Thursday, January 28, 2016

Best Costume Awards - for the years that didn't have it


Since the Award for Best Costume was not instituted until the 1949 Academy Awards, and since I am doing a Timeline of Award-Winning Costumes for the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon, I thought it would be fun to finally give recognition (albeit in a small way) to all of the Costume Designers whose work went, certainly not unnoticed, but un-lauded from the years 1930 up to 1948 (films from 1947). But to do this as fairly as possible, I am going to need YOUR help.

First I need everyone to spread the word. You can use one of the banners below and/or write a short blog post (preferred) to get as many people to vote as possible.

Second you can nominate some films in the comments. Below I have nominated some films but they are, of course, restricted to films I have seen. And as it's impossible to see every film from every year, I need your help for the films I haven't seen. Comments will remain open until February 12th.

On February 13th, I will create a poll for each year and give everyone a chance to vote on which films should be nominated. Voting for nominations will end February 20th. The five films with the most votes for each year will then be the official nominated films.

Voting for the Academy Award winner will be held from February 21 - 27 with the winner announced on February 28 during this years Academy Awards ceremony.


When nominating a film, keep in mind what was going on that year (mainly WWII), if the costumes progress the storyline, and what films WERE nominated that year, especially in the Best Picture and Best Art Direction categories, which you can view on the official Oscars website.

If you have written a post on any of the nominated films I would love to share the link so that those who haven't seen all of the films or are having trouble remembering the costumes can have something to look at to help them vote.

Dates to Remember:
  • Comments open for nominations open until 2/12 at midnight EST.
  • Voting for final five nominees open from 2/13 - 2/20 - Click here to vote
  • Voting for Oscar-Winning Costume for the years 1929-1947 open from 2/21 - 2/27
  • Winners Announced 2/28 at 8:30pm EST.

UPDATED - Films with Notable Costumes (Click on each year to view list of most notable films for each year) - the number at the end indicates the number of votes it received. Films crossed out were not nominated in the nomination poll.

1930 - these are the nominees
The Divorcee - Norma Shearer 5
Romance - Greta Garbo 2

1931 - these are the nominees
Mata Hari - Greta Garbo 2
Possessed - Joan Crawford & Clark Gable 4
The Smiling Lieutenant - Maurice Chevalier, Claudette Colbert, Miriam Hopkins 0
Man of the World - Carole Lombard & William Powell 1

1932 - these are the nominees
Grand Hotel - John & Lionel Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford 5
Letty Lynton - Joan Crawford 3
Jewel Robbery - William Powell & Kay Francis 1

1933 - these are the nominees
Queen Christina - Greta Garbo & John Gilbert 1
Dinner at Eight - Jean Harlow, John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler 5
Little Women - Katharine Hepburn 1
Bombshell - Jean Harlow 1

1934 - these are the nominees
Cleopatra - Claudette Colbert 3
The Thin Man - William Powell & Myrna Loy 4
Sadie McKee - Joan Crawford & Franchot Tone 2

Captain Blood - Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland 6
Anna Karenina - Greta Garbo
A Midsummer Night's Dream - James Cagney, Mickey Rooney, Olivia de Havilland
China Seas - Clark Gable & Jean Harlow 1
The Littlest Rebel - Shirley Temple
Top Hat - Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire 4
Peter Ibbetson - Gary Cooper
Naughty Marietta - Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy
Barbary Coast - Miriam Hopkins & Joel McCrea

The Great Ziegfeld - William Powell, Luise Rainer, Myrna Loy 1
My Man Godfrey - William Powell & Carole Lombard 2
Camille - Greta Garbo & Robert Taylor 5
The Jungle Princess - Dorothy Lamour & Ray Milland
Romeo and Juliet - Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard
San Francisco - Clark Gable & Jeanette MacDonald 2
The Charge of the Light Brigade - Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland
The Gorgeous Hussy - Joan Crawford & Robert Taylor
Rose-Marie - Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy

1937 - these are the nominees
Stella Dallas - Barbara Stanwyck 2
Fire Over England - Laurence Olivier & Vivien Leigh 1
The Prisoner of Zenda - Ronald Colman & Madeleine Carroll 2
Maytime - Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy 4

1938 - these are the nominees
The Adventures of Robin Hood - Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland 4
Marie Antoinette - Norma Shearer 3
Jezebel - Bette Davis & Henry Fonda 1
Suez - Tyrone Power & Loretta Young 1

1939 (we all know Gone With the Wind is going to win)
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex - Bette Davis & Errol Flynn 0
Gone With the Wind - Clark Gable & Vivien Leigh 7
The Wizard of Oz - Judy Garland 1
The Women - Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell
The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara
Stagecoach - John Wayne & Claire Trevor
Wuthering Heights - Merle Oberon & Laurence Olivier

1940 - these are the nominees
The Sea Hawk - Errol Flynn 0
Rebecca - Joan Fontaine & Laurence Olivier 2
Kitty Foyle - Ginger Rogers & Dennis Morgan 2
Pride and Prejudice - Greer Garson & Laurence Olivier 4
New Moon - Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy 0

They Died With Their Boots On - Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland 0
The Lady Eve - Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda 3
Ziegfeld Girl - Lana Turner, Hedy Lamarr, Judy Garland 4
How Green Was My Valley - Maureen O'Hara
That Hamilton Woman - Laurence Olivier & Vivien Leigh 0
The Little Foxes - Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall
Moon Over Miami - Don Ameche & Bette Grable
That Night in Rio - Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Carmen Miranda

1942 - these are the nominees
To Be or Not To Be - Jack Benny & Carole Lombard 0
The Palm Beach Story - Claudette Colbert & Joel McCrea 2
Now, Voyager - Bette Davis & Paul Henreid 4
Yankee Doodle Dandy - James Cagney 2
The Major and the Minor - Ginger Rogers 0

1943 - these are the nominees
The More the Merrier - Jean Arthur & Joel McCrea 1
Song of Bernadette - Jennifer Jones 1
The Gang's All Here - Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda 1
Sweet Rosie O'Grady - Bette Grable & Robert Young 1
Du Barry was a Lady - Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Gene Kelly 5

1944 - these are the nominees
Meet Me in St. Louis - Judy Garland 5
Gaslight - Ingrid Bergman & Charles Boyer 3
The Dolly Sisters - Betty Grable, John Payne, June Haver 0

1945 - these are the nominees
Christmas in Connecticut - Barbara Stanwyck & Dennis Morgan 0
Caesar and Cleopatra - Vivien Leigh & Claude Rains 1
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders, Donna Reed 1
Saratoga Trunk - Gary Cooper & Ingrid Bergman 3
Thrill of a Romance - Esther Williams & Van Johnson 2

1946 - these are the nominees
The Harvey Girls - Judy Garland 2
Notorious - Ingrid Bergman & Cary Grant 2
The Postman Always Rings Twice - Lana Turner & John Garfield 3
Gilda - Rita Hayworth & Glenn Ford 3
Anna and the King of Siam - Irene Dunne & Rex Harrison 0
So Goes My Love - Myrna Loy & Don Ameche 0

1947 - these are the nominees
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty - Danny Kaye & Virginia Mayo 1
My Favorite Brunette - Bob Hope & Dorothy Lamour 1
Life with Father - William Powell & Irene Dunne 5
Green Dolphin Street - Lana Turner, Donna Reed 1


  1. 1935 Top Hat. Feather dress worn by Ginger Rogers in "Cheek to Cheek" dance.

    1. Thanks, it's added! Be sure to come back and vote!

  2. To your list, I would maybe add: "The Divorcee" (1930); "Sadie McKee" (1934); "Peter Ibbetson" (1935); "San Francisco" (1936); "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1936); "The Gorgeous Hussy" (1936); "Fire Over England" (1937); "The Prisoner of Zenda" (1937); "Suez" (1938); "Kitty Foyle" (1940); "Pride and Prejudice" (1940); "That Hamilton Woman" (1941); and "Thrill of a Romance" (1945), simply because Esther Williams's gowns in that film are absolutely stunning.

    Since you asked, I have written articles on "The Divorcee", "Pride and Prejudice" and I wrote a little bit about "Fire Over England" and "That Hamilton Woman" for a blogathon. Here are the links:

    I hope that helps. :)

  3. I recently watched "Sweet Rosie O'Grady" (1943) and was struck by how beautiful the costumes were in that film. Also, from the same year (though not a great movie itself), DuBarry was a Lady (1943) had incredible costumes. Other additions maybe The Little Foxes (1941), Moon Over Miami (1941), The Gang's All Here (1943), The Dolly Sisters (1944), That Night in Rio (1941), Naughty Marietta (1935), Rose-Marie (1936), Maytime (1937), New Moon (1940)- basically any of the Nelson Eddy/Jeanette MacDonald period films. If I think of anything else I'll come back lol.

    1. Thanks so much for all the suggestions!!!