The 12th Academy Awards, honoring the best in film for 1939, was held on February 29, 1940 at a banquet in the Coconut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. It was hosted by Bob Hope (for the first time).
David O. Selznick's Gone with the Wind received the most nominations of the year with thirteen. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Wuthering Heights, Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Stagecoach, Love Affair, The Wizard of Oz, The Rains Came, The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men and Dark Victory were among the films with multiple nominations.
This was the first year where an Oscar was awarded for visual effects.