In 1934, for the first time, the Academy allowed 10 Best Picture nominations. All those slots, and not one of them could be filled by the greatest fantasy in Hollywood history? Cavalcade, the stately, starchy filming of a Noel Coward play, took the Best Picture award, and King Kong received no nominations at all, not even in the technical and engineering categories. So much for Willis O’Brien’s construction and stop-motion animation of the 18-in.-tall ape, which gave Kong gravitas as he battled dinosaurs on a jungle island and soul as he wooed Fay Wray and took her to the top of the Empire State Building. King Kong inspired generations of boy geniuses, from Steven Spielberg to Peter Jackson (who did a loving though oversize remake in 2005), while Cavalcade slipped into oblivion.