Woof, I’d like to thank the Academy…

Do you know who won the very first Oscar for Best Actor? Emil Jannings for his work in The Last Command and The Way of the Flesh.

Now here’s the real stumper, do you know who was supposed to win the very first Oscar for Best Actor? Here’s a hint, he’s a German Sheperd.

Rinty, the dog that played the first incarnation of Rin Tin Tin, received the most votes at the first Oscar ceremony, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences thought that no one would take them seriously if they did, so they awarded it Jannings instead.

This was discovered by Susan Orlean when doing research for her book, Rin Tin Tin: The Life And The Legend. In it, Susan questions whether it was possible that Rinty actually knew what he was doing in the movie?

We wonder, could an animal understand the idea of acting as opposed to behaving? I think that training a dog to have a certain behavior is impressive and a credit to the dog’s intelligence and the mastery of training techniques. But if you look at what Rin Tin Tin did, he seemed to understand that he was performing. Look at Clash of the Wolves, as he limps away from his pack to die alone. You watch the scene and can’t believe he didn’t know he was acting in the movie. He is grimacing and limping, he falls to the ground in agony. How would you train a dog to look depressed and act as if he’s resigned to a lonely death? I don’t know how you do that. Somehow, the dog knows he’s supposed to look miserable and contemplating his mortality. What could have been the behavior Lee Duncan taught him to create that appearance?

While you all ponder this, have a think as well about the canine actors of today. Are there any dogs nowadays you think should win an Oscar?

Who is your favourite movie dog?

  • Red Dog, Kelpie (Red Dog) (28%, 12 Votes)
  • Max, Siberian Husky (Eight Below) (19%, 8 Votes)
  • Beethoven, St Bernard (Beethoven) (14%, 6 Votes)
  • Dief, Siberian Husky (Due South) (9%, 4 Votes)
  • Rin Tin Tin, German Shepard (Rin Tin Tin movies) (7%, 3 Votes)
  • Frank the Pug, Pug (Men in Black) (7%, 3 Votes)
  • Eddie, Jack Russell Terrier (Frasier) (5%, 2 Votes)
  • Hooch, French Mastiff (Turner and Hooch) (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Bruiser, Chihuahua (Legally Blonde) (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Lassie, Border Collie (Lassie movies) (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Wishbone, Jack Russell Terrier (Wishbone) (2%, 1 Votes)
  • Toto, Cairn Terrier (The Wizard of Oz) (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 5

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1 thought on “Woof, I’d like to thank the Academy…

  1. Although he’s not on the list, I love Sam the shorthaired G Shep from I Am Legend (Will Smith). If you could have one buddy left on earth, he’s a good one!

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