13th Academy Awards
DateFebruary 27, 1941
SiteBiltmore Bowl, Biltmore Hotel
Los Angeles, California
Hosted byBob Hope
Best PictureRebecca
Most awardsThe Thief of Bagdad (3)
Most nominationsRebecca (11)

The 13th Academy Awards were held on February 27, 1941, to honor films released in 1940. This was the first year that sealed envelopes were used to keep the names of the winners secret.[1] The accounting firm of Price Waterhouse was hired to count the ballots, after voting results in 1939 were leaked by the Los Angeles Times.[2] The gathering was addressed over the radio by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[2]

Walter Brennan's victory for his performance in The Westerner made him the first person to win an Academy Award more than twice.[2]

Best Original Screenplay was introduced at this ceremony, alongside Best Screenplay, which would eventually become Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Story.

Independent producer David O. Selznick, who had produced the previous year's Best Picture winner Gone with the Wind (1939), produced the film with the most nominations again this year, Rebecca (11), and campaigned heavily for its win.[3] The film won Best Picture, making Selznick the first to produce two consecutive winners; its only other win was for Best Cinematography (Black and White), marking the last time to date a film would win Best Picture but not win for either directing, acting, or writing.

The film's distributor, United Artists, was the last of the original film studios (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia, 20th Century-Fox, Warner Bros., RKO Radio, Universal, and Paramount) to win Best Picture. Rebecca was the first American film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and the only one of his films to win Best Picture. Hitchcock had two films nominated for Best Picture, the other being Foreign Correspondent, and two other directors also had two films in the running: Sam Wood (Our Town and Kitty Foyle) and John Ford (The Long Voyage Home and The Grapes of Wrath, which won Best Director).

Pinocchio was the first animated feature film to win competitive Oscars, for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, starting a long tradition of animated films winning in these categories. The Thief of Bagdad received the most Oscars of the evening (3), the first time a film not nominated for Best Picture won the most awards. This and Pinocchio were the first films not nominated for Best Picture to receive multiple awards in Oscar history.

Winners and nominees

David O. Selznick; Best Picture winner
John Ford; Best Director winner
James Stewart; Best Actor winner
Ginger Rogers; Best Actress winner
Walter Brennan; Best Supporting Actor winner
Jane Darwell; Best Supporting Actress winner
Pete Smith; Best Live Action Short Subject, One-Reel winner
Cedric Gibbons; Best Art Direction, Black-and-White co-winner
Bob Hope; Honorary Academy Award recipient


Nominees were announced on February 10, 1941. Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.[4]

Academy Honorary Awards

Ceremony information

For the first time, names of all winners remained secret until the moment they received their awards, a practice that has continued ever since. Franklin D. Roosevelt gave a six-minute direct radio address to the attendees from the White House. It is the first time an American president participated in the event.

Multiple nominations and awards

Films with multiple nominations
Nominations Film
11 Rebecca
7 The Grapes of Wrath
The Letter
6 Foreign Correspondent
The Long Voyage Home
Our Town
The Philadelphia Story
5 The Great Dictator
Kitty Foyle
North West Mounted Police
4 Arise, My Love
The Sea Hawk
Spring Parade
The Thief of Bagdad
3 All This, and Heaven Too
Down Argentine Way
My Favorite Wife
Strike Up the Band
The Westerner
2 Abe Lincoln in Illinois
Bitter Sweet
The Blue Bird
Boom Town
The Boys from Syracuse
Dark Command
Hit Parade of 1941
The Howards of Virginia
One Million B.C.
Second Chorus
Waterloo Bridge
Films with multiple awards
Awards Film
3 The Thief of Bagdad
2 The Grapes of Wrath
The Philadelphia Story

See also


  1. ^ "1941: THE 13TH ACADEMY AWARD WINNERS". Oscars.org. December 10, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Wallechinsky, David; Wallace, Irving (1975). The People's Almanac. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. p. 835. ISBN 0-385-04060-1.
  3. ^ Inside Oscar, Mason Wiley and Damien Boa, Ballantine Books (1986) pg. 103-107
  4. ^ "The 13th Academy Awards (1941) Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 12, 2011.