The Academy and the Award: The Coming of Age of Oscar and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

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This account by a former executive director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is an interesting and detailed one. The best sections of the book answer a couple of intriguing questions. How did the Oscar get its name? What exactly are the Jean Hersholt and Irving Thalberg awards? Almost as intriguing are the sections about the extremely short presidential term of Bette Davis (she had a cup of coffee in the role, leading only one board meeting) and an explanation of how the Oscar statuette was designed.

The weakness of The Academy and the Award is that it often goes into such detail that it reads like a college textbook, one that might be used in an Introduction to Film Studies course. While most readers may love or appreciate certain films and actors, the number of them with the time to read a five hundred page account may be limited.

Although this is technically a history of the film trade in Hollywood, it tangentially provides context on the history of Los Angeles itself. As author Davis notes, the production of films has been the most glamourous of the city’s industries. Recommended for serious students of film and California history.

Reviewed By:

Author Bruce Davis
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 512 pages
Publisher Brandeis University Press
Publish Date 11-Oct-2022
ISBN 9781684581191 Buy this Book
Issue October 2022
Category Music & Movies