert Preston. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects (Farciot Edouart, Gordon Jennings, Loren L. Ryder).William Bradford (cinematographer)
William Bradford (September 8, 1905 – May 18, 1959) was an American cinematographer. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects on the film Women in War at the 13th Academy Awards. He worked on more than 100 films during his career.William Hedgcock
William Hedgcock (July 4, 1883 – September 29, 1947) was an American sound engineer. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Special Effects on the film The Invisible Man Returns at the 13th Academy Awards. He worked on more than 90 films during his career.