Back in the 1930s, when Venice was the international film festival, an odd thing started happening when it came to the awards. German and Italian films were nabbing them and, when Mussolini's son took Venice's Grand Prize in 1938, beating out Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion, non-fascist countries realized they'd better come up with an alternative festival. They chose a lovely spot on the French Riviera and the first festival was held in Cannes in 1939.
Then the war blew all that out of the water. The next festival wouldn't be held in the sleepy coastal town until 1946. Throughout the 50s and 60s, as Hollywood sent its best and brightest and Europeans sent their maestros and avant filmmakers, Cannes quickly became what it is today: one of the oddest confluences of art and commerce, glamour and politics anywhere.
Herewith, all the past winners of the festival's most prestigious award, the Palme d'Or.