Oscar 1927-1928: Year 1–Nominees and Winners

This year the Oscar Award celebrates its 90th anniversary. To commemorate this event, and the anniversary of our own website, we will examine¬†various aspects of the Oscar as “King of Awards,” the most coveted prize in the global film community.
If you want to know more about the Oscars, please read my book, All About Oscar: History and Politics of the Academy Awards (now in its 11th edition).

The winners of the first Oscar Award, given in 1929 for films released in 1927-1928, were:

Production (Best Picture): Wings (Paramount), produced by Lucien Hubbard


Artistic Quality of Production: Sunrise (Fox)


Actor: Emil Jannings, The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh (both Paramount)


Actress: Janet Gaynor, Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, Sunrise (all by Fox)


Director: Frank Borzage, Seventh Heaven (Fox)

Comedy Director: Lewis Milestone, Two Arabian Knights (UA)

Writing: Seventh Heaven, Benjamin Glazer

Original Story: Underworld, Ben Hecht

Title Writing: Telling the World, Joseph Farnham

Cinematography: Sunrise, Charles Rosher and Karl Struss

Interior Decoration: The Tempest, William Cameron Menzies

Engineering Effects: Wings, Roy Pomeroy

Special Awards:

Warner, for The Jazz Singer, the outstanding pioneer-talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry

Charles Chaplin, for versatility and genius in writing, acting, directing, and producing The Circus.

Complete List of Nominees in All Categories

Best Picture

The Last Command: 3N, 1A

The Racket: 1N

Seventh Heaven: 5N, 3A

The Way of All Flesh: 2N, 1A

Wings: 2N, 2A

Best Actor

Emil Jannings, The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh

Richard Barthelmess, The Patent Leather Kid

Charlie Chaplin, The Circus

Best Actress

Janet Gaynor, Seventh Heaven, Street Angel, Sunrise

Louise Dresser, A Ship Comes In

Gloria Swanson, Sadie Thompson

Best Director

Frank Borzage, Seventh Heaven

Herbert Brenon, Sorrell and Son

King Vidor, The Crowd

Best Director Comedy

Lewis Milestone, Two Arabian Knights

Charlie Chaplin, The Circus

Ted Wilde, Speedy

Writing (Adapted):

Benjamin Glazer, Seventh Heaven

Alfred Cohn, The Jazz Singer

Anthony Coldeway, Glorious Betsy

Writing (Original):

Ben Hecht, Underworld

Lajos Biro, The Last Command

Writing: Title

Joseph Farnham, Telling the World, The Fair Co-Ed, Laugh, Clown, Laugh Gerald Duffy, The Private Life of Helen of Troy George Marion, Jr. Oh Kay!


Charles Rosher and Karl Struss, Sunrise

George Barnes, The Devil Dancer, The Magic Flame, Sadie Thompson

Karl Struss, Drums of Love

Interior Decoration

William Cameron Menzies, The Dove, Tempest

Rochus Gliese, Sunrise

Harry Oliver, Seventh Heaven


Roy Pomeroy, Wings

Ralph Hammeras, The Private Life of Helen of Troy Nugent Slaughter, The Jazz Singer

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