The 13th Academy Awards Ceremony in 1941

Source

Academy Awards

For the first time the winners of the Academy Awards were not revealed to the public until the Academy Awards Ceremony. Bob Hope was the Master of Ceremonies at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles,California. A special award was given to Mr. Hope for his "unselfish services to the Motion Picture Industry". Another "special award" was given to Nathan Levinson "for his outstanding service to the industry and the Army during the past nine years, which has made possible the present efficient mobilization of the motion picture industry facilities for the production of Army training films." Quote from imdb.com

President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a six minute radio address to the Academy Awards Ceremony. An excerpt from his speech:

In carrying on the program of advancing the spirit of inter-American solidarity and continental defense, our government has established machinery to coordinate our growing commercial and cultural relations with the other republics. Our government has invited you to do your share of the job of interpreting the people of the Western Hemisphere to one another. And all of us in all the 21 American republics and in Canada are grateful that your response is so immediate and so wholehearted.

I do not minimize the importance of the motion picture industry as the most popular medium of mass entertainment. But tonight, I want to place the chief emphasis on the service that you can render in promoting solidarity among all the peoples of the Americas. For all of this, and for your splendid cooperation with all who are directing the expansion of our defense forces, I am glad to thank you.

"When you wish upon a star, Makes no difference who you are,"...and now, to the awards.

Alfred Hitchcock

Source

Rebecca

Outstanding Production, now known as Best Picture went to "Rebecca". Alfred Hitchock's first American film. Typical of the Alfred Hitchcock we know, this movie is a dramatic thriller. Adapted from the book of the same name. It won two Academy Awards, the other being Best Cinematography, Black and White.

The young heroine, played by Joan Fontaine, meets the handsome widower, Maximilian de Winter played by Laurence Olivier, and two weeks later they are married. They return to his home, Manderley. Here, the action begins. The housekeeper is obsessed with the beauty of her dead mistress, Rebecca. The new Mrs. de Winter begins to doubt her hubsand's love and the undermining of the housekeeper fuels that doubt. To try to remedy things Mrs. deWinter suggests a costume party and the housekeeper talks her into wearing a costume, the one Rebecca wore unbeknownst to the new Mrs. de Winter. Her husband is furious.

A sinking ship reveals more about Rebecca. It seems Maxim (Maximilian de Winter) falsely identified a body as Rebecca's to put an end to his suffering. Rebecca was willful and told Maxim she intended to continue to be promiscuous. When she became pregnant with her cousin's child Rebecca and Maxim argued and she fell and hit her head. The plot thickens as the new Mrs. de Winter helps Maxim try to cover up the accident. However, the cousin shows up and begins to blackmail Maxim. Through many twists and turns we learn Rebecca was not pregnant but was in the late stages of cancer so the police believe her death was a suicide.

When Maxim returns to Manderley, after the police investigation, he finds the house has been set on fire by the housekeeper who has died in the fire.

Now you know I've left out some juicy details. Hitchcock made the housekeeper a mysterious character who taunted the new Mrs. deWinter. He also led us to believe that Maxim was still in love with Rebecca.

I have not done justice to this movie, you'll have to see it for yourself.

Scene from Rebecca

Philadelphia Story

Cary Grant and John Howard
Cary Grant and John Howard | Source
Hepburn & Stewart
Hepburn & Stewart | Source

The Philadelphia Story

Nominated for six Academy Awards, Best Actor, James Stewart, and Best Adapted Screenplay went to "Philadelphia Story". James Stewart's co-stars in this comedy included Cary Grant, and Katherine Hepburn. If you're an old movie buff and you know these names, you know this was a good comedy! Maybe I should say a 'screwball' comedy. Things are tangled and confusing as a Philadelphia socialite approaches her wedding day. Her ex-husband shows up, a reporter wanting a story and of course her husband to be, all interested in marrying her. It was said the script was "witty" and "romantic". Drinking, middle of the night swims, and, as the orchestra plays the strings of the wedding march who will marry whom?

This was Hepburn's comeback movie after a string of box office flops. She shows a range of emotion in this film and carries it off with laughter and amusement. I have to admit I loved watching the three of them, Stewart, Grant and Hepburn. Just as an aside, Cary Grant donated his salary from this movie to the British War Relief effort.

This is one you won't want to miss.

The Philadelphia Story

Grapes of Wrath

Ma Joad, Jane Darwell and Tom Joad, Henry Fonda.
Ma Joad, Jane Darwell and Tom Joad, Henry Fonda. | Source

The Grapes of Wrath

Best Director and Best Supporting Actress went to "The Grapes of Wrath". Based on John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, starring Henry Fonda, Russell Simpson, Jane Darwell, and John Carradine.

The story of a family from Oklahoma during the Great Depression. They wind up being migrant workers in California. Their farm was foreclosed on by the bank like so many others in the area. The twelve members of the Joad family, along with Preacher Casy pack everything into a Hudson sedan and head to California. Grandpa dies along the way. They wind up in a migrant camp. When they move to a second migrant camp, the workers are talking about striking. After Tom accidentally kills a guard, who killed Casy, they head out to a third camp. This one is run by the Dept. of Agriculture and is clean with indoor toilets and showers.

Tom leaves his family here and goes on to fight for social justice. Tom says:

I'll be all around in the dark. I'll be everywhere. Wherever you can look, wherever there's a fight, so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready, and when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise and livin' in the houses they build, I'll be there, too.

The film is a bit depressing but leaves you with hope for the Joads and all the other migrants trying to find a living during the depression. It is hard to watch what families endured but it depicts life as it was for so many and it stands as a testament to the human spirit.

The Grapes of Wrath

Other 1941 Award Winners

Recipient
Award
Movie
Ginger Rogers
Best Actress
Kitty Foyle
Walter Brennan
Best Supporting Actor
The Westerner
Preston Sturges
Best Original Screenplay
The Great McGinty
Glazer & Toldy
Best Story
Arise, My Love
Shearer & MGM
Best Sound Recording
Strike Up the Band
Harline, Smith & Washington
Best Original Score
Pinocchio
Harline & Washington; When You Wish Upon a Star
Best Original Song
Pinocchio
Boulder & Whitney
Best Visual Effects
Thief of Bagdad

Pinocchio

I couldn't leave you with the sadness of "The Grapes of Wrath" so I had to just add a bit about "Pinocchio". This was a great decade for Walt Disney Productions. Last year it was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", this year "Pinocchio". "Pinocchio" won Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

I don't know about you but when I was a little girl I thought the Blue Fairy was the best thing ever! I felt so sorry for Pinocchio when he got mixed up with those bad boys and wound up on Pleasure Island. Poor Geppetto worrying about his little wooden boy! Of course Jiminy Cricket tries so hard to keep Pinoch on the straight and narrow.

If you've never seen this movie, watch it with your children or grandchildren. Its a great movie and there'll be lots to talk about when its over.

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Comments 26 comments

carol7777 profile image

carol7777 3 years ago from Arizona

Grapes of Wrath...One of my all time favorite books. Great hub as always and I am so enjoying reading about past Academy awards...Voting up and pinning.


AudraLeigh 3 years ago

Ok, I love Movies and The Academy Awards!!! I remember going to watch "Pinnochio" on a reel-to-reel at a Birthday party in my youth! Did not realize it came out in '41! Great read that brought back good memories...thank you!!!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

I never saw Rebecca...how did that happen? The Grapes of Wrath....one of the all-time great books and movie, right up there with "To Kill A Mockingbird." Thanks for the trip down memory lane.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Grapes of Wrath was definitely amazing Carol. Written with such feeling for the poor Joad family. Thanks for the vote and pin, I really appreciate it.

Audra, I love movies too. The best way to find the best is through the Academy Awards, from nominees to winners. Pinocchio was in a class of it's own. You are most welcome.

Bill, you missed Rebecca? Are you a Hitchock fan? Well, you'll have to remedy that. Yes, you've chosen two that are definitely historically valuable. Glad I could take you down the lane ;)


Sheri Faye profile image

Sheri Faye 3 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

These are so much fun! In the future I plan to do a blog for women of a certain age and plan to do a Great Remembers feature and would love to showcase these there. You ok with that? It will be a few months as I am still getting my online writing feet wet!


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Grapes of Wrath is one I have to see every few years, must be my sodbuster ancestors that push me that way. I never saw Rebecca either, but am a big Hitch fan. A great bunch of movies and an excellent article.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Sheri not only am I okay with that but I am honored. Feel free to "showcase" or link any of my hubs.

Sodbuster, sheriff, I'm beginning to think we need to take you "back to the future" xstatic! Thanks so much for reading!


b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 3 years ago

This was worth bringing my Sick little body over...What a Treat, I wasn't born yet...But these Classics were timeless and who hasn't caught them on Turner Classic Movies and Sighed, and sighed.

An Excellent Hub Tilsontitian, a great reminded of when Hollywood was GREAT! It Doesn't SHINE like that today...a lot of the Glamor is lost.


byshea profile image

byshea 3 years ago

I've seen all these movies at one time or another thanks to the TCM channel. I thought Philadelphia Story was a good comedy but my feelings about The Grapes of Wrath as a movie is the same as the book. Great writing with an ending left wanting. Jiminy Cricket is awesome! Brought back so many memories as a kid.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

It certainly does take one back in time very interesting facts here thanks for sharing this information


The Reminder profile image

The Reminder 3 years ago from Canada

Sadly I have not seen any of these classics, except for Pinocchio. Yes, I know, it is sad but I was born way after this era.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

I love watching all the old films, but sadly they don't seem to show them very much now, but Pinocchio, classic, and of course Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier, loved all her books. Now I must get some of these on dvd, and bob hope, he went on for years! lol! wasn't he over 100 when he died? voted up and shared, nell


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Another great review of Academy Awards, Mary, written with skill and panache. I saw 'Grapes of Wrath,' Pinocchio,' 'Rebecca' and 'Philadelphia Story.' Outstanding stories with outstanding actors. The last film in that list was later redone with Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly as a musical. It was outstanding, too. Thanks for this fascinating recap, m'dear. Voted Up.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

1941 was loaded with amazing well-deserved winners. Love Hitchock, but don't remember ever seeing "Rebecca." All of these winners here are some of my favorites, especially "Grapes of Wrath." Another fantastic review of the 1941 Academy Awards. That is interesting about President Roosevelt too! Excellent write once again.

Voted up ++++ and sharing of course

God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Poor b.malin, still sick? That's terrible. Hope you feel better soon. That makes your visit here all the more special. Definitely Hollywood's glamour "ain't what it used to be".

byshea sometimes the classics are hard to understand i.e. Grapes of Wrath ending, but I think it is left up to you...I hated to see Tom go off on his own. Gotta love a little green cricket that talks.

DDE thanks for always being here! Glad you enjoyed.

The Reminder, I was born after...not "way" after, but after. Thank you for reading. Pinocchio is a classic that's hard to beat.

We forget sometimes Nell, that Turner Classic Movies isn't everywhere :) You're right, Bob Hope was 100 when he died. Thanks for the vote and share.

drbj so happy to see you here and glad you enjoy this series. Friends like you are important to me.

Faith I'm a big Hitchock fan. You've got to see Rebecca, you'll love it. Thank you for the vote and share. You are such a dear. God bless you too.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 3 years ago from London, England

Aha some big favourites here, The Grapes of Wrath is one of John Fords greatest and everyone at the time must have thought it was a shoo-in for Best Picture. But I can't argue with Rebecca winning Best Picture, Hitchcock is my favourite director and Rebecca is one of his best films, I've devoted an entire hub to the film.

Pinocchio deserved a Best Picture nom too, definitely one of Disney's greatest acheivements.

Other 1940 favourites of mine include The Philadelphia Story, The Thief of Baghdad, The Sea Hawk and Fantasia.

Good work Mary, looking forward to the next edition. :)

Voted Up and Interesting.


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

Hitchcock, Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Hepburn! Stars of today just don't have what these people and writers had.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I agree with wetnosedogs. The actors of today don't have what these stars had! The Grapes of Wrath is, and will always be a great classic. Thanks Mary!


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for putting this great continuation together.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

I never saw these movies, but they were interesting to learn about. Thanks for the info!:)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I had to chuckle Steve, Hitchock is my favorite. I've seen every one of his films. I think the earlier ones were more subtle than the later. Unfortunately for Disney Fantasia bombed when it first came out but made up for it when it was re-released. I'm going to have to check out your hub on Rebecca! Thanks, as always, for your great comment!

WND you are right. Really, has there ever been another Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant or Katherine Hepburn or Hitchcock!

Thank you Michelle. I'm always glad to see you.

Mhatter, I have to say the same to you, thank you for reading.

A SS you have catching up to do...these are great movies.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Another wonderful trip down memory lane .

Thank you for sharing.

Eddy.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

I love old movies. I read du Maurier’s ‘Rebecca’ as a girl, and loved the movie. We were all on pins and needles in learning who and what the first Mrs. Maxim De Winter really was. Her maid, Mrs. Danvers, (I think she called her Danny?) gave me the willies. Your outline and review of the film is perfect, Mary.

And the Hepburn/Grant/Stewart triangle in ‘Philadelphia Story’ was wonderful. I believe Hepburn bought the rights to PS…a very smart move!

‘The Grapes of Wrath’ is a magnificent classic…one of the most important films ever made. It's right up there with 'Citizen Kane.'

Why is it that I and some others feel that they just don’t make movies like this anymore?

I really enjoyed this delightful hub, Mary. Thank you. :-)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

You are most welcome Eddy though the thanks belong with you for reading, commenting and sharing!

So right Genna, they will never make them like that again. Mrs. Danvers gave me the creeps to..as a young girl I couldn't understand why she was so mean. Hepburn was talented and certainly no dummy. "Grapes" is certainly a great film and valuable for its historical accuracy as well. Except for the government owned migrant camp.


Lesleysherwood 3 years ago

Wow, love this hub. Awesome...You really know your stuff. I loved to take a trip down memory lane. Thank you.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Lesley...I've seen all the movies, just had to research some of the facts. You are welcome.

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    Mary Craig (tillsontitan)937 Followers
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    Mary has been a movie fan since she was a little girl. She watched movies every night of the week on Million Dollar Theater..



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