ⓘ 26th Academy Awards


ⓘ 26th Academy Awards

The 26th Academy Awards ceremony was held on March 25, 1954. It took place at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, and the NBC Century Theatre in New York City.

The second national telecast of the Awards show drew an estimated 43 million viewers. Shirley Booth, appearing in a play in Philadelphia, presented the Best Actor award through a live broadcast cut-in, and privately received the winners name over the telephone from co-host Donald OConnor. Actor Fredric March co-hosted from New York City. Gary Cooper filmed his presentation of the Best Actress award in advance on a set in Mexico, with OConnor announcing the winners name.

All the major winners in this year were black-and-white films. The big winner was Fred Zinnemanns From Here to Eternity, with 13 nominations and eight awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay Daniel Taradash, Best Cinematography Burnett Guffey, Best Sound, and Best Film Editing. All five of its major actors and actresses were nominated, with secondary players Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra taking home Oscars. The film was based on James Jones controversial, best-selling novel about Army life on a Hawaiian Oahu military base just before the Pearl Harbor attack and World War II, illustrating the conflict between an individualistic private Montgomery Clift and rigid institutional authority exemplified by the Army. Its achievement of eight awards matched the then record held by Gone with the Wind 1939. The record was tied again the following year by On the Waterfront 1954. Walt Disney won four awards, which set the record for the most Oscars won in the same year.

William Holdens speech for Best Actor for his role in Stalag 17 was simply "Thank You", making it one of the shortest speeches ever; the TV broadcast had a strict cutoff time which forced Holdens quick remarks. The frustrated Holden personally paid for advertisements in the Hollywood trade publications to thank everyone he wanted to on Oscar night. He also remarked that he felt that either Burt Lancaster or Montgomery Clift should have won the Best Actor Oscar for From Here to Eternity instead of him.


1. Awards

Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.

Academy Honorary Awards

  • The War of the Worlds for Best Special Effects.
  • Joseph I. Breen – "For his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code".
  • Pete Smith – "For his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of Pete Smith Specialties ".
  • Bell and Howell Company – "For their pioneering and basic achievements in the advancement of the motion picture industry".
  • Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation – "In recognition of their imagination, showmanship and foresight in introducing the revolutionary process known as CinemaScope".

2.1. Presenters and performers Presenters

  • David O. Selznick – Presenter of the Irving G. Thalberg Award
  • Merle Oberon – Presenter of the award for Best Special Effects
  • Cecil B. DeMille – Presenter of the award for Best Motion Picture
  • Gower Champion and Marge Champion – Presenters of the award for Art Direction
  • Gary Cooper – Presenter of the award for Best Actress
  • Tyrone Power – Presenter of the Scientific & Technical Awards
  • Irene Dunne – Presenter of the award for Best Director
  • Gene Tierney – Presenter of the awards for Costume Design
  • Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding – Presenters of the Documentary Awards
  • Lex Barker and Lana Turner – Presenters of the awards for Cinematography
  • Charles Brackett – Presenter of the Honorary Awards
  • Mercedes McCambridge – Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
  • Arthur Freed – Presenter of the Music awards
  • Jack Webb – Presenter of the award for Best Sound Recording
  • Kirk Douglas – Presenter of the Writing awards
  • Esther Williams – Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing
  • Keefe Brasselle and Marilyn Erskine – Presenters of the Short Subject Awards
  • Shirley Booth – Presenter of the award for Best Actor
  • Walter Brennan – Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress

2.2. Presenters and performers Performers

  • Ann Blyth – Performer of "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane
  • Connie Russell – Performer of "Sadie Thompsons Song Blue Pacific Blues" from Miss Sadie Thompson
  • Mitzi Gaynor and Donald OConnor – Performers of "The Moon Is Blue" from The Moon Is Blue
  • Andre Previn – Conductor the Academy Awards orchestra
  • Dean Martin – Performer of "Thats Amore" from The Caddy