November 30, 2022

“The Academy and the Award: The Coming of Age of Oscar and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences” by Bruce Davis (Brandeis University Press)

Film historians and others digging for a deeper vein of Oscar knowledge than mere trivia will turn up many nuggets in “The Academy and the Award,” which focuses on the initial three decades in the corporate life of the sword-wielding statuette.

Bruce Davis’ insightful history of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization he served as executive director for 20 years, explains how the academy survived more than one near-death experience, usually related to funding, and created a cultural icon with its award. (Turning its annual awards ceremony into a television show in the 1950s, not an obvious solution at the time, eventually took care of the money problem.)

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