A Century of Film1940s HISTORY OF FASHION IN FILM collage 500


Film History Through 1949

There’s not much to say here except to point to my original post that covered things through 1929 and the subsequent post that covers film history through to 1939 and the most recent post that covers the 1940s.

Genres

Most of the information will be down in the Statistics section.

For the following two lists, if no film reaches ***.5 on the first list or is ** or worse on the second, the genre gets an n/a.

The Best Films by Genre Through 1949

  • Action:  Sanshiro Sugata
  • Adventure:  The Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Comedy:  Modern Times
  • Crime:  M
  • Drama:  Children of Paradise
  • Fantasy:  La belle et la bête
  • Horror:  The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • Kids:  The Wizard of Oz
  • Musical:  Yankee Doodle Dandy
  • Mystery:  The Maltese Falcon
  • Sci-Fi:  Metropolis
  • Suspense:  Double Indemnity
  • War:  The Grand Illusion
  • Western:  The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

The Worst Films by Genre Through 1949

  • Action:  Women in the Night
  • Adventure:  Jungle Goddess
  • Comedy:  Riverboat Rhythm
  • Crime:  I Accuse My Parents
  • Drama:  Samurai
  • Fantasy:  Queen of the Amazons
  • Horror:  The Vampire Bat
  • Kids:  Danny Boy
  • Musical:  Stand Up and Cheer!
  • Mystery:  Scared to Death
  • Sci-Fi:  The Monster and the Girl
  • Suspense:  One Body Too Many
  • War:  The Strange Death of Adolf Hitler
  • Western:  Last of the Wild Horses

Sub-Genres

I’m only going to cover sub-genres that were plentiful continually.  If it was just one decade or anther, it was covered in one of the three posts already.

Biopic

  • Best Film:  Yankee Doodle Dandy

Little used in the 20s but thrived in the 30s and continued to do so in the 40s.  Of the 89 films to this point (62.39 avg), some have no classification and there’s just one Artist (Rembrandt) but plenty of Musicians, Politicians, Religious, Scientists and Writers.

Comedy Team

  • Best Film:  Duck Soup

Eighty films that average 59.73.  They mostly consist of five teams with one Martin & Lewis film added on at the end.  The Marx Brothers are the best, Weeves & Wooster are the worst and Laurel & Hardy, Hope & Crosby and Abbott & Costello come in the middle.

Detective

  • Best Film:  The Maltese Falcon

By this point, a total of 206 films for a 57.41 average.  Aside from the numerous Detective films that aren’t part of a series, there are 15 different detectives with at least three films each.  Charlie Chan has by far the most (40) followed by Sherlock Holmes (24) but Hammett has two **** films and Marlow has one and no other Detective film is better than ***.

Lit Adaptation

  • Best Film:  Greed

I list 168 films through 1949 with an average of 68.44.  At this point there are 31 different authors that I track separately aside from the numerous I don’t track with an author.  Maugham and Dickens are now tied with 12 adaptations each and thanks to David Lean, the Dickens average is up to 68.33.  Graham Greene has the best average with 6 films and 80.67.

Romance

  • Best Film:  Lonesome

At this point up to 220 films with an average of 62.0.

Romantic

  • Best Film:  City Lights

Up to 329 films with a 60.4 average.  Now this includes not only Comedies but also Musicals that are Romantic Comedies.

Series

  • Best Film:  Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever

They aren’t good (50.62) but there are a lot by this point (309) covering 26 different series from every major distributor.  The most are Hopalong Cassidy (50) and Durango Kid (36).

The Directors

From here on out with this and the next one, I’ll just cover the lists rather than individual people in the full history posts.  The directors will be covered in the decade posts.

Best Director Through 1949  (weighted points system)

  1. Alfred Hitchcock  (725)
  2. Fritz Lang  (600)
  3. Howard Hawks  (547)
  4. John Ford  (499)
  5. William Wyler  (467)
  6. Frank Capra  (448)
  7. Michael Curtiz  (424)
  8. Jean Renoir  (421)
  9. Charlie Chaplin  (412)
  10. F.W. Murnau  (412)

Analysis:  This adds up points on a weighted scale (100-1) based on a weighted version of my 9 point director scale.  This is different than the usual list here for the genres or studios because it’s based on the pure directing points rather than the scaled list for how they finish at the Nighthawk Awards.  It is cumulative for all films made by that director through 1949.

The bottom five spots are in peril as they are basically through with their films that earn points (or long dead in Murnau’s case) while sitting not that far off the list and poised to earn plenty of points in the 50s are David Lean (358), Orson Welles (313), Billy Wilder (266), John Huston (233) and Akira Kurosawa (224) while Bergman, though barely on the list, will earn massive numbers of points in the 50s.

Acting

Best Actress Through 1949  (weighted points system)

  1. Bette Davis  (612)
  2. Ingrid Bergman  (425)
  3. Katharine Hepburn  (414)
  4. Olivia de Havilland  (298)
  5. Janet Gaynor  (297)
  6. Barbara Stanwyck  (287)
  7. Norma Shearer  (261)
  8. Greta Garbo  (260)
  9. Lillian Gish  (253)
  10. Teresa Wright  (242)

Analysis:  This adds up points on a weighted scale (78-1; 67-1) based on a weighted version of my 9 point acting scale, the same system I used to create my Top 100.  It is cumulative for all films made by that actress through 1949.  Bergman’s leap to #2 shows how much someone can do in one decade.

Best Actor Through 1949  (weighted points system)

  1. Claude Rains  (519)
  2. Cary Grant  (486)
  3. Humphrey Bogart  (465)
  4. Fredric March  (443)
  5. Charlie Chaplin  (402)
  6. James Stewart  (382)
  7. Leslie Howard  (371)
  8. Charles Laughton  (365)
  9. James Cagney  (365)
  10. Laurence Olivier  (354)

Analysis:  This adds up points on a weighted scale (78-1; 67-1) based on a weighted version of my 9 point acting scale, the same system I used to create my Top 100.  It is cumulative for all films made by that actor through 1939.

The Studios

See below for specific statistics about the studios.  There are a lots in the Statistics section but there is also some significant information in the Academy Awards section.

The Best Films by Studio Through 1949

note:  Must have a minimum of 50 films and must have a film that is ***.5 or higher.

  • Amkino / Artkino:  Ivan the Terrible Part I
  • Columbia:  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  • Disney:  Fantasia
  • Eagle-Lion:  A Canterbury Tale
  • Fox:  Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • MGM:  The Wizard of Oz
  • Paramount:  M
  • Republic:  Macbeth
  • RKO Radio:  Citizen Kane
  • United Artists:  Modern Times
  • Universal:  All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Warner Bros:  Casablanca

note:  Most studios didn’t make a film in the 40s better than what they had already made but RKO and Warner Brothers both made 4 films in the 40s better than any of their previous films.

The Worst Films by Studio Through 1939

note:  Must have a minimum of 50 films and must have a film that is ** or lower.

  • Columbia:  The Terror of Tiny Town
  • Eagle-Lion:  Blonde Savage
  • Fox:  High School
  • Grand National:  Damaged Goods
  • MGM:  General Spanky
  • Monogram:  Bad Boy
  • Paramount:  The Hitler Gang
  • PRC:  I Accuse My Parents
  • Republic:  The Vampire’s Ghost
  • RKO Radio:  Riverboat Rhythm
  • United Artists:  White Zombie
  • Universal:  Salome Where She Danced
  • Warner Bros:  The Return of Doctor X

Countries

Through 1949, I’m up to 686 films made primarily in a foreign language.  That even includes American films not made in English.

The Ten Countries I’ve Seen The Most Films From Through 1949

  1. France  –  205
  2. USSR  –  118
  3. Germany  –  110
  4. Italy  –  64
  5. Japan  –  47
  6. Mexico  –  43
  7. Sweden  –  20
  8. China  –  18
  9. Hungary  –  7
  10. Brazil  /  Czechoslovakia  /  Denmark  –  6

So, yes, over half the foreign films I’ve seen through 1939 are from France or Germany but they were the biggest producers.  Through 1949, I’m actually up to 27 countries.  I’ve seen no films from Africa through 1949.

Nighthawk Points Through 1949

  1. France  –  940
  2. Germany  –  320
  3. Japan  –  180
  4. Italy  –  160
  5. USSR  –   160
  6. Hungary  –  60
  7. Sweden  –  40
  8. Denmark  –  40
  9. Belgium  –  20
  10. Czechoslovakia  /  Spain  –  20

That’s the whole list.  France has the longest streak of nominations (26-34) and the longest streak of wins (36-39, although it won every time from 32-39 but there was no winner in 35).  Germany had a streak of noms from 26-33 and Italy from 45-49.

Weighted Nighthawk Points for Foreign Film by Director Through 1949

  1. Jean Renoir  –  231
  2. Akira Kurosawa  –  176
  3. Marcel Carne  –  169
  4. Fritz Lang  –  156
  5. Sergei Eisenstein  –  130
  6. Georg Wilhelm Pabst  –  124
  7. Robert Rossellini  –  124
  8. Jean Cocteau  –  122
  9. Rene Clair  –  90
  10. Aleksandr Dovzhenko  –  83

note:  Unlike the Director, Actor and Actress lists above, this is actually based on the weighted version of the Nighthawk Award (40-1) depending on place.  It’s skewed a bit because so many films make the 1912-26 list that great films get fewer points than weaker films later in the 30s.

The Best Film I’ve Seen By Country Through 1949

  • Belgium  –  Crab with the Golden Claws
  • Czechoslovakia  –  Distant Journey
  • Denmark  –  Day of Wrath
  • France  –  Children of Paradise
  • Germany  –  M
  • Italy  –  The Bicycle Thieves
  • Japan  –  Stray Dog
  • Spain  –  L’Age d’Or
  • Sweden  –  Ingeborg Holm
  • USSR  –  The Battleship Potemkin

lists explanation

The lists down below were created from my Top 1000 list leading up to the full revelation of the list.  There is also a bottom 10 list.  But I am not doing a list of in-between films like I did for the Genre and Studio posts.  I am also not doing links because it takes a really long time.

Since there aren’t any links to confuse things, I did decide to color-code them (red won the Oscar for Best Picture, blue was nominated).  In this era, the Oscars did a lot better job of nominating great films (at least U.S. made films) although not much of one for awarding them.

The Top 100 Films Through 1949

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Children of Paradise
  3. The Grand Illusion
  4. Citizen Kane
  5. Casablanca
  6. Modern Times
  7. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  8. M
  9. Metropolis
  10. The Maltese Falcon
  11. The Third Man
  12. Le belle et la bête
  13. The Best Years of Our Lives
  14. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  15. The Grapes of Wrath
  16. All Quiet on the Western Front
  17. City Lights
  18. It’s a Wonderful Life
  19. Double Indemnity
  20. Sullivan’s Travels
  21. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  22. Fantasia
  23. Greed
  24. The Bicycle Thieves
  25. Bambi
  26. Great Expectations
  27. The Big Sleep
  28. The Battleship Potemkin
  29. Rebecca
  30. The Philadelphia Story
  31. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  32. Brief Encounter
  33. The Great Dictator
  34. Nosferatu
  35. The Gold Rush
  36. The Adventures of Robin Hood
  37. Henry V
  38. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  39. The Rules of the Game
  40. Stairway to Heaven
  41. A Star is Born
  42. Stray Dog
  43. The Ox-Bow Incident
  44. The Petrified Forest
  45. Gaslight
  46. Notorious
  47. The Lost Weekend
  48. His Girl Friday
  49. Scarface
  50. The Heiress
  51. The Lady Eve
  52. Bringing Up Baby
  53. King Kong
  54. Pinocchio
  55. Shadow of a Doubt
  56. The Magnificent Ambersons
  57. The Informer
  58. Hamlet
  59. Mutiny on the Bounty
  60. In Which We Serve
  61. The 39 Steps
  62. Wuthering Heights
  63. The Thin Man
  64. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
  65. Les Miserables
  66. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek
  67. Vampyr
  68. The Phantom of the Opera  (1925)
  69. The Bride of Frankenstein
  70. Ivan the Terrible Part I
  71. It Happened One Night
  72. Duck Soup
  73. Captain Blood
  74. Red River
  75. Hail the Conquering Hero
  76. Oliver Twist  (1948)
  77. A Canterbury Tale
  78. Frankenstein
  79. The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (1923)
  80. Stagecoach
  81. A Nous la Liberte
  82. Faust
  83. You Only Live Once
  84. The Birth of a Nation
  85. The Invisible Man
  86. The Gay Divorcee
  87. The Last Laugh
  88. Dracula
  89. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
  90. Foolish Wives
  91. Horse Feathers
  92. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
  93. To Have and Have Not
  94. Pygmalion
  95. My Man Godfrey
  96. Crossfire
  97. The Great McGinty
  98. The Man Who Knew Too Much
  99. The General
  100. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The Bottom 10 Films Through 1949, #6831-6840
(worst being #10, which is #6840 overall)

  1. Delinquent Daughters
  2. I Accuse My Parents
  3. White Pongo
  4. She Should Said No
  5. Women in the Night
  6. The Vampire Bat
  7. Omoo, Omoo, the Shark God
  8. Scared to Death
  9. Jungle Goddess
  10. Samurai

The Statistics  –  Through 1949

Total Films I Have Seen, 1912-1939:  6840

Total Films Used For Statistics Below:  6608

By Genre:

  • Drama:  2129
  • Comedy:  1307
  • Musical:  678
  • Western:  630
  • Mystery:  468
  • Crime:  398
  • Adventure:  260
  • Suspense:  205
  • War:  200
  • Horror:  129
  • Kids:  70
  • Action:  59
  • Fantasy:  48
  • Sci-Fi:  27

% of All Films That are Drama:

  • 1920s:  56.01%
  • 1930s:  36.28%
  • 1940s:  23.68%
  • 1912-39:  32.22%

% of All Films That are Genre (non-Drama / Comedy / Musical):

  • 1920s:  26.63%
  • 1930s:  31.06%
  • 1940s:  46.43%
  • 1912-39:  37.74%

% of All Films That Are Foreign Language:

  • 1920s:  17.70%
  • 1930s:  6.40%
  • 1940s:  8.19%
  • 1912-39:  8.22%

Average Film by Genre, 1912-49:

  • War:  64.98
  • Fantasy:  64.98
  • Sci-Fi:  64.52
  • Drama:  62.19
  • Kids:  61.87
  • Suspense:  61.63
  • Horror:  61.22
  • Musical:  59.45
  • Comedy:  59.41
  • Adventure:  57.42
  • Crime:  57.02
  • Mystery:  56.26
  • Action:  51.81
  • Western:  51.33

Top 10 Finishes by Genre:

  • Drama:  90
  • Comedy:  43
  • Suspense:  17
  • Horror:  16
  • Crime:  15
  • War:  11
  • Mystery:  9
  • Musical:  8
  • Adventure:  6
  • Suspense:  6
  • Kids:  6
  • Western:  5
  • Sci-Fi:  2
  • Fantasy:  2
  • Action:  0

Top 20 Finishes by Genre:

  • Drama:  192
  • Comedy:  92
  • Suspense:  34
  • War:  25
  • Crime:  24
  • Horror:  22
  • Musical:  15
  • Mystery:  15
  • Adventure:  12
  • Kids:  10
  • Western:  8
  • Fantasy:  7
  • Sci-Fi:  3
  • Action:  0

By Studio (Top 10):

  • MGM / Metro:  858
  • Warner Bros:  763
  • Paramount:  760
  • RKO Radio:  681
  • Fox Films / 20th Century-Fox:  579
  • Universal:  527
  • Columbia:  456
  • United Artists:  392
  • Republic:  234
  • Monogram / Allied Artists:  193

The “Major” Studios by Average:

note:  “Major” is in quotes because according to the standard definition of “The Majors”, Columbia, Universal and United Artists didn’t count.

  • Disney:  79.69
  • United Artists:  63.78
  • MGM:  61.93
  • Fox Films / 20th Century-Fox:  60.78
  • Paramount:  60.23
  • Universal:  59.62
  • Warner Bros:  59.14
  • RKO Radio:  56.66
  • Columbia:  56.04

Top 10 Finishes by “Major” Studio:

  • MGM:  30
  • Paramount:  25
  • RKO:  25
  • United Artists:  24
  • Universal:  23
  • Warners:  22
  • Fox:  13
  • Columbia:  10
  • Disney:  4

Top 20 Finishes by “Major” Studio:

  • MGM:  67
  • United Artists:  52
  • Paramount:  51
  • Warners:  45
  • RKO:  39
  • Universal:  38
  • Fox:  34
  • Columbia:  17
  • Disney:  7

Breakdown by Star Rating:

  • ****:  2.10%
  • ***.5:  2.89%
  • ***:  39.99%
  • **.5:  34.83%
  • **:  19.83%
  • *.5:  0.23%
  • *:  0.12%
  • .5:  0.00%
  • 0:  0.02%

Nighthawk Awards

This area will have a lot more than I usually do in this section.  This is an in-depth look at all the films and I what I think of them when it comes to awards.  Please note that it does run off my “Film Years” which means that there are films from the 40s which won’t appear because they wouldn’t have an L.A. release until after 1949, most notably The Third Man.

This section covers all things through 1949 so it has several lists that weren’t in the actual 40s post because I only track them going forward, not by decade.  Also, because of the way I keep track of my lists, there are no “ties” for the 10th spot.  The first film to reach that amount gets to keep that spot.  Bear in mind also that all of the pre-Oscar films are lumped together in one “year” which makes the competition for nominations very high.

  • Number of Films That Earn Nominations:  536
  • Number of Films That Win Nighthawks:  174
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  333
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  83
  • Number of Films With 10+ Nominations:  48
  • Total Number of Nominations:  1877
  • Total Number of Wins:  425
  • Director with Most Nighthawk Nominated Films:  Alfred Hitchcock  (15)
  • Best Film with No Nighthawks:  The Big Sleep
  • Best Film with No Nighthawk Nominations:  The General  (1926)
  • Number of Films That Earn Comedy Nominations:  130
  • Number of Films That Win Comedy Awards:  70
  • Total Number of Comedy Nominations:  507
  • Total Number of Comedy Wins:  180
  • Best Comedy Film With No Nominations:  The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks
  • Number of Films That Earn Drama Nominations:  320
  • Number of Films That Win Drama Awards:  103
  • Total Number of Drama Nominations:  917
  • Total Number of Drama Wins:  204
  • Best Drama Film With No Nominations:  Intolerance
  • Best Film Without a Top 10 Finish:  Blind Husbands
  • Best Film Without a Top 20 Finish:  The Conquering Power

Most Nighthawk Nominations:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  20
  2. Children of Paradise  –  15
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  14
  4. Gone with the Wind  –  14
  5. Citizen Kane  –  14
  6. The Bride of Frankenstein  –  13
  7. The Maltese Falcon  –  13
  8. Gaslight  –  13
  9. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  13
  10. Frankenstein  –  12

Most Nighthawks:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  14
  2. Citizen Kane  –  12
  3. Children of Paradise  –  12
  4. City Lights  –  9
  5. Modern Times  –  9
  6. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  8
  7. M  –  8
  8. Great Expectations  –  8
  9. La belle et la bête  –  8
  10. Nosferatu  –  7

Most Nighthawk Points:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  845
  2. Children of Paradise  –  755
  3. Citizen Kane  –  705
  4. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  670
  5. City Lights  –  670
  6. Modern Times  –  610
  7. The Grand Illusion  –  610
  8. Great Expectations  –  610
  9. The Grapes of Wrath  –  595
  10. Gaslight  –  580

Most Drama Nominations:

  1. The Petrified Forest  –  9
  2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  –  9
  3. The Maltese Falcon  –  9
  4. The Little Foxes  –  9
  5. The Best Years of our Lives  –  9
  6. For Whom the Bell Tolls  –  8
  7. The Love of Jeanne Ney –  7
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  7
  9. The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna  –  7
  10. Scarface  –  7

Most Drama Wins:

  1. The Petrified Forest –  7
  2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington –  6
  3. A Star is Born  –  5
  4. The Grand Illusion  –  5
  5. Casablanca  –  5
  6. Greed  –  4
  7. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans  –  4
  8. Nosferatu  –  4
  9. All Quiet on the Western Front –  4
  10. M  –  4

Most Drama Points:

  1. The Petrified Forest –  610
  2. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington –  575
  3. Casablanca  –  505
  4. A Star is Born –  445
  5. The Grand Illusion –  445
  6. All Quiet on the Western Front –  440
  7. The Grapes of Wrath  –  440
  8. The Little Foxes  –  435
  9. Children of Paradise  –  435
  10. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  420

Most Comedy Nominations:

  1. My Man Godfrey  –  10
  2. Dinner at Eight  –  9
  3. The Gay Divorcee  –  9
  4. Merrily We Live  –  9
  5. Arsenic and Old Lace  –  9
  6. Footlight Parade  –  8
  7. The Awful Truth  –  8
  8. The Wizard of Oz  –  8
  9. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek  –  8
  10. Hail the Conquering Hero  –  8

Most Comedy Wins:

  1. Steamboat Bill, Jr.  –  7
  2. City Lights  –  7
  3. The Wizard of Oz  –  7
  4. The Bride of Frankenstein  –  6
  5. The Awful Truth  –  6
  6. The Philadelphia Story  –  6
  7. The Gold Rush  –  5
  8. The Thin Man  –  5
  9. The More the Merrier  –  5
  10. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek  –  5

Most Comedy Points:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  570
  2. Steamboat Bill, Jr.  –  540
  3. City Lights  –  540
  4. The Awful Truth  –  530
  5. The Philadelphia Story  –  530
  6. The More the Merrier  –  515
  7. The Bride of Frankenstein  –  505
  8. My Man Godfrey  –  500
  9. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek  –  495
  10. The Thin Man  –  450

Most Film Points:

note:  This is the point value I assign in all the various categories added up on a scale of 0-9.

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  168
  2. Children of Paradise  –  115
  3. Citizen Kane  –  102
  4. The Maltese Falcon  –  96
  5. The Best Years of our Lives  –  91
  6. Casablanca  –  89
  7. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  88
  8. Gaslight  –  86
  9. La belle et la bête  –  86
  10. Rebecca  –  85

Most Weighted Film Points:

note:  This is the point value I assign in all the various categories added up on a scale of 0-9, but then weighted to account for their Oscar points, with 8 being the equivalent of an Oscar win.  So, for Picture, the point scale is 1=12, 2=25, 3=37, 4=50, 5=62, 6=75, 7=87, 8=100, 9=115.

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  966
  2. Children of Paradise  –  831
  3. The Maltese Falcon  –  775
  4. The Best Years of our Lives  –  753
  5. Citizen Kane  –  731
  6. Casablanca  –  727
  7. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  704
  8. Rebecca  –  682
  9. Gaslight  –  669
  10. It’s a Wonderful Life  –  667

Most Weighted Acting Points:

note:  The same as the above category, but only using the acting points.  Because this is weighted (which gives more to lead than supporting), this is not quite the same list I use for doing my Best Ensemble award but it’s close.

  1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  –  279
  2. The Best Years of our Lives  –  271
  3. The Maltese Falcon  –  255
  4. The Little Foxes  –  248
  5. Rebecca  –  244
  6. The Philadelphia Story  –  243
  7. Gone with the Wind  –  237
  8. Casablanca  –  228
  9. It’s a Wonderful Life  –  226
  10. For Whom the Bell Tolls  –  225

Most Weighted Tech Points:

note:  The same as the above category, but only using the Tech categories.  Because this is weighted (which gives more to the major categories), this is not quite the same list I use for doing my Best Tech award but it’s close.  While there is no maximum possible for the acting category, the maximum here is 386.

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  365
  2. Citizen Kane  –  311
  3. Children of Paradise  –  301
  4. The Bride of Frankenstein  –  270
  5. La belle et la bête  –  262
  6. Captain Blood  –  237
  7. The Adventures of Robin Hood  –  236
  8. Great Expectations  –  233
  9. Henry V  –  232
  10. Gone with the Wind  –  226

Most Top 20 Points:

note:  This takes a film’s finish in any Nighthawk category and gives it points based on a finish in the Top 20.  A win is 20 points, a 2nd place is 19, down to 20th place which is 1 point.  All categories are equal.

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  417
  2. Children of Paradise  –  306
  3. Citizen Kane  –  301
  4. Rebecca  –  282
  5. For Whom the Bell Tolls  –  280
  6. The Bride of Frankenstein  –  274
  7. The Maltese Falcon  –  273
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  271
  9. The Great Dictator  –  263
  10. Frankenstein  –  262

Most Top 20 Weighted Points:

note:  This takes a film’s finish in any Nighthawk category and gives it points based on a finish in the Top 20.  However, this weights the categories on a scale based on the award points, both for the win and the nominations.  So, the scale for Picture, in descending order is 100, 77, 70, 67, 63 (it then drops because you can’t have more than 50 points, which is what you get for a nomination), 43, 40, 38, 36, 33, 18, 17, 15, 13, 12, 8, 7, 4, 3, 2.  It’s designed to give more weight to Top 5 and Top 10 finishes.  The scale is roughly the same for all of the categories, beginning with its point total for the award.

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  928
  2. Children of Paradise  –  825
  3. Citizen Kane  –  769
  4. Casablanca  –  760
  5. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  751
  6. City Lights  –  703
  7. The Maltese Falcon  –  696
  8. Gaslight  –  695
  9. For Whom the Bell Tolls  –  687
  10. The Best Years of our Lives  –  687

Most Nighthawks without a Picture Win

  1. Frankenstein  –  7
  2. The Magnificent Ambersons  –  6
  3. Gaslight  –  6
  4. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp  –  6
  5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  6
  6. The Adventures of Robin Hood  –  5
  7. Yankee Doodle Dandy  –  5
  8. The Heiress  –  5
  9. Metropolis  –  4
  10. Dracula  –  4

Most Nighthawk Points without a Picture Win

  1. Gaslight  –  580
  2. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  580
  3. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  515
  4. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  –  505
  5. The Petrified Forest  –  495
  6. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp  –  490
  7. The Heiress  –  490
  8. The Maltese Falcon  –  485
  9. Yankee Doodle Dandy  –  465
  10. Metropolis  –  450

Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Picture Nomination

  1. Captain Blood  –  10
  2. Henry V  –  10
  3. Faust  –  8
  4. The Love of Jeanne Ney  –  8
  5. Dead End  –  8
  6. L’Argent  –  7
  7. Random Harvest  –  7
  8. Napoleon  –  6
  9. The Private Life of Henry VIII  –  6
  10. Stage Door  –  6

Most Nighthawk Points without a Picture Nomination

  1. The Love of Jeanne Ney  –  300
  2. L’Argent  –  285
  3. Captain Blood  –  285
  4. Dead End  –  265
  5. Merrily We Live  –  250
  6. Henry V  –  250
  7. Gentleman’s Agreement  –  250
  8. A Free Soul  –  245
  9. Anna Christie  –  240
  10. Mrs. Miniver  –  240

Most Nighthawk Nominations without a Win

  1. My Man Godfrey  –  12
  2. Hamlet  –  11
  3. The Lower Depths  –  10
  4. Wuthering Heights  –  10
  5. The Big Sleep  –  10
  6. The Invisible Man  –  9
  7. His Girl Friday  –  9
  8. Faust  –  8
  9. 7th Heaven  –  8
  10. It Happened One Night  –  8

Most Nighthawk Points without a Win

  1. My Man Godfrey  –  410
  2. Hamlet  –  350
  3. Wuthering Heights  –  325
  4. The Big Sleep  –  320
  5. The Lower Depths  –  315
  6. His Girl Friday  –  310
  7. It Happened One Night  –  300
  8. To Have and Have Not  –  295
  9. The Invisible Man  –  280
  10. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town  –  280

Most 2nd Place Finishes:

  1. The Maltese Falcon  –  8
  2. Gone with the Wind  –  7
  3. Rebecca  –  7
  4. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  7
  5. The Petrified Forest  –  6
  6. The Heiress  –  6
  7. Metropolis  –  5
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  5
  9. Les Miserables  –  5
  10. The Great Dictator  –  5

Most 6th Place Finishes:

  1. Brute Force  –  4
  2. The Last Laugh  –  3
  3. Freaks  –  3
  4. A Tale of Two Cities  –  3
  5. La Marseillaise  –  3
  6. Night Must Fall  –  3
  7. Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife  –  3
  8. Alexander Nevsky  –  3
  9. Rebecca  –  3
  10. The Great Dictator  –  3

Most Top 10 Finishes:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  22
  2. Rebecca  –  16
  3. Citizen Kane  –  16
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls  –  16
  5. Children of Paradise  –  16
  6. Le million  –  15
  7. The Bride of Frankenstein  –  15
  8. Captain Blood  –  15
  9. The Great Dictator  –  15
  10. The Maltese Falcon  –  15

Most Top 20 Finishes:

  1. The Wizard of Oz  –  22
  2. The Bride of Frankenstein  –  16
  3. Rebecca  –  16
  4. Citizen Kane  –  16
  5. For Whom the Bell Tolls  –  16
  6. Children of Paradise  –  16
  7. It’s a Wonderful Life  –  16
  8. Le million  –  15
  9. Captain Blood  –  15
  10. The Great Dictator  –  14

Most Comedy or Drama Points Without a Picture Win

  1. The Awful Truth  –  530
  2. My Man Godfrey  –  500
  3. Dinner at Eight  –  435
  4. The Gay Divorcee  –  435
  5. Merrily We Live  –  435
  6. The Little Foxes  –  435
  7. Le million  –  420
  8. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  420
  9. Here Comes Mr. Jordan  –  415
  10. Gaslight  –  415

Most Comedy or Drama Points Without a Picture Nomination:

  1. Mrs. Miniver  –  320
  2. Tillie’s Punctured Romance  –  300
  3. The Barkleys of Broadway  –  280
  4. A Free Soul  –  275
  5. The Affairs of Anatol  –  270
  6. What Price Hollywood  –  225
  7. The Shop Around the Corner  –  225
  8. Vacation from Marriage  –  220
  9. Anna Christie  –  215
  10. Jezebel  –  215

Most Comedy or Drama Points Without a Win:

  1. Show People  –  275
  2. It Happened One Night –  275
  3. Twentieth Century  –  275
  4. His Girl Friday  –  275
  5. You Can’t Take It With You  –  270
  6. To Be or Not to Be  –  245
  7. To Have and Have Not  –  245
  8. Dodsworth  –  240
  9. La bête humaine  –  240
  10. Hamlet  –  240

Most Top 20 Points Without a Nomination:

note:  This takes a film’s finish in any Nighthawk category and gives it points based on a finish in the Top 20.  A win is 20 points, a 2nd place is 19, down to 20th place which is 1 point.  All categories are equal.

  1. Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife  –  121
  2. Duel in the Sun  –  116
  3. Hold Back the Dawn  –  112
  4. Drums Along the Mohawk  –  91
  5. Show People  –  84
  6. Boomerang  –  84
  7. The Long Voyage Home  –  80
  8. The Southerner  –  78
  9. My Darling Clementine  –  76
  10. Road to Glory  –  75

Most Top 20 Points Without a Top 10 Finish:

note:  This takes a film’s finish in any Nighthawk category and gives it points based on a finish in the Top 20.  A win is 20 points, a 2nd place is 19, down to 20th place which is 1 point.  All categories are equal.

  1. They Live By Night  –  74
  2. The Yearling  –  33
  3. The Dark Mirror  –  25
  4. Alibi  –  24
  5. Othello  (1922)  –  23
  6. Blind Husbands  –  22
  7. Carry On, Sergeant!  –  20
  8. The Way to the Stars  –  20
  9. Vivacious Lady  –  19
  10. Green Dolphin Street  –  19

note:  They Live By Night does this partially by earning 4 11th place spots, including Picture and Director.  To this point (1949), it’s the only ***.5 film to fail to earn a Top 10 finish since 1928.

Most Top 20 Weighted Points Without a Best Picture Win:

note:  This takes a film’s finish in any Nighthawk category and gives it points based on a finish in the Top 20.  However, this weights the categories on a scale based on the award points, both for the win and the nominations.  So, the scale for Picture, in descending order is 100, 77, 70, 67, 63 (it then drops because you can’t have more than 50 points, which is what you get for a nomination), 43, 40, 38, 36, 33, 18, 17, 15, 13, 12, 8, 7, 4, 3, 2.  It’s designed to give more weight to Top 5 and Top 10 finishes.  The scale is roughly the same for all of the categories, beginning with its point total for the award.

  1. The Maltese Falcon  –  696
  2. Gaslight  –  695
  3. For Whom the Bell Tolls –  687
  4. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  687
  5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  680
  6. The Petrified Forest  –  672
  7. Rebecca  –  659
  8. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  –  650
  9. The Heiress  –  638
  10. The Little Foxes  –  608

Most Top 20 Weighted Points Without a Best Picture Nomination:

note:  This takes a film’s finish in any Nighthawk category and gives it points based on a finish in the Top 20.  However, this weights the categories on a scale based on the award points, both for the win and the nominations.  So, the scale for Picture, in descending order is 100, 77, 70, 67, 63 (it then drops because you can’t have more than 50 points, which is what you get for a nomination), 43, 40, 38, 36, 33, 18, 17, 15, 13, 12, 8, 7, 4, 3, 2.  It’s designed to give more weight to Top 5 and Top 10 finishes.  The scale is roughly the same for all of the categories, beginning with its point total for the award.

  1. Captain Blood  –  506
  2. The Love of Jeanne Ney  –  484
  3. Dead End  –  483
  4. L’Argent  –  460
  5. Notorious  –  460
  6. Random Harvest  –  447
  7. Merrily We Live  –  440
  8. Henry V  –  432
  9. Gentleman’s Agreement  –  416
  10. Dinner at Eight  –  400

All-Time Nighthawk Awards

note:  These are my all-time Top 5 in each category through 1939.  Films in red won the Oscar.  Films in blue were Oscar nominated.  There are a few lists here that aren’t in my usual Nighthawk Awards.  I also don’t discuss as much since there are fewer awards groups and I have discussed the quality of these so many other places.

  • Best Picture
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Children of Paradise
  3. The Grand Illusion
  4. Citizen Kane
  5. Casablanca
  • Best Director
  1. Orson Welles  (Citizen Kane)
  2. Marcel Carne  (Children of Paradise)
  3. Victor Fleming  (The Wizard of Oz)
  4. Fritz Lang  (M)
  5. F.W. Murnau  (Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Casablanca
  2. The Wizard of Oz
  3. The Best Years of Our Lives
  4. The Maltese Falcon
  5. The Grapes of Wrath
  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Children of Paradise
  2. The Grand Illusion
  3. Citizen Kane
  4. Modern Times
  5. Sullivan’s Travels
  • Best Actor:
  1. Humphrey Bogart  (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
  2. Orson Welles  (Citizen Kane)
  3. Henry Fonda  (The Grapes of Wrath)
  4. James Stewart  (It’s a Wonderful Life)
  5. Ray Milland  (The Lost Weekend)
  • 8e58219339498d1082922ab298afacdfBest Actress
  1. Vivien Leigh  (Gone with the Wind)
  2. Ingrid Bergman  (Gaslight)
  3. Olivia de Havilland  (The Heiress)
  4. Katharine Hepburn  (The Philadelphia Story)
  5. Wendy Hiller  (Pygmalion)

Analysis:  Well at least the Oscars got a couple right here.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Claude Rains  (Casablanca)
  2. Walter Huston  (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
  3. Orson Welles  (The Third Man)
  4. Claude Rains  (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)
  5. Sidney Greenstreet  (The Maltese Falcon)

Analysis:  Through 1939, Lionel Barrymore leads in points by just one point over Rains followed not far behind by Laughton and Edward Everett Horton.  Laughton would have been #1 easily if Mutiny wasn’t considered a lead role.

  • rebeccaBest Supporting Actress:
  1. Judith Anderson  (Rebecca)
  2. Maria Casares  (Children of Paradise)
  3. Margaret Hamilton  (The Wizard of Oz)
  4. Gloria Grahame  (Crossfire)
  5. Teresa Wright  (The Little Foxes)

Analysis:  Helm still had the most points in the category by 1939 though Billie Burke had come close thanks to several hilarious (and sometimes touching) performances.  Hamilton’s performance is the only one higher than a 6 to this point.

  • Best Supporting Actor  (total)
  1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  (20)
  2. The Maltese Falcon  (15)
  3. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  (14)
  4. The Best Years of Our Lives  (13)
  5. Casblanca  (12)

Analysis:  This adds up all the points for Supporting Actor.

  • Best Supporting Actress  (total)
  1. The Little Foxes  (14)
  2. Gentleman’s Agreement  (14)
  3. Gone with the Wind  (12)
  4. Mrs. Miniver  (12)
  5. Merrily We Live  (11)

Analysis:  This adds up all the points for Supporting Actress.

  • Best Ensemble
  1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  (35)
  2. The Best Years of Our Lives  (34)
  3. The Little Foxes  (32)
  4. The Maltese Falcon  (32)
  5. The Philadelphia Story  (30)

Analysis:  This adds up all the acting points across the categories.  The Philadelphia Story is the first film to have a 7 point performance in all four acting categories.

  • Best Editing:
  1. Citizen Kane
  2. The Third Man
  3. Children of Paradise
  4. The Wizard of Oz
  5. The Battleship Potemkin
  • Best Cinematography:
  1. Citizen Kane
  2. The Maltese Falcon
  3. The Third Man
  4. Great Expectations
  5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • Best Original Score:
  1. Herbert Stothart  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. Max Steiner  (Gone with the Wind)
  3. Erich Wolfgang Korngold  (The Adventures of Robin Hood)
  4. Maurice Thiriet  (Children of Paradise)
  5. David Raksin  (Laura)

Analysis:  In my absolute points list, the top 5 through 1939 are Max Steiner (317), Alfred Newman (216), Charlie Chaplin (199), Erich Wolfgang Korngold (150) and Herbert Stothart (100).

  • Best Sound:
  1. All Quiet on the Western Front
  2. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
  3. Citizen Kane
  4. The Third Man
  5. The Wizard of Oz

Analysis:  Sound really developed well as time went on but some of the best work was early.

  • Best Art Direction:
  1. Metropolis
  2. The Wizard of Oz
  3. La belle et la bête
  4. Children of Paradise
  5. Great Expecations

Analysis:  At this point, we now have more perfect 9 scores than a Top 5 can fit (Gone with the Wind is #6).  We’ve already by this point got some of the most iconic scenes ever put on film.

  • Best Costume Design:
  1. Children of Paradise
  2. La belle et la bête
  3. The Wizard of Oz
  4. Gone with the Wind
  5. The Adventures of Robin Hood

Analysis:  I can’t fathom how the Academy didn’t have an award for this by this point, especially given the amazing work at the end of the thirties.  We have the first couple of perfect 9 scores in this category now.

  • Best Visual Effects
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. King Kong
  3. The Bride of Frankenstein
  4. Citizen Kane
  5. The Invisible Man

Analysis:  Dropped by the Oscars after 1928 and added back in 1939 but only Wizard from my list could take advantage of that and it still didn’t win.

  • Best Sound Editing
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Captain Blood
  3. All Quiet on the Western Front
  4. King Kong
  5. The Bride of Frankenstein

Analysis:  The only category where the Top 5 is still all from the 30s.

  • Best Makeup
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Children of Paradise
  3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  4. The Phantom of the Opera
  5. The Bride of Frankenstein

Analysis:  This category still wouldn’t get an award for decades but even with Lon Chaney gone, it continues to improve.

  • Best Technical Aspects
  1. The Wizard of Oz  (76)
  2. Citizen Kane  (61)
  3. Children of Paradise  (60)
  4. The Bride of Frankenstein  (56)
  5. La belle et la bête  (45)

Analysis:  Simply a tallying of all the points I award in the Tech categories out of a maximum of 81.  Because the films in the 20s didn’t have Score or Sound to add on to the totals, it just about guaranteed all five films would be from the 30s (and they are – with three more 30s films, King Kong, Frankenstein and Modern Times also finishing above any film from the 20s).

  • Best Original Song:
  1. “Over the Rainbow”  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. “When You Wish Upon a Star”  (Pinocchio)
  3. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”  (Meet Me in St. Louis)
  4. “If I Only Had a Brain”  (The Wizard of Oz)
  5. “Zip a Dee Doo Dah”  (Song of the South)

Analysis:  The category still wasn’t that strong until Wizard came along.

  • Best Original Song Total:
  1. The Wizard of Oz  (40)
  2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  (24)
  3. Pinocchio  (23)
  4. Shall We Dance  (21)
  5. Horse Feathers  (16)

Analysis:  This adds up the points of all the original songs for the film.  The maximum possible is 45 because I only list five songs maximum (since that’s how many nominations there are).

  • Best Animated Film:
  1. Fantasia
  2. Bambi
  3. Pinocchio
  4. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
  5. Dumbo

Analysis:  We finally have something here though of course no group will give awards in this category for decades.

  • Best Foreign Film:
  1. Children of Paradise
  2. The Grand Illusion
  3. M
  4. Metropolis
  5. La belle et la bête

Analysis:  After having only one of the Top 5 through 1939, France is up to three of the Top 5.

Best Films With No Top 5 Finishes:

  • City Lights
  • Double Indemnity

note:  These are both films with a 97.

Worst Film with a Top 5 Finish:

  • Meet Me in St. Louis

note:  At this point this is the only film below ***.5 earning a Top 5 in any category.

All-Time Nighthawk Awards – By Genre

Drama

  • Best Picture
  1. Children of Paradise
  2. The Grand Illusion
  3. Citizen Kane
  4. Casablanca
  5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • Best Director
  1. Orson Welles  (Citizen Kane)
  2. Marcel Carne  (Children of Paradise)
  3. Fritz Lang  (M)
  4. F.W. Murnau  (Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans)
  5. John Huston  (The Maltese Falcon)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. Casablanca
  2. The Best Years of Our Lives
  3. The Maltese Falcon
  4. The Grapes of Wrath
  5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Best Original Screenplay:
  1. Children of Paradise
  2. The Grand Illusion
  3. Citizen Kane
  4. The Third Man
  5. A Star is Born
  • Best Actor:
  1. Humphrey Bogart  (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
  2. Orson Welles  (Citizen Kane)
  3. Henry Fonda  (The Grapes of Wrath)
  4. James Stewart  (It’s a Wonderful Life)
  5. Ray Milland  (The Lost Weekend)
  • Best Actress
  1. Vivien Leigh  (Gone with the Wind)
  2. Ingrid Bergman  (Gaslight)
  3. Olivia de Havilland  (The Heiress)
  4. Olivia de Havilland  (The Snake Pit)
  5. Joan Fontaine  (Rebecca)

Analysis:  Well at least the Oscars got a couple right here.

  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Claude Rains  (Casablanca)
  2. Walter Huston  (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre)
  3. Orson Welles  (The Third Man)
  4. Claude Rains  (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington)
  5. Sidney Greenstreet  (The Maltese Falcon)

Analysis:  Through 1939, Lionel Barrymore leads in points by just one point over Rains followed not far behind by Laughton and Edward Everett Horton.  Laughton would have been #1 easily if Mutiny wasn’t considered a lead role.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Judith Anderson  (Rebecca)
  2. Maria Casares  (Children of Paradise)
  3. Margaret Hamilton  (The Wizard of Oz)
  4. Gloria Grahame  (Crossfire)
  5. Katina Paxinou  (For Whom the Bell Tolls)

Analysis:  Helm still had the most points in the category by 1939 though Billie Burke had come close thanks to several hilarious (and sometimes touching) performances.  Hamilton’s performance is the only one higher than a 6 to this point.

  • Best Ensemble
  1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  2. The Best Years of Our Lives
  3. The Little Foxes
  4. The Maltese Falcon
  5. Rebecca

Comedy

  • Best Picture
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Modern Times
  3. City Lights
  4. Sullivan’s Travels
  5. Fantasia
  • Best Director
  1. Victor Fleming  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. Charlie Chaplin  (Modern Times)
  3. Charlie Chaplin  (City Lights)
  4. Preston Sturges  (Sullivan’s Travels)
  5. Michael Curtiz  (The Adventures of Robin Hood)

Analysis:  Chaplin continues to dominate.

  • Best Adapted Screenplay:
  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. The Philadelphia Story
  3. His Girl Friday
  4. Bringing Up Baby
  5. The Thin Man

Best Original Screenplay:

  1. Modern Times
  2. Sullivan’s Travels
  3. City Lights
  4. Duck Soup
  5. The Rules of the Game
  • Best Actor:
  1. James Cagney  (Yankee Doodle Dandy)
  2. Charlie Chaplin  (Modern Times)
  3. Leslie Howard  (Pygmalion)
  4. Charlie Chaplin  (The Great Dictator)
  5. Cary Grant  (His Girl Friday)
  • Best Actress
  1. Katharine Hepburn  (The Philadelphia Story)
  2. Wendy Hiller  (Pygmalion)
  3. Rosalind Russell  (His Girl Friday)
  4. Barbara Stanwyck  (The Lady Eve)
  5. Katharine Hepburn  (Bringing Up Baby)
  • Best Supporting Actor:
  1. Cary Grant  (The Philadelphia Story)
  2. Charles Coburn  (The More the Merrier)
  3. Alec Guinness  (Kind Hearts and Coronets)
  4. Walter Huston  (Yankee Doodle Dandy)
  5. Ray Bolger  (The Wizard of Oz)

Analysis:  It’s ironic that Edward Everett Horton isn’t here since he has the most Comedy points through 1939 but that’s more because of many solid performances than any really strong ones.

  • Best Supporting Actress:
  1. Margaret Hamilton  (The Wizard of Oz)
  2. Ruth Hussey  (The Philadelphia Story)
  3. Billie Burke  (Merrily We Live)
  4. Marie Dressler  (Dinner at Eight)
  5. Diana Lynn  (The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek)

Analysis:  A much, much stronger group thanks to Screwball Comedies.

  • Best Ensemble
  1. The Philadelphia Story
  2. My Man Godfrey
  3. The Wizard of Oz
  4. Merrily We Live
  5. His Girl Friday

Awards

Academy Awards

  • Number of Films That Earned Nominations:  876
  • Number of Films That Won Oscars:  221
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  390
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  66
  • Total Number of Nominations:  1961
  • Total Number of Wins:  343
  • Number of Films with Nominations I Haven’t Seen:  25
  • Best Film with No Oscar Nominations:  Modern Times

Most Oscar Nominations

  1. Gone with the Wind  –  13
  2. Mrs. Miniver  –  12
  3. The Song of Bernadette  –  12
  4. Johnny Belinda  –  12
  5. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington  –  11
  6. Rebecca  –  11
  7. Sergeant York  –  11
  8. The Pride of the Yankees  –  11
  9. The Life of Emile Zola  /  How Green Was My Valley  /  Going My Way  /  Wilson  –  10

Most Oscar Wins:

  1. Gone with the Wind  –  8
  2. Going My Way  –  7
  3. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  7
  4. Mrs. Miniver  –  6
  5. It Happened One Night  –  5
  6. How Green Was My Valley  –  5
  7. Wilson  –  5
  8. The Informer  /  Anthony Adverse  –  4
  9. The Song of Bernadette  /  The Lost Weekend  –  4
  10. Hamlet  /  The Heiress   –  4

Most Oscar Points:

  1. Gone with the Wind  –  665
  2. Mrs. Miniver  –  605
  3. Going My Way  –  585
  4. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  520
  5. How Green Was My Valley  –  480
  6. The Song of Bernadette  –  480
  7. The Life of Emile Zola  –  435
  8. Wilson  –  430
  9. Rebecca  –  420
  10. The Lost Weekend  –  415

Most Nominated Films by Director:

  1. Michael Curtiz  –  19
  2. Clarence Brown  –  14
  3. W.S. Van Dyke  –  13
  4. Frank Borzage  –  13
  5. John Ford  –  13
  6. William Wyler  –  13
  7. Henry King  –  13
  8. Frank Lloyd  –  12
  9. William Dieterle  –  12
  10. Mervyn LeRoy  /  George Cukor  /  David Butler  –  12

Most Nominations by Director:

  1. William Wyler  –  74
  2. Michael Curtiz  –  61
  3. John Ford  –  51
  4. Henry King  –  51
  5. Sam Wood  –  49
  6. Frank Capra  –  45
  7. Clarence Brown  –  40
  8. Victor Fleming  –  40
  9. Mervyn LeRoy  –  38
  10. William Dieterle  –  37

Most Oscars by Director:

  1. William Wyler  –  23
  2. John Ford  –  15
  3. Henry King  –  15
  4. Victor Fleming  –  14
  5. Michael Curtiz  –  12
  6. Frank Capra  –  11
  7. William Dieterle  –  9
  8. Leo McCarey  –  9
  9. Frank Borzage  /  Clarence Brown  –  8
  10. Michael Powell  /  Mervyn LeRoy  –  8

Most Submitted Films by Studio:

  1. Paramount  –  909
  2. 20th Century-Fox  /  Fox Films  –  876
  3. MGM  –  841
  4. Warner Bros.  –  808
  5. RKO Radio  –  674
  6. Universal  –  663
  7. Columbia  –  622
  8. United Artists  –  388
  9. Republic  –  385
  10. Monogram  /  Allied Artists  –  338

note:  This list will remain unchanged (except for shuffling to different places on the list) until Republic is bumped off in 2009.

Most Nominated Films by Studio:

  1. MGM  –  145
  2. United Artists  –  125
  3. Paramount  –  114
  4. Warner Bros.  –  111
  5. 20th Century-Fox  /  Fox Films  –  103
  6. RKO Radio  –  100
  7. Universal  –  60
  8. Columbia  –  45
  9. Republic  –  28
  10. Disney  –  9

note:  Aside from shuffling around on the list, this Top 10 will stay the same until Miramax knocks off Republic in 1996.

Highest Percentage of Nominated to Submitted Films by Studio (min. 7 submissions):

  1. Disney  –  64.29%
  2. Arthur Mayer & Joseph Burstyn  –  35.71%
  3. United Artists  –  32.22%
  4. Lopert Films  –  30.77%
  5. MGM  –  17.24%

note:  Selznick is 4/4 and Tricolore is 1/1 while Rene Clair Productions is 1/2.

Most Submitted Films Without a Nomination:

  1. FBO  –  113
  2. Tiffany Productions  –  85
  3. Amkino  /  Artkino  –  76
  4. All-Star Pictures  –  56
  5. Screen Guild Productions  /  Lippert Films  –  51

Most Nominations by Studio:

  1. MGM  –  357
  2. United Artists  –  275
  3. 20th Century-Fox  /  Fox Films  –  253
  4. Paramount  –  245
  5. Warner Bros.  –  241
  6. RKO Radio  –  238
  7. Columbia  –  138
  8. Universal  –  116
  9. Republic  –  44
  10. Disney  –  17

note:  This list, with some shuffling around for places, will stay the same until AEP knocks off Republic in 1983.

Most Wins by Studio:

  1. MGM  –  79
  2. 20th Century-Fox  /  Fox Films  –  60
  3. Paramount  –  47
  4. Warner Bros.  –  45
  5. RKO Radio  –  35
  6. United Artists  –  26
  7. Columbia  –  23
  8. Universal  –  20
  9. Disney  –  4
  10. Eagle-Lion Films  /  Arthur Mayer & Joseph Burstyn  –  2

note:  This is almost the entire list.  Lopert Films won an Oscar in 1949.

Nominated Films by Genre:

  • Drama:  372  (42.47%)
  • Musical:  180
  • Comedy:  119
  • War:  44
  • Adventure:  39
  • Suspense:  25
  • Western:  25
  • Crime:  22
  • Kids:  15
  • Mystery:  12
  • Horror:  8
  • Fantasy:  5
  • Action:  4
  • Documentary:  3
  • Sci-Fi:  2
  • Short:  1

Best Picture Nominees by Genre:

  • Drama:  94  (54.34%)  (14)
  • Musical:  19  (2)
  • Comedy:  18  (2)
  • War:  11  (2)
  • Adventure:  8  (1)
  • Suspense:  7
  • Western:  5  (1)
  • Crime:  4
  • Mystery:  3  (1)
  • Kids:  3
  • Fantasy:  1
  • Horror:  0
  • Action:  0
  • Sci-Fi:  0

Films I’ve Seen:

  • Winners:  98.19%  (94/98)
  • Nominees:  97.15%  (851/876)
  • Submitted “Major Studio” Films:  71.18%  (4125/5795)
  • Submitted “Indie Films”:  61.13%  (604/988)
  • Submitted “Foreign Distributors”:  69.71%  (145/208)
  • Submitted Other Films:  40.82%  (420/1029)
  • Total Submitted Films:  66.01%  (5294/8020)

Critics Awards

  • Number of Films That Won Awards (NBR):  40
  • Number of Films That Won Awards (NYFC):  63
  • Number of Films That Won Awards (both):  21
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  25
  • Total Number of Films:  82
  • Total Number of Awards:  121
  • Director with Most Awarded Films:  John Ford  (5 films, 9 awards)
  • Studio with Most Awarded Films:  Warner Bros.  (11 films, 16 awards)
  • Best Film with No Awards:  The Wizard of Oz

Trivia:

  • From 1935 to 1942, six films won both Best Picture Awards.  After that, none did for the rest of the decade.
  • Of the eight majors, seven would win Best Picture for two different films.  Universal would not win any and four of their five awards in this era were for British imports.
  • The Informer and The Grapes of Wrath, both directed by John Ford, would win the same awards (Picture and Director from the NYFC, Picture from the NBR).  Through 2020, this is still the only example of a director winning three or more awards in multiple years with the exact same awards from the exact same groups.

Top 5 Points (Total – Weighted):

  1. The Lost Weekend  –  316
  2. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  310
  3. The Informer  –  270
  4. The Grapes of Wrath  –  270
  5. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  262
  6. Gentleman’s Agreement  –  262
  7. Going My Way  –  210
  8. The Fallen Idol  –  206
  9. Henry V  –  192
  10. Paisan  /  The Bicycle Thieves  –  192

Top 5 Points (Total – NYFC only):

  1. Going My Way  –  260
  2. The Lost Weekend  –  260
  3. The Informer  –  190
  4. The Grapes of Wrath  /  The Best Years of Our Lives  –  190
  5. Gentleman’s Agreement  /  The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  190

Top 5 Points (Total – NBR only):

  1. Paisan  –  190
  2. The Bicycle Thieves  –  190
  3. Henry V  –  170
  4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  150
  5. The Fallen Idol  –  150

Golden Globes

The Golden Globes began in 1943.  I cover much of the history of the organization and the categories here but I will note that for most of the decade there were just winners (no nominees) and the split between Comedy and Drama didn’t exist yet.

  • Number of Films That Earned Nominations:  38
  • Number of Films That Won Globes:  32
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  13
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  12
  • Best Film with No Globe Nominations:  Children of Paradise
  • Best English Language Film with No Oscar Nominations:  Casablanca

Top 5 Points:

  1. All the King’s Men  –  345
  2. The Song of Bernadette  –  260
  3. The Lost Weekend  –  260
  4. Going My Way  –  250
  5. Gentleman’s Agreement  /  The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  250

BAFTAs

The BAFTAs began in 1947.  However, they began with only two awards (Best Film, Best British Film).  In 1948, they expanded to having nominees.  But by 1949 there were still just the two categories.  What’s more, matching the BAFTA year to the Oscar eligible year is not easy, especially for the first few decades.

  • Number of Films That Earned Nominations:  27
  • Number of Films That Won BAFTAs:  6
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  3
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  0

Top 5 Points:

  1. Hamlet  –  120
  2. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  100
  3. Bicycle Thieves  –  100
  4. The Fallen Idol  –  90
  5. The Third Man  –  90

Guilds

The first two guilds to give out awards aren’t too surprising as the Directors Guild (DGA) and the Writer’s Guild (WGA) were the two most powerful guilds in the industry and by far the most active.  They both began their awards in 1948, though both were very different than today.  The DGA had quarterly awards (which I count as nominees) and a full winner.  The WGA had categories broken down by genre with some extra categories as well, meaning films could be nominated in multiple categories.  The WGA also didn’t seem to have a limit as to how many nominees there could be.

  • Number of Films That Earned Nominations:  66
  • Number of Films That Won Awards:  8
  • Number of Films With Multiple Nominations:  16
  • Number of Films With Multiple Wins:  3

Trivia:

  • All the King’s Men and The Snake Pit both won two WGA awards.
  • The Search was the only one of the DGA nominees in the first two years not to earn a WGA nom, which is massively ironic since it would win both an Oscar and Globe for the writing.
  • Eliminating The Search that means, yes, that 65 different films earned WGA nominations in these first two years.

Top 5 Points:

  1. All the King’s Men  –  260
  2. The Snake Pit  –  205
  3. A Letter to Three Wives  –  170
  4. I Remember Mama  –  120
  5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  120

Awards

Top 10 Awards Nominations

  1. All the King’s Men  –  17
  2. Going My Way  –  16
  3. The Song of Bernadette  –  15
  4. Johnny Belinda  –  15
  5. Gone with the Wind  –  14
  6. The Lost Weekend  –  14
  7. Gentleman’s Agreement  –  14
  8. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  14
  9. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  13
  10. The Heiress  –  13

Top 5 Awards Nominations (no wins)

  1. The Little Foxes  –  9
  2. Come to the Stable  –  9
  3. The Letter  –  7
  4. Random Harvest  /  The Talk of the Town  –  7
  5. Madame Curie  /  Double Indemnity  –  7

Top 10 Awards Wins

  1. Going My Way  –  13
  2. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  12
  3. All the King’s Men  –  12
  4. The Lost Weekend  –  11
  5. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  11
  6. Gone with the Wind  –  9
  7. Gentleman’s Agreement  –  9
  8. Hamlet  –  8
  9. The Informer  –  7
  10. The Song of Bernadette  /  Heiress  –  7

Top 10 Awards Points

  1. Going My Way  –  1020
  2. All the King’s Men  –  1007
  3. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  952
  4. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  923
  5. The Lost Weekend  –  913
  6. Gentleman’s Agreement  –  852
  7. Gone with the Wind  –  735
  8. The Song of Bernadette  –  662
  9. The Informer  –  635
  10. Hamlet  –  635

Top 10 Awards Points (no Nighthawk nominations)

  1. Wilson  –  479
  2. Battleground  –  414
  3. The Yearling  –  329
  4. Boys Town  –  285
  5. The Story of Louis Pasteur  –  280
  6. The Long Voyage Home  –  270
  7. Cavalcade  –  265
  8. Come to the Stable  –  261
  9. Wake Island  –  255
  10. The Champ  –  245

Top 10 Awards Points Percentage

  1. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  22.96%
  2. It Happened One Night  –  22.79%
  3. The Informer  –  21.28%
  4. Cimarron  –  20.69%
  5. Going My Way  –  19.90%
  6. Gentleman’s Agreement  –  19.29%
  7. Gone with the Wind  –  18.13%
  8. 7th Heaven  –  17.92%
  9. The Lost Weekend  –  17.85%
  10. The Champ  –  16.15%

Top 10 Awards Points Percentage (Nighthawk Awards included)

  1. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  20.17%
  2. All Quiet on the Western Front  –  19.32%
  3. The Informer  –  19.30%
  4. The Lost Weekend  –  18.04%
  5. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans  –  17.12%
  6. It Happened One Night  –  16.37%
  7. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre  –  16.11%
  8. Gone with the Wind  –  16.07%
  9. City Lights  –  15.43%
  10. Citizen Kane  –  15.10%

Lists

I won’t do a lot of lists because that’s the whole point of TSPDT – they put a ridiculous amount of lists in the blender and come out with the “definitive” one.  Their lists includes lists by genre, so you can always go there and look at their source lists.

The TSPDT Top 25 Films Released Through 1939

  1. Citizen Kane  (#1)
  2. The Rules of the Game (#4)
  3. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (#8)
  4. The Bicycle Thieves  (#13)
  5. The Battleship Potemkin (#15)
  6. The Passion of Joan of Arc (#17)
  7. L’Atalante (#18)
  8. The Man with a Movie Camera (#20)
  9. City Lights (#28)
  10. Casablanca (#36)
  11. The General (#40)
  12. The Grand Illusion (#44)
  13. The Third Man  (#45)
  14. Modern Times (#48)
  15. M  (#58)
  16. Metropolis  (#60)
  17. Children of Paradise  (#62)
  18. The Gold Rush (#71)
  19. The Magnificent Ambersons   (#77)
  20. Late Spring (#78)
  21. It’s a Wonderful Life  (#81)
  22. Greed (#96)
  23. To Be or Not To Be  (#102)
  24. The Wizard of Oz (#105)
  25. Intolerance  (#106)

note:  These are the current (2020) rankings from TSPDT.  To Be or Not To Be is a great film but I am flummoxed as to how it could end up ranked higher than The Wizard of Oz.

The IMDb Voters Top 10 Films Through 1949

note:  Taken from the IMDb Top 250 list so as to avoid films with too-short runtimes or too few votes.  Also, that allows for the comparison to TSPDT and shows how the IMDb trends towards recent films.

  1. It’s a Wonderful Life  (#24)
  2. Modern Times  (#39)
  3. City Lights  (#43)
  4. Casablanca  (#49)
  5. The Great Dictator  (#50)
  6. M  (#93)
  7. Citizen Kane  (#96)
  8. The Bicycle Thieves  (#99)
  9. The Kid  (#101)
  10. Metropolis  (#116)

note:  I can’t fathom how The Kid is on this list but not The Wizard of Oz or any of the early Disney classics (which not only don’t make the Top 10 here but don’t make the Top 250 at the IMDb either).

The IMDb Voters Most Popular 10 Films Through 1949

note:  I used the IMDb search to include all films released by 1949 with a runtime of at least 60 minutes and sort them by User Votes descending.  Votes listed on 23 February 2021.

  1. Casablanca  (524,189)
  2. It’s a Wonderful Life  (407,465)
  3. Citizen Kane  (405,376)
  4. The Wizard of Oz  (372,058)
  5. Gone with the Wind  (291,149)
  6. Modern Times  (219,032)
  7. The Great Dictator  (204,061)
  8. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  (182,228)
  9. City Lights  (168,666)
  10. Metropolis  (160,728)

note:  For the record, in the six weeks between doing this list for the 1940s and for this post, Casablanca went up by 3812 votes.  There are only 539 films in this entire era with that many votes at all.
note:  I am honestly kind of stunned that Metropolis has almost 30,000 more votes than either Pinocchio or Bambi.

Top 6 U.S. Domestic Box Office (Rentals)

  1. Gone with the Wind  –  $22.00 mil
  2. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  $10.17 mil
  3. Duel in the Sun  –  $8.70 mil
  4. This is the Army  –  $8.50 mil
  5. The Jolson Story  –  $8.00 mil
  6. The Bells of St. Mary’s  –  $8.00 mil
  7. Going My Way  –  $6.50 mil
  8. For Whom the Bell Tolls  –  $6.30 mil
  9. Welcome Stranger  –  $6.10 mil
  10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  –  $6.00 mil

note:  This information is pulled from the January 18, 1950 issue of Weekly Variety (page 18).  For a long time, Variety reported rentals rather than grosses.  It’s hard to equate that perfectly to today’s gross figures and I don’t know where Box Office Mojo gets their pre-1980 information from since Variety seemed to be the main place that had info and they only reported rentals.  A comparison I did of the 1980 Variety all-time list against the listed gross at BOM ranged from a 3.3 multiplier for the rental figure (Benji) all the way down to 1.22 (A Bridge Too Far).  BOM doesn’t list Big Parade even though it was consistently listed as the highest grossing film of the era (with the caveat for the next note) but they do list Four Horsemen on their all-time adjusted list with a gross of $9.18 million (a 2.04 multiplier, right in line with average 2.08 for the 1980 comparison).  I haven’t the time to plow through all the early Variety issues to see if there are earlier lists but they seem to have cut off their all-time list with rentals of four million, so there might not be anything more on pre-1930 films.

note:  “D.W. Griffith’s 1915 smash, Birth of a Nation (Mutual) belongs on the list, but exactly where is a question confused by nostalgia and lost records.  Oldtimers in one way or another associated with the picture estimate its gross at from $35,000,000 to $50,000,000.”  (Weekly Variety, 1/18/50, p 18).  Please notice that it uses the word “gross”, so its hard to know how to compare that to the then listed rentals for Gone with the Wind of $26 million (not a mistake – GWTW would consistently earn re-releases including a massive one in 1968 that would increase its rentals total to over $70 million by the early 70s).

Top 10 U.S. Domestic Box Office (Gross – supposedly)

  1. Gone with the Wind  –  $198.68 mil
  2. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs  –  $184.93 mil
  3. Bambi  –  $102.80 mil
  4. Pinocchio  –  $84.25 mil
  5. Fantasia  –  $76.41 mil
  6. Song of the South  –  $63.72 mil
  7. Mom and Dad  –  $34.88 mil
  8. Samson and Delilah  –  $28.80 mil
  9. The Best Years of Our Lives  –  $23.65 mil
  10. The Bells of St. Mary’s  –  $21.30 mil

note:  For reasons covered above, I am dubious of these numbers.  But when making a list in the Advanced Search at the IMDb, you can sort it by gross and this what the Top 10 are according to the IMDb (which, of course, owns BOM).

note:  The four Disney films benefit from later re-releases.  Bambi would jump a lot with a 1982 re-release, Pinocchio and Song of the South with 1987 re-releases and Fantasia with the 1990 re-release that I went to on opening day.  Samson and Delilah would be a big grosser listed in 1951 because of the late 1949 release (rentals of $9 million).  But even in 1987, Jolson Story was still listed by Variety as having larger rentals than Bell or York and Bells should be significantly behind Duel in the Sun.

note:  Samson and Delilah is an exception to this dubiousness.  It was a late 1949 release (only its New York premiere in late December qualifies it as a 1949 film) whose rentals wouldn’t be fully released until the 1951 Variety Annual (at which point it would be listed as #3 all-time).