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Shocking DGA Award win for 'The Hurt Locker's' Kathryn Bigelow

January 31, 2010 |  7:06 am

"The Hurt Locker" helmer Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman ever to win the top award from the Directors Guild of America. It was a major victory over James Cameron, Bigelow's ex-husband, whose "Avatar" recently became the highest-grossing film in world history.

By contrast, "The Hurt Locker," which cost $11 million to produce, has earned only $12 million in the U.S. ($16 million worldwide).

The hurt locker kathryn bigelow

Recently, Kathryn Bigelow also won the director's prize at the Critics Choice Awards and from the New York Film Critics Circle, Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the National Society of Film Critics.

The other DGA Award nominees were Jason Reitman ("Up in the Air"), Quentin Tarantino ("Inglourious Basterds") and Lee Daniels ("Precious").

Over the last 61 years, only six DGA champs did not repeat on Oscar night:

1968 — Anthony Harvey, "The Lion in Winter" (DGA); Carol Reed, "Oliver!" (Oscar)

1972 — Francis Ford Coppola, "The Godfather" (DGA); Bob Fosse, "Cabaret" (Oscar)

1985 — Steven Spielberg, "The Color Purple" (DGA); Sydney Pollack, "Out of Africa" (Oscar)

1995 — Ron Howard, "Apollo 13" (DGA); Mel Gibson, "Braveheart" (Oscar)

2000 — Ang Lee, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" (DGA); Steven Soderbergh, "Traffic" (Oscar)

2002 — Rob Marshall, "Chicago" (DGA); Roman Polanski, "The Pianist" (Oscar)

Forty-seven of the films that won the DGA prize went on to win best picture at the Academy Awards.

Here's a list of the winners over the previous 25 years. Note that Steven Spielberg ("The Color Purple") and Ron Howard ("Apollo 13") weren't nominated at the Oscars.

* = Victor did not win best director at the Oscars

1984 - Milos Forman, "Amadeus"
1985 - Steven Spielberg, "The Color Purple" *
1986 - Oliver Stone, "Platoon"
1987 - Bernardo Bertolucci, "The Last Emperor"
1988 - Barry Levinson, "Rain Man"

1989 - Oliver Stone, "Born on the Fourth of July"
1990 - Kevin Costner, "Dances With Wolves"
1991 - Jonathan Demme, "The Silence of the Lambs"
1992 - Clint Eastwood, "Unforgiven"
1993 - Steven Spielberg, "Schindler's List"
1994 - Robert Zemeckis, "Forrest Gump"
1995 - Ron Howard, "Apollo 13" *
1996 - Anthony Minghella, "The English Patient"
1997 - James Cameron, "Titanic"
1998 - Steven Spielberg, "Saving Private Ryan"
1999 - Sam Mendes, "American Beauty"
2000 - Ang Lee, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" *
2001 - Ron Howard, "A Beautiful Mind"
2002 - Rob Marshall, "Chicago" *
2003 - Peter Jackson, "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"
2004 - Clint Eastwood, "Million Dollar Baby"
2005 - Ang Lee, "Brokeback Mountain"
2006 - Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
2007 - Ethan and Joel Coen, "No Country for Old Men"
2008 - Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire"

Other DGA Award winners this year: "Mad Men" (drama series), "Modern Family" (comedy series), "The Cove" (documentary), "Obama Inauguration" (music/variety), "Build It Bigger" (reality TV), "Taking Chance" (TV movie).


Experts predict who will win the DGA award: 'Avatar's' James Cameron or 'The Hurt Locker's' Kathryn Bigelow?

Photo: Kathryn Bigelow. Credit: Summit

Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that Bigelow won the Golden Globe.

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