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Couch Film Festival :: 1st Academy Awards

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The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1927 and 1928 and took place on May 16, 1929, at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California. AMPAS president Douglas Fairbanks hosted the show.

Tickets cost $5, 270 people attended the event and the presentation ceremony lasted fifteen minutes. Awards were created by Louis B. Mayer, founder of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation (at present merged into Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). It is the only Academy Awards ceremony not to be broadcast either on radio or television.

WINNER Wings (1927)

Jack Powell and David Armstrong are rivals in the same small American town, both vying for the attentions of pretty Sylvia Lewis. Jack fails to realize that “the girl next door”, Mary Preston, is desperately in love with him. The two young men both enlist to become combat pilots in the Air Service. When they leave for training camp, Jack mistakenly believes Sylvia prefers him. She actually prefers David and lets him know about her feelings, but is too kindhearted to turn down Jack’s affection.

Wings was shot and completed on a budget of $2 million at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas between September 7, 1926 and April 7, 1927. Hundreds of extras were brought in to shoot the picture, and some 300 pilots were involved in the filming.

Bonus :: Wings was one of the first to show two men kissing.

 

The Racket (1928)

The Racket is a 1928 American crime drama film adapted from Cormack’s 1927 Broadway play The Racket.

Nominated for Best Picture during the first Academy Awards, The Racket (1928) was one of the movies that started the cycle of gangster pictures that would lead to Little Caesar (1931), The Public Enemy (1931) and Scarface (1932).

It’s also one of producer Howard Hughes’ most sought after titles and has been out of distribution for decades until now. 

Bonus :: Due to the controversial portrayal of a corrupt police force and city government both the film and the play were banned at the time in Chicago. Up until his death it remained locked up in Hughes personal vault.

7th Heaven (1927)

In Paris, in the early years of the twentieth century, lives Chico, a sewer worker with lofty aspirations. One night, Chico saves a young prostitute named Diane from the murderous rage of her tyrannical sister. Despite her lifestyle,

Diane is honest and innocent, and when the police arrive to arrest her, Chico spontaneously claims that she is his wife.

Forced to maintain this facade or else both face prison sentences, Chico reluctantly allows Diane to live with him — and in the process, love gradually blossoms between them. However, the dark spectre of World War I has begun to descend upon France, and Chico and Diane cannot help but fall under its shadow.

Written by Shannon Patrick Sullivan

Bonus :: In 1995, 7th Heaven was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

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