- Golden Globe Awards
Golden Globe Awards: The Legacy of 80 Years Points to an Exciting Future
We called our countdown series “80 Years in 80 Days.” It started on October 22, 2022, when we recalled the founding year, 1943, of the organization which would come to be called the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. On each of the days that followed, we covered the ensuing years, in succession. Now, after 79 days, and highlights of 79 years of Golden Globes history, we are finally reaching day number 80 — the day of the 80th Golden Globe Awards.
We started the project with an expression of hope. First, this countdown would mirror the varying viewpoints of its international voting body. Also, it would reflect a strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity. And, finally, that it would serve as a roadmap through the hills and valleys of the organization, from humble beginnings to the global prominence of today.
This road has been marked by many milestones. In 1946, a year after the horrors of World War II, the founding members added a unique category with the pointed goal of creating tolerance across borders, called “Promoting International Understanding.” The year 1959 saw the first Golden Globe nomination for a Black actor, Sidney Poitier in The Defiant Ones. In 1970 came an award for a thriller with a strong pro-democracy message, Costa-Gavras’s Z.
In 1981, the HFPA held a special tribute spotlighting the genius of Orson Welles. In 1984, Yentl’s Barbra Streisand was honored as the first female filmmaker to win the Best Director prize, and in 1994 Irene Bedard received a nomination for her work in Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee, the first American film to feature an indigenous woman in its starring role. In 2018, Oprah Winfrey became the first Black woman to receive the prestigious Cecil B. deMille Award. And in 2021, Nomadland’s Chloé Zhao became the first Asian female director to win gold.
There were also many lighter moments from “Hollywood’s Party of the Year,” such as Hugh Grant’s droll acceptance speech (“It’s tragic how much I’m enjoying getting this…”) or, in 1998, both Christine Lahti creating infamous winner-in-the-bathroom confusion (prompting a hilarious impromptu performance by Robin Williams) and a tearful Ving Rhames deciding to give away his Golden Globe to a baffled Jack Lemmon.
In our series, we tried to demonstrate the legacy and importance of the Golden Globe Awards as an indispensable and influential part of Hollywood’s ecosystem. The countdown ends today.
But at the same time, it marks a beginning. Ever since Vittorio De Sica’s masterpiece The Bicycle Thief first won Best Non-English Language Film (formerly Best Foreign Language Film), this category has been among the best indicators of the rapidly growing popularity of the Golden Globes worldwide.
The fact that this year 115 films from 67 countries — among them up-and-coming film markets such as Namibia, Kyrgyzstan, and Nepal — were submitted for consideration in this category proves the expansive global reach of the Golden Globes brand and points to an exciting future.