1953 Academy Awards

The 1953 Academy Awards ceremony was held March 25, 1954 at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California. This marked the second national television broadcast of the awards show.

Donald O’Connor hosted the 26th Annual Academy Awards ceremonies in Los Angeles with Fredric March hosting from the NBC Century Theatre in New York City.

Stars presenting the Oscars for films premiering in the year 1953 included Elizabeth Taylor, Merle Oberon, Tyrone Power, Kirk Douglas, Irene Dunne, and Walter Brennan.

THE 1953 ACADEMY AWARDS WINNERS WERE

BEST PICTURE

Buddy Adler for Columbia Pictures – From Here to Eternity
John Houseman for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer – Julius Caesar
Frank Ross for 20th Century Fox – The Robe
William Wyler for Paramount Pictures – Roman Holiday
George Stevens for Paramount Pictures – Shane

From Here to Eternity was a big winner at the 26th Academy Awards ceremony receiving thirteen Oscar nominations and walking away with eight awards. Besides Best Picture it received top awards for Best Supporting Actor, Frank Sinatra; Best Supporting Actress, Donna Reed; Best Director, Fred Zinnemann; Best Screenplay, Daniel Taradash; Best Cinematography, Burnett Guffey; Best Sound; and Best Film Editing. Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster both received Best Actor Oscar Nominations and Deborah Kerr received a Best Actress nomination. The eight awards matched the all-time record held for the 1939 film Gone with the Wind.

Based on the James Jones’ best-selling novel about Army life on a military base prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, From Here to Eternity was filmed in Hawaii and became one of the top grossing movies in 1953. It opened to both critical and popular acclaim.

Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in From Here To Eternity
From Here To Eternity

Although the beach scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was edited to appease fifties censors, it is still hailed as one of the greatest love scenes in movie making history.

THE 1953 ACADEMY AWARDS WINNER FOR BEST ACTOR

William Holden – Stalag 17
Marlon Brando – Julius Caesar
Richard Burton – The Robe
Montgomery Clift – From Here to Eternity
Burt Lancaster – From Here to Eternity

William Holden was the 1953 Academy Awards winner in the Best Actor category for the 1953 film “Stalag 17.” Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster were both nominated for their roles in “From Here to Eternity”.

William Holden was born April 17, 1918 and died November 23, 1981. He was married to Brenda Marshall from 1941 to 1971. He and actress Stephanie Powers had a nine year romantic relationship.

Holden’s movie career spanned 43 years where he was named one of the biggest box office stars of the fifties. He received Oscar nominations for best actor twice for his roles in the 1951 film “Sunset Boulevard” and again in 1971 for “Network.”

1953 AWARD FOR BEST ACTRESS

Audrey Hepburn – Roman Holiday
Leslie Caron – Lili
Ava Gardner – Mogambo
Deborah Kerr – From Here to Eternity
Maggie McNamara – The Moon Is Blue

Audrey Hepburn won the 1953 Academy Awards for Best Actress for her performance in “Roman Holiday”. Roman Holiday was also nominated for Best Picture but lost out to “From Here to Eternity”.

Audrey Hepburn was born May 4, 1929 and died January 20, 1993 at age 63.

Hepburn was chosen to play the title role in the Broadway play Gigi in 1951 where the play ran for over 200 performances. She called her starring role as Princess Ann in “Roman Holiday”, her dearest movie.

The next year she starred in the romantic comedy “Sabrina” with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden. It is during the filming of this movie that she and Hubert de Givenchy became friends as he was responsible for many of her costumes. It is also where she initially became the style icon she remains famous for today.

1953 BEST DIRECTOR

Fred Zinnemann – From Here to Eternity
George Stevens – Shane
Charles Walters – Lili
Billy Wilder – Stalag 17
William Wyler – Roman Holiday

1953 ACADEMY AWARDS FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Frank Sinatra – From Here to Eternity
Eddie Albert – Roman Holiday
Brandon deWilde – Shane
Jack Palance – Shane
Robert Strauss – Stalag 17

1953 AWARD FOR BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Donna Reed – From Here to Eternity
Grace Kelly – Mogambo
Geraldine Page – Hondo
Marjorie Rambeau – Torch Song
Thelma Ritter – Pickup on South Street

1953 ACADEMY AWARDS IN COSTUME DESIGN

BEST COSTUME DESIGN IN BLACK AND WHITE

Roman Holiday – Edith Head
The Actress – Walter Plunkett
Dream Wife – Helen Rose and Herschel McCoy
From Here to Eternity – Jean Louis
The President’s Lady Charles LeMaire and Renie Conley

BEST COSTUME DESIGN IN COLOR

The Robe –Charles LeMaire and Emile Santiago
The Band Wagon – Mary Ann Nyberg
Call Me Madam – Irene Sharaff
How to Marry a Millionaire – Charles LeMaire and William Travilla
Young Bess – Walter Plunkett

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

“Secret Love” from Calamity Jane – Music by Sammy Fain; Lyric by Paul Francis Webster
“The Moon Is Blue” from The Moon Is Blue – Music by Herschel Burke Gilbert; Lyric by Sylvia Fine
“My Flaming Heart” from Small Town Girl – Music by Nicholas Brodszky; Lyric by Leo Robin
“Sadie Thompson’s Song” from Miss Sadie Thompson – Music by Lester Lee; Lyric by Ned Washington
“That’s Amore” from The Caddy – Music by Harry Warren; Lyric by Jack Brooks

BEST MUSICAL SCORE

Call Me Madam – Alfred Newman
The Band Wagon – Adolph Deutsch
Calamity Jane’ – ‘Ray Heindorf
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T – Frederick Hollander and Morris Stoloff
Kiss Me Kate – André Previn and Saul Chaplin

1953 ACADEMY AWARDS IN WRITING

BEST SCREENPLAY

Titanic – Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch and Richard Breen
The Band Wagon – Betty Comden and Adolph Green
The Desert Rats – Richard Murphy
The Naked Spur – Sam Rolfe and Harold Jack Bloom
Take the High Ground – Millard Kaufman

BEST STORY

Roman Holiday – Dalton Trumbo
Above and Beyond – Beirne Lay, Jr.
The Captain’s Paradise – Alec Coppel
Little Fugitive – Ray Ashley, Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin

BEST STORY AND SCREENPLAY

From Here to Eternity – Daniel Taradash
The Cruel Sea – Eric Ambler
Lili – Helen Deutsch
Roman Holiday – Ian McLellan Hunter and John Dighton
Shane – A. B. Guthrie, Jr.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN BLACK AND WHITE

From Here to Eternity – Burnett Guffey
The Four Poster – Hal Mohr
Julius Caesar – Joseph Ruttenberg
Martin Luther – Joseph C. Brun
Roman Holiday – Frank Planer and Henry Alekan

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY IN COLOR

Shane – Loyal Griggs
All the Brothers Were Valiant – George Folsey
Beneath the 12-Mile Reef – Edward Cronjager
Lili – Robert Planck
The Robe – Leon Shamroy

BEST ART DIRECTION IN BLACK AND WHITE

Julius Caesar – Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons and Edward Carfagno; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis and Hugh Hunt
Martin Luther – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Fritz Maurischat and Paul Markwitz
The President’s Lady – Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler and Leland Fuller; Set Decoration: Paul S. Fox
Roman Holiday – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Hal Pereira and Walter Tyler
Titanic – Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler and Maurice Ransford; Set Decoration: Stuart Reiss

BEST ART DIRECTION IN COLOR

The Robe – Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler and George Davis; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott and Paul S. Fox
Knights of the Round Table – Art Direction: Alfred Junge and Hans Peters; Set Decoration: John Jarvis
Lili – Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons and Paul Groesse; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis and Arthur Krams
The Story of Three Loves – Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Preston Ames, Edward Carfagno and Gabriel Scognamillo; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason, Arthur Krams and Jack D. Moore
Young Bess – Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons and Urie McCleary; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis and Jack D. Moore

BEST FILM EDITING

From Here to Eternity – William Lyon
Crazylegs – Irvine (Cotton) Warburton
The Moon Is Blue – Otto Ludwig
Roman Holiday – Robert Swink
The War of the Worlds – Everett Douglas

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

The War of the Worlds

1952 Academy Awards
1954 Academy Awards
Red Carpet
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