Sunday, February 1, 1970

Hugo Winners for Best Dramatic Presentation

The Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation has a quirky history. In the first several years of its existence it seems to have been fairly poorly defined, leading to what appear to be wins for the entirety of The Twilight Zone (or at least the then most recent season of episodes) three years in a row. The award was originally defined as any work from "radio, television, stage or screen" (leading to, for example, the win for the news coverage of the Apollo 11 landings in 1970), but after 1971 was redefined to honor "any medium of dramatized science fiction or fantasy", which both simultaneously expanded and restricted the available pool of eligible works.

This award was not included on the ballot in 1964 or 1966, for no reason that is readily apparent, but a slate of nominees was voted on in every other year from 1958 through 2003. A slate of nominees for the award was voted upon in 1959, 1963, 1971, and 1977, but no award was given because no single nominee garnered the majority of votes necessary to win. This is somewhat unfortunate, because in my estimation each of those years had eligible nominees who were deserving of the honor. In 2003 the award was split into Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form, and Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form, dividing works of longer than 90 minutes in length from shorter works, essentially differentiating movies from other shorter media, such as individual television shows or songs.

Clicking on the year will take you to a page listing all of the nominees for the Hugo Award for that year. Three movies have been awarded "Retro Hugos", and are listed here in red, with the year the award was actually given the award noted in parenthesis.

1939: The War of the Worlds (awarded in 2014)
1946: The Picture of Dorian Grey (awarded in 1996)
1951: Destination Moon (awarded in 2001)
1954: The War of the Worlds (awarded in 2004)1
1958: The Incredible Shrinking Man
1959: No Winner
1960: The Twilight Zone: Season One
1961: The Twilight Zone: Season Two
1962: The Twilight Zone: Season Three
1963: No Winner
1965: Dr. Strangelove
1967: Star Trek: The Menagerie
1968: Star Trek: The City on the Edge of Forever
1969: 2001: A Space Odyssey
1970: News Coverage of Apollo 11
1971: No Winner
1972: A Clockwork Orange
1973: Slaughterhouse-Five
1974: Sleeper
1975: Young Frankenstein
1976: A Boy and His Dog
1977: No Winner
1978: Star Wars
1979: Superman
1980: Alien
1981: The Empire Strikes Back
1982: Raiders of the Lost Ark
1983: Blade Runner
1984: Return of the Jedi
1985: 2010
1986: Back to the Future
1987: Aliens
1988: The Princess Bride
1989: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
1990: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1991: Edward Scissorhands
1992: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
1993: Star Trek - The Next Generation: The Inner Light
1994: Jurassic Park
1995: Star Trek - The Next Generation: All Good Things...
1996: Babylon 5: The Coming of Shadows
1997: Babylon 5: Severed Dreams
1998: Contact
1999: The Truman Show
2000: Galaxy Quest
2001: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2002: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

1 This Retro Hugo Award was technically given for Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form, however, no Long Form Retro Hugo Award was selected at the 2004 Worldcon, leaving The War of the Worlds as the only winning Dramatic Presentation piece. For purposes of this index I am grouping this award with the generalized dramatic presentation award given prior to the 2003 split.

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