25th Academy Awards
|25th Academy Awards|
|Date||March 19, 1953|
|Site||RKO Pantages Theatre
NBC International Theatre
New York City, New York
|Host||Bob Hope (Hollywood)
Conrad Nagel (emcee)
Fredric March (New York City)
|Best Picture||The Greatest Show on Earth|
|Most awards||The Bad and the Beautiful (5)|
|Most nominations||High Noon, Moulin Rouge and The Quiet Man (7)|
|TV in the United States|
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 in the category of Best Picture. The heavily favored High Noon lost to Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth, which is now considered among the worst films to have ever won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The American film magazine Premiere placed the movie on its list of 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. Of all the films nominated for the Oscar this year, only High Noon and Singin' in the Rain would show up 36 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 87th Academy Awards, it has not happened since.
This marked the last time, as of the 87th Academy Awards, that the Best Picture winner would win just two Oscars.
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 are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
Academy Honorary Awards
Best Foreign Language Film
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
- Billy Daniels ("Because You're Mine" from Because You're Mine)
- Celeste Holm ("Thumbelina" from Hans Christian Andersen)
- Bob Hope ("Am I In Love" from Son of Paleface)
- Peggy Lee and Johnny Mercer ("Zing a Little Zong" from Just for You)
- Tex Ritter ("High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin')" from High Noon)
Among the 2,800 in attendance at the Pantages Theatre were:
- Governor Earl Warren (who by the end of the year would be the Chief Justice of the United States)
- Mayor and Mrs. Fletcher Bowron
- For the first time in history, a television audience estimated at 40,000,000 persons will watch the movie industry's biggest show. It will mark the TV debut for scores of the biggest names in moviedom.
The telecast was prompted by the need to finance the bi-coastal ceremony. When three of the film studios refused to provide their customary financial support, the RCA Victor Division of the Radio Corporation of America agreed to pay AMPAS $100,000 (one source reported $250,000) as a sponsorship fee. NBC telecast the bicoastal ceremony over its 64-station television network and on its 174-station radio system. The Armed Forces Radio Service recorded the proceedings for later broadcast . While in the United States the show was televised live on NBC, in Canada the live show was broadcast on CCTV installed at several movie theaters in Montreal and Toronto relaying NBC's feed. In Mexico City, XHGC-TV had to broadcast a 'Kinephoto' of the ceremony (sponsored there by Kraft Foods and RCA Victor) the following night because no TV network in that country had a station in the U.S.-Mexico border until 1955. In the United Kingdom (which used a different television standard as opposed to the US 525-line television system), the BBC Television Service had to broadcast a film recording of the televised ceremony on March 21, because there was no videotape technology, television standards conversion nor live satellite broadcasting at the time.
When Shirley Booth accepted the award for best actress in New York City, she was so excited that she tripped slightly on the way up to accept "one of the most unsurprising awards in Academy history." She thanked "old friends for faith, new friends for hope and everyone for their charity."
The show was broadcast from 10:30 p.m. to 12:00 midnight, switching back and forth from host Bob Hope on the West Coast to Conrad Nagel on the East Coast. The late start was made to accommodate those nominees who were performing that night on the Broadway stage.
Multiple nominations and awards
These films had multiple nominations:
The following films received multiple awards.
- 10th Golden Globe Awards
- 1952 in film
- 4th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 5th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 6th British Academy Film Awards
- 7th Tony Awards
References and footnotes
- Bacon, James (1953-03-19). "TV Will Carry Film Awards Show Tonight". The Fresno Bee. Associated Press.
- International Theatre, from cinematreasures.org
- The convention center was subsequently demolished when the Time Warner Center was built.
- "'Chicago' and 'Oliver!' Among "Worst" Oscar Winners". Imdb.com. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- "The worst Oscar winners! - Rediff.com movies". In.rediff.com. 2005-03-01. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- "The Best of the Best Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
- "The 25th Academy Awards (1953) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-20.
- Movie 'Oscar' Won by Greatest Show, from the March 20, 1953 issue of The New York Times
- The actual audience was 34 million, according to the March 30, 1953 issue of Time magazine.
- The March 30, 1953 issue of Time magazine reported the sponsorship fee to be $250,000.
- The Oscars from the March 30, 1953 issue of Time magazine