For the end of the year episode of The George Sanders Show a few weeks ago, we did a 1933 year in review, with awards and top 5s and reviews of a couple of films from that year. We had so much fun with it that we’re planning to do the same thing this year, for 1984. In the meantime, I figure I’ll go through the rest of the years ending in ‘4’ that I can reasonably give awards to, starting now with 1934. In the Endy Awards Index you can find entries for 201119321939196419571994, and 1933, along with a bunch of much older, less good award posts. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I’ve seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .


Best Picture:

1. L’Atalante
2. Man of Aran
3. No Greater Glory
4. The Scarlet Empress
5. Twentieth Century

Best Director:

1. Jean Vigo, L’Atalante
2. Robert Flaherty, Man of Aran
3. Frank Borzage, No Greater Glory
4. Josef von Sternberg, The Scarlet Empress
5. Howard Hawks, Twentieth Century

Vigo was a winner in 1933 for his short film Zéro de conduite. This is a posthumous Endy as the immensely talented young director died of tuberculosis shortly after L’Atalante was released.

Best Actor:

1. Clark Gable, It Happened One Night
2. WC Fields, It’s a Gift
3. Will Rogers, Judge Priest
4. William Powell, The Thin Man
5. John Barrymore, Twentieth Century

Best Actress:

1. Ruan Lingyu, The Goddess
2. Claudette Colbert, It Happened One Night
3. Marlene Dietrich, The Scarlet Empress
4. Myrna Loy, The Thin Man
5. Carole Lombard, Twentieth Century

Colbert also starred in John M. Stahl’s acclaimed Imitation of Life this year, but I haven’t seen it yet (it just missed the cut for an Unseen Film nomination) and Cecil B. DeMille’s Cleopatra, which I have seen. Dietrich and Loy both won Endys in 1932, Loy in the Supporting Actress category. This was Lombard’s for a long time, and then I saw The Goddess.

Supporting Actor:

1. Michel Simon, L’Atalante
2. Boris Karloff, The Black Cat
3. Stepin Fetchit, Judge Priest
4. Peter Lorre, The Man Who Knew Too Much
5. Sam Jaffe, The Scarlet Empress

Supporting Actress:

1. Anne Dvorak, Heat Lightning
2. Glenda Farrell, Heat Lightning
3. Louise Dresser, The Scarlet Empress
4. Chôko Iida, The Story of Floating Weeds
5. Yoshiko Tsubouchi, The Story of Floating Weeds

A kind of a make-up Endy for Glenda Farrell as this is the third year in a row she has been nominated in this category, losing to Myrna Loy in 1932 and Ginger Rogers in 1933. The nomination for Stepin Fetchit is highly controversial, of course, as picketers protest that the star actor puts his comic gifts to use perpetuating horribly demeaning stereotypes, while supporters argue that Fetchit’s persona is in fact subversive of those same stereotypes. The Endy ultimately goes to Karloff because the Endy Committee are cowards.

Original Screenplay:

1. Jean Vigo & Albert Riéra, L’Atalante
2. Robert Riskin, It Happened One Night
3. Charles Bennett & DB Wyndham-Lewis, The Man Who Knew Too Much
4. King Vidor, Elizabeth Hill & Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Our Daily Bread
5. Yasujiro Ozu & Tadao Ikeda, A Story of Floating Weeds

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Irvin S. Cobb, Dudley Nichols & Lamar Trotti, Judge Priest
2. Jo Sewerling, No Greater Glory
3. Eleanor McGeary, The Scarlet Empress
4. Albert Hackett & Frances Goodrich, The Thin Man
5. Ben Hecht & Charles MacArthur, Twentieth Century

1934 is the breakthrough year for the screwball comedy, and three of the best examples of the genre see their screenplays nominated, with wins in both categories. This is the first (but surely not the last) win for Ben Hecht, who was nominated in 1932 for Scarface and 1933 for Hallelujah, I’m a Bum.

Non-English Language Film:

1. L’Atalante (Jean Vigo)
2. The Goddess (Wu Yonggang)
3. Liliom (Fritz Lang)
4. A Story of Floating Weeds (Yasujiro Ozu)
5. Street Without End (Mikio Naruse)

Short Film:

1. The Goddess of Spring (Wilfred Jackson)
2. The Grasshopper and the Ants (Wilfred Jackson)
3. The Big Bad Wolf (Burt Gillett)

Unseen Film:

1. Chapaev (Georgi & Sergei Vasilyev)
3. Le grand jeu (Jacques Feyder)

Film Editing:

1. L’Atalante
2. The Gay Divorcee
3. Man of Aran
4. The Man Who Knew Too Much
5. Our Daily Bread


1. Boris Kaufman, L’Atalante
2. John J. Mescall, The Black Cat
3. Robert Flaherty, Man of Aran
4. Bert Glennon, The Scarlet Empress
5. Inokai Suketaro, Street Without End

Original Score:

1. Dames
2. The Gay Divorcee
3. Liliom
4. Our Daily Bread
5. The Scarlet Empress

Original Song:

1. “I Only Have Eyes For You”, Dames
2. “The Continental”, The Gay Divorcee


1. The Black Cat
2. Dames
3. The Gay Divorcee
4. The Merry Widow

Art Direction:

1. L’Atalante
2. The Black Cat
3. Cleopatra
4. The Merry Widow
5. The Scarlet Empress

Costume Design:

1. Cleopatra
2. The Goddess
3. Les misérables
4. The Scarlet Empress
5. The Thin Man


1. The Black Cat
2. Cleopatra
3. The Scarlet Empress

Sound Mixing:

1. Dames
2. Man of Aran
3. The Merry Widow
4. The Scarlet Empress
5. Twentieth Century

Sound Editing:

1. Dames
2. The Gay Divorcee
3. The Lost Patrol
4. The Merry Widow
5. No Greater Glory

Visual Effects:

1. The Black Cat
2. Cleopatra
3. Liliom

2 thoughts on “1934 Endy Awards

  1. I guess. As I understand the categories, Editing is for adding sounds not recorded live, like sound effects or post-synched music, where Mixing is the more general quality of the sound in the film, how the various elements of the track come together. I guess they don't get “mixed” in the same way multi-track recordings do, I should probably change the name to “Best Sound” which is what the category was called for a long time. There was only one sound category for the Oscars in 1934, called “Sound Recording”.


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