The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers, 368 pp., $22.95) by Jim Piazza and Gail Kinn is in its fifth edition and starts at the beginning (1929) when the first Oscar ceremony was hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and lasted five minutes. (Compare that with last year's 3 hours and 16 minutes.) This guide includes a breakdown of winners in the major categories for each year, with background on the movies that won and excerpts of acceptance speeches. Sidebars list Hollywood controversies ("Marilyn Monroe has ... a brain like Swiss cheese," Billy Wilder said in 1959) and a category called "Sins of Omission" details the movies and actors the authors think should have won.
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