The Best Original Score was first awarded in 1935. The category was originally called Best Scoring and was a mix of original scores and adaptations of pre-existing material. Later the category was split into Best Music Score of a Dramatic Picture and Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. There are so many name changes I can hardly keep up!
Our Town (1940-6am/5am c)
Best Scoring–Aaron Copland
Best Picture (Sol Lesser)
Best Actress–Martha Scott as Emily Webb
Best Sound–Thomas T. Moulton
Best Art Direction-Lewis J. Rachmil
An adaptation of Thorton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play about small-town life in the early 20th century. Isn’t it weird that Aaron Copland was nominated for Score and Scoring?
This is the Army (1943-7:30am/6:30am c)
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture–Ray Heindorf
Best Sound Recording–Nathan Levinson
Best Art Direction, Color-John Hughes (Art Direction), Lt. John Koenig (Art Direction); George J. Hopkins (Set Decoration)
The musical was sung and danced by real American soldiers. The movie was by Warner Bros. by special arrangement by the War Department to boost morale.
The Old Man and the Sea
Musical Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture–Dimitri Tiomkin
Best Actor–Spencer Tracy as The Old Man
Best Cinematography, Color–James Wong Howe
Spencer Tracy’s sixth nomination for Best Actor.
A Star is Born (1954-11:15am/10:15am c)
Scoring of a Musical Picture–Ray Heindorf
Best Actress-Judy Garland as Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester
The magnum opus of Judy Garland’s career. She only lost the Best Actress award for Grace Kelly by six votes.
On the Town (1949-2:15pm/1:15pm c)
The first musical to be shot on location. Three sailors find adventure and love during a 24-hour furlough in New York.
Annie Get Your Gun (1950-4pm/3pm c)
Best Film Editing–James E. Newcom
Best Cinematography, Color–Charles Rosher
Boy, what a troubled production! First, Judy Garland was fired and replaced by Betty Hutton. Then leading man Howard Keel broke his leg. Then, Frank Morgan, who was the first choice to play Buffalo Bill, died. He was replaced by Louis Calhern. Then director George Sidney was replaced by George Walters, who found out he was the new director in a gossip column!
Now, Voyager (1942-6pm/5pm c)
Best Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture–Max Steiner
Best Actress–Bette Davis as Charlotte Vale
Best Supporting Actress–Gladys Cooper as Mrs. Windle Vale
I’m surprised this movie only received three Oscar nominations, many considered this to be Bette’s best performance. This was her fifth consecutive Best Actress nomination.
Limelight (1952-8pm/7pm c)
This film was nominated and won an Oscar 20 years after it was made. You see, the movie was never played in a Los Angeles cinema until 1972 which made it eligible for Oscar consideration.
Fiddler on the Roof
Best Original Song and Adaptation Score–John Williams
Best Sound-David Hildyard and Gordon McCallum
Best Cinematography–Oswald Morris
Best Picture (Norman Jewison)
Best Director–Norman Jewison
Best Actor–Chaim Topol as Tevye
Best Supporting Actor–Leonard Frey as Motel Kamzoil
Producer/director was brought into the production because the executives thought he was Jewish because his last name was Jewison. He has gotten this all of his life.
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Best Sound–Nathan Levinson
Best Original Motion Picture Story–Robert Buckner
Best Film Editing-George Amy
What is this? Ray Heindorf day? This is the third movie that he conducted today! Also, when George Cohan saw the rough cut of the movie, he said, “It was a good movie. Who was it about?” The movie had deviated very far from the real Cohan.
Cover Girl (1944-4am/3am)
Best Art Direction, Color-Lionel Banks (Art Direction) and Cary Odell (Art Direction); Fay Babcock (Interior Decoration)
Best Cinematography, Color–Rudolph Mate and Allen M. Davey
Rita Hayworth married Orson Welles during production. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen began their fruitful collaboration during this film.