Oscar Legacy
Share |

The 1st Academy Awards (1929)

Held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Thursday, May 16, 1929,
honoring movies released from August 1, 1927 – August 1, 1928.

The 1st Academy Awards held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The 1st Academy Awards, held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Best Picture

“Wings” Full Image

“Wings”

Paramount Famous Lasky.

Directing (Dramatic Picture)

Best Director (Dramatic Picture) Frank Borzage (“7th Heaven”). Full Image

Frank Borzage

Best Director (Dramatic Picture) Frank Borzage (“7th Heaven”).

Directing (Comedy Picture)

Douglas Fairbanks presented Lewis Milestone with the Academy Award for Directing – Comedy Picture (“Two Arabian Knights”). Full Image

Lewis Milestone

Douglas Fairbanks presented Lewis Milestone with the Academy Award for Directing – Comedy Picture (“Two Arabian Knights”).

The Year

Menu and program from the 1st Academy AwardsFull Image

Menu and program from the 1st Academy Awards


  • Best Picture: “Wings”
    • “Wings” was the only silent film to win an Academy Award for Best Picture.
    • “Wings” also won the Academy Award for Engineering Effects.
  • The event was held a full three months after the winners had already been announced.
  • 270 people attended the event, mostly Academy members.
  • Guests of members were invited to attend at a slight charge of $5 to their hosts.
  • Douglas Fairbanks, the president of the Academy, made the official award presentations.
  • Twelve awards were presented at the dinner and 20 additional certificates of honorable mention were given to runners-up in each awards category.
  • The Academy statuette was designed in 1928 by MGM’s art director, Cedric Gibbons. Sculptor George Stanley was paid $500 to execute the original statue from Gibbons’ design.
  • The first year, awards could be for a single achievement, for several achievements, or for the whole body of work during the year.
  • Janet Gaynor won Best Actress for her work in three films: “7th Heaven,” “Street Angel,” and “Sunrise.”
  • For the first and only time, the Academy gave awards for both dramatic direction (Frank Borzage for “7th Heaven”) and comedy direction (Lewis Milestone for “Two Arabian Knights”).
  • In 1927, the average cost of a movie ticket was 25 cents.
  • In January 1927, the first transatlantic telephone call was made from New York City to London. Transatlantic calls cost $75 per three minutes.
  • On May 18, 1927, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre opened, showing Cecil B. DeMille’s “The King of Kings.”
  • On October 8, 1927, the New York Yankees and their “Murderers’ Row” lineup completed a four-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates to win their second World Series title.

Special Award

To Charles Chaplin, for acting, writing, directing and producing "The Circus."

Special Award

To Warner Bros., for producing "The Jazz Singer," the pioneer outstanding talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry.

See all Nominees and Winners

Don't Show Again