24th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1952)

  • Date of Ceremony: Thursday, March 20, 1952
  • For films released in: 1951
  • Host(s): Danny Kaye
Other years:

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Several things seemed certain on the night of Thursday, March 20, 1952. Danny Kaye would host, Marlon Brando would be named Best Actor, and either A Streetcar Named Desire or A Place in the Sun would be named Best Picture.

Well, Danny Kaye hosted, but that was the only sure thing in a night that proved Oscar® can have surprises up his sleeve — well, if he actually wore a jacket that is.

When the envelope for Best Actor was opened, Humphrey Bogart had won his only Academy Award. Accepting the award, he quipped, “It’s a long way from the heart of the Belgian Congo to the stage of the Pantages Theatre and I’m glad to say I’d rather be here.”

The other big surprise came when the Best Picture was announced. The Oscar went to An American in Paris, only the third musical to win the top prize.

As for trivia, the 24th ceremony was the last one not to be shown on those glowing boxes more and more people had in their living rooms. The TV era of the Oscars was about to begin.


Best Motion Picture

  • An American in Paris
    Arthur Freed [Producer]

Best Directing

  • A Place in the Sun
    George Stevens

Best Actor

  • The African Queen
    Humphrey Bogart

Best Actress

  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    Vivien Leigh

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    Karl Malden

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    Kim Hunter

Honorary Foreign Language Film Award

  • Rashomon
    Note: …voted by the Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States during 1951.

Best Art Direction (Black-and-White)

  • A Streetcar Named Desire
    Richard Day [Art Direction] and George James Hopkins [Set Decoration]

Best Art Direction (Color)

  • An American in Paris
    Cedric Gibbons [Art Direction], Preston Ames [Art Direction], Edwin B. Willis [Set Decoration] and Keogh Gleason [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography (Black-and-White)

  • A Place in the Sun
    William C. Mellor

Best Cinematography (Color)

  • An American in Paris
    Alfred Gilks and John Alton [Ballet Photography by]

Best Costume Design (Black-and-White)

  • A Place in the Sun
    Edith Head

Best Costume Design (Color)

  • An American in Paris
    Orry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett and Irene Sharaff

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • Kon-Tiki
    Olle Nordemar

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Benjy
    Fred Zinnemann

Best Film Editing

  • A Place in the Sun
    William Hornbeck

Best Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture)

  • A Place in the Sun
    Franz Waxman

Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)

  • An American in Paris
    Johnny Green and Saul Chaplin

Best Music (Song)

  • Here Comes the Groom "In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening"
    Hoagy Carmichael [Music by] and Johnny Mercer [Lyrics by]

Best Short Subject (Cartoon)

  • The Two Mouseketeers
    Fred Quimby

Best Short Subject (One-reel)

  • World of Kids
    Robert Youngson

Best Short Subject (Two-reel)

  • Nature's Half Acre
    Walt Disney

Best Sound Recording

  • The Great Caruso
    Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer London Studio Sound Department and Douglas Shearer [Sound Director]

Best Special Effects

  • When Worlds Collide

Best Writing (Screenplay)

  • A Place in the Sun
    Michael Wilson and Harry Brown

Best Writing (Story and Screenplay)

  • An American in Paris
    Alan Jay Lerner

Best Writing (Motion Picture Story)

  • Seven Days to Noon
    Paul Dehn and James Bernard

Honorary Award

  • Gene Kelly
    Note: …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

Scientific or Technical Award (Class II)

  • Gordon Jennings, S.L. Stancliffe and Paramount Studio Special Photographic and Engineering Departments
    Note: …for the design, construction and application of a servo-operated recording and repeating device.
  • Olin L. Dupy [Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio]
    Note: …for the design, construction and application of a motion picture reproducing system.
  • Radio Corporation of America, Victor Division
    Note: …for pioneering direct positive recording with anticipatory noise reduction.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class III)

  • Richard M. Haff, Frank P. Herrnfeld, Garland C. Misener and Ansco Film Division of General Aniline and Film Corporation
    Note: …for the development of the Ansco color scene tester.
  • Fred Ponedel [of Warner Bros. Studio], Ralph Ayres [of Warner Bros. Studio] and George Brown [of Warner Bros. Studio]
    Note: …for an air-driven water motor to provide flow, wake and white water for marine sequences in motion pictures.
  • Glen Robinson and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Construction Department
    Note: …for the development of a new music wire and cable cutter.
  • Jack Gaylord and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Construction Department
    Note: …for the development of balsa falling snow.
  • Carlos Rivas [of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio]
    Note: …for the development of an automatic magnetic film splicer.
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