Beverly Hills, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 09/04/2008— An Oscar statuette earned by Frank Capra’s 1942 documentary “Prelude to War,” the first film in the United States Army Special Services’ seven-picture “Why We Fight” series, has been removed from the auction block and was returned to the care of the U.S. Army this evening (9/3/08).
The statuette is not the original Oscar awarded for the film, but a duplicate requested by and granted to the Department of Defense in 1958 in connection with a special exhibition. In the years following the exhibition, the award was in the care of the Army Pictorial Center. The disposition of the statuette following the closure of the Center in 1970 is unclear, but when Academy officials saw that Christie’s auction house was offering the statuette for sale they notified the Army which asserted its claim on the Award. Christie’s was pleased to see the statuette put back into the Army’s care.
The “Why We Fight” films, directed by then-Major Frank Capra, are widely recognized as the most effective of the many films produced by the armed services to educate Americans in general, and new servicemen in particular, about the nation’s objectives in entering WWII. The original Oscar for “Prelude to War” remains in the care of the Capra family.
“We are very grateful that the Academy contacted us and has returned the Oscar to the U.S. Army,” said Brigadier General Jeffrey E. Phillips, Deputy Chief of Public Affairs. “There is immense pride in our Special Services heritage and I cannot think of a better historical example of the importance of communicating with the public for our current generation of Soldiers than this statuette. The award will be proudly and prominently displayed at the Department of the Army Headquarters for Public Affairs Office at the Pentagon for all to see.”
Editors: Downloadable images are available at http://photos.oscars.org/
# # #
About the Academy
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is the world’s preeminent movie-related organization, with a membership of more than 6,000 of the most accomplished men and women working in cinema. In addition to the annual Academy Awards – in which the members vote to select the nominees and winners – the Academy presents a diverse year-round slate of public programs, exhibitions and events; provides financial support to a wide range of other movie-related organizations and endeavors; acts as a neutral advocate in the advancement of motion picture technology; and, through its Margaret Herrick Library and Academy Film Archive, collects, preserves, restores and provides access to movies and items related to their history. Through these and other activities the Academy serves students, historians, the entertainment industry and people everywhere who love movies.