24th Academy Awards - 1952

24th Academy Awards

Academy Awards Background

Anything that stays around for eighty-five years must be pretty darn popular. It is, I believe, the oldest entertainment awards ceremony around. From 1928 to 2013 the Academy Awards have been followed and watched by millions. According to Wikipedia the Awards are televised in one hundred countries!

There are more than a dozen categories for the Awards allowing filmmakers, screenwriters, choreographers, films, actresses, actors, and more, to be honored for the wonderful work that they do. The Awards that started in 1928 that are still given include:

  • Best Actor in a Leading Role
  • Best Actress in a Leading Role
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Director
  • Best Picture
  • Best Production Design
  • Best Adapted Screenplay

Many others have been added and deleted over the years. For example, Best Assistant Director and Best Original Story have been deleted. An award for Best Casting was proposed and rejected in 1999 and an award for Best Stunt Coordination has been rejected every year from 1991-2012.

In 1933 the Academy added an In Memoriam segment honoring those special people in the industry who had died during the prior twelve months.

Now that we've taken a little look at some of the background of the Awards, let's take a look at the 24th Annual Academy Awards in 1952, a year for multiple awards to several films.

Gene Kelly

Source

An American in Paris

This movie was a winner from the get-go. Just looking at the names involved tells you that. Starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary, and Nina Foch, and directed by Vincent Minnelli and Gershwin songs. Add to that the wonderful music and you've got a hit.

This musical is of course, set in Paris. An American WWII veteran is trying to make it as a painter in Paris. His friend is a pianist. A twisted love triangle ensues with our veteran Jerry Mulligan played by Gene Kelly, in love with a French girl, Lise Bouvier played by Leslie Caron, who feels indebted to another who kept her safe during the war.

Filled with music and dance it is a light-hearted film in spite of the deep love triangle. It won the following Academy Awards:

  • Academy Award for Best Picture
  • Academy Award for Best Art – Set Decoration, Color
  • Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Color
  • Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color
  • Academy Award for Best Musical Score
  • Academy Award for Best Writing, Scoring and Screenplay

Gene Kelly's dancing is always worth watching!

An American in Paris - 'S Wonderful

Shelley Winters

Source

A Place in the Sun

Like "An American in Paris", "A Place in the Sun" won several Academy Awards:

  • Best Cinematography, Black-and-White
  • Best Costume Design, Black-and-White
  • Best Director
  • Best Film Editing
  • Best Original Score
  • Best Writing, Screenplay

Love must have been the theme for 1951. This film is about a man in love with two women, however, there is nothing light-hearted here. The story starts out with a poor bellhop, George Eastman, played by Montgomery Clift. Poor George has a rich uncle who he happens to run into at the hotel. His uncle tells him to stop by if he's ever in the neighborhood. Which of course George takes advantage of. Not only does he stop by but he asks for a job. Though his uncle and family look down on George he does give George a job. He doesn't realize just how ambitious George is.

George works hard and meets a co-worker, Alice played by Shelley Winters, who he begins to date. As the days go by George begins to come up with some innovations in the company and is promoted. Now his family starts to see him in a somewhat better light. When he is invited to his uncle's home he meets Angela played by Elizabeth Taylor, whom he has always admired. He does his best to form a relationship with Angela and they fall in love, but this is a tragic story and things don't go well for George. Alice tells him she is pregnant. He wants to marry Angela so tries to put Alice off, but she's not going away and wants to marry him.

As the story progresses and Angela and George talk of marriage, Alice sees George and Angela's picture in the paper and realizes what's going on. She threatens George and he thinks the best way to get rid of her is to kill her. He hears about a man who drowned on the lake and was never found. His mind starts to play with the scenario and he decides this is the way to kill her. Alice and George meet and he takes her to a dock to rent a boat. He appears nervous and conspicuous giving the man a false name, all making the man suspicious of him. They go out in the rowboat and George has a change of heart. He feels sorry for Alice and realized he can't murder her. Fate, however, has different plans. Alice tires to stand up in the boat turning it over and Alice drowns. Of course now George is in a panic and decides to just leave and go back to the party with Angela.

You can pretty much figure out what happens. Due to his suspicious actions, the body, the boat, George is charged with murder. Not only is he charged but he is convicted and sentenced to death. Ironically George feels he deserves to die because he wanted to kill Alice. If the last four minutes of this film don't reduce you to tears, I don't know what to tell you.

The performances in this movie make it chilling, sad, and worth watching and if the story isn't enough Montgomery Clift and Elizaeth Taylor are!

A Place in the Sun

Katherine Hepburn in the African Queen

Source

Quotes from The African Queen

Charlie: We can't do that!
Rose: How do you know? You never tried it.
Charlie: Well, yeah, but I never tried shooting myself in the head neither.

Quotes from Charlie:

Things are never so bad they can't be made worse.
"Well I ain't sorry for you no more, ya crazy, psalm-singing, skinny old maid!"
Lady, you got ten absurd ideas for my one.
Oh, Miss. Oh, have pity, Miss. You don't know what you're doing Miss. I'll perish without a hair of the dog. Oh Miss, it ain't your property.

Quotes from Rose:

Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we are put in this world to rise above.
You're the bravest man that ever lived.
Fancy me a heroine.

The African Queen

The only Best Actor Award Humphrey Bogart ever won was for the African Queen and it was also his first color film.

Rose Sayer, played by Katherine Hepburn, and her brother are missionaries in German East Africa at the beginning of WWI. Their mail is delivered by a tough boat captain, with no real manners, Charles Allnut, played by Humphrey Bogart. Charlie tries to warn the sister and brother that war has broken out and it isn't safe but they choose to stay, until their village is burned down by the Germans and Rose's brother is killed. When Charlie returns he helps Rose bury her brother and then takes her on his boat. Charlie makes the mistake of telling Rose that a German gunboat named the Queen Louisa is blocking the British from getting through. I say mistake because Rose decides they can use Charlie's little boat to torpedo the Louisa. Charlie tries to discourage Rose by telling her all the obstacles they will face but Rose prevails. That's the story in a nutshell. It's the journey that makes this movie so memorable. The journey and the characters of Charlie and Rose.

You know despite the prim and proper Rose and the coarse and not always too clean, gin drinking Charlie, they wind up in a relationship. Their personal antics and the problems they face keep you riveted to this movie, not to mention their chemistry. I think it is one of the best movies ever made and Bogart and Hepburn were nothing short of superb!

The African Queen

A Streetcar Named Desire

Source

A Streetcar Named Desire

Won Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Art Direction. I will add my disclaimer now, this is not one of my favorite movies. I found it dark and depressing but the acting is superb.

Blanche, played by Vivien Leigh, is a psychiatrist's dream. She is an alcoholic, has delusions of grandeur, seduced a seventeen year old - for which she lost her job, and her husband committed suicide. She goes to live with her sister Stella played by Kim Hunter, and her husband Stanley played by Marlon Brando in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Stanley is as opposite of Blanche as a human being can be. He is crude, primal, selfish, and sexual. His is physically and emotionally abusive to Stella. Stanley is cruel to Blanche especially after he finds out the truth about her past. Blanche manages to have a suitor but after she is raped by Stanley she has a breakdown.

The critics love this movie for it's deep emotional torments and sensitivity. While that's true, I found it depressing but the performances are outstanding. This was the first film to win Academy Awards in three acting categories. This movie was nominated for twelve awards and won four.

A Streetcar Named Desire

How would you rate this year's Academy winners (1952)?

  • Among the best ever.
  • I'd give it a five on a scale of one to ten.
  • Probably my least favorite year for the awards.
See results without voting

This brings us to the end of the Academy Awards for the year 1951. There's always next year to look forward to, that is 1952! I hope you enjoy these movies and would love to have you leave a comment.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

"Bringing you movies that are part of your memories."

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Comments 25 comments

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Wow a wonderful trip down memory lane Mary. Thank you so much for sharing this gem.

Eddy.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

What an incredible year of movies. Wow! Nice job, Mary. This is one of my favorite series on HP and you do it so well....and yes, I saw every one of these movies.


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Another great hub Mary; very interesting. The featured movies here were all crackers but my favourite is The African Queen which I love. I remember the first time I saw it when I was in my teens - I just thought Humphrey Bogart was brilliant, so funny and so different from in any of his other roles. Streetcar Named Desire is another favourite though I find it a bit hammy now.


PaisleeGal profile image

PaisleeGal 3 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Mary ... Really enjoyed all the interesting tidbits of history in the beginning of the hub. Agree with you about "Streetcar" ... never been one of my favs. Love "American in Paris" with Gene and Leslie's superb dancing. They always look like it's so easy.

Thanks for another good hub on the Awards!!


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

I love the movies with the dancers. They are always extraordinary.

Too bad they didn't do the stunts. That would have been interesting too.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

You are most welcome Eddy, thank you for reading!

Thank you Bill, it is encouraging to know this is your favorite series! I had a feeling you might've seen all of these.

I'm with you Jools, The African Queen would certainly be my favorite here and probably any place else. It was a really great one.

Paislee Gal thanks for enjoying my research ;) I know, good dancers always make it look easy but heaven forbid I try it :) Thanks for following my series.

WND, Gene Kelly did all of his own dancing and stunts. He was much more athletic than Fred Astaire though they are both incredible dancers.


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. What a great year for the movies. I've seen The African Queen and A Streetcar Named Desire but I can't recall having seen An American in Paris? I'll have to take care of that shortly. I have always wanted to visit Paris and I love watching movies about the cities we are visiting.

Another great job with this series. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc.....


xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Another winner with this one, Mary! What a great year for movies. I have seen them all too, some more than once and own a copy of African Queen. It is great to ne reminded of these gems.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Till.....Had to read, vote and comment on this GREAT hub. Obviously, I don't need to explain my love for anything and everything from that MARVELOUS era. Not only did I love this hub...but, I just happen to read the Midget Interview! Fabulous job done by both of you......Questions and answers are Top Notch! You're a rock star, gf!


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Hi, Mary! (Long time no hear! LOL!)

Although these were movies that came out in 1951, the Academy Awards in 1952 have a special place in my heart because that's my birth year. And what powerhouse hits there were.

Just watched Gene Kelly's dancing. Awesome! He and that handsome Frenchman were absolutely amazing in that superbly choreographed scene. And the song? Priceless and ageless!

Ah, Mary, you did another fantastic job with this special niche of yours. Thanks for sharing these classics with us! Aloha, my friend!

Joe


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

I watched A Streetcar Named Desire, the rest I am not familiar with but as usual you know lots about these awards and share such information to the point.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Bill, sadly "An American in Paris" was not filmed in Paris but in Hollywood but you'd never know it unless you really know your stuff ;) Thanks for the votes and shares.

xstatic "The African Queen" is really a superb movie...they were all good ones but I think that was the best.

Oh Effer, so gooooood to see you here. As always my friend you say the nicest things ;)

Yes Joe, its been a while :) So now I know....I'm five years older than you, oh my. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire will never be beat. Aloha.

So glad you always come by DDE!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Bill, sadly "An American in Paris" was not filmed in Paris but in Hollywood but you'd never know it unless you really know your stuff ;) Thanks for the votes and shares.

xstatic "The African Queen" is really a superb movie...they were all good ones but I think that was the best.

Oh Effer, so gooooood to see you here. As always my friend you say the nicest things ;)

Yes Joe, its been a while :) So now I know....I'm five years older than you, oh my. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire will never be beat. Aloha.

So glad you always come by DDE!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

1952 really had it going on with the greats then!!!

Thanks so much for the interesting hub here and taking us back to remember all of the great of the greats no doubt!

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


Docmo profile image

Docmo 3 years ago from UK

Mary, what a great series this is. I am such a movie nerd that I have always watched the academy awards live since my teens- it's a ritual I try not to forego despite the fact it's on at midnight and into the wee hours of morning due to the time difference. I love this particular selection of films. your descriptions and summary are as ever, informative and entertaining but even more so- insightful- bravo!


To Start Again profile image

To Start Again 3 years ago

Some of my very favorites-Shelley Winters, Gene Kelly and the lovely miss Vivien. I have to say, Streetcar isn't one of my favorite films, either but I agree, the acting is phenomenal. Brando was amazing and alluring and Vivien's character was a hot mess. Great hub!


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

I remember Gene Kelly from Singing in in the rain. I have not watched A Streetcar Named Desire but loved the book.

Blanche is one of my favorite fictional characters. I want to watch Vivien in this role.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Faith I am only too happy to take everyone back to the golden days of Hollywood. God bless.

Thank you Mohan. It is interesting to see how popular the Awards are world-wide. So glad you find my views insightful, just little old me :)

ToStartAgain, my sentiments exactly...thank you for reading and complimenting.

Vinaya I never read the book, but, I have a feeling you won't be disappointed in the movie!


Gypsy48 profile image

Gypsy48 3 years ago

I enjoy reading your Academy Awards series. I like older movies, A Place in the Sun and A Streetcar Named Desire are two of my favorites. Well done.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

It is nice to know Gypsy that so many share my love of old movies. I hope you will read more of my series and enjoy them as much.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I find that the awards that you present are so nicely and professionally done. You do excellent work, and keep the message so riveting.


Hubert Williams 3 years ago

I saw all of them but A Streetcar Named Desire. I might add that I saw them many years later as I was born in 1952. I watched many of Clift's movies Red river being my favorite. He had such a sad life. Great review. Mary.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

thank you so much avianvoice. I am always afraid I am going to "wear out my welcome with this series".

I always liked Montgomery Clift too Hubert. He definitely had a sad like and it was tragic he died so young. Thanks for reading!


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Never realized before, Mary, that all those outstanding movies were made in 51. 'An American in Paris' was one of Gene Kelly's best films. 'A Place in the Sun' and 'Streetcar' were excellent dramas, and 'African Queen' well worth watching more than once. Thanks for this welcome deja vu - I do remember all these films you have described so well.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

They were all great but I think my favorite that year was "African Queen". Glad it was an enjoyable read.

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