Academy Award Nominees and Winners of the Pre-Code Era

For this page, I wanted to create a listing of the winners of the major Academy Awards for the Pre-Code years. Please note that some of these movies may not be technically Pre-Code films, since Pre-Code films are defined as much by their content as their release date. However, I do plan on covering most of these films in due time and when possible.


The Third Annual Academy Awards – 1929/1930

AllQuietPosterDivorcee Poster Academy Award WinnerDisraeli Poster Academy Award Winner

Best Picture

Winner: All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Director

Winner: Lewis Milestone, All Quiet on the Western Front

Best Actress

Winner: Norma Shearer, The Divorcee

Best Actor

Winner: George Arliss, Disraeli 

  • George Arliss, The Green Goddess
  • Wallace Beery, The Big House
  • Maurice Chevalier, The Big Pond & The Love Parade
  • Ronald Colman, Bulldog Drummond & Condemned
  • Lawrence Tibbett, The Rogue Song

The Fourth Annual Academy Awards – 1930/1931

CimarronMinAndBillPosterAFreeSoulPoster

Best Picture

Winner: Cimarron

  • East Lynne
  • The Front Page
  • Skippy
  • Trader Horn

Best Director

Winner: Norman Taurog, Skippy

  • Clarence Brown, A Free Soul
  • Lewis Milestone, The Front Page
  • Wesley Ruggles, Cimarron
  • Josef von Sternberg, Morocco

Best Actress

Winner: Marie Dressler, Min and Bill

Best Actor

Winner: Lionel Barrymore, A Free Soul

  • Jackie Cooper, Skippy
  • Richard Dix, Cimarron
  • Fredric March, The Royal Family of Broadway
  • Adolphe Menjou, The Front Page

The Fifth Annual Academy Awards – 1931/1932

Grand Hotel Academy Award WinnerBadGirlPosterChampPoster

Best Picture

Winner: Grand Hotel

Best Director

Winner: Frank Borzage, Bad Girl

  • King Vidor, The Champ
  • Josef von Sternberg, Shanghai Express

Best Actress

Winner: Helen Hayes, The Sin of Madelon Claude

Best Actor

Winner: Frederic March, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde & Wallace Beery, The Champ

  • Alfred Lunt, The Guardsman

The Sixth Annual Academy Awards – 1932/1933

Cavalcade Academy Award WinnerHenryVIIIPoster

Best Picture

Winner: Cavalcade

  • 42nd Street
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
  • Lady for a Day
  • Little Women
  • The Private Life of Henry VIII
  • She Done Him Wrong
  • Smilin’ Through
  • State Fair

Best Director

Winner: Frank Lloyd, Cavalcade

Best Actress

Winner:  Katherine Hepburn, Morning Glory

Best Actor

Winner: Charles Laughton, The Private Life of Henry VIII

  • Leslie Howard, Berkeley Square
  • Paul Muni, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

The Fourth Annual Academy Awards – 1934

It Happened One Night Academy Award WinnerTheThinManPoster OneNightOfLove

Best Picture

Winner: It Happened One Night

  • The Barretts of Wimpole Street
  • Cleopatra
  • Flirtation Walk
  • The Gay Divorcee
  • Here Comes the Navy
  • The House of Rothschild
  • Imitation of Life
  • One Night of Love
  • The Thin Man
  • Viva Villa!
  • The White Parade

Best Director

Winner: Frank Capra, It Happened One Night

  • Victor Schertzinger, One Night of Love
  • W.S. Van Dyke, The Thin Man

Best Actress

Winner: Claudette Colbert, It Happened One Night

Best Actor

Winner: Clark Gable, It Happened One Night


Return to Pre-Code.com

Comments are closed.