33rd Annual Academy Awards Results and Commentary (1961)

  • Date of Ceremony: Monday, April 17, 1961
  • For films released in: 1960
  • Host(s): Bob Hope (video)
Other years:

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When the 33rd Annual Academy Awards took place on Monday, April 17th, 1961, they had a new home (Santa Monica), a new network (ABC) and a familiar host (Bob Hope).

The big winner of the night was The Apartment, whose five Oscars included Best Picture and Best Director for Billy Wilder.

Burt Lancaster took home the Best Actor for Elmer Gantry while Elizabeth Taylor, who had just been through pneumonia, won Best Actress for Butterfield 8.

Honorary awards were given to Gary Cooper “…for his many memorable screen performances…”, to Stan Laurel “…for his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy” and to Hayley Mills “…for Pollyanna, the most outstanding juvenile performance during 1960.”

James Stewart accepted the award on Cooper’s behalf. His emotional speech hinted at something being wrong. The next day, the media announced that Cooper had cancer. He died the next month.


Best Motion Picture

  • The Apartment
    Billy Wilder [Producer]

Best Directing

  • The Apartment
    Billy Wilder

Best Actor

  • Elmer Gantry
    Burt Lancaster

Best Actress

  • Butterfield 8
    Elizabeth Taylor

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • Spartacus
    Peter Ustinov

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Elmer Gantry
    Shirley Jones

Best Foreign Language Film

  • The Virgin Spring

Best Art Direction (Black-and-White)

  • The Apartment
    Alexander Trauner [Art Direction] and Edward G. Boyle [Set Decoration]

Best Art Direction (Color)

  • Spartacus
    Alexander Golitzen [Art Direction], Eric Orbom [Art Direction], Russell A. Gausman [Set Decoration] and Julia Heron [Set Decoration]

Best Cinematography (Black-and-White)

  • Sons and Lovers
    Freddie Francis

Best Cinematography (Color)

  • Spartacus
    Russell Metty

Best Costume Design (Black-and-White)

  • The Facts of Life
    Edith Head and Edward Stevenson

Best Costume Design (Color)

  • Spartacus
    Valles and Bill Thomas

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • The Horse with the Flying Tail
    Larry Lansburgh

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • Giuseppina
    James Hill

Best Film Editing

  • The Apartment
    Daniel Mandell

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

  • Exodus
    Ernest Gold

Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)

  • Song without End (The Story of Franz Liszt)
    Morris Stoloff and Harry Sukman

Best Music (Song)

  • Never on Sunday "Never on Sunday"
    Manos Hadjidakis [Music and Lyrics by]

Best Short Subject (Cartoon)

  • Munro
    William L. Snyder

Best Short Subject (Live Action)

  • Day of the Painter
    Ezra R. Baker

Best Sound

  • The Alamo
    Samuel Goldwyn Studio Sound Department, Gordon E. Sawyer [Sound Director], Todd-AO Sound Department and Fred Hynes [Sound Director]

Best Writing (Screenplay - based on material from another medium)

  • Elmer Gantry
    Richard Brooks

Best Writing (Story and Screenplay - written directly for the screen)

  • The Apartment
    Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond

Honorary Award

  • Gary Cooper
    Note: …for his many memorable screen performances and the international recognition he, as an individual, has gained for the motion picture industry.
  • Stan Laurel
    Note: …for his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy.
  • Hayley Mills
    Note: …for Pollyanna, the most outstanding juvenile performance during 1960.

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

  • Sol Lesser

Scientific or Technical Award (Class II)

  • Ampex Professional Products Co.
    Note: …for the production of a well-engineered multi-purpose sound system combining high standards of quality with convenience of control, dependable operation and simplified emergency provisions.

Scientific or Technical Award (Class III)

  • Arthur Holcomb, Petro Vlahos and Columbia Studio Camera Department
    Note: …for a camera flicker indicating device.
  • Anthony Paglia and 20th Century-Fox Studio Mechanical Effects Department
    Note: …for the design and construction of a miniature flak gun and ammunition.
  • Carl Hauge [of Consolidated Film Industries], Robert Grubel [of Consolidated Film Industries] and Edward Reichard [of Consolidated Film Industries]
    Note: …for the development of an automatic developer replenisher system.
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