The very first year of the Academy Awards covered the movies released between August 1st, 1927 and July 31st, 1928. Much as I’d like to include movies released before that date (perhaps a subject for another blog or even book!), let’s stick to their playing field.
The Academy wasn’t quite sure how they wanted the categories set up. Here’s how I put it in Ch. 1 of V.1: “Best Picture was then called Outstanding Production. Somewhat redundantly, they also had a category called Unique and Artistic Picture, a kind of second Best Picture award. Apparently, the gods of commerce would get the first; the gods of art would get the next. Hollywood never tried to separate the two ever again (guess which one usually wins?).”
Here are their nominees for Outstanding Production: Wings won; they also nominated The Racket and Seventh Heaven. Other choices which might have fit into the commercially successful picture slot include: The Jazz Singer; Steamboat Bill, Jr.; The Cameraman; and Metropolis.
In the artistic category: Sunrise won; they also nominated The Crowd and Chang.
Other possibilities for your consideration: The Last Command; Sadie Thompson; The Unknown; Laugh, Clown, Laugh; Two Arabian Knights; Underworld; and The Circus.
As always, I have much more to say in my book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OPEELH0
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