Just got a DVD of this show. It is terrific! This was the first Oscar TV broadcast and it is easy to see the things they kept doing. Star pairings abound. Jimmy Stewart & Joan Fontaine, Ray Milland & Jane Wyman. Glamorous solo star turns like Ginger Rogers and Luise Rainer. All the nominated songs are performed (charming Celeste Holm steals the show with "Thumbelina").
The acceptances are minuscule if non-existent. Gloria Grahame slowly walks to the stage and whispers a barely audible "Thank you" before drifting off. Gary Cooper and Anthony Quinn were not present (coincidently, they were both filming the same movie in Mexico. A western called "Blowing Wind"!?!?!?!) Coop's was accepted by John Wayne while Quinn's was accepted by Mrs. Anthony Quinn (Katharine DeMille) whose father would be the night's biggest winner for THE GREATEST SHOW on EARTH. He received the Thalberg Award as well as Best Picture. The latter was given in the first (and one of a very few) TV appearance of Academy founder Mary Pickford. This paved the way for the award to be given out in the future by the biggest star in Hollywood (Steve McQueen, Eddie Murphy) or a film icon (Elizabeth Taylor, Jack Nicholson).
Best speech of the night goes to a heartfelt Shirley Booth in NY who almost falls flat on her face on the way to the stage!
But of all my favorite moments, none was better on this 25th anniversary than the film of former winners posing with their Oscars. This would not be repeated the same way until the 70th & 75th (and hopefully the 80th!!). Broderick Crawford, Paul Muni. Anne Baxter, Olivia DeHavilland, Edgar Bergen, Joan Crawford, Jane Darwell, Bobby Driscoll, Teresa Wright, the list goes on. It truly was a glorious evening and set the high standard that too few subsequent years have been able to match.
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