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The 15th Academy Awards in 1943

Updated on August 16, 2013
tillsontitan profile image

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

1943 Oscar Statuette


Academy Awards - History

Every year the Motion Picture Academy awards various artists and movies with an Oscar statuette. Over the years the award has come to be referred to simply as "the Oscar" or "an Oscar".

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, began in 1927. The Academy is made up of actors, producers, directors and a variety of other film craftsmen. In 1928, it commissioned a statuette to be designed by George Stanley. The Award was originally called Academy Award of Merit. Apparently no one knows for sure how the name "Oscar" came to be but there are numerous speculations. Some believe it was due to a certain Academy librarian remarking that the statuette looked like her Uncle Oscar!

Today winning an Oscar means money...more money for the actors, producers, etc. and certainly more money at the box office for any film that wins The Best Motion Picture Award.

Did you know Oscar winners have to sign a contract? The contract states they cannot sell or dispose of the statuette without first offering it back to the Academy for the sum of $1.00?

Hollywood and the War

In January 1943 900 actors had withdrawn to join the service; the Screen Writers Guild reported 168 withdrawals, and the Directors Guild 104. Names of some of those who joined the service:

  • Clark Gable,
  • James Stewart,
  • Henry Fonda,
  • Alan Ladd,
  • Robert Taylor,

Also directors such as John Ford, Frank Capra, William Wyler, George Stevens, and John Huston.

1943 Hollywood Supports Soldiers

1943 at the Movies

What a glorious year was 1943 at the movies. Actors and actresses who have become classics over the years including Joan Crawford, Humphrey Bogart, John Garflied, Laurel and Hardy, Bela Lugosi, Lucille Ball, Pat O'Brien, Lon Chaney, Jr., Clark Gable, Betty Grable, the East Side Kids, are but a few of those we saw in 1943.

Tarzan was in the movies played by Johnny Weismuller. "Back From the Front" with the Three Stooges, "Captive Wildwoman" with John Carradine, "A Guy Named Joe" with Spencer Tracy, "Lassie Come Home" with Roddy McDowall, "Madame Curie" with Greer Garson, so many great and memorable stars and movies.

An all black musical called "Cabin in the Sky" was directed by Vincent Minnelli. The movie was about the competition between God's General and Lucifer Jr. They were competing for the soul of a deceased gambling man. "The Ox-Bow Incident" starring Henry Fonda showed the tyranny and ruthlessness of mob rule when a mob lynched two innocent men. "The Song of Bernadette" starring Jennifer Jones. A religious film about a young girl's persecution for believing in her visions of the Virgin Mary. None of these are Oscar winners. So let's take a look at the 1943 Academy Awards.

Photo from Mrs. Miniver

Mr. and Mrs. Miniver
Mr. and Mrs. Miniver | Source

The Fifteenth Academy Awards

On March 4th in 1943 the Academy Awards were held at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles.

Mrs. Miniver
The best picture was Mrs. Miniver which also won Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography in a Black and White Film. Whew! It was nominated for a total of twelve awards and won half, not bad.

If you've seen the film you might wonder why it didn't win all twelve but when you see some of the contenders you'll understand. The star of this film, Greer Garson, is not only a beautiful woman but always a delight to watch. She is just absolutely lovely. Her co-star, Walter Pidgeon is a gentleman and a delight to watch as well.

This is the story of an English family and how they had to deal with the beginning of WWII and how they handled the Blitz with grace literally under fire. There's action, comedy and with the war as a backdrop the town's annual flower show. says of this movie;

MRS. MINIVER tackles the issue of social class head-on by differentiating between the various classes of characters (through occupation, dress and manner of speech) while at the same time demonstrating the compassion and sympathy of purpose that exists between them despite their differences...the romance that develops between Mrs. Miniver's grown son Vin (Richard Ney) and Carol Beldon serves to unite the middle class with the landed aristocracy....Greer Garson came to epitomize the strength of women on the home front during World War II, fighting "the people's war" on their own turf to protect their way of life."

I would really recommend seeing this one for yourself. It may appear a bit shmaltzie at times for some but the strength of Mrs. Miniver and her town shine through. Her dealing with the Nazi soldier, how she handles herself with her children in a bomb shelter, and the end of the movie is a must see. I will not divulge it here but rather leave it for you to watch.

Mrs. Miniver

Songs from Yankee Doodle Dandy

  • I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Over There
  • Give My Regard to Broadway
  • She's a Grand Old Flag
  • Mary
  • Harrigan
  • Give My Regards to Broadway
  • You're a Grand Old Flag

James Cagney


Yankee Doodle Dandy

James Cagney won The Best Actor Award for his leading role in this upbeat movie! The film also won Best Musical Score, and Best Sound Recording. I'm sure by now you've guessed, if you didn't already know, this is a musical.

The story of the life of songwriter, performer, and composer George M. Cohan; his career, family and success. His parents, himself, and then his children were all Vaudeville performers, travelling around the country with their acts.

No one would have imagined bad boy James Cagney in this part but he was beyond compare, the best fit for the part! A song and dance man early in his career he was so believable as Cohan I used to think he was Cohan! Cagney did his dances as Cohan would have, a little stiffer than Cagney's style but a perfect imitation. The film is not exactly a factual recounting of Mr. Cohan's life but it made for good theater. I won't embarrass myself and tell you how many times I've seen this one. Lots of familiar faces, of the time, and the songs...I'm sure you know them and if you don't know the words, you certainly hum along. Definitely a film worth watching.

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Other Academy Award Winners in 1943

Award Recipient
Van Heflin
Best Supporting Actor
Johnny Eager
Michael Kanin and Ring Lardner, Jr.
Best Original Screenplay
Woman of the Year
Emeric Pressburger
Best Story
The Invaders
Best Documentary
Battle of Midway
Walt Disney
Best Animated Short Film
Der Fuehrer's Face
Irving Berlin
Best Original Song (White Christmas)
Holiday Inn
Daniel Mandell
Best Film Editing
The Pride of the Yankees

Additional Facts About the 1943 Academy Awards

Bob Hope was the host of the 1943 Academy Awards Ceremony. He actually hosted nineteen Academy Award Ceremonies in his lifetime.

Of course we all know the year of the Oscars is actually the year AFTER a film was showed in the theaters. Mrs. Miniver was in theaters in 1942, and won the 1943 Awards.

Radio covered the event for the very first time in forty three. It was even broadcast to American GIs in war zones. The ceremony was more of a dinner party then.

Just for your information, Greer Garson gave the longest acceptance speech up to that time, five and a half minutes!

Each year from the first until now, innovations have been added. Color broadcasts, the envelope containing the results, movie clips, and on and on. People all around the world are now watching the Academy Awards and will for a long time to come.

I hope you've enjoyed this written montage about the 1943 Academy Awards.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you Mombam. I'm glad you stopped by and enjoyed my hub.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Lovely posting. One slight correction needed..Walter Pidgeon was Canadian-born..not British. I've seen all those films. I'm a big fan of this genre. Recommend "Since You Went Away" to you and your followers if they have not yet seen it.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Oh Maria, you are so good and thoughtful. I'm so glad you come around to read my humble hubs. Sending love and hugs to you.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Mary,

      Although I want to read your entire wonderful series, I feel this might be a Mom was born as well in 1927 and she was the proud valedictorian of her class in this year of 1943.

      I love these classic movies as she did, especially Mrs Miniver and Yankee Doodle Dandy, which is one of my favorite music soundtracks.

      Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You are so welcome Sheriff ;) Thanks for coming back.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Looks like the start of a great series and a good idea too! I started to read this one last week, but got distracted, so came back. Now I want to catch up. As one movie lover to another, Mary, thanks for sharing this.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you for reading Vinaya...these movies show early Hollywood filmmaking at its best.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal


      I began watching Hollywood movies only in the late 90s. I have taken lot of interest in English movies since then. Thanks for sharing this interesting article.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you Faith. I've always loved the old movies and when this topic came up I couldn't resist. Chohan's songs were not only patriotic but catchy. Thank you for always reading, you are appreciated. Hugs.

      You made me smile glad you learned a lot ;). I enjoyed and appreciate your kudos.

      MPerrottet how reading about the same subject. You will love Mrs. Miniver, done like a movie should be!

      Bob it was among the "exclusive titles" suggested during my apprentice program...loving old movies I jumped on it! The great stars are gone but not forgotten. Nice to know you enjoyed.

      Bdegiulio they will NEVER be able to replace Bob Hope for sure! Thanks for the vote and share.

      Drgb, happy to take you down memory lane..we will never see movies like those again, so we have to keep them alive.

      Carter, the old movies have a charm we can never recapture but I will admit Daniel Day Lewis is a great actor! I saw him first in "My Left Foot" and loved him. Thanks so much for the votes and shares!

      Alecia, Bob Hope was the epitome of an Oscar host, no one will ever replace are so right, it's not about the Oscars anymore, it's glitz and showing off.

      PaisleeGal I so agree Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon are always worth watching! Yes, I think Mr. McFarlane bombed. We will have to wait and see what happens next year...just show the movies!

      Thanks Gypsy...the Oscars sure aren't what they used to be and neither are the movies...sure there are great movies now too but they just don't have that special something the old ones do. Thanks for the share.

      Ah HawaiiO why is it not surprising we share the same view, too bad we can't bring back the dignity and elegance of the OLD Oscars!

      DDE, how nice of you to stop by...I am happy you enjoyed!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Very interesting and well informed on the The 15th Academy Awards in 1943, I am glad to have read this information.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      6 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Mary!

      Ah, the vintage years of the Academy Awards where the emphasis was truly on the talented men and women involved in the movie making business and NOT on dime-a-dozen emcees using shock value and neo-profanity in the absence of charisma and entertainment...

      Thank you for sharing this brilliant piece, Mary!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      6 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and interesting. I love reading about Old Hollywood because I know all the actors and actresses and have seen some of the films. On this side of the world I didn't get to see the academy awards and you know I didn't care because everything has changed and I know very little about today's Hollywood. Thanks for the reminder of some really great times in Hollywood. Passing this on.

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 

      6 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Good read! Enjoyed the stroll. Mrs. Miniver is one of my favorites. Anything with Green Carson or Walter Pidgen is never disappointing. I always watch the Oscars even tho I may not have seen many of the movies that are up. Can't figure out why they could not have gotten a better host. Do believe he's one of the worst I've seen. The jokes were tasteless and so uncalled for. All the great talent out there. Hopefully he will not be repeat.

      Good hub .. voted up!

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      6 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I didn't know Bob Hope hosted more than any other host. I thought it was Billy Crystal. I haven't seen any of these films but I've been wanting to see Mrs. Miniver every time it airs on TCM.

      It's definitely interesting how the ceremony has changed from then until now. Back then it seemed to be about the movies and not all the other stuff.

      Interesting hub!

    • carter06 profile image


      6 years ago from Cronulla NSW

      This hub was so enjoyable Til...well done & def the big O worthy..just love Greer, she's so beautiful!! It's good to watch oldies from time to time to see how it was done then, thanks for the trip back..and what about Day Lewis's Lincoln!! Amazing right!!

      VUABI & shared, tweeted etc..cheers

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Fantastic deja vue here, tillsontitan. I remember all these films: 'Mrs. Miniver, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Johnny Eager, Pride of the Yankees, and Holiday Inn.' Sadly - they do not make movies like those any more. Thanks for the trip back in time.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great job Mary. Really a trip down memory lane. I enjoyed the Oscars this past weekend but would sure love to have Bob Hope back to host. Voting up and sharing this one.

    • diogenes profile image


      6 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Why did you pick 1943? That must have been a tough year for one and all with the wars still raging in Europe.etc.

      You know, I didn't see one of those pictures although I know of most of soon we forget. All those stars are gone now i suppose.

      Nice and novel hub.


    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      6 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      Fascinating hub. I'll have to watch Mrs. Miniver, since I'm in the middle of reading "Winter of the World" which also deals with class differences during that time period. You've done a great job with this - full of great facts and details from another era. Voted up, interesting and shared!

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 

      6 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      What a great, interesting hub! You have done so much research and included so many different facts and trivia. I can honestly say I learned way more thah I expected when I set off to read this! Great, great hub! Bravo! up+++ and sharing!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      6 years ago from southern USA

      Hi Mary (Till),

      Thanks for this stellar and very interesting hub here. I truly enjoyed your written montage about the 1943 Academy Awards! That is so very interesting about the name of the award, Oscar, and its origin not being known. Wow, 1943 was certainly a glorious year no doubt. Mrs. Miniver is a must-see movie indeed. They just don't make them like that anymore it seems. Thanks for all of the insight here into the 1943 Academy Awards. You have done a phenomenal job here, covering every aspect from those 900 actors joining the service to all of those great songs from Yankee Doodle Dandy. I remember singing "She's a Grand Old Flag" in school.

      Voted up ++++ and sharing

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I know what you mean Bill, I just told my friend Ronnie there is actually stuff 'before our time'. Bob Hope was the best, they still haven't found anyone good enough to replace him!

      Thank you Sheri for stopping by and reading. Glad you enjoyed.

      Thanks KatsMeow, if I can get the titles approved I will as you're the second person to suggest it!

    • TheKatsMeow profile image

      Katee Shew 

      6 years ago from Canada

      Another great Hub! As a fan of the academy awards, I personally think you should do more Hubs about them, I would love to read them!

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      6 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      This was a fun and interesting read. I love the old black and white movies. They may bit a little cheesey but I love the innocence of media in that era. Thanks for this!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Finally a hub about a time when I wasn't alive. LOL I have seen the movies, though, so I'm not completely innocent. I used to love it when Bob Hope emceed. He was such a natural.

      Thanks for the look back, Mary. Well done and interesting.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      So now I understand your fascination and expertise on makeup SuzieQ! You really should see Mrs. Miniver it is a great movie! Thanks for the Oscar btw.

      I'm in an apprentice program where titles are "suggested" Ronnie, that's how I got this one. How true, there is actually something "before our time" :)

      Steve, you're right, I gasped! My movie expert not having seen Mrs. Miniver, I shudder to might like it btw ;) Thanks for the votes.

      So glad you enjoyed this Susan. Mrs. Miniver is a delightful movie.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love Mrs. Miniver and could watch that movie over and over again. Your hub was a delight to read.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 

      6 years ago from Manchester, England

      Excellent hub Mary, and a great idea for a series of hubs. :)

      I have to confess to not seeing Mrs. Miniver (cue gasps) but Yankee Doodle Dandy is one of my faves, I've watched it many times. Cagney deserved his Oscar.

      Btw Greer Garsons never ending acceptance speech must have really bored them at the Oscars, I remember one article claiming that it lasted a whole hour! I'm sure someone would have pulled her off the stage long before that. :)

      Voted Up and Interesting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My Goodness what a great informative hub. My first though was "why 1943?". I never miss Yankee Doodle Dandy, you did a great job of researching. I am happy to say, neither one of us were born yet!

      Nice job!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      6 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Mary,

      A great trip down movie Oscar lane you have compiled. It has always been of interest to me having worked in the movies as a Make Up Artist. This year I missed them live (all hours of the morning here) unfortunately. How interesting to read about the movie Mrs Miniver which I did not know about. Holiday Inn was a classic in your list, great research as always my friend. All the thumbs up here and if I had an Oscar you'd surely get it!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Eddy...I had to smile at your comment because I really did have to research this one even though I was familiar with the films. God Bless.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      A wonderful share my friend;so interesting and your obvious hard work has certainly paid off.

      Have a wonderful day.



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