Spencer Tracy might have won the Oscar for Boys Town, but it's one of nine films that were nominated for Best Picture that he was in. They all lost.

First, the status update.  Starting the day after the Oscars, in addition to getting back on a more regular schedule with The Year in Film and The Top 100 Novels, I will also be adding in The History of the Academy Awards: Best Picture.  I will be doing a breakdown year by year, looking at each individual film.  To get some better perspective on this I will be re-watching every Best Picture nominee.  This is badly needed, since it’s been 20 years since I’ve seen some of these films.

The first thing this means is that I will not be updating my Best Picture ranked list.  I will wait until next year, after I have re-watched every film and gotten a better perspective before adding any updates.  The only changes I will make to the list this year is to add in this year’s nominees and the four films I hadn’t seen at this point last year.  But next year, I will do a completely new list, starting from scratch.

The second thing is that while I will be starting with the first Oscar year (1927-1928), I also want to catch up with the Year in Film.  So, when I do 1956, I will do both things – Best Picture and The Year in Film.  I will bounce back and forth between moving forward with the years and catching up with the first 30 years that I’ve already covered in The Year in Film.

There will be some random trivia about Best Picture nominees after the jump.

Here is some random Best Picture trivia, mostly to do with actors:

  • What do Spencer Tracy, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Cary Grant, John Wayne and James Cagney all have in common?  Amazingly enough, none of them were ever in a Best Picture winner.  They were in a combined 53 Best Picture nominees, but none of them were ever in a film that won.
  • Ward Bond, the old character actor, is king of the Best Picture category.  He was in 3 Best Picture winners (including back to back for You Can’t Take it With You and Gone with the Wind) and a mind-boggling 14 nominees over all.
  • After Bond was in back to back winners, it didn’t happen again until 1978, when Christopher Walken was in Annie Hall and The Deer Hunter.  But then Meryl Streep did it and John Gielgud did it a couple of years later.
  • Shirley MacLaine has been in 4 films that have been nominated for Best Picture.  Three of them won (Around the World in 80 Days, The Apartment, Terms of Endearment).  The other one, The Turning Point, is tied with the most nominations without winning anything (11).
  • Jack Nicholson is the king of the lead actors with 3 wins and 6 other nominees.
  • While Meryl Streep was an Oscar nominee in back to back winners, the only two people to have lead roles in back to back winners are Clark Gable (1934-35) and Russell Crowe (2000-01).
  • Bernard Hill has been in three Best Picture winners that took home a combined 30 Oscars (Gandhi, Titanic, The Return of the King).
  • While I am not in favor of career Oscars, it’s probably not a bad thing that they gave Geraldine Page an Oscar in 1985.  After all, at that point not only was it her eighth nomination (which, if she had lost would have set a record at the time and still today would be tied with Peter O’Toole), but she also has the most acting nominations to never be in a Best Picture nominee.
  • And for those people who don’t like the idea of 10 Best Picture nominees?  Remember this fact:  Federico Fellini owns the record for most Best Director nominations without a Best Picture nomination with 4.  Marcello Mastroianni, star of some of those films, has 3 Oscar nominations for Best Actor without ever being in a Best Picture nominee.  Had there been 10 nominees for all those years, it’s likely that La Dolce Vita and 8 1/2 would both have been nominated and this point would be unnecessary to make.