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Every Oscar Nomination That's Been Rescinded by the Academy

Another one could soon be added to the list.

There is almost always some sort of controversy around the Oscar nominations, whether it's a lack of diversity amongst the nominees or fans ranting online because a box office hit was snubbed. But, this year, there's a potential scandal the likes of which the Academy hasn't seen before. Andrea Riseborough was nominated for Best Actress for her role in To Leslie, a small independent film that most people hadn't heard of until A-list actors began posting about it on social media. In the drama, the British actor plays an alcoholic woman, who became ostracized by the rest of her small Texas town after winning the lottery and quickly blowing her winnings.

The untraditional campaign worked, and Riseborough scored a nod. But, as they announced last week, the Academy is "conducting a review of the campaign procedures around this year's nominees." While the awards body's statement doesn't mention Riseborough of To Leslie by name, there has been speculation that the push for her broke some of the Oscars' rules against lobbying.

If Riseborough's nomination is revoked, it will be the first time an acting nomination has been taken back since the very first Oscars. But Academy Award nominations have been rescinded in other categories over the years. Read on to find out about nine other times that Oscar nominations (and one award) were given, then taken away.

READ THIS NEXT: Jimmy Stewart Refused to Work With This Co-Star Again After Their Classic Movie.

Charlie Chaplin

Charlie Chaplin circa 1925
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

At the first first Academy Awards, Charlie Chaplin was nominated in so many categories that the organization decided to just give him a special award instead, according to History. For The Circus, the Hollywood legend was nominated for Best Actor, Best Director of a comedy, and Best Writing of an original story, but those nominations were revoked, and he was honored for his overall contribution to the year in movies instead.


The John Wayne western Hondo initially received two Oscar nominations: Best Supporting Actress for Geraldine Page and Best Story for Louis L'Amour. (At the time, there were categories for Best Screenplay, Best Story and Screenplay, and Best Story.) L'Amour's nomination was withdrawn, according to Variety, because the film was found to be based on a short story instead of being wholly original.

High Society

Every year, movie fans wonder if the voters may have made a mistake in snubbing their favorites or nominating films they didn't care for. In 1957, the Academy did acknowledge such a mistake. Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman were nominated for Best Story for High Society, a 1955 comedy with the same title as the popular 1956 musical. As Variety reports, the writers realized that voters were confused and had meant to nominate the scribes behind the Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra picture. Regardless, the musical High Society wasn't even eligible in the category, since it was adapted from The Philadelphia Story.

The Godfather

Nino Rota circa 1972
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In 1973, The Godfather tied with Cabaret for the most Oscar nominations with 10 each. But, it would have been nominated for 11 if composer Nino Rota had kept his nomination for Best Original Dramatic Score. As reported by Variety, Rota's nod was revoked when it was found that he had previously used a version of the film's famous "Love Theme" in the 1958 movie Fortunella. Rota eventually won the award for The Godfather Part II in 1975.

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A Place in the World

Adolfo Aristarain at the 2002 San Sebastian International Film Festival
Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images

A Place in the World was nominated in 1993 for Best Foreign Language Film. The nomination was rescinded, because the film was submitted on behalf of Uruguay when it was actually more of an Argentinian production. As reported by the Sun Sentinel, Argentinian director Adolfo Aristarain argued that the movie should count as a Uruguayan production as well, because it received financing from the country and Uruguayan cast and crew were involved.

Tuba Atlantic

Tuba Atlantic was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the 2012 awards show. The nod for the Norwegian film wasn't revoked until after the Oscars took place—it didn't win—when officials learned that it was actually ineligible because it had aired on TV in Norway two years earlier, according to Vanity Fair.

Alone Yet Not Alone

Bruce Broughton at the 2018 ASCAP Pop Music Awards
Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic via Getty Images

In 2014, the title song from the movie Alone Yet Not Alone was nominated for Best Original Song, but the nomination was rescinded after it was determined that composer Bruce Broughton campaigned in a way that broke the Academy's rules. Broughton had sent emails to Academy members asking that they consider the song, but this was prohibited since he is a former member of the board of governors and an executive committee member.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi was nominated for Best Sound Mixing in 2017. And while the film kept its nomination, one of the sound engineers was removed from the list. Greg P. Russell was removed from the nomination when the Academy determined he had participated in rule-breaking "telephone lobbying". Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush, and Mac Ruth remained on the nominee list for the film.

Young Americans

A still from "Young Americans"
Columbia Pictures

Here's a bonus one: Young Americans didn't have a nomination revoked—it had an actual win taken away. In 1969, the film won the award for Best Documentary Feature. A month after the awards show, it was discovered that Young Americans had actually premiered in 1967, meaning it was not eligible for the 1968 year in movies. The award then went to the runner-up in votes, Journey into Self.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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