Welcome to Year Two of the Best Picture discussion, concerning movies released between August 1st, 1928 to July 31st, 1929.
The Academy condensed the original two categories down to just the one we’ve had ever since. The entire Academy Awards this year was completely rigged by the judges, who passed out the Oscars as if they were candy treats to their friends. Any concept of honest voting was simply tossed out the door in favor of cronyism. As I said in V. 1 of my book, “Every single one of those awards was an act of theft, corruption, and gross manipulation. Even if they deserved the award, they shouldn’t have received them. One of the points of this book is justice, and justice will be served. I will consider films that were apparently nominated, simply because they lost to corrupt judges. They slighted almost every silent film made that year, in the reverse of their self-serving argument against the talkie The Jazz Singer the previous year. In 1930, silent films were ignored in favor of the tripe Hollywood made with sound. The only silent that won an award was The Patriot, for writing.”
In short, not a good year for honesty or art.
The original winner of the Best Picture was The Broadway Melody, which “won” over Alibi, Hollywood Revue, In Old Arizona, and The Patriot (now a lost film).
The Academy completely ignored all of the following movies for consideration of Best Picture — but we won’t! Here’s the list: Laurel and Hardy’s Big Business; William Wellman’s Beggars of Life; Josef von Sternberg’s The Docks of New York; Erich von Stroheim, The Wedding March; Victor Sjöström and Lillian Gish’s The Wind; Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc; Lon Chaney, West of Zanzibar; Greta Garbo, A Woman of Affairs; Buster Keaton, The Cameraman; and Man with a Movie Camera.
As always, I have much more to say in my book: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OPEELH0
Here’s the poll: