26th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1954)

  • Date of Ceremony: Thursday, March 25, 1954
  • For films released in: 1953
  • Host(s): Donald O'Connor (video) and Fredric March (video)
Other years:

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When the 26th Academy Awards hit the airwaves on Thursday, March 25, 1954, it was again a bi-coastal affair, with Donald O’Connor hosting the LA portion from the RKO Pantages and Fredric March handling the NYC end of things from the NBC Century Theatre.

Ironically, in a year when dazzling color and super wide-screen aspect ratios like CinemaScope (2.66:1) were being used to lure TV watchers back to the cinemas, the big winners of the year were black and white films shot in the standard “Academy ratio” of 1.37:1.

Roughly 43,000,000 viewers watched the U.S. broadcast which saw From Here to Eternity take eight of its 13 nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress.

Roman Holiday won three of its ten nomination, including a Best Actress Oscar for Audrey Hepburn in her first starring role. The win had been predicted by co-star Gregory Peck, who had suggested that she should have equal billing with him rather than the planned “Introducing Audrey Hepburn”.

Finally, Walt Disney made four trips to the stage to accept awards for various projects he was involved in. Here’s hoping he was seated next to the stairs.


Best Directing

  • From Here to Eternity
    Fred Zinnemann

Best Actor

  • Stalag 17
    William Holden

Best Actress

  • Roman Holiday
    Audrey Hepburn

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • From Here to Eternity
    Donna Reed

Best Art Direction (Black-and-White)

  • Julius Caesar
    Cedric Gibbons [Art Direction], Edward Carfagno [Art Direction], Edwin B. Willis [Set Decoration] and Hugh Hunt [Set Decoration]

Best Art Direction (Color)

  • The Robe
    Lyle Wheeler [Art Direction], George W. Davis [Art Direction], Walter M. Scott [Set Decoration] and Paul S. Fox [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography (Black-and-White)

  • From Here to Eternity
    Burnett Guffey

Best Cinematography (Color)

  • Shane
    Loyal Griggs

Best Costume Design (Black-and-White)

  • Roman Holiday
    Edith Head

Best Costume Design (Color)

  • The Robe
    Charles LeMaire and Emile Santiago

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • The Living Desert
    Walt Disney

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • The Alaskan Eskimo
    Walt Disney

Best Film Editing

  • From Here to Eternity
    William Lyon

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

  • Lili
    Bronislau Kaper

Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)

  • Call Me Madam
    Alfred Newman

Best Music (Song)

  • Calamity Jane "Secret Love"
    Sammy Fain [Music by] and Paul Francis Webster [Lyrics by]

Best Short Subject (Cartoon)

  • Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom
    Walt Disney

Best Short Subject (One-reel)

  • The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture
    Johnny Green

Best Short Subject (Two-reel)

  • Bear Country
    Walt Disney

Best Sound Recording

  • From Here to Eternity
    Columbia Studio Sound Department and John P. Livadary [Sound Director]

Best Special Effects

  • The War of the Worlds
    Paramount Studio

Best Writing (Screenplay)

  • From Here to Eternity
    Daniel Taradash

Best Writing (Story and Screenplay)

  • Titanic
    Charles Brackett, Walter Reisch and Richard Breen

Best Writing (Motion Picture Story)

  • Roman Holiday
    Dalton Trumbo

Honorary Award

  • Pete Smith
    Note: …for his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of “Pete Smith Specialties.”
  • 20th Century-Fox Film Corp.
    Note: …in recognition of their imagination, showmanship and foresight in introducing the revolutionary process known as CinemaScope.
  • Joseph I. Breen
    Note: …for his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code.
  • Bell and Howell Company
    Note: …for their pioneering and basic achievements in the advancement of the motion picture industry.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

  • George Stevens

Scientific or Technical Award (Class I)

  • Professor Henri Chretien, Earl Sponable, Sol Halprin [of 20th Century-Fox Studio], Lorin Grignon [of 20th Century-Fox Studio], Herbert Bragg [of 20th Century-Fox Studio] and Carl W. Faulkner [of 20th Century-Fox Studio]
    Note: …for creating, developing and engineering the equipment, processes and techniques known as CinemaScope.
  • Fred Waller
    Note: …for designing and developing the multiple photographic and projection systems which culminated in Cinerama.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class II)

  • Reeves Soundcraft Corporation
    Note: …for their development of a process of applying stripes of magnetic oxide to motion picture film for sound recording and reproduction.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class III)

  • Westrex Corporation
    Note: …for the design and construction of a new film editing machine.
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