The Academy added a whole new category, Best Sound Recording. Given the paleolithic standards of sound recording, I’m sure the standard for inclusion was “Hey! We finally understood what they said!” That, and “Hey! Let’s give Irving Thalberg’s brother-in-law the first Oscar!”
But still no guilt on my part. MGM should have felt guilty for making sure Mrs. Thalberg,Norma Shearer, was glorified by giving her brother Douglas Shearer the first Oscar in this category.
Here’s what I had to say about it in v. 1: “The entire sound departments for each studio were nominated, but a single individual was named to receive the award in their stead. Just on general principle, Shearer should have not won this award. MGM was one of the last to jump on the sound wagon fully, and it seems unfair to allow the award to stand. Who else should have won? Of all the musicals made this year, The Love Parade sounds far better; Lubitsch used sound to great effect, and the recording engineer served him well. Normally, I will not talk about this category, but corruption and nepotism must be stopped. Franklin Hansen should have won.
By the way, if you’ve never seen Ronald Colman in Raffles, it’s a fun Samuel Goldwyn production. Not a great film, but a fun bit of high-class thievery of the British sort (made in America, of course). The sound announces itself from the dark: British bobbies slurping up their tea, followed by a fade-in on the visuals of same.”
So if I didn’t omit anything, then why bring it up. One, because if I don’t say anything about it, somebody will keep pestering me — hey, what happened to the third year?!? Two, because Best Sound Recording is a category I generally ignored, and that’s an omission I do feel guilty about. And three, because nepotism really must be stopped. Of course, I’m not related to anybody famous who’s alive (I’m related to lots of famous dead people). Well, I am related to the Bush family and Mitt Romney, but they’re not in the White House, and the sooner we forget about those guys the better, no? Just to be fair, there’s lots of Democrats I could do without too, but let’s not go there right now, ok?
So, let’s keep an ear open to the Sound category in future years, ok? I might as well do it now, before I go deaf and start yelling at people in front of my house. “Hey, you kids, get off of my lawn!!!”
Here’s my favorite song from The Love Parade (and really, the only good one in the movie):