Brief history of the Oscars ceremony

Brief history of the Oscars ceremony


The Oscars will be held for the ninetieth time this Sunday, which is why reviews some of the milestones of the Academy of Hollywood’s prized award.

The first Oscar ceremony was held at a hotel on Hollywood Boulevard. On May 16, 1929, 270 guests gathered there for a gala banquet: movie stars, directors and influential producers. The award ceremony itself lasted only fifteen minutes. Then, the guests returned to the table to continue talking.  


The first winner in 1929 was the German actor Emil Jannings, awarded as best actor for his silent films “His last order” and “The fate of the flesh.” At that time, the winners were no surprise, they knew each other months in advance. That evening, the war film “Wings of steel” by director William A. Wellman was also awarded.

Filmstill Sein letzter BefehlThe German Emil Jannings was the first actor awarded with an Oscar for his performance in the silent film “His Last Order”.

Live broadcast: the glamor of the gala

Nobody suspected then that this was the beginning of the most important film awards in the world. Currently, the gala is a media event, followed by millions of people intrigued by who will take home the precious statuette. For any director, actor, composer and other crafts related to the seventh art, the Oscar supposes the peak of his career. The statuette is only 34 centimeters long and is covered by a thin sheet of gold. The metal of Britania inside is what gives weight to the golden award. 

The denomination “Óscar” appeared in 1939. Until then, it was simply the awards of the Film Academy.The name has been protected as a brand since 1979. The millions of reproductions that are made of the award and the advertising media around it. they move millions of dollars annually.  

A common project

The Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences was from the beginning an organization of common interest, which was dedicated, among other things, to technical advances in cinema. Founded in 1927, all the heads of the great Hollywood studios were represented. After all, it was also about money and investments for the future.

The idea was born of Louis B. Mayer, the influential studio director of the well-known Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production company. He convinced other Hollywood personalities and organized the first awards ceremony. The first president of the Academy was the actor Douglas Fairbanks. In 1949, the organization moved to Beverly Hills.

The art of making music for the cinema

Many changes since 1929

Things have changed a lot since the first Academy Awards in 1929. Also with regard to the composition of the jury. The demand for more women, younger and blacks in the Academy, which currently has more than seven thousand personalities in the film industry has taken effect. In 2017, the German director Fatih Akin and the Spanish-German actor Daniel Brühl were invited to join her, a great honor. 

The procedures have also changed. For years, the winners were previously informed of the media, which seized the information until the agreed time. But this changed when a magazine published titles of the films and names of winners ahead of time. Since 1941, there are sealed envelopes that only open to the audience of the gala. Everything seemed to work perfectly until, in 2017, an exchange of envelopes behind the scenes led to a shameful mistake: the musical “La La Land” was announced as the best film, and the jury had to intervene to make the film “Moonlight” I received that award, which really corresponded.

Since 1989, the award is no longer announced with the formula “And the winner is …”, but with the least discriminating and most politically correct “And the Oscar goes to ….”. Next Sunday, March 4, 2018, for the ninetieth time the red carpet for the stars of Hollywood will be displayed at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, a catwalk for stars and promises that dream of making a career in film. 

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