The 4th Academy Awards were awarded to films completed and screened released between August 1, 1930, and July 31, 1931, by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. At the ceremony, nine-year-old Jackie Cooper, nominated for Best Actor in Skippy, fell asleep on the shoulder of Best Actress nominee Marie Dressler. When Dressler was announced as the winner, Cooper had to be eased onto his mother’s lap.
Cimarron was the first Western to win Best Picture, and would remain the only one to do so for 59 years (until Dances with Wolves won in 1991). It received a then-record seven nominations, and was the first film to win more than two awards.
Jackie Cooper was the first child star to receive a nomination, and he was the youngest nominee for nearly 50 years. He is the second youngest Oscar nominee ever and the only Best Actor nominee under age 18.
Best Actor winner Lionel Barrymore became the first person to have received nominations in multiple categories, with a Best Director nod for Madame X at the 2nd Academy Awards.
In addition, Cimarron and A Free Soul became the first movies to receive multiple acting nominations.