Oscar: Davis, Bette–Consolation Award for Dangerous?

Artists who have failed to win the award are not forgotten or lost cases–the Academy tends to compensate the losers, usually in the near future, with belated Oscars. The consolatory awards serve as corrective mechanisms to the imperfections of the Oscar as a reward system.

Bette Davis’s award for Dangerous is considered to be the first consolation or “holdover” award, given to her for missing out on the previous year’s nominations. The attempt to introduce new selection procedures, the writeins, failed to get Davis a much deserved award for Of Human Bondage.

In 1935, upon being nominated for Dangerous, Davis herself cited Katharine Hepburn’s performance in Alice Adams as the best performance of the year.