| From Here to Eternity|
25 March 1954
| Donald O'Connor (Los Angeles)
Fredric March (New York City)|
From Here to Eternity (8)
From Here to Eternity (13)
Pantages Theatre, Los Angeles, California, United States
Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, New Century Theatre, New York City, New York
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.
26th Academy Awards Wikipedia
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.Pete Smith – "For his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of "Pete Smith Specialties"."
Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation – "In recognition of their imagination, showmanship and foresight in introducing the revolutionary process known as CinemaScope."
Joseph I. Breen – "For his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code."
Bell and Howell Company – "For their pioneering and basic achievements in the advancement of the motion picture industry."
Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding – presented the Documentary Awards
Jack Webb – presented the award for Best Sound
Keefe Brasselle and Marilyn Erskine – presented the Short Subject Awards
Esther Williams – presented the award for Best Film Editing
Gene Tierney – presented the awards for Costume Design
Gower Champion and Marge Champion – presented the award for Art Direction-Set Decoration
Lex Barker and Lana Turner – presented the awards for Cinematography
Kirk Douglas – presented the awards for Writing
Irene Dunne – presented the award for Best Director
Walter Brennan – presented the award for Best Supporting Actress
Mercedes McCambridge – presented the award for Best Supporting Actor
Arthur Freed – presented the awards for Music
Gary Cooper – presented the award for Best Actress
Shirley Booth – presented the award for Best Actor
Cecil B. DeMille – presented the award for Best Picture
Merle Oberon – presented the award for Best Special Effects
Charles Brackett – presented the Honorary Awards
Tyrone Power – presented the Scientific & Technical Awards
David O. Selznick – presented the Irving G. Thalberg Award
André Previn – conducted the Academy Awards orchestra
Mitzi Gaynor, Margaret Whiting, and Donald O'Connor – performed "The Moon Is Blue" from The Moon Is Blue
Connie Russell – performed "Sadie Thompson's Song (Blue Pacific Blues)" from Miss Sadie Thompson
Ann Blyth – performed "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane
Dean Martin – performed "That's Amore" from The Caddy