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The 11th Academy Awards (1939)

Held at the Biltmore Bowl of the Biltmore Hotel on Thursday, February 23, 1939,
honoring movies released in 1938.

Walt Disney receives one statuette and seven miniature statuettes from Shirley Temple for "Snow White."

Walt Disney receives one statuette and seven miniature statuettes from Shirley Temple for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

Best Picture

You Can't Take It With You Full Image

"You Can’t Take It With You"

Columbia.

Best Supporting Actor and Actress

Walter Brennan and Fay Bainter Full Image

Walter Brennan & Fay Bainter

Best Supporting Actor Walter Brennan ("Kentucky") and Best Supporting Actress Fay Bainter ("Jezebel").

Best Actor and Actress

Spencer Tracy and Bette Davis Full Image

Spencer Tracy & Bette Davis

Best Actor Spencer Tracy ("Boys Town") and Best Actress Bette Davis ("Jezebel").

The Year

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UCLA Film & Television Archive
Bette Davis and Spencer Tracy accept their Academy Awards.
  • Best Picture: "You Can’t Take It With You"
    • "You Can’t Take It With You" also won for Directing (Frank Capra)
      (View Image)
  • Mickey Rooney (18 years old) and Deanna Durbin (17 years old) were awarded miniature statuettes as "juvenile players setting a high standard of ability and achievement." (View Images)
  • In January 1938, President Roosevelt established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which became the March of Dimes.
  • In June 1938, Action Comics No. 1 was published, marking the debut of the comic book character Superman.
  • In June 1938, President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which established a minimum hourly wage of 25 cents.
  • On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles’s radio adaptation of The War of the Worlds was broadcast, causing panic in various parts of the United States.
  • On November 1, 1938, Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral by four lengths in their famous match at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • On November 10, 1938, Kate Smith sang Irving Berlin’s "God Bless America" for the first time on her weekly radio show.

Special Award

To Deanna Durbin and Mickey Rooney for their significant contribution in bringing to the screen the spirit and personification of youth, and as juvenile players setting a high standard of ability and achievement.

Special Award

To Harry M. Warner in recognition of patriotic service in the production of historical short subjects presenting significant episodes in the early struggle of the American people for liberty.

Special Award

To J. Arthur Ball for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of color in Motion Picture Photography.

Special Award

To Walt Disney for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," recognized as a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon.

Special Award

For outstanding achievement in creating Special Photographic and Sound Effects in the Paramount production, "Spawn of the North." Special Effects by Gordon Jennings, assisted by Jan Domela, Dev Jennings, Irmin Roberts and Art Smith. Transparencies by Farciot Edouart, assisted by Loyal Griggs. Sound Effects by Loren Ryder, assisted by Harry Mills, Louis H. Mesenkop and Walter Oberst.

Special Award

To Oliver Marsh and Allen Davey for the color cinematography of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer production, "Sweethearts."

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

To Hal B. Wallis. (View Image)

See all Nominees and Winners

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