The Academy Awards are tonight, so I thought I would post something about the night “Gone with the Wind”won it big–February 29, 1940 at the now-destroyed Cocoanut Grove in Los Angeles. Clark didn’t win that night; the only black spot on an otherwise glorious night for the film.
The one thing about that evening that has always puzzled me is the lack of pictures of Clark and Carole at the Academy Awards. There are none. Zilch. Zero. I understand Clark didn’t win, but how can there be no photos? I am a Clark photo fanatic, as is evident by the thousands of pictures in the gallery, and I have never come across one. I have bought up just about every fan magazine from 1940 in hopes of finding one and I never have. I even asked Herb Bridges, the author of several GWTW books and pretty much the world’s #1 Windie. He thought about it aminute and said, “You know, you’re right. I have never seen one either. Wonder why that is?”
I will not give up the hope however! One day I will find it!
In the meantime, here’s a piece on the 1940 Academy Awards that ran in Modern Screen Magazine in May 1940:
The Night of the Oscars
Each year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences distributes about 12,000 ballots to people connected with the motion picture industry. Members of the Screen Actors’ guild are invited to vote on the outstanding acting performances of the year, members of the Writers’ Guild on the outstanding writing jobs, and so on. Then, to avoid cries of “Fake”, the Academy requests that all voters return their ballots not to them, but to the accounting firm of Price, Waterhouse & Co. There, they are properly audited and a member of the firm reveals the results three hours before the awards are made. Not even the President of the Academy knows who the winners are going to be. Despite these precautions. the awarding of this year’s “Oscars” stll looked like a planned affair, with the King of England and David O. Selznick the principal conspirators–for Vivien Leigh and Robert Donat, two of His Highness’ loyal subjects, took the highest acting awards, while Mr. Selznick’s “Gone with the Wind’ strutted off with almost everything else.
Fay Bainter turns over one of the coveted “Oscars” to Hattie McDaniel, who received the supporting actress award for her performance as “Mammy” in GWTW. This marks the first time a member of her race has been honored by the Academy.
Producer Selznick and his prize-winning Vivien Leigh meet at the Cocoanut Grove to accept the year’s highest awards. Though Robert Donat took top male honors for “Goodbye, Mr. Chips”, GWTW received 9 of the 21 awards.
Veteran Award-Winner Spencer Tracy, who left a sick bed to make some of the presentations, congratulates Thomas Mitchell. 44-year-old Mr. M received the supporting actor award for his outstanding work as the doctor in ‘Stagecoach.”
Mickey Rooney puts his own stamp of approval on Judy Garland, who was given a special statuette for “Outstanding Performance of a Juvenile”.
Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. accepts the statuette awarded his father for “Outstanding Contribution to International Development of Motion Pictures”.