The 23rd Academy Awards in 1951
Anne Baxter in All About Eve
Academy Awards FAQs
- The Academy has three buildings and the main building houses two galleries that are open to the public. (Admission - free)
- Membership in the Academy is by invitation only..
- Mary Pickford was one of the original founders of the Academy.
- Warner Brothers won an Academy Award for The Jazz Singer, for paving the way for talking pictures.
Academy Awards Background
The first Academy Awards in 1937 were attended by three hundred people and the very first Honorary Award was given to none other than Thomas Edison! The first President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.
Of course the Academy is most well know for the Academy Awards Ceremonies, but did you know the Academy gives Student Scholarships to graduate and undergraduate filmmakers as well as five fellowships in screenwriting?
Let's set the tone for the 1951 Academy Awards. Yul Brynner made his first appearance in the Broadway play, The King of Siam. Color television was introduced to an appreciative public and Alan Freed coined the term "rock and roll".
Now, the 23rd Academy Awards, held on March 29, 1951 at the RKO Pantages Theatre, and hosted by Fred Astaire. Good movies nominated but in my opinion not a stellar year.
Bette Davis in All About Eve
Quotes from All About Eve
- Fasten your seat belts, it's going to be a bumpy night.
- Bill's thirty-two. He looks thirty-two. He looked it five years ago, he'll look it twenty years from now. I hate men.
- We all have abnormality in common. We're a breed apart from the rest of humanity, we theatre folk; We are the original displaced personalities.
- What a story! Everything but the bloodhounds snappin' at her rear end.
- Outside of a beehive, Margo, your behavior would hardly be considered either queenly or motherly.
- Too bad, we're gonna miss the third act. They're gonna play it off stage.
- That cynicism you refer to I acquired the day I discovered I was different from little boys.
All About Eve
All About Eve is the only movie in Academy Awards history to receive four female acting nominations (Bette Davis and Anne Baxter as Best Actress, and Celeste Holm and Thelma Ritter as Best Supporting Actress). The film received fourteen nominations, the most since Gone With the Wind, and received six.
Claudette Colbert was chosen as the star but hurt her back and had to withdraw from the movie. Bette Davis was chosen in her place. The role of Eve was supposed to be played by Jeanne Crain but she got pregnant and Anne Baxter was chosen in her place.
The movie begins at an awards ceremony where a bitter theater critic played by George Sanders, remembers how this star's career and conniving led her to the award. A young fan introduced to an aging actress is where it all began. Margo (Bette Davis) is so flattered by the young fan's devotion that she moves the young girl into her home and hires her as her assistant. The humble young fan, Eve, is really quite devious and begins to undermine Margo. She cause Margo to miss a performance so she can fill in herself. She blackmails Margo's best friend to get her to help Eve and tries to steal Margo's soon to be husband. When that fails she tries to steal the husband of her only true supporter, Karen, played by Celeste Holm. Davis shines in this film, thought by some to be her best.
Many critics believed this film to be an accurate depiction of the struggle between Hollywood and Broadway. Some suggest the film contained undertones of homosexuality between Margo and Eve but due to the times it was kept as an undertone to be deciphered by the viewer.
Marilyn Monroe played a small part in the movie as Dewitt's date, he's the film critic we met earlier.
I remember the first time I saw this movie I felt so sorry for Margo. She tried to be brash and so worldly but was really a caring person being taken advantage of by Eve who was just hungry for fame at any price. Watch this movie to see how it all ends for Eve.
All About Eve
Judy Holliday won a Best Actress Award for her starring role in Born Yesterday. This is the story of a corrupt tycoon otherwise known as a gangster, played superbly by Broderick Crawford, who wants to buy himself some senators to help expand his junk business. He brings his uneducated mistress with him to Washington and then hires a tutor to teach her and improve her manners. Never mind the fact that his are worse than hers. The tutor he hires, Paul Verall is played by William Holden.
While Verall is tutoring Billie, the girlfriend, they begin to form an attraction and she begins to surprise everyone by just how smart she really is. In the meantime, Harry's lawyer tells him he should marry Billie so she can't testify against him. Later the same lawyer advises Harry to sign over all his assets to Billie so he can hide them from the government. Billie's new education and new found sense of independence begin to change things between her and Harry.
I've set the groundwork here and I'm sure you can figure out what happens. If not, you'd better watch the movie. It some light-hearted moments but also shows the darker side of Harry.
Cyrano De Bergerac
Cyrano de Bergerac
This film garnered a Best Actor Award for José Ferrer. Cyrano's nose has been fodder for the play, the movie, and many jokes. Set in the 17th Century, Cyrano's nose, and tale of love and woe has been retold countless times. This particular movie, though starring José Ferrer was a low budget black and white film. Cyrano's love for the lovely Roxanne is legendary, of course he thinks he is unworthy of Roxanne because of his nose while her love for Christian complicates things. . You most likely know the rest of the story.
Critics believe José Ferrer's superb acting and the beautiful costumes in this movie make it worth watching. If you've seen the 1990 version or the funny version played by Steve Martin you have to leave those behind and watch this for José Ferrer's performance.
Cyrano De Bergerac Nose Speech
Other 1950 Award Winners
Best Supporting Actress
Edna and Edward Anhalt
Panic in the Streets
Deustch and Evans
Best Musical Score
Annie Get Your Gun
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
All About Eve
Best Supporting Actor
All About Eve
Nominees that did not win Awards
- The Father of the Bride was a lovely film about a father going through the preparations for his daughter's wedding. Spencer Tracy played the father and Elizabeth Taylor the daughter.
- Adventure film King Solomon's Mines starred Deborah Kerr and Stewart Granger searching unexplored Africa for Kerr's lost husband.
- A film noir, Sunset Boulevard, is probably one of the most well known non-winners of all time. The story of a has been Hollywood silent film star named Norma Desmond played by Gloria Swanson, and the hapless screenwriter, William Holden, pulled into her life.
- Broken Arrow is based on true historical events involving Cochise and a peace treaty. The treaty is opposed by Geronimo.
- Adam's Rib is about two married lawyers who go up against each other in court. The lawyers are played by Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.
There are more but the ones listed here should be enough to wet your whistle. I hope you've enjoyed this installment of Academy Awards Ceremonies. Please leave a comment.
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