85 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards

Hardcover | November 12, 2013

byRobert Osborne

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A deluxe, year–by–year chronicle of the Academy Awards, with an entertaining text, hundreds of star–studded photographs, and complete lists of the nominees and winners.

85 Years of the Oscar, newly revised and expanded, is the official history of the Academy Awards. Following an introductory chapter on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the birth of the Oscars, the book presents the story of each year's awards, beginning with the very first, for the years 1927–28. Author Robert Osborne surveys the movies in competition, recounts the speculation on various winners, and describes events during the awards ceremony. He also provides a complete listing of the all the nominees and winners in every category.

Each year is illustrated with evocative stills from winning films and candid shots from the awards ceremony. Altogether, the book features more than 750 rare photographs, including original movie posters for every best picture. Drawing on Osborne's profound knowledge of film, the Academy's exceptional archives, and the personal reminiscences of stars from Katharine Hepburn to Clint Eastwood, 85 Years of the Oscar is unrivaled in illustration, accuracy, and completeness.

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From the Publisher

A deluxe, year–by–year chronicle of the Academy Awards, with an entertaining text, hundreds of star–studded photographs, and complete lists of the nominees and winners.85 Years of the Oscar, newly revised and expanded, is the official history of the Academy Awards. Following an introductory chapter on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts...

Robert Osborne is host of Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and serves as the official host for the TCM Classic Film Festival and the TCM Classic Cruise. For over 25 years, Osborne served as a reporter and columnist for The Hollywood Reporter, one of the industry’s most important newspapers. He has written a dozen books on the film world, ma...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:472 pages, 12 × 9 × 0.98 inPublished:November 12, 2013Publisher:Abbeville Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0789211424

ISBN - 13:9780789211422

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Extra Content

Read from the Book

Excerpt from 85 Years of the Oscar1939The Twelfth YearFrom start (with the January release of Gunga Din) to finish (with the December unveiling of The Light That Failed), the calendar year of 1939 produced probably more bona fide great entertainments and classics than any similar period in moviemaking annals. At Academy Award time, the competition was unintentionally outlandish, but eight of the features survived to win Oscars: Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, The Rains Came, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, When Tomorrow Comes, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips.Gone With the Wind, in fact, set a new Oscar numbers record, with eight awards, plus the Irving G. Thalberg award for its producer David O. Selznick. Winning writer Sidney Howard, credited with sole authorship of the final G.W.T.W. script, became the Academy's first posthumous winner. He had died in a Massachusetts farm accident in August, 1939, while the film was still in production. Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., the first president of the Academy, was also posthumously awarded at the 1939 award ceremony, held February 29, 1940, at the Cocoanut Grove of the Los Angeles Ambassador Hotel; Fairbanks had died two months before, and his special award was accepted by his son, Douglas, Jr.For the first time, Bob Hope was an Oscar night master of ceremonies (“What a wonderful thing, this benefit for David Selznick,” he kidded). It was the last year the names of winners were told to the press prior to the actual presentation of awards. As in previous times, the Academy tipped off journalists in advance of the festivities, but under strict instructions the results were not to be printed prior to the ceremonial handing out of Oscars. The Los Angeles Times, however, jump the gun and heralded the winners’ names in their 8:45 p.m. edition, which could be easily read by nominees and guests on their way to the award banquet. It brought on an Academy decision that holds to this day: ever after, the names of the winners would be kept a stony secret from everyone—except two representatives of a tight–lipped tabulating firm—until the actual moment of presentation. Thus, “The envelope please” was born.

Table of Contents

Table Of Contents: 85 Years of the Oscar

The Beginning

1927–1937 The First Decade

1938–1947 The Second Decade

1948–1957 The Third Decade

1958–1967 The Fourth Decade

1968–1977 The Fifth Decade

1978–1987 The Sixth Decade

1988–1997 The Seventh Decade

1998–2007 The Eighth Decade

2008–2012 The First Half of the Ninth Decade

Awards Ceremonies

Academy Facts and Records


Editorial Reviews

"[85 Years of the Oscar] represents a separate sort of pantheon, an almost literal hall of fame that requires readers to set up shop in a sturdy chair and make sure the teapot is full, because they won’t be getting up again anytime soon." — The New York Times"But what [85 Years of the Oscar] truly is, in this age of websites and databases, is something gloriously old-fashioned—a beautiful, hard–cover, painstakingly researched reference source on the Academy Awards and the classic movies they have honored. It's a four–star present for any cinephile." — The Star–Ledger"Essential for any cineaste completist's library." — The Philadelphia Inquirer"A must-read for movie buffs" — Booklist"For an Academy that prides itself on honoring outstanding achievements in the film industry, this book lives up to the same standard in publishing. With more than eight decades of history, the nonprofit organization certainly has a story to tell. And this one is worth reading.” —Toledo Free Press2013 Holiday gift guide selection. — O, The Oprah Magazine2013 Holiday gift guide selection. — Entertainment WeeklyGood Morning America Anchors' Favorite Coffee Table Books of 2013 — Lara Spencer's PickPraise for the previous edition:"It's gorgeous!" —The New York Post"A must-own for any serious fan of film." —The Internet Movie Database"This terrific resource on the Academy Awards offers all things OscarVisually stunning." —Library Journal"Robert Osborne keeps the legend of Hollywood alive and well!” —Drew Barrymore"No one knows more about Oscar history—or chronicles it with greater enthusiasm—than the one and only Robert Osborne. I look forward to each new edition of this handsome and valuable book." — Leonard Maltin"Robert Osborne’s knowledge and love of movies is extraordinary! 85 Years of the Oscar is a must read for everyone who loves movies. Who doesn’t love movies and who doesn’t love Robert Osborne?” — Eva Marie Saint