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80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards Hardcover


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80 Years of the Oscar: The Official History of the Academy Awards + The Academy Awards®: The Complete Unofficial History -- Revised and Up-to-date + TCM Classic Movie Trivia: Featuring More Than 4,000 Questions to Test Your Trivia Smarts
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 439 pages
  • Publisher: Abbeville Press; First Edition edition (November 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789209926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789209924
  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 4.8 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,455 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robert Osborne is a columnist and critic for The Hollywood Reporter, one of Hollywood's most important daily newspapers, and primetime host and anchor on the Turner Classic Movies cable television network. He has written a dozen books on the film world, many of them focused on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is also a frequent host of the Academy's in-person tributes, both in Beverly Hills and New York.

More About the Author

Robert Osborne is a columnist and critic for The Hollywood Reporter, one of Hollywood's most important daily papers, and prime-time host and anchor of the Turner Classic Movies cable television network. He has written more than ten books on the film world, many of them focused on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has hosted several of the Academy's in-person tributes, both at the organization's Beverly Hills headquarters and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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It's a handy little book -- easy to use and cheap.
D. Summerfield
Instead, it is a complete listing of every nominee and every winner in every category since the award ceremony's inception in 1927.
calvinnme
If you love movies and how they are made, then this is the book for you.
Ben Harper

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is not a history in the since of most history books. It does not detail how the academy began, or how it changed over the years, or give you any kind of insider view of its workings. Instead, it is a complete listing of every nominee and every winner in every category since the award ceremony's inception in 1927. There are plenty of photographs of the nominees and images of scenes from the nominated films for each year, so it is not dry in the way many reference books are. In fact, Mr. Osborne's love of film and its history really shine through in the book. It is interesting to look through this book and see what we consider to be films that have withstood the test of time versus which ones were rewarded by the academy at the time. For example, in 1939, the Academy did recognize that "Gone with the Wind" was the best picture of the year, which people were lining up to watch in movie theaters until its television broadcast premiere in 1976. However, in 1941, "How Green was My Valley" won best picture, which is a film that hardly anyone watches anymore, while "Citizen Kane" was completely ignored. It's also interesting to see how the Academy compensated for past oversights by awarding performances that were less than stellar in subsequent years. For instance, in 1934 Bette Davis was overlooked in her performance in "Of Human Bondage". This caused a huge public outcry. The following year the Academy gave her the best actress award for her performance in "Dangerous"- a move that has largely been seen over the years as a consolation prize for what happened the year before.

This book is full of little insights such as these, and it is a fun book that gives hours of entertainment for film history buffs. I bought my first copy of this history by Mr. Osborne back in 1987 when he was then detailing the 60 years of the Oscar, and I enjoyed it so much I have been updating my copy every time he releases a new edition. Highly recommended.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By PM in NY on July 31, 2009
Format: Hardcover
"80 Years of Oscar..." is a fairly entertaining look at the Academy Awards from the first ceremony in 1927 through 2007. Each year is about a 5 page chapter, starting with a brief essay on the year's highlights and a small shot of the movie poster for the winner of "Best Picture of the Year".

Each chapter has a complete listing of all the categories, the nominees and an asterik near the winner and about 7 or 8 photos . The photos are accompanied by a plot summary and sometimes a trivia fact similar to the type Robert Osborne gives when introducing movies on the Turner Classic Movies channel.

Though it remains fairly entertaining, when considering the book's price, the author's vast film knowledge and the self-proclamation as "The Official History...", I expected more. The full list of categories and nominees is available on several websites for free, so I was hoping the book would offer more.

The trivia is a mixed bag and never controversial. It's usually superficial, such as it was an actresses fifth nomination or a film wasn't expected to be a hit. None gave the feeling that you were getting an insider's view of Hollywood. However, quotes from the actors on how they felt winning the oscar help capture some of the excitement of oscar night.

The photos are clearly secondary to the category listings. They are mostly black and white, even for color films and many are crammed into the margins of the text. There does not seem to be any attempt to arrange them in a way that would generate excitement or more than passing interest. Predictably, there are many movies stills and pictures of the actors holding their oscar. There are no full page, color photos.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Oliver VINE VOICE on January 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is revised every five years and I always put it on my wish list when a new update is due. It contains a goldmine of information for the movie buff, listing all the major nominees and winners for every year. It is generously illustrated with black and white photos includes a photo from the Best Picture, Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Actress and the Best Director for each award year. A first-rate reference book that provides hours of entertainment.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By wolfgang731 on January 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For once, I'll keep my review super brief. If you love movies in general or the Academy Awards in particular, this is, simply, a must have. Concise, informative and with just enough illustrations to keep it visually interesting, it's an indispensable reference tool. It's really first-rate book but that's hardly surprising seeing that it's an Abbeville Press publication.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Summerfield on March 28, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dapper Robert Osborne, the genial, knowledgeable host of Turner Classic Movies, who visits me in my bedroom every night (in a nicely-tailored suit...), has written the exact reference source which a movie buff like me needs. In conversational Osborne style, there is a thoughtful foreword about the formation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the creation of its annual Academy Awards. Then the rest of the book is laid out decade-by-decade, with an essay about the decade itself, and a short introduction to each year in that decade. Each year's essay covers what made that year different from any other -- perhaps describing new trends in filmmaking or acting, highlighting changes in Academy rules, pointing to controversies or personality clashes, and adding interesting anecdotes about the ceremonies themselves.

The best thing about the book is that every nominee in every category for every year is listed. The winners are clearly marked. The book is easy to use and has an exhaustive index. This is the epitome of Oscar guides.

For years, I have been relying on The 1999 Academy Awards Handbook (Academy Awards Handbook), a compact paperback compendium of Oscar nominations and winners, to quickly locate who won Best Actor in 1955 (Ernest Borgnine for "Marty") or which movie Meryl Streep won her first Oscar for ("Kramer vs. Kramer"). It's a handy little book -- easy to use and cheap. The drawback to the book is that it only lists the complete nominees for the "Top Six" categories for each year (Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Movie and Director). The rest of the categories list the winners only. Also, I had been keeping the book up-to-date by adding my own lists every year.
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