The first time a silent, black and white film won the Oscar for best picture, it was 1929 and the movie was a World War I saga called "Wings."
The second time came Sunday night as "The Artist," a joyous low-budget movie about the silent era of Hollywood, won the top prize. It also took home three other Oscars including best director (Michel Hazanavicious) and best actor (Jean Dujardin).
Dujardin, the star of "The Artist," won for his role as silent film actor George Valentin, whose career is threatened by the coming of sound. "I love your country," he said in accepting the award he won over such actors as George Clooney and Brad Pitt. He is the first French actor to win the award.
Hazanavicius beat out a field that included Hollywood heavyweights Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Alexander Payne and Terrence Malick. Before "The Artist's" unexpected success, Hazanavicius was largely unknown outside of his home country where his claim to fame was the series of highly successful "OSS 117" spy parodies.
For more: 'The Artist' triumphs at Oscars - San Jose Mercury News