(Note: THIS CATEGORY IS NOT FINISHED. I still need to watch one of the nominees. I still have not been able to find Drag in any cheap/acceptable format. If anyone has it or knows where it can be procured, let me know, so this category can be finished.)
1928-1929 is the second year of the Oscars, one where there were no official nominees. They just mailed out ballots and whoever got the most votes won, and the unofficial nominees were the people who got the most votes. These were them for the Best Director category.
As for the rest of the year — The Broadway Melody wins Best Picture, because it was the film to best utilize the wonderful new technology called sound, Warner Baxter wins Best Actor for In Old Arizona (talked about here), quite possibly the least interesting or cared about category ever, and Mary Pickford wins Best Actress for Coquette (talked about here), which is a great historical decision that helped to legitimize the category. That’s it, really.
Remember, we’re working on a different set of rules for these categories than we would for contemporary ones. Though, even with the different set of rules, I really can’t understand this one. Not even a little bit. You just invented sound — why wouldn’t you give Best Director to a sound film? Or even if not, why would you give it to that film? (Though, admittedly, he was nominated three times, so maybe that had something to do with it.)
BEST DIRECTOR – 1928-1929
And the nominees were…
Lionel Barrymore, Madame X
Harry Beaumont, The Broadway Melody
Irving Cummings, In Old Arizona
Frank Lloyd, The Divine Lady & Drag & Weary River
Ernst Lubitsch, The Patriot (more…)