4th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1931)

  • Date of Ceremony: Tuesday, November 10, 1931
  • For films released in: 1930-1931
  • Host(s): Lawrence Grant
Other years:

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The 4th Annual Academy Awards were held at the Biltmore Hotel on November 10, 1931. The ceremony was hosted by Lawrence Grant, a British actor who had appeared in films like Bulldog Drummond and Daughter of the Dragon.

The list of winners was kept under tighter wraps this year, with the papers not getting the results until later in the day.

The night also gave birth to one of the ceremony’s traditions. Norma Shearer, the previous year’s Best Actress, had been asked to present the category, of which she was a nominee. Later, realizing that she could have been announcing herself as a winner, the Academy decide that from then on, the previous Best Actress would be invited to present to the Best Actor and vice versa.

The big winner of the night was Cimarron, which went home with Best Picture, Best Writing (Adaptation) and Best Art Direction.


Outstanding Production

  • Cimarron
    RKO Radio

Best Directing

  • Skippy
    Norman Taurog

Best Actor

  • A Free Soul
    Lionel Barrymore

Best Actress

  • Min and Bill
    Marie Dressler

Best Art Direction

  • Cimarron
    Max Rée

Best Cinematography

  • Tabu
    Floyd Crosby

Best Sound Recording

  • Paramount Publix Studio Sound Department

Best Writing (Adaptation)

  • Cimarron
    Howard Estabrook

Best Writing (Original Story)

  • The Dawn Patrol
    John Monk Saunders

Scientific or Technical Award (Class I)

  • Electrical Research Products, Inc., RCA-Photophone, Inc. and RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
    Note: …for noise reduction recording equipment.
  • DuPont Film Manufacturing Corp. and Eastman Kodak Company
    Note: …for super-sensitive panchromatic film.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class II)

  • Fox Film Corp.
    Note: …for effective use of synchro-projection composite photography.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class III)

  • Electrical Research Products Inc.
    Note: …for moving coil microphone transmitters.
  • RKO Radio Pictures, Inc.
    Note: …for reflex type microphone concentrators.
  • RCA-Photophone, Inc.
    Note: …for ribbon microphone transmitters.
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