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Hattie McDaniel winning Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress 1940

by Matt Delmont

In his review of Gone With the Wind, New York Amsterdam News editor Dan Burley saw McDaniel's performance as the film's only redeeming feature. "Sugar-coated in technicolored brilliance and making the most of its running time of three hours, 37 minutes to ram home its anti-Negro propaganda, Margaret Mitchell's widely discussed 'Gone With the Wind' now lives on the silver screen," Burley began. "To this reviewer [the film] represents the pus oozing from beneath the scab of a badly healed wound and aggravated by the subtlety of its presentation by the master directors and technicians of Hollywood." In contrast to these criticisms, Burley wrote that "buxom Hattie McDaniel as Mammy performs most brilliantly and convincingly and 'steals' with consummate ease nearly every scene she is shown in" (click to view PDF).
Hattie McDaniel earned the Academy Award for best supporting actress, making her the first African American to win an Oscar.

Hattie McDaniel winning Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress 1940

Fay Bainter presenting Hattie McDaniel with the Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in "Gone With The Wind" at the 12th Academy Awards® in 1940

from Academy Awards (1940)
Creator: Academy Awards
Posted by Matt Delmont
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