Academy Award for Best Story

The Academy Award for Best Story was an Academy Award given from the beginning of the Academy Awards until 1956.

See also the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.


Year Film Nominees
Underworld Ben Hecht
The Last Command Lajos Bíró


Year Film Nominees
The Dawn Patrol John Monk Saunders
Doorway to Hell Rowland Brown
Laughter Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast, Douglas Doty, Donald Ogden Stewart
The Public Enemy John Bright, Kubec Glasmon
Smart Money Lucien Hubbard, Joseph Jackson
The Champ Frances Marion
Lady and Gent Grover Jones, William Slavens McNutt
The Star Witness Lucien Hubbard
What Price Hollywood? Adela Rogers St. Johns, Jane Murfin
One Way Passage Robert Lord
The Prizefighter and the Lady Frances Marion
Rasputin and the Empress Charles MacArthur
Manhattan Melodrama Arthur Caesar
Hide-Out Mauri Grashin
The Richest Girl in the World Norman Krasna
[note 1]
The Scoundrel Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur
Broadway Melody of 1936 Moss Hart
The Gay Deception Stephen Morehouse Avery, Don Hartman
The Story of Louis Pasteur Pierre Collings, Sheridan Gibney
Fury Norman Krasna
The Great Ziegfeld William Anthony McGuire
San Francisco Robert Hopkins
Three Smart Girls Adele Comandini
A Star Is Born Robert Carson, William Wellman
Black Legion Robert Lord
In Old Chicago Niven Busch
The Life of Emile Zola Heinz Herald, Geza Herczeg
One Hundred Men and a Girl Hans Kraly
Boys Town Eleanore Griffin, Dore Schary
Alexander's Ragtime Band Irving Berlin
Angels with Dirty Faces Rowland Brown
Blockade John Howard Lawson
Mad About Music Marcella Burke, Frederick Kohner
Test Pilot Frank Wead
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Lewis R. Foster
Bachelor Mother Felix Jackson
Love Affair Mildred Cram, Leo McCarey
Ninotchka Melchior Lengyel
Young Mr. Lincoln Lamar Trotti


Year Film Nominees
Arise, My Love Benjamin Glazer, John Toldy
Comrade X Walter Reisch
Edison, the Man Hugo Butler, Dore Schary
My Favorite Wife Leo McCarey, Samuel Spewack and Bella Spewack
The Westerner Stuart N. Lake
Here Comes Mr. Jordan Harry Segall
Ball of Fire Thomas Monroe, Billy Wilder
The Lady Eve Monckton Hoffe
Meet John Doe Richard Connell, Robert Presnell
Night Train to Munich Gordon Wellesley
The Invaders Emeric Pressburger
Holiday Inn Irving Berlin
The Pride of the Yankees Paul Gallico
The Talk of the Town Sidney Harmon
Yankee Doodle Dandy Robert Buckner
The Human Comedy William Saroyan
Action in the North Atlantic Guy Gilpatric
Destination Tokyo Steve Fisher
The More the Merrier Frank Ross, Robert Russell
Shadow of a Doubt Gordon McDonell
Going My Way Leo McCarey
A Guy Named Joe David Boehm, Chandler Sprague
Lifeboat John Steinbeck
None Shall Escape Alfred Neumann, Joseph Than
The Sullivans Edward Doherty, Jules Schermer
The House on 92nd St. Charles G. Booth
The Affairs of Susan László Görög, Thomas Monroe
A Medal for Benny John Steinbeck, Jack Wagner
Objective, Burma! Alvah Bessie
A Song to Remember Ernst Marischka
Vacation from Marriage Clemence Dane
The Dark Mirror Vladimir Solomonovich Pozner
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Jack Patrick
The Stranger Victor Trivas
To Each His Own Charles Brackett
Miracle on 34th Street Valentine Davies
A Cage of Nightingales (French: La Cage aux rossignols) Georges Chaperot, René Wheeler
It Happened on Fifth Avenue Herbert Clyde Lewis, Frederick Stephani
Kiss of Death Eleazar Lipsky
Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman Frank Cavett, Dorothy Parker
The Search Richard Schweizer, David Wechsler
Louisiana Story Robert J. Flaherty, Frances H. Flaherty
The Naked City Malvin Wald
Red River Borden Chase
The Red Shoes Emeric Pressburger
The Stratton Story Douglas Morrow
Come to the Stable Clare Boothe Luce
It Happens Every Spring Valentine Davies, Shirley Smith
Sands of Iwo Jima Harry Brown
White Heat Virginia Kellogg



  1. ^ G Men, story by Gregory Rogers (a pseudonym of Darryl F. Zanuck), was not officially nominated for this award, but appears in Academy records because it placed second in voting as a write-in candidate in 1935.


  1. ^ "WRITING (MOTION PICTURE STORY)". THE 24TH ACADEMY AWARDS – 1952. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. March 20, 1952. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
A Star Is Born (1937 film)

A Star Is Born is a 1937 American Technicolor romantic drama film produced by David O. Selznick, directed by William A. Wellman from a script by Wellman, Robert Carson, Dorothy Parker, and Alan Campbell, and starring Janet Gaynor (in her only Technicolor film) as an aspiring Hollywood actress, and Fredric March (in his Technicolor debut) as a fading movie star who helps launch her career. The supporting cast features Adolphe Menjou, May Robson, Andy Devine, Lionel Stander, and Owen Moore.

The film has been remade three times: in 1954 (directed by George Cukor and starring Judy Garland and James Mason), in 1976 (directed by Frank Pierson and starring Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson), and in 2018 (starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, who also directed).

Arise, My Love

Arise, My Love is a 1940 American romantic comedy film made by Paramount Pictures, directed by Mitchell Leisen, written by Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett and Jacques Théry. The film stars Claudette Colbert, Ray Milland and Dennis O'Keefe. Notable for its interventionist message, it tells the love story of a pilot and a journalist who meet in the latter days of the Spanish Civil War and follows them through the early days of World War II. Colbert once said that Arise, My Love was her personal favorite film of all the ones she had made. Arise, My Love is based on the true story of Harold Edward Dahl. During the Spanish Civil War Dahl, who was fighting as a pilot for the Spanish Republican Air Force, was shot down and taken as prisoner of war. Initially sentenced to death, there were some diplomatic movements to free Dahl. His first wife, Edith Rogers, a known singer of impressive beauty, was said to have visited Francisco Franco herself to plead for his life. He remained in prison until 1940 and then returned to the United States.

Boys Town (film)

Boys Town is a 1938 biographical drama film based on Father Edward J. Flanagan's work with a group of underprivileged and delinquent boys in a home that he founded and named "Boys Town". It stars Spencer Tracy as Father Edward J. Flanagan, and Mickey Rooney with Henry Hull, Leslie Fenton, and Gene Reynolds.

The film was written by Dore Schary, Eleanore Griffin, and John Meehan, and was directed by Norman Taurog.

Legendary Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio head Louis B. Mayer, who was a Belorussian-Canadian-American Jew known for his respect for the Catholic Church, later called this his favorite film of his long tenure at MGM.Although the story is largely fictional, it is based upon a real man and a real place. Boys Town is a community outside Omaha, Nebraska. In 1943 Boys Town adopted as its image and logo a sculpture of a boy carrying a younger boy on his back, captioned "He ain't heavy, Father ...he's my brother."

In 1941, MGM made a sequel, Men of Boys Town, with Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney reprising their roles from the earlier film.

Broken Lance

Broken Lance is a 1954 American Technicolor Western film made by Twentieth Century-Fox, directed by Edward Dmytryk and produced by Sol C. Siegel. The movie stars Spencer Tracy and features Robert Wagner, Jean Peters, Richard Widmark and Katy Jurado.

Shot in DeLuxe Color and CinemaScope, the film is a remake of House of Strangers (1949) with the Phillip Yordan screenplay (based upon the novel I'll Never Go There Any More by Jerome Weidman), transplanted out west, featuring Tracy in the original Edward G. Robinson role, this time as a cowboy cattle baron rather than a Lower East Side Italian immigrant banker in New York City.

Love Me or Leave Me (film)

Love Me or Leave Me is a 1955 biographical romantic musical drama film that tells the life story of Ruth Etting, a singer who rose from dancer to movie star. It stars Doris Day as Etting, James Cagney as gangster Martin "Moe the Gimp" Snyder, her first husband and manager, and Cameron Mitchell as pianist/arranger Myrl Alderman, her second husband. It was written by Daniel Fuchs and Isobel Lennart and directed by Charles Vidor.

Manhattan Melodrama

Manhattan Melodrama is a 1934 American pre-Code crime film, produced by MGM, directed by W. S. Van Dyke, and starring Clark Gable, William Powell, and Myrna Loy. The movie also provided one of the earliest roles for Mickey Rooney, who played Gable's character as a child. The film is based on a story by Arthur Caesar, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Story. It was also the first of Myrna Loy and William Powell's fourteen screen pairings.

Notorious criminal John Dillinger attended a showing of the film at Chicago's Biograph Theater on July 22, 1934. After leaving the theater, he was shot to death by federal agents. Myrna Loy was among those who expressed distaste at the studio's willingness to exploit this event for the financial benefit of the film. Scenes from Manhattan Melodrama, in addition to Dillinger's death, are depicted in the 2009 film Public Enemies.

One Way Passage

One Way Passage is a 1932 American pre-Code romantic film starring William Powell and Kay Francis as star-crossed lovers, directed by Tay Garnett and released by Warner Bros. The screenplay was by Robert Lord and earned him the Academy Award for Best Story.

Perfect Strangers (1945 film)

Perfect Strangers (United States title: Vacation from Marriage), is a 1945 British drama film made by London Films. It stars Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr as a married couple whose relationship is shaken by their service in the Second World War. The supporting cast includes Glynis Johns, Ann Todd and Roland Culver. It was produced and directed by Alexander Korda from a screenplay by Clemence Dane and Anthony Pelissier based on a story by Clemence Dane. Dane won the Academy Award for Best Story. The music score was by Clifton Parker and the cinematography by Georges Périnal.

Richard Schweizer

Richard Schweizer (23 December 1899 – 30 March 1965) was a Swiss screenwriter who won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 1945 for his work in Marie-Louise, as well as the Academy Award for Best Story in 1948 for his work in The Search. Schweizer also directed the film Kleine Scheidegg (1937).

Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday is a 1953 American romantic comedy film directed and produced by William Wyler. It stars Gregory Peck as a reporter and Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess out to see Rome on her own. Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance; the screenplay and costume design also won.

It was written by John Dighton and Dalton Trumbo, though with Trumbo on the Hollywood blacklist, he did not receive a credit; instead, Ian McLellan Hunter fronted for him. Trumbo's credit was reinstated when the film was released on DVD in 2003. On December 19, 2011, full credit for Trumbo's work was restored. Blacklisted director Bernard Vorhaus worked on the film as an assistant director under a pseudonym.It was shot at the Cinecittà studios and on location around Rome during the "Hollywood on the Tiber" era. The film was screened in the 14th Venice film festival within the official program.

In 1999, Roman Holiday was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Seven Days to Noon

Seven Days to Noon is a 1950 British drama/thriller film directed by John and Roy Boulting. Based on the book, Un Nazi en Manhattan, written by Fernando Josseau, Paul Dehn and James Bernard won the Academy Award for Best Story for this film.

The Brave One (1956 film)

The Brave One is a 1956 Mexican-American Technicolor drama film directed by Irving Rapper and starring Michel Ray, Rodolfo Hoyos Jr., and Elsa Cárdenas. It tells the story of a Mexican boy who tries to save his beloved bull Gitano from a deadly duel against a champion matador.

The Brave One was the last film to win the Academy Award for Best Story before the award was discontinued, and was nominated for two other Academy Awards: Best Film Editing and Best Sound Recording, but was not a box office and critical success.

The story credit was originally given to Robert Rich, a pseudonym used by Dalton Trumbo, who had been blacklisted as one of the Hollywood Ten in 1947 after he refused to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. It was actually the name of the nephew of the film's producer Frank King, and Robert Rich claimed authorship of the screenplay when initially asked about it, though his uncles denied this claim. The Academy Award was reissued in Trumbo's name in 1975.

The Champ (1931 film)

The Champ is a 1931 American pre-Code film starring Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper and directed by King Vidor from a screenplay by Frances Marion, Leonard Praskins and Wanda Tuchock. The picture tells the story of a washed-up alcoholic boxer (Beery) attempting to put his life back together for the sake of his young son (Cooper).

Beery won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance (sharing the prize with Fredric March for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Frances Marion won the Academy Award for Best Story, and the film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Director.

The Dawn Patrol (1930 film)

The Dawn Patrol is a 1930 American Pre-Code World War I film starring Richard Barthelmess and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. It was directed by Howard Hawks, a former World War I flight instructor, who even flew in the film as a German pilot in an uncredited role. The Dawn Patrol won the Academy Award for Best Story for John Monk Saunders. It was subsequently remade in 1938, with the same title, and the original was then renamed Flight Commander and released later as part of the Warner Bros. film catalog.

The Human Comedy (film)

The Human Comedy is a 1943 American drama film directed by Clarence Brown and adapted by Howard Estabrook. It is often thought to be based on the William Saroyan novel of the same name, but Saroyan actually wrote the screenplay first, was fired from the film project, and quickly wrote the novel and published it just before the film was released. The picture stars Mickey Rooney with Frank Morgan. Also appearing in the film are James Craig, Marsha Hunt, Fay Bainter, Ray Collins, Van Johnson, Donna Reed and Jackie 'Butch' Jenkins. Barry Nelson, Robert Mitchum and Don DeFore appear together as boisterous soldiers in uncredited supporting roles.

The Richest Girl in the World (1934 film)

The Richest Girl in the World is a 1934 romantic comedy film directed by William A. Seiter and starring Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea. Norman Krasna was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Story. It was remade in 1944 as Bride by Mistake with Laraine Day and Alan Marshal.

The Scoundrel (1935 film)

The Scoundrel is a 1935 drama film directed by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, and starring Noël Coward, Julie Haydon, Stanley Ridges, Rosita Moreno, and Lionel Stander. It was Coward's film debut, aside from a bit role in a silent film. It deals with supernatural redemption in a way rather similar to Ferenc Molnár's Liliom, and drew inspiration from the life of publisher Horace Liveright, who had died in September 1933.

The Story of Louis Pasteur

The Story of Louis Pasteur is a 1936 American black-and-white biographical film from Warner Bros., produced by Henry Blanke, directed by William Dieterle, that stars Josephine Hutchinson, Anita Louise, and Donald Woods, and Paul Muni as the renowned scientist who developed major advances in microbiology, which revolutionized agriculture and medicine. The film's screenplay was written by Pierre Collings and Sheridan Gibney, and Edward Chodorov (uncredited).

Muni won an Academy Award for Best Actor, while Collings and Gibney won for Best Screenplay and Best Story. The film was nominated for Best Picture.

Muni also won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor from the Venice Film Festival in 1936.

The Stratton Story

The Stratton Story is a 1949 American biographical film directed by Sam Wood which tells the true story of Monty Stratton, a Major League Baseball pitcher who pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1934–1938. This is the first of three movies that paired stars Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, the others being The Glenn Miller Story and Strategic Air Command. Stratton commented that Mr. Stewart "did a great job of playing me, in a picture which I figure was about as true to life as they could make it".

The Stratton Story was a financial success and won the Academy Award for best Writing – Motion Picture Story.

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