The First Time News Was Fit To Print: Academy Awards Edition


Every Monday, we venture into the archives of The New York Times to find the first time the paper of record covered selected topics. This week, our focus is The Oscars. If you have a suggestion for next week, leave us a comment.


September 24, 1976

At the Movies Not long ago, United Artists teased the public by placing ads in newspapers for a sneak preview of "a film that will open in December to qualify for the Academy Awards." Moviegoers anticipating a star-studded extravaganza may have been taken aback when the credits flashed on Rocky, a film starring and written by Sylvester Stallone. Sylvester Stallone himself may be taken aback if he is not proclaimed a star when the film opens, since stardom was his goal when he sat down to write the role of Rocky, an inarticulate, tender-hearted bum of a boxer who dominates virtually every scene of the drama...."It took about three and a half days to write Rocky," said Mr. Stallone, an impressively muscled Italian-American decked out in a vivid shirt, jeans and boots. "I'm astounded by people who take 18 years to write something. That's how long it took that guy to write Madame Bovary. And was that ever on a best-seller list? No. It was a lousy book and it made a lousy movie."

Keep reading for Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorcese, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Jon Stewart.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

September 26, 1966

Hepburn and Tracy Will Co-Star Again Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, one of Hollywood's legendary filmmaking teams and close friends in private life, plan to come out of retirement to collaborate on a film with a racial theme. The picture, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, will be produced and directed by Stanley Kramer for Columbia Pictures, it was disclosed today. Miss Hepburn and Mr. Tracy will play a married couple whose daughter becomes engaged to a Negro, to be played by Sidney Poitier. * * * * * Asked why he had been rejecting all the scripts offered him recently, Mr. Tracy replied that they didn't interest him. "This is a picture I want to make," he said.

Steven Spielberg

February 23, 1969

"Snow White" Sings Old enough to have fond memories of Disney's Snow White? Well, only the heroine's name will be the same in Universal's feature-length treatment of Donald Barthelme's updated version, a story published in The New Yorker magazine in February, 1967....Producer Dick Berg will be giving the story the youth treatment, having hired a 22-year-old to direct and a 24-year-old to write the script. Director Steven Spielberg, who has never done a feature before, impressed Berg with "Amblin'," a short about hippies. Writer Larry Grusin has heretofore worked in TV. And if they succeed with Snow White, think what they could do with Little Red Riding Hood.

Jon Stewart

November 4, 1988

Weekender Guide Also performing are the stand-up comedians Bob Shaw, Ray Romano and Jon Stewart. The cover charge is $10 tonight, $12 tomorrow, and $7 on Sunday, and there is a two-drink minimum. Reservations are suggested.

Martin Scorsese

February 8, 1964

Gate Film Club Schedules Monday Series of Shorts The Gate Film Club plans to show a series of short films made in the United States Monday nights at 7, 9 and 11 P.M. at the Gate Theater, Second Avenue and 10th Street. The shorts to be shown are Denis and Terry Sanders's "A Time Out of War," Lewis Teague's "It's About This Carpenter" and Martin Scorcese's [sic] "What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?"

Our Archives

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"¢ November 3, 2007: Appearance on NPR Weekend Edition Saturday

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