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The 4th Academy Awards (1931)

Held at the Sala D’Oro in the Biltmore Hotel on Tuesday, November 10, 1931,
honoring movies released from August 1, 1930 – July 31, 1931.

The 4th Academy Awards banquet held at the Sala D'Oro in the Biltmore Hotel.

The 4th Academy Awards banquet held at the Sala D’Oro in the Biltmore Hotel.

Best Picture

Cimarron Full Image


RKO Radio.

Best Actor and Best Actress

Marie Dressler and Lionel Barrymore Full Image

Marie Dressler and Lionel Barrymore

Marie Dressler ("Min and Bill") and Lionel Barrymore ("A Free Soul").

Best Director

Norma Shearer Full Image

Norman Taurog and Jackie Cooper

Best Director Norman Taurog (“Skippy”) with his nephew Jackie Cooper, who was nominated for his performance as the title character in the film.

The Year

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UCLA Film & Television Archive
Lionel Barrymore and Marie Dressler accept their Academy Awards.
  • Best Picture: "Cimarron"
    • "Cimarron" also won Academy Awards for Art Direction (Max Rée) and Writing – Adaptation (Howard Estabrook)
  • The Scientific or Technical Awards were presented for the first time.
  • President Herbert Hoover sent Vice President Charles Curtis to attend the ceremony.
  • At the ceremony, nine-year-old Jackie Cooper, nominated for Best Actor in "Skippy," fell asleep on the shoulder of Best Actress nominee Marie Dressler. When Dressler was announced as the winner, Cooper had to be eased onto his mother’s lap.
  • In August 1930, Betty Boop premiered in the animated film "Dizzy Dishes."
  • On December 2, 1930, President Herbert Hoover gave his State of the Union Address, in which he asked for at least $100 million to fund a public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.
  • In February 1931, the original "Dracula," starring Bela Lugosi, was released.
  • In March 1931, "The Star-Spangled Banner" was adopted as the national anthem of the United States.
  • In March 1931, Nevada legalized gambling.
  • On May 1,1931, New York City’s Empire State Building opened to the public.
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