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The 1950s was an interesting time in Hollywood. The advent of television was affecting movie attendance and the film industry countered with many historic and fantasy epics like The Robe (1953),The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952), The Ten Commandments (1956), The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958), and Ben-Hur (1959) to lure people back to the movie theatre.

A low point of the 1950s was the House UnAmerican Activities Commitee (HUAC). On June 22, 1950, a pamphlet entitled Red Channels was published. Focused on the field of broadcasting, it identified 151 entertainment industry professionals in the context of “Red Fascists and their sympathizers”. Soon, most of those named, along with a host of other artists, were barred from employment in most of the entertainment field.

Despite this witch-hunt, which lasted into the 1960s, the movie industry create some marvelous films.

all about eve

23rd Academy Awards

The 23rd Academy Awards Ceremony awarded Oscars for the best in films in 1950. All About Eve received 14 Oscar nominations, beating the previous record of 13 set by Gone with the Wind.

Sunset Boulevard became the second film with nominations in every acting category not to win a single one (after My Man Godfrey in 1936). This would not happen again until American Hustle was shut out at the 86th Academy Awards.

All About Eve was the second film, after Mrs. Miniver (1942), to receive five acting nominations. It also became the first (and, to date, only) film to receive four female acting nominations–two each for Best Actress in a Leading Role and Best Actress in a Supporting Role. None was successful, losing to Judy Holliday in Born Yesterday and Josephine Hull in Harvey, respectively.

Winners

ACTOR José Ferrer  — Cyrano de Bergerac {“Cyrano de Bergerac”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE George SandersAll about Eve {“Addison De Witt”}

ACTRESS Judy HollidayBorn Yesterday {“Billie Dawn”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Josephine Hull Harvey {“Veta Louise Simmons”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) Sunset Blvd. — Art Direction: Hans Dreier, John Meehan; Set Decoration: Sam Comer, Ray Moyer

ART DIRECTION (Color) Samson and Delilah — Art Direction: Hans Dreier, Walter Tyler; Set Decoration: Sam Comer, Ray Moyer

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) The Third Man — Robert Krasker

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) King Solomon’s Mines — Robert Surtees

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) All about Eve — Edith Head, Charles LeMaire

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) Samson and Delilah — Edith Head, Dorothy Jeakins, Elois Jenssen, Gile Steele, Gwen Wakeling

DIRECTING All about Eve — Joseph L. Mankiewicz

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) The Titan: Story of Michelangelo — Robert Snyder, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Why Korea? — Edmund Reek, Producer

FILM EDITING King Solomon’s Mines — Ralph E. Winters, Conrad A. Nervig

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) Sunset Blvd. — Franz Waxman

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) Annie Get Your Gun — Adolph Deutsch, Roger Edens

MUSIC (Song) “Mona Lisa” from Captain Carey, U.S.A. — Music and Lyrics by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston

BEST MOTION PICTURE All about Eve — 20th Century-Fox

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Gerald McBoing-Boing — Stephen Bosustow, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (One-reel) Grandad of Races — Gordon Hollingshead, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Two-reel) In Beaver Valley — Walt Disney, Producer

SOUND RECORDING All about Eve — 20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department, Thomas T. Moulton, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS Destination Moon — George Pal Productions

WRITING (Motion Picture Story) Panic in the Streets — Edna Anhalt, Edward Anhalt

WRITING (Screenplay) All about Eve — Joseph L. Mankiewicz

WRITING (Story and Screenplay) Sunset Blvd. — Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, D. M. Marshman, Jr.

HONORARY FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM AWARD

To The Walls of Malapaga – voted by the Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States in 1950.

HONORARY AWARD

To George Murphy for his services in interpreting the film industry to the country at large.

To Louis B. Mayer for distinguished service to the motion picture industry.

IRVING G. THALBERG MEMORIAL AWARD

Darryl F. Zanuck

 

Image from the movie "An American in Paris"

© 1951 Loew’s − All right reserved.

24th Academy Awards

The 24th Academy Awards honored the best in film in 1951, as recognized by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,

Best Picture was awarded to An American in Paris, which, like A Place in the Sun, received six Academy Awards. A Streetcar Named Desire won four Oscars, including three of the acting awards. The film’s only unsuccessful acting nomination was that of Marlon Brando, whose performance as Stanley Kowalski was later considered one of the most influential of modern film acting.

Humphrey Bogart was the last man born in the 19th century to win a leading role Oscar.

An American in Paris became the second color film to win Best Picture, after 1939’s Gone with the Wind.

 

Winners

ACTOR Humphrey BogartThe African Queen {“Charlie Allnut”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Karl MaldenA Streetcar Named Desire {“Mitch”}

ACTRESS Vivien LeighA Streetcar Named Desire {“Blanche DuBois”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Kim HunterA Streetcar Named Desire {“Stella Kowalski”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) A Streetcar Named Desire — Art Direction: Richard Day; Set Decoration: George James Hopkins

ART DIRECTION (Color) An American in Paris — Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Preston Ames; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) A Place in the Sun — William C. Mellor

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) An American in Paris — Alfred Gilks; Ballet Photography by John Alton

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) A Place in the Sun — Edith Head

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) An American in Paris — Orry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, Irene Sharaff

DIRECTING A Place in the Sun — George Stevens

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Kon-Tiki — Olle Nordemar, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Benjy — ‘Made by Fred Zinnemann with the cooperation of Paramount Pictures Corporation for the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital’

FILM EDITING A Place in the Sun — William Hornbeck

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) A Place in the Sun — Franz Waxman

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) An American in Paris — Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin

MUSIC (Song) “In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening” from Here Comes the Groom — Music by Hoagy Carmichael; Lyrics by Johnny Mercer

BEST MOTION PICTURE An American in Paris — Arthur Freed, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) The Two Mouseketeers — Fred Quimby, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (One-reel) World of Kids — Robert Youngson, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Two-reel) Nature’s Half Acre — Walt Disney, Producer

SOUND RECORDING The Great Caruso — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department, Douglas Shearer, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS When Worlds Collide — Paramount

WRITING (Motion Picture Story) Seven Days to Noon — Paul Dehn, James Bernard

WRITING (Screenplay) A Place in the Sun — Michael Wilson, Harry Brown

WRITING (Story and Screenplay) An American in Paris — Alan Jay Lerner

HONORARY FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM AWARD

To Rashomon – voted by the Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States during 1951.

HONORARY AWARD

To Gene Kelly in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.

IRVING G. THALBERG MEMORIAL AWARD

Arthur Freed

 

"The Greatest Show on Earth" won the Oscar® for Best Picture of 1952, and was the first film to receive this honor on live television as the 25th Academy Awards® presentation was the first ceremony to be telecast.  Gloria Grahame (top) starred in the film as Angel the elephant girl while Lyle Bettger (right foreground) played Klaus the elephant trainer

25th Academy Awards

The 25th Academy Awards ceremony was held on March 19, 1953. It took place at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California, and the NBC International Theatre in New York City.

It was the first Academy Awards ceremony to be televised, and the first ceremony to be held in Hollywood and New York City simultaneously. It was also the only year that the New York ceremonies were to be held in the NBC International Theatre on Columbus Circle, which was shortly thereafter demolished and replaced by the New York Coliseum convention center.

A major upset occurred when the heavily favored High Noon lost to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth, eventually considered among the worst films to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The American film magazine Premiere listed among the 10 worst Oscar winners and the British film magazine Empire rated it #3 on their list of the 10 worst Oscar winners. It has the lowest spot on Rotten Tomatoes’ list of the 81 films to win Best Picture. If all the films nominated for the Oscar this year, only High Noon, and Singin’ in the Rain would show up 46 years later on the American Film Institute list of the greatest American films of the 20th Century. For a film that only received two nominations, Singin’ in the Rain went on to be named as the greatest American musical film of all time and in the 2007 American Film Institute updated list as the fifth greatest American film of all time, while High Noon was ranked twenty-seventh on the same 2007 list, as well.

The Bad and the Beautiful won five awards, the most wins ever for a film not nominated for Best Picture. It was also the second Academy Awards in which a film not nominated for Best Picture received the most awards of the evening, excluding years where there were ties for the most wins. The only other film to do this was The Thief of Bagdad at the 13th Academy Awards; as of the 89th Academy Awards, it has not happened since.

Until Spotlight won only Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards, this was the last year in which the Best Picture winner won just two Oscars. It was also the second of three years to date in which two films not nominated for Best Picture received more nominations than the winner (The Bad and the Beautiful and Hans Christian Andersen, both with six). This occurred again at the 79th Academy Awards.

Shirley Booth also became the last person to win an Oscar in a Leading Role to be born in the 19th century. She also holds the distinction of being the first woman in her 50s to win the award, at the age of 54 (the second woman in her 50s to win, Julianne Moore, was 54 when awarded at the 87th Academy Awards).

John Ford‘s fourth win for Best Director set a record for the most wins in this category that remains unmatched to this day.

For the first time since the introduction of Supporting Actor and Actress awards in 1936, Best Picture, Best Director, and all four acting Oscars went to six different films. This has happened only three times since, at the 29th Academy Awards for 1956, the 78th for 2005, and the 85th for 2012.

Winners

ACTOR Gary CooperHigh Noon {“Will Kane”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Anthony QuinnViva Zapata! {“Eufemio Zapata”}

ACTRESS Shirley Booth — Come Back, Little Sheba {“Lola Delaney”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Gloria GrahameThe Bad and the Beautiful {“Rosemary Bartlow”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) The Bad and the Beautiful — Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason

ART DIRECTION (Color) Moulin Rouge — Art Direction: Paul Sheriff; Set Decoration: Marcel Vertes

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) The Bad and the Beautiful — Robert Surtees

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) The Quiet Man — Winton C. Hoch, Archie Stout

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) The Bad and the Beautiful — Helen Rose

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) Moulin Rouge — Marcel Vertes

DIRECTING The Quiet ManJohn Ford

DOCUMENTARY (Feature)  The Sea around Us — Irwin Allen, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Neighbours — Norman McLaren, Producer

FILM EDITING High Noon — Elmo Williams, Harry Gerstad

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) High Noon — Dimitri Tiomkin

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) With a Song in My Heart — Alfred Newman

MUSIC (Song) “High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’)” from High Noon — Music by Dimitri Tiomkin; Lyrics by Ned Washington

BEST MOTION PICTURE The Greatest Show on Earth — Cecil B. DeMille, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Johann Mouse — Fred Quimby, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (One-reel) Light in the Window: The Art of Vermeer — Boris Vermont, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Two-reel) Water Birds — Walt Disney, Producer

SOUND RECORDING Breaking the Sound Barrier — London Film Sound Department

SPECIAL EFFECTS Plymouth Adventure — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

WRITING (Motion Picture Story) The Greatest Show on Earth — Fredric M. Frank, Theodore St. John, Frank Cavett

WRITING (Screenplay) The Bad and the Beautiful — Charles Schnee

WRITING (Story and Screenplay) The Lavender Hill Mob — T. E. B. Clarke

HONORARY FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM AWARD

Forbidden Games – Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1952.

HONORARY AWARD

To George Alfred Mitchell for the design and development of the camera which bears his name and for his continued and dominant presence in the field of cinematography.

To Joseph M. Schenck for long and distinguished service to the motion picture industry.

To Merian C. Cooper for his many innovations and contributions to the art of motion pictures.

To Harold Lloyd, master comedian and good citizen.

To Bob Hope for his contribution to the laughter of the world, his service to the motion picture industry, and his devotion to the American premise.

IRVING G. THALBERG MEMORIAL AWARD

Cecil B. DeMille

 

Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr 

26th Academy Awards

The 26th Academy Awards honored the best in films of 1953. The second national telecast of the Awards show drew an estimated 43 million viewers. Shirley Booth, appearing in a play in Philadelphia, presented the Best Actor award through a live broadcast cut-in, and privately received the winner’s name over the telephone from co-host Donald O’Connor. (Actor Fredric March co-hosted from New York City.) Gary Cooper filmed his presentation of the Best Actress award in advance on a set in Mexico, with O’Connor announcing the winner’s name.

All the major winners in this year were black-and-white films. The big winner was Fred Zinnemann’s From Here to Eternity, with thirteen nominations and eight awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Daniel Taradash), Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey), Best Sound, and Best Film Editing. All five of its major actors and actresses were nominated, with secondary players Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra taking home Oscars. The candid film was based on James Jones’ controversial, best-selling novel about Army life on a Hawaiian (Oahu) military base just prior to the Pearl Harbor attack and World War II, illustrating the conflict between an individualistic private (Montgomery Clift) and rigid institutional authority (exemplified by the Army). Its achievement of eight awards matched the then record held by Gone with the Wind (1939). The record would be tied again the following year by On the Waterfront (1954). Walt Disney won four awards, which remains the record for the most Oscars won in the same year.

William Holden‘s speech for Best Actor for his role in Stalag 17 was simply “Thank You”, making it one of the shortest speeches ever; the TV broadcast had a strict cutoff time which forced Holden’s quick remarks. The frustrated Holden personally paid for advertisements in the Hollywood trade publications to thank everyone he wanted to on Oscar night. He also remarked that he felt that either Burt Lancaster or Montgomery Clift should have won the Best Actor Oscar for From Here to Eternity, instead of him.

Winners

ACTOR William HoldenStalag 17 {“Sefton”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Frank SinatraFrom Here to Eternity {“Angelo Maggio”}

ACTRESS Audrey HepburnRoman Holiday {“Princess Anne”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Donna ReedFrom Here to Eternity {“Lorene/Alma”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) Julius Caesar — Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Hugh Hunt

ART DIRECTION (Color) The Robe — Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, George W. Davis; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) From Here to Eternity — Burnett Guffey

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) Shane — Loyal Griggs

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) Roman Holiday — Edith Head

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) The Robe — Charles LeMaire, Emile Santiago

DIRECTING From Here to Eternity — Fred Zinnemann

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) The Living Desert — Walt Disney, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) The Alaskan Eskimo — Walt Disney, Producer

FILM EDITING From Here to Eternity — William Lyon

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) Lili — Bronislau Kaper

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) Call Me Madam — Alfred Newman

MUSIC (Song) “Secret Love” from Calamity Jane — Music by Sammy Fain; Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

BEST MOTION PICTURE From Here to Eternity — Buddy Adler, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom — Walt Disney, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (One-reel) The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture — Johnny Green, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Two-reel) Bear Country — Walt Disney, Producer

SOUND RECORDING From Here to Eternity — Columbia Studio Sound Department, John P. Livadary, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS The War of the Worlds — Paramount Studio

WRITING (Motion Picture Story) Roman Holiday — Dalton Trumbo

[NOTE: The screen credit and award were originally credited to Ian McLellan Hunter, who was a “front” for Dalton Trumbo. On December 15, 1992, the Academy’s Board of Governors voted to change the records and award Mr. Trumbo with the achievement. Ian McLellan Hunter’s name was removed from the Motion Picture Story category. The Oscar was posthumously presented to Trumbo’s widow on May 10, 1993.]

WRITING (Screenplay) From Here to Eternity — Daniel Taradash

WRITING (Story and Screenplay) Titanic — Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch, Richard Breen

HONORARY AWARD

To Pete Smith for his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of “Pete Smith Specialties.”

To 20th Century-Fox Film Corporation in recognition of their imagination, showmanship and foresight in introducing the revolutionary process known as CinemaScope.

To Joseph I. Breen for his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code.

To Bell and Howell Company for their pioneering and basic achievements in the advancement of the motion picture industry.

IRVING G. THALBERG MEMORIAL AWARD

George Stevens

 

Image from the movie "On the Waterfront"

© 1954 Columbia Pictures − All right reserved.

27th Academy Awards

The 27th Academy Awards honored the best films released in 1954. The Best Picture winner, On the Waterfront, was produced by Sam Spiegel and directed by Elia Kazan. It had twelve nominations and eight wins, matching two other films, Gone with the Wind (1939) and From Here to Eternity (1953), even though those two each had thirteen nominations.

The low-budget, black and white On the Waterfront was filmed entirely on location in Hoboken and told the gritty story of New York dock workers, brutality, corruption, and embroilment with a gangster union boss. It provided an expose of union racketeering while showcasing the murder of an innocent longshoreman. Kazan and screenwriter Budd Schulberg justified their own naming of names (blacklisting-testimony against alleged Communists) as friendly witnesses before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the early 1950s with the film’s story of heroic longshoreman informant Terry Malloy (Marlon Brando) who stood alone and turned witness against the corrupt and intimidating union bosses and became a marked ‘pigeon’.

On the Waterfront was the third film to receive five acting nominations, and the first to receive three in the Best Supporting Actor category. A “rematch” occurred in the category of Best Actor, where Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart were competing again for the first time since Bogart beat him three years earlier. In a surprise win (Bing Crosby was the favored nominee), Brando received his first Oscar for his performance in On the Waterfront, which is now seen as one of the most justified upsets in Oscar history. The win was a culmination of four consecutive Best Actor nominations for Brando (starting with A Streetcar Named Desire in 1951), a record that remains unmatched to this day.

Grace Kelly won Best Actress for The Country Girl in another upset. Judy Garland, who was heavily tipped to win Best Actress for the movie A Star Is Born could not attend the ceremony as she had only recently given birth to her third child. Cameras were set up in her room so she could express her thanks in the likely case of her winning. Groucho Marx later sent her a telegram expressing that her loss was “the biggest robbery since Brink’s.”

Dorothy Dandridge became the first black actress to receive a nomination for Best Actress.

 

Winners

ACTOR Marlon BrandoOn the Waterfront {“Terry Malloy”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Edmond O’BrienThe Barefoot Contessa {“Oscar Muldoon”}

ACTRESS Grace Kelly — The Country Girl {“Georgie Elgin”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Eva Marie SaintOn the Waterfront {“Edie Doyle”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) On the Waterfront — Richard Day

ART DIRECTION (Color) 20,000 Leagues under the Sea — Art Direction: John Meehan; Set Decoration: Emile Kuri

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) On the Waterfront — Boris Kaufman

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) Three Coins in the Fountain — Milton Krasner

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) Sabrina — Edith Head

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) Gate of Hell — Sanzo Wada

DIRECTING On the Waterfront — Elia Kazan

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) The Vanishing Prairie — Walt Disney, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Thursday’s Children — World Wide Pictures and Morse Films

FILM EDITING On the Waterfront — Gene Milford

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) The High and the Mighty — Dimitri Tiomkin

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers — Adolph Deutsch, Saul Chaplin

MUSIC (Song) “Three Coins In The Fountain” from Three Coins in the Fountain — Music by Jule Styne; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn

BEST MOTION PICTURE On the Waterfront — Sam Spiegel, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) When Magoo Flew — Stephen Bosustow, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (One-reel) This Mechanical Age — Robert Youngson, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Two-reel) A Time Out of War — Denis Sanders and Terry Sanders, Producers

SOUND RECORDING The Glenn Miller Story — Universal-International Studio Sound Department, Leslie I. Carey, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS 20,000 Leagues under the Sea — Walt Disney Studios

WRITING (Motion Picture Story) Broken Lance — Philip Yordan

WRITING (Screenplay) The Country Girl — George Seaton

WRITING (Story and Screenplay) On the Waterfront — Budd Schulberg

HONORARY FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM AWARD

To Gate of Hell – Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1954.

HONORARY AWARD

To Bausch & Lomb Optical Company for their contributions to the advancement of the motion picture industry.

To Kemp R. Niver for the development of the Renovare Process which has made possible the restoration of the Library of Congress Paper Film Collection.

To Greta Garbo for her unforgettable screen performances.

To Danny Kaye for his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people.

To Jon Whiteley for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers.

To Vincent Winter for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers.

 

Image from the movie "Marty"

© 1955 United Artists − All right reserved.

 28th Academy Awards

The 28th Academy Awards were presented at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles, California. Marty, a simple and low-budget film usually uncharacteristic of Best Picture awardees, became the shortest film (as well as the second Palme d’Or winner) to win the top honor.

Winners

ACTOR Ernest BorgnineMarty {“Marty Pilletti”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Jack LemmonMister Roberts {“Ensign Pulver”}

ACTRESS Anna Magnani — The Rose Tattoo {“Serafina Della Rose”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Jo Van FleetEast of Eden {“Kate”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) The Rose Tattoo — Art Direction: Hal Pereira, Tambi Larsen; Set Decoration: Sam Comer, Arthur Krams

ART DIRECTION (Color) Picnic — Art Direction: William Flannery, Jo Mielziner; Set Decoration: Robert Priestley

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) The Rose Tattoo — James Wong Howe

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) To Catch a Thief — Robert Burks

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) I’ll Cry Tomorrow — Helen Rose

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing — Charles LeMaire

DIRECTING Marty — Delbert Mann

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Helen Keller in Her Story — Nancy Hamilton, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Men against the Arctic — Walt Disney, Producer

FILM EDITING Picnic — Charles Nelson, William A. Lyon

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing — Alfred Newman

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) Oklahoma! — Robert Russell Bennett, Jay Blackton, Adolph Deutsch

MUSIC (Song) “Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing” from Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing — Music by Sammy Fain; Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

BEST MOTION PICTURE Marty — Harold Hecht, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Speedy Gonzales — Edward Selzer, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (One-reel) Survival City — Edmund Reek, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Two-reel) The Face of Lincoln — Wilbur T. Blume, Producer

SOUND RECORDING Oklahoma! — Todd-AO Sound Department, Fred Hynes, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS The Bridges at Toko-Ri — Paramount Studio

WRITING (Motion Picture Story) Love Me or Leave Me — Daniel Fuchs

WRITING (Screenplay) Marty — Paddy Chayefsky

WRITING (Story and Screenplay) Interrupted MelodyWilliam Ludwig, Sonya Levien

HONORARY FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM AWARD

To Samurai, The Legend of Musashi – Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1955.

 

Image from the movie "Around the World in Eighty Days"

© 1956 Michael Todd Company − All right reserved.

29th Academy Awards

During the 29th Academy Awards, the regular competitive category of Best Foreign Language Film was introduced, instead of only being recognized as a Special Achievement Award or as a Best Picture nominee (as in 1938). The first winner in this new category was Federico Fellini’s La Strada with Anthony Quinn and a second nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Its win would help spur an interest in foreign-language films. Another Fellini film, Nights of Cabiria would win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in the following year.

This was also the first year that all of the five Best Picture nominees were in color. It was also the first Oscar telecast to be videotaped for later broadcast, especially for those network affiliates that didn’t want to broadcast the event live.

All of the major awards winners were large-scale epics – Mike Todd’s Around the World in 80 Days, The King and I, Anastasia, George Stevens’ Giant, Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (the highest-grossing film of the year), King Vidor’s War and Peace and William Wyler’s Friendly Persuasion. And the trend toward blockbusters and colorful spectaculars was established for years to come, with The Bridge on the River Kwai, Gigi, and Ben-Hur being subsequent Best Picture champions.

The Best Original Story category had two interesting quirks this year. First, the Oscar for Best Original Story went to Robert Rich (also known as Dalton Trumbo) for The Brave One. Trumbo was blacklisted at the time so he could not get screen credit under his own name. Second, Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman withdrew their names from consideration in this category for their work on High Society. The nomination was apparently intended for the musical starring Grace Kelly, but Bernds and Ullman had instead worked on a Bowery Boys movie of the same title. Indeed, this nomination was a double mistake. High Society was based on the play and movie The Philadelphia Story and probably would not have qualified as an original story anyway.

It was here that James Dean became the only actor to receive a second posthumous – and consecutive – nomination for acting.

Ingrid Bergman was not present to collect her award for Best Actress: Cary Grant accepted it on her behalf. She did, however, list the nominees for Best Director via a pre-recorded segment from a rooftop in Paris. The winner was announced by host Jerry Lewis.

Director John Ford’s classic western The Searchers, widely seen as one of the best American films of all time, failed to receive a single nomination.

This was the second time since the introduction of the Supporting Actor and Actress awards that Best Picture, Best Director, and all four acting Oscars were given to different films. This would not happen again until the 78th Academy Awards. Around the World in 80 Days became the sixth film to win Best Picture without any acting nominations.

 

Winners

ACTOR Yul BrynnerThe King and I {“The King”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Anthony QuinnLust for Life {“Paul Gauguin”}

ACTRESS Ingrid BergmanAnastasia {“The Woman”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Dorothy Malone — Written on the Wind {“Marylee Hadley”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) Somebody Up There Likes Me — Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Malcolm F. Brown; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, F. Keogh Gleason

ART DIRECTION (Color) The King and IArt Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler, John DeCuir; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) Somebody Up There Likes Me — Joseph Ruttenberg

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) Around the World in 80 Days — Lionel Lindon

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) The Solid Gold Cadillac— Jean Louis

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) The King and I — Irene Sharaff

DIRECTING Giant — George Stevens

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) The Silent World — Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) The True Story of the Civil War — Louis Clyde Stoumen, Producer

FILM EDITING Around the World in 80 Days — Gene Ruggiero, Paul Weatherwax

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM La Strada — Italy; Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti, Producers

[NOTE: For the 29th Academy Awards, the name(s) of the producer(s) were included in the nomination for the Foreign Language Film category.]

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) Around the World in 80 Days — Victor Young

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) The King and I — Alfred Newman, Ken Darby

MUSIC (Song) “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)” from The Man Who Knew Too Much — Music and Lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans

BEST MOTION PICTURE Around the World in 80 Days — Michael Todd, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Mister Magoo’s Puddle Jumper — Stephen Bosustow, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (One-reel) Crashing the Water Barrier — Konstantin Kalser, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Two-reel) The Bespoke Overcoat — Romulus Films

SOUND RECORDING The King and I — 20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department, Carl Faulkner, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS The Ten Commandments — John Fulton

WRITING (Motion Picture Story) The Brave One — Dalton Trumbo

[NOTE: The name of the writer credited with authorship, Robert Rich, turned out to be an alias. Two decades later, the mystery was officially solved, and the Academy statuette went (on May 2, 1975, presented by then Academy president Walter Mirisch) to its rightful owner, screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, blacklisted in 1956 by the industry for political affiliations. Robert Rich (who had nothing to do with the film industry) is a nephew of the King Brothers, producers of the film. They chose his name to be the alias for Dalton Trumbo on the screenplay.]

WRITING (Screenplay–Adapted) Around the World in 80 Days — James Poe, John Farrow, S.J. Perelman

WRITING (Screenplay–Original) The Red Balloon — Albert Lamorisse

JEAN HERSHOLT HUMANITARIAN AWARD

Frank Freeman

HONORARY AWARD

To Eddie Cantor for distinguished service to the film industry.

IRVING G. THALBERG MEMORIAL AWARD

Buddy Adler

 

Image from the movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai"

© 1957 Columbia Pictures Corporation − All right reserved.

30th Academy Awards

The 30th Academy Awards ceremony was held on March 26, 1958, to honor the best films of 1957.

The Oscar for Screenplay Based on Material From Another Medium was awarded to Pierre Boulle for The Bridge on the River Kwai, despite the fact that he did not know English. The actual writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson were blacklisted at the time and did not receive screen credit for their work. Foreman and Wilson have since been acknowledged by the Academy for their contributions.

Joanne Woodward‘s win for Best Actress for her triple role as Eve White, Eve Black and Jane in The Three Faces of Eve made the film the last to win Best Actress without being nominated for other awards until 31 years later, when Jodie Foster won Best Actress for her role in The Accused, the film’s only nomination.

Peyton Place tied the record for the most nominations without a win (9) set by The Little Foxes (1941). This record would stand until 1977 when The Turning Point received 11 nominations without a win, which is the record to date (The Color Purple tied the record in 1985). Peyton Place also set the record for most unsuccessful acting nominations with five; this record has been tied once, by Tom Jones at the 36th Academy Awards.

This was the first time all five Best Picture nominations were nominated for Best Director as well.

 

Winners

ACTOR Alec GuinnessThe Bridge on the River Kwai {“Colonel Nicholson”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Red Buttons – Sayonara {“Joe Kelly”}

ACTRESS Joanne WoodwardThe Three Faces of Eve {“Eve White/Eve Black/Jane”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Miyoshi Umeki – Sayonara {“Katsumi”}

ART DIRECTION Sayonara — Art Direction: Ted Haworth; Set Decoration: Robert Priestley

CINEMATOGRAPHY The Bridge on the River Kwai — Jack Hildyard

COSTUME DESIGN Les Girls — Orry-Kelly

DIRECTING The Bridge on the River Kwai — David Lean

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Albert Schweitzer — Jerome Hill, Producer

FILM EDITING The Bridge on the River Kwai — Peter Taylor

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM The Nights of Cabiria — Italy

MUSIC (Scoring) The Bridge on the River Kwai — Malcolm Arnold

MUSIC (Song) “All The Way” from The Joker Is Wild — Music by James Van Heusen; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn

BEST MOTION PICTURE The Bridge on the River Kwai — Sam Spiegel, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Birds Anonymous — Edward Selzer, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Live Action) The Wetback Hound — Larry Lansburgh, Producer

SOUND RECORDING Sayonara — Warner Bros. Studio Sound Department, George Groves, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS The Enemy Below — Audible Effects by Walter Rossi

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) The Bridge on the River Kwai — Michael Wilson, Carl Foreman, Pierre Boulle

[NOTE: Though Pierre Boulle received official screen credit, it was commonly known that blacklisted writers, Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman, wrote the screenplay based on Mr. Boulle’s novel (translated from the French). The Board of Governors, on December 11, 1984, voted posthumous Oscars to Wilson and Foreman and Academy records have been updated.]

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–written directly for the screen) Designing Woman — George Wells

JEAN HERSHOLT HUMANITARIAN AWARD

Samuel Goldwyn

HONORARY AWARD

To Charles Brackett for outstanding service to the Academy.

To B.B. Kahane for distinguished service to the motion picture industry.

To Gilbert M. (“Broncho Billy”) Anderson, motion picture pioneer, for his contributions to the development of motion pictures as entertainment.

To The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers for their contributions to the advancement of the motion picture industry.

 

Image from the movie "Gigi"

© 1958 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) − All right reserved.

31st Academy Awards

The 31st Academy Awards ceremony was held on April 6, 1959, to honor the best films of 1958. The show’s producer, Jerry Wald, started cutting numbers from the show to make sure it ran on time. He cut too much material and the ceremony ended 20 minutes early, leaving Jerry Lewis to attempt to fill in the time. Eventually, NBC cut to a re-run of a sports show.

The film Gigi won nine Oscars, breaking the previous record of eight (set by Gone with the Wind and tied by From Here to Eternity and On the Waterfront). It would be short-lived, however, as Ben-Hur broke the record with eleven Oscars the following year.

Gigi was the last film until The Last Emperor to win Best Picture without any acting nominations. It also had the biggest clean sweep that would be met by The Last Emperor, winning all 9 of its nominations. The record was broken in 2003 by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with all 11 of its nominations, also another record of most Oscar wins with Ben-Hur and Titanic.

The ceremony was hosted by an ensemble of actors: Jerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, Bob Hope, David Niven, and Laurence Olivier. Niven won Best Actor that night, making him the only host in Oscar history to have won an award during the same ceremony.

 

ACTOR David Niven — Separate Tables {“Major Pollock”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Burl IvesThe Big Country {“Rufus Hannassey”}

ACTRESS Susan HaywardI Want to Live! {“Barbara Graham”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Wendy Hiller — Separate Tables {“Pat Cooper”}

ART DIRECTION Gigi — Art Direction: William A. Horning, Preston Ames; Set Decoration: Henry Grace, Keogh Gleason

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) The Defiant Ones — Sam Leavitt

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) Gigi — Joseph Ruttenberg

COSTUME DESIGN Gigi — Cecil Beaton

DIRECTING Gigi — Vincente Minnelli

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) White Wilderness — Ben Sharpsteen, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Ama Girls — Ben Sharpsteen, Producer

FILM EDITING Gigi — Adrienne Fazan

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM My Uncle — France

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) The Old Man and the Sea — Dimitri Tiomkin

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) Gigi — Andre Previn

MUSIC (Song) “Gigi” from Gigi — Music by Frederick Loewe; Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner

BEST MOTION PICTURE Gigi — Arthur Freed, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Knighty Knight Bugs — John W. Burton, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Live Action) Grand Canyon — Walt Disney, Producer

SOUND South Pacific — Todd-AO Sound Department, Fred Hynes, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS tom thumb — Visual Effects by Tom Howard

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) Gigi — Alan Jay Lerner

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–written directly for the screen) The Defiant Ones — Nedrick Young, Harold Jacob Smith

[NOTE: Upon request of his widow and upon recommendation of the Writers Branch Executive Committee, the Board of Governors voted on June 22, 1993, to restore the name of Nedrick Young to the nominations and award presented to Nathan E. Douglas (Mr. Young’s pseudonym during the blacklisting period).]

HONORARY AWARD

To Maurice Chevalier for his contributions to the world of entertainment for more than half a century.

IRVING G. THALBERG MEMORIAL AWARD

Jack L. Warner

 

Image from the movie "Ben-Hur"

© 1959 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) − All right reserved.

32nd Academy Awards

The 32nd Academy Awards honored film achievements of 1959 on April 4, 1960.

The epic drama Ben-Hur won 11 Oscars and broke the all-time record of nine set the year before by Gigi. Ben-Hur remained the most honored motion picture in Academy Award history until Titanic equaled the feat in 1997. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King equaled the feat again in 2003.

Ben-Hur was the third film to win both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, a feat not repeated until Mystic River in 2004. The director William Wyler became the third (and most recent) person to win more than two Best Director awards (following Frank Capra and John Ford), as well as the only person to direct three Best Picture winners.

 

Winners

ACTOR Charlton HestonBen-Hur {“Judah Ben-Hur”}

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Hugh GriffithBen-Hur {“Sheik Ilderim”}

ACTRESS Simone Signoret — Room at the Top {“Alice Aisgill”}

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE Shelley WintersThe Diary of Anne Frank {“Mrs. Van Daan”}

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White) The Diary of Anne Frank — Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler, George W. Davis; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott, Stuart A. Reiss

ART DIRECTION (Color) Ben-Hur — Art Direction: William A. Horning, Edward Carfagno; Set Decoration: Hugh Hunt

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White) The Diary of Anne Frank — William C. Mellor

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Color) Ben-Hur — Robert L. Surtees

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White) Some Like It Hot — Orry-Kelly

COSTUME DESIGN (Color) Ben-Hur — Elizabeth Haffenden

DIRECTING Ben-Hur — William Wyler

DOCUMENTARY (Feature) Serengeti Shall Not Die — Bernhard Grzimek, Producer

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject) Glass — Bert Haanstra, Producer

FILM EDITING Ben-Hur Ralph E. Winters, John D. Dunning

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Black Orpheus — France

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture) Ben-Hur — Miklos Rozsa

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture) Porgy and Bess — Andre Previn, Ken Darby

MUSIC (Song) “High Hopes” from A Hole in the Head — Music by James Van Heusen; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn

BEST MOTION PICTURE Ben-Hur Sam Zimbalist, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Cartoon) Moonbird — John Hubley, Producer

SHORT SUBJECT (Live Action) The Golden Fish — Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Producer

SOUND Ben-Hur — Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department, Franklin E. Milton, Sound Director

SPECIAL EFFECTS Ben-Hur — Visual Effects by A. Arnold Gillespie, Robert MacDonald; Audible Effects by Milo Lory

WRITING (Screenplay–based on material from another medium) Room at the Top — Neil Paterson

WRITING (Story and Screenplay–written directly for the screen) Pillow Talk — Story by Russell Rouse, Clarence Greene; Screenplay by Stanley Shapiro, Maurice Richlin

JEAN HERSHOLT HUMANITARIAN AWARD

Bob Hope

HONORARY AWARD

To Lee De Forest for his pioneering inventions which brought sound to the motion picture.

To Buster Keaton for his unique talents which brought immortal comedies to the screen.

 

See all the Academy Award Nominees and Winners 1929 - 1987 here.

 

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