27th Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1955)

  • Date of Ceremony: Wednesday, March 30, 1955
  • For films released in: 1954
  • Host(s): Bob Hope (video) and Thelma Ritter (video)
Other years:

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The 27th Academy Awards were broadcast by NBC on March 30th, 1955. Bob Hope hosted the Hollywood ceremonies from the RKO Pantages Theatre while Thelma Ritter handled the NYC end of things from the NBC Century Theatre.

Leading the pack with 12 nominations, Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront took home eight Oscars® including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Marlon Brando. Brando’s win was a bit of a surprise as Bing Crosby’s portrayal of an alcoholic in The Country Girl was considered the odds on favorite.

Speaking of surprises, everyone also figured Judy Garland’s work in A Star Is Born would garner her the Best Actress. NBC went so far as to set up a camera at the hospital where Garland had just given birth, but the remote wasn’t necessary. When the envelope was opened the Oscar went to Grace Kelly for her role in The Country Girl.


Best Motion Picture

  • On the Waterfront
    Sam Spiegel [Producer]

Best Directing

  • On the Waterfront
    Elia Kazan

Best Actor

  • On the Waterfront
    Marlon Brando

Best Actress

  • The Country Girl
    Grace Kelly

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • The Barefoot Contessa
    Edmond O'Brien

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • On the Waterfront
    Eva Marie Saint

Honorary Foreign Language Film Award

  • Gate of Hell
    Note: Best Foreign Language Film first released in the United States during 1954.

Best Art Direction (Black-and-White)

  • On the Waterfront
    Richard Day

Best Art Direction (Color)

  • 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
    John Meehan [Art Direction] and Emile Kuri [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography (Black-and-White)

  • On the Waterfront
    Boris Kaufman

Best Cinematography (Color)

  • Three Coins in the Fountain
    Milton Krasner

Best Costume Design (Black-and-White)

  • Sabrina
    Edith Head

Best Costume Design (Color)

  • Gate of Hell
    Sanzo Wada

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • The Vanishing Prairie
    Walt Disney

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Thursday's Children
    World Wide Pictures and Morse Films

Best Film Editing

  • On the Waterfront
    Gene Milford

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

  • The High and the Mighty
    Dimitri Tiomkin

Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)

  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Adolph Deutsch and Saul Chaplin

Best Music (Song)

  • Three Coins in the Fountain "Three Coins in the Fountain"
    Jule Styne [Music by] and Sammy Cahn [Lyrics by]

Best Short Subject (Cartoon)

  • When Magoo Flew
    Stephen Bosustow

Best Short Subject (One-reel)

  • This Mechanical Age
    Robert Youngson

Best Short Subject (Two-reel)

  • A Time Out of War
    Denis Sanders and Terry Sanders

Best Sound Recording

  • The Glenn Miller Story
    Universal-International Studio Sound Department and Leslie I. Carey [Sound Director]

Best Special Effects

  • 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
    Walt Disney Studios

Best Writing (Screenplay)

  • The Country Girl
    George Seaton

Best Writing (Story and Screenplay)

  • On the Waterfront
    Budd Schulberg

Best Writing (Motion Picture Story)

  • Broken Lance
    Philip Yordan

Honorary Award

  • Bausch & Lomb Optical Company
    Note: …for their contributions to the advancement of the motion picture industry.
  • Kemp R. Niver
    Note: …for the development of the Renovare Process which has made possible the restoration of the Library of Congress Paper Film Collection.
  • Greta Garbo
    Note: …for her unforgettable screen performances.
  • Danny Kaye
    Note: …for his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people.
  • Jon Whiteley
    Note: …for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers.
  • Vincent Winter
    Note: …for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class I)

  • Paramount Pictures Inc., Loren L. Ryder and John R. Bishop
    Note: …and all the members of the technical and engineering staff for developing a method of producing and exhibiting motion pictures known as VistaVision.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class III)

  • David S. Horsley and Universal-International Studio Special Photographic Department
    Note: …for a portable remote control device for process projectors.
  • Karl Freund [of Photo Research Corporation] and Frank Crandell [of Photo Research Corporation]
    Note: …for the design and development of a direct reading brightness meter.
  • Wesley C. Miller, J.W. Stafford, K.M. Frierson and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department
    Note: …for an electronic sound printing comparison device.
  • John P. Livadary, Lloyd Russell and Columbia Studio Sound Department
    Note: …for an improved limiting amplifier as applied to sound level comparison devices.
  • Roland Miller [of Magnascope Corporation] and Max Goeppinger [of Magnascope Corporation]
    Note: …for the design and development of a cathode ray magnetic sound track viewer.
  • Carlos Rivas, G.M. Sprague and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department
    Note: …for the design of a magnetic sound editing machine.
  • Fred Wilson [of the Samuel Goldwyn Studio Sound Department]
    Note: …for the design of a variable multiple-band equalizer.
  • P.C. Young [of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Projection Department]
    Note: …for the practical application of a variable focal length attachment to motion picture projector lenses.
  • Fred Knoth [of the Universal-International Studio Technical Department] and Orien Ernest [of the Universal-International Studio Technical Department]
    Note: …for the development of a hand portable, electric, dry oil-fog machine.
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