In honor of the 90th anniversary of the Oscars, our creative team pays tribute to the memorable moments that have made the Academy Awards the most anticipated celebration of film year after year.
Cover image via AP/Shutterstock.
From memorable moments to dazzling dresses and stirring speeches, Shutterstock’s staff photographers and archival content partners have captured it all.
Kobal / REX / Shutterstock | Image ID: 5883417f | Bob Hope
The first Academy Awards took place in 1929. The ceremony lasted just 15 minutes and tickets cost $5. Since then, the Oscars have been a backdrop for laughter and tears, upsets and mishaps, record-breaking wins and jaw-dropping moments — all played out in front of Hollywood royalty and a global audience.
AP / Shutterstock | Image ID: 6585057b | Johnny Carson with Miss Piggy, 1980.
As we prepare for the 90th Academy Awards on March 4th, remind yourself of some of the highlights. Here are a few key moments.
2017 Best Picture Mixup
Andrew H. Walker / Shutterstock | Image ID: 8434891mr | Brian Cullinan and Ben Affleck, 2017.
“There was this weird sort of uncomfortable pause, this tension. And there was a woman standing next to me who was wearing a headset started swearing — to herself, but pretty vehemently.”
Mark Suban / AMPAS / EPA / Shutterstock | Image ID: 8436414bf | Jordan Horowitz, Jimmy Kimmel and Warren Beatty, 2017.
AP/ Shutterstock | Image ID: 6605842a | Robert Opel and David Niven, 1974.
“Well ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen . . . But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?” —David Niven, making light of a streaker invading the stage.
More Memorable Moments
Before a single award gets announced, the fashion winners and losers have already been crowned.
The right dress can turn an actor into a style icon — or the wrong one into a punchline. Here are some of the most memorable fashion moments from the Academy Awards since the red carpet first joined the ceremony in 1961.
Z13 / ACE Pictures / Shutterstock | Image ID: 2168867h | Jennifer Lawrence, 2013.
“I kept thinking, ‘cakewalk, cakewalk, cakewalk.’ I thought, ‘Why is cakewalk stuck in my head?’ And then I started to walk up the stairs and the fabric from my dress tucked under my feet, I realized my stylist had told me, ‘Kick, walk, kick, walk.’ You are supposed to kick the dress out while you walk, and I totally forgot because I was thinking about cake! And that’s why I fell.” — Jennifer Lawrence on why she fell going on stage to collect her Best Actress award.
“I want to see people like Cher! She came like she was on her way to Las Vegas . . . I want to see people who take risks with their Oscar dresses.” —Fashion Journalist André Leon Talley.
“Red carpets tend to be very casual nowadays . . . But the Oscars has a dress code for photographers: long gowns for women and suits for men. Seeing everyone full dressed up is very unique. Also, at the Oscars, everybody likes having their photo taken because it is the event of the year. You don’t have to persuade someone to walk the carpet at the Oscars!” —Shutterstock photographer Chelsea Lauren on what makes the red carpet at the Academy Awards so special.
More Red Carpet Moments
Kevork Djansezian / AP / Shutterstock | ImageID: 6449363a | Halle Berry, 2002.
Officially, winners have 45 seconds to make their speech before the orchestra plays them off. Some recipients are grateful, some are emotional. Some make a joke, some make a statement, and others simply make history. Here are some of the most famous.
Kevork Djansezian / AP / Shutterstock | Image ID: 6427606ae | Michael Moore, 2003.
“We like nonfiction, as we live in fictitious times. We live in the time where we have fictitious election results that elects a fictitious president. We live in a time where we have a man sending us to war for fictitious reasons.” —Michael Moore, accepting Best Documentary for Bowling for Columbine.
Matt Sayles / Invision / AP / Shutterstock | Image ID: 9054220ak | Matthew McConaughey, 2014.
“So to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever it is we look up to, whatever it is we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasing, to that I say, ‘Amen.’ To that I say, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ To that I say ‘just keep living.'” —Matthew McConaughey, accepting the Best Actor award for Dallas Buyer’s Club.
Jim Smeal / BEI / Shutterstock | Image ID: 854549t | Penelope Cruz, 2009.
“It’s not going to be 45 seconds, I can say that right now. Has anybody ever fainted here? Because I might be the first one.” —Penélope Cruz winning Best Supporting Actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
Mark J. Terrill / AP / Shutterstock | Image ID: 5946233hp | Martin Scorsese, 2007.
“Could you double-check the envelop?” —Martin Scorsese, finally winning Best Director for The Departed, after missing out five times previously.
More Memorable Speeches
Danny Moloshok / EPA / Shutterstock | Image ID: 7596885ce |Heath Ledger, 2006.
Each year, the Academy honors those in the film industry who have passed away, celebrating their achievements and legacies. Here is a look back at some of the notable anniversaries in the coming year.
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