is another one that's harder than it looks.
Chaplin was nominated for Best Comedy Director at the very first
Academy Awards in 1928 (the only year the award was split
into two categories) and Best Actor for The Circus,
but at the last minute the Academy determined that he was "in a class by himself" and took him
out of the running for the competitive awards by giving him
an honorary Oscar for his "versatility and genius" for the film, the only time in Oscar history that a recipient's nominations were rescinded with the bestowal os a Special Award.
Chaplin's nominations stayed on the books for decades and listings of the nominations included him among the 1927/28 Best Actor and Best Comedy Director nominees, which (added with his nominations
for Best Actor, Best Screenplay and as the producer
of the Best Picture for The Great Dictator in 1940)
make him the answer. But in recent years, the Academy
has removed Chaplin's nominations for The Circus from
its official roster because of his elimination in the final voting,
which (with The Circus being Chaplin's only nomination as a director)
makes Orson Welles the answer for Citizen Kane in 1941.
Chaplin later collaborated with Welles when the latter pitched an idea for a dark comedy which ultimately became Monsieur Verdoux, a biting comedy about a "modern French Bluebeard" which Chaplin was forced to grudgingly credit Welles with the original idea for the story. It was Chaplin's first box office bomb in the sound era but it did win him a surprise nomination for Original Screenplay.
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