• Mr. Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences presents Oscar statuette #827 to Brig. Gen. Jeffery E. Phillips, Deputy Chief of Public Affairs, US Army.

    Brig. Gen. Jeffery E. Phillips accepts the Oscar

    Mr. Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences presents Oscar statuette #827 to Brig. Gen. Jeffery E. Phillips, Deputy Chief of Public Affairs, US Army.

  • Mr. Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences holds up a plaque which was awarded to documentary films by the Academy. Orginally "Prelude to War" was awarded a plaque,  however the Academy later decieded to award documentaries the same statuette awarded to other films.

    Mr. Sid Ganis

    Mr. Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences holds up a plaque which was awarded to documentary films by the Academy. Orginally "Prelude to War" was awarded a plaque, however the Academy later decieded to award...

  • Mr. Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences presents the opening remarks at the ceremony to return Oscar statuette #827 to the United States Army. The statuette was originally presented to the Army in 1958. Statuette #827 is a duplicate of the Oscar presented to Major Frank Capra for "Prelude to War" the first of seven pictures in the series "Why We Fight" produced by the US Army during World War II. The Department of Defense requested the duplicate statuette for a special exhibition.

    Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences

    Mr. Sid Ganis, President of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences presents the opening remarks at the ceremony to return Oscar statuette #827 to the United States Army. The statuette was originally presented to the Army in 1958. Statuette...

  • Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, deputy chief of Public Affairs, who accepted Oscar #827 for the Army, presents the Oscar to Spec. Ashleigh Torres, an Army broadcast journalist who he said, "represents the legacy of Major Frank Capra, and the future of the Army."

    Spec. Ashleigh Torres

    Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, deputy chief of Public Affairs, who accepted Oscar #827 for the Army, presents the Oscar to Spec. Ashleigh Torres, an Army broadcast journalist who he said, "represents the legacy of Major Frank Capra, and the future of the...

  • A color guard from the National Training Center and Fort Irwin posts the National and US Army colors at the beginning of the ceremony at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study. The ceremony was held to return Oscar statutte # 827 to the Army. Statuette #827 is a duplicate of the Oscar presented for "Prelude to War" the first of seven pictures in the series "Why We Fight" produced by the US Army during World War II. The Soldiers are dressed in authentic World War II uniforms provided by the 11th Armored Cavalry and Fort Irwin Museum.

    Posting the Colors

    A color guard from the National Training Center and Fort Irwin posts the National and US Army colors at the beginning of the ceremony at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study. The ceremony was held to...

  • Oscar statuette #827 on display in the lobby of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study after the ceremony held to return the Oscar to the Army. Statuette #827 is a duplicate of the Oscar presented for "Prelude to War" the first of seven pictures in the series "Why We Fight" produced by the US Army during World War II. The Department of Defense requested the duplicate statuette for a special exhibition in 1958.

    Oscar # 827

    Oscar statuette #827 on display in the lobby of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study after the ceremony held to return the Oscar to the Army. Statuette #827 is a duplicate of the Oscar presented for...

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- The Oscar statuette earned by Frank Capra's 1942 documentary "Prelude to War," the first film in the United States Army Special Services' "Why We Fight" series, was returned to the to the U.S. Army in a ceremony Sept. 3rd at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study.

The statuette, numbered 827, is a duplicate of the orginial Oscar awarded to the Army in March 1943. The duplicate was requested by the Department of Defense in 1958 for a special exhibition. The Army Pictorial Center cared for the Oscar from 1958 until the center was closed in 1970.

The disposition of the statuette following the closure of the Center 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, according to an Academy press release.

Usually when a statuette is put up for auction, it's because the recipient has died and the surviving relatives have no emotional attachment to the award, according to Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. "We believe the Army is alive and doing quite well" said Ganis, as he presented the statuette to Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Phillips, deputy chief of Public Affairs, who accepted for the Army.

Phillips then presented the statuette to Spec. Ashleigh Torres, an Army broadcast journalist who he said, "represents the legacy of Major Frank Capra, and the future of the Army."

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 according to the Academy.

Page last updated Thu September 4th, 2008 at 11:58