“It Happened One Night,” and the first Oscar sweep…

Yes, a really static shot of a bunch of people who made motion picture magic… Elected officers and board of directors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on November 15, 1932. Left to right, seated, Al Cohn, B. P. Schulberg, Benjamin Glazer, new vice president; Conrad Nagel, new president; M. C. Levee, retiring president; Fred Niblo, secretary; Irving G. Thalberg, and Frank Capra. Standing, left to right, Max Ree, Oliver H. P. Garrett, John Cromwell, Sam Hardy, Lawrence Grant, Karl Strauss, J. Theodore Reed, chairman of the conciliation committee; and Lester Cowan, executive secretary.

The guy seated on the far right went on to make It Happened One Night — with his fifth or sixth choice cast as the heroine and his third choice cast as the male lead. As we know, this classic struck Oscar gold.

Here is Mr. Capra pictured at the awards ceremony with Bette Davis, an actress who actively campaigned for the role of Ellie, but Jack Warner refused to lend her to Columbia. To the left is Irving Thalberg and to the right is Victor McLaglen.

It has been widely reported that Colbert at first refused to bare her leg for this scene because it was unladylike. However, when the body double arrived on set she said, “Get her out of here. I’ll do it. That’s not my leg!”


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  1. February 22, 2013

    Fred Niblo has always been a favorite of mine.

    • February 22, 2013

      Really wonderful director – Camille, Blood and Sand, and the Ben Hur that William Wyler was an A.D. on – it’s sad he’s not much remembered now.

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