The 27th Academy Awards in 1955

Humphrey Bogart

Bogart in his role as Harry Dawes in "The Barefoot Contessa".
Bogart in his role as Harry Dawes in "The Barefoot Contessa". | Source

History of Academy Awards and My Hubs

I have been writing about the Academy Awards, beginning with the first Awards Ceremony in 1929. Each year is a challenge of its own with special performers, directors, and of course films. I've followed films from early talkies and black and white to the introduction of technicolor. From a private dinner banquet to an annual Hollywood celebration watched the world over, we still have the Academy Awards.

It is every actor's dream to win an Academy Award, or as the Award is affectionately named, an Oscar. Of course, in spite of the accomplishment for all the honorees, the Academy Awards have become a red carpet event. The leading ladies and the fashions they wear to the ceremony probably receive more attention than the Awards, well on the day of the ceremony anyway.

The most important award of all is the one for Best Picture. A bit of trivia I dug up,if you research through Awards' history you will see that up to this point in time only two films have won Best Picture without being nominated for Best Director. That would be "Wings" in 1929 and "Grand Hotel" in 1932. It doesn't mean you have to win Best Director, but at least be nominated. The reason the Best Picture award, and nomination, is important is because it brings in more money at the box office. It seems nominated films wind up staying in theaters twice as long as non-nominated films. Of course the film can always be advertised as "Nominated for an Academy Award" or "Winner of Academy Award for Best Picture".

So, now lets take a look at the 27th Academy Awards.

Eva Marie Saint and Marlon Brando

A scene from "On the Waterfront"
A scene from "On the Waterfront" | Source

1955 Multiple Nominees

On the Waterfront - 12 nominations

The Caine Mutiny, The Country Girl - 7 nominations

The High and Mighty, Sabrina, A Star is Born - 6 nominations

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers - 5 nominations

Executive Suite, Rear Window - 4 nominations

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Brigadoon, The Glenn Miller Story, There's No Business Like Show Business, Three Coins in the Fountain - 3 nominations

The Barefoot Contessa, Broken Lance, Carmen Jones, Desiree, Genevieve, Jet Carrier, The Silver Chalice, Susan Slept Here - 2 nominations

These statistics are from Wikipedia's 27th Academy Awards.

On the Waterfront

Marlon Brando received his first Best Actor Award for "On the Waterfront". Union corruption among longshoremen is the basis for this movie. Marlon Brando playing an ex-prize fighter, now longshoremen, Terry Malloy, and whether to stand up to the corruption.

It is said this movie was based on true stories, not hard to believe if one looks back in history. Actually, corruption along the waterfront continues today but it was rampant back in the fifties when an opponent on the docks was simply murdered and all witness became "deaf and dumb" when it came time to testify.

All of the elements are in this movie. Terry's crooked lawyer brother, Charley, played by Rod Steiger, the good priest, Father Barry, played by Karl Malden, who gets beaten by the corrupt union thugs, the love interest, Eva Marie Saint playing the sister of a murdered longshoreman and more. The center of this movie is Terry's struggle with himself; whether to defend or side with his brother and the mob boss Johnny Friendly, played by Lee J. Cobb or do the right thing and testify against them to the Waterfront Crime Commission. There's also the internal struggle Terry faces over a fight he threw for his brother, and the most famous words from this movie, "I coulda been a contendah!" Fatherh Barry and Edie (Eva Marie Saint) encourage Terry and their faith plays a role in leading him to the right decision.

If I had to choose between this movie and "A Streetcar Named Desire" it would certainly be this one. Though both are dark and somewhat depressing, "On the Waterfront" has a message

This movie won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor for Brando, and Best Supporting Actress for Saint. Probably one of Brando's best!

On the Waterfront

The Country Girl - Trailer

The Country Girl with Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly

The Country Girl

This movie was a departure for both Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. Neither actor is known for their down trodden, pathetic roles and yet, here they are both playing those parts. Bing Crosby plays Frank Elgin, an alcoholic, has been actor and Grace Kelly plays his long suffering wife, Georgie. Grace Kelly won an Academy Award for Best Actress in this role. The film also won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay.

A young director, Bernie Dodd, played by William Holden wants to give the once great actor a chance and gives him a starring role in a new play. As he gets to know the Elgins it seems that Frank's problems stem from his stern wife, Georgie. Sadly, Frank feels the same way. He believes his wife has been an alcoholic and suicidal since the death of their son. I say sadly because it is really Frank who is the alcoholic and is suicidal. Of course in true Hollywood style, Bernie falls in love with Georgie.

Dodd manages to keep Frank sober long enough for the show to open and the show is a smashing success. What do you think happens next? Why not watch and find out?

Ava Gardner in the Barefoot Contessa

Source

The Barefoot Contessa with Ava Gardner

The Barefoot Contessa

This movie starts as a reflection at the funeral of a Spanish actress. Those reflecting are the three men who knew her best. Another film based on the movie industry, this one has Humphrey Bogart playing a down trodden movie director and writer, Harry Dawes. Harry is hired by a business tycoon who wants to glorify himself and produce a movie. They discover their leading lady in a Madrid nightclub, dancer Maria Vargas, played by Ava Gardner. She doesn't like Kirk, the business tycoon but does like Harry and is even familiar with some of his work.

It is a rags to riches story that leaves the viewer saddened and perhaps a bit stunned. It is a story of love, the desire for love, cruelty, pregnancy and murder. The love interest is played by Rossano Brazzi, who became the DiCaprio of the fifties. What more could you ask for? If you haven't seen it, watch it now to find out about all those elements.

The Barefoot Contessa

1955 Best Actor and Best Actress Nominees

Category
Actor
Film
Best Actor
Humphrey Bogart
Caine Mutiny
Best Actor
Bing Crosby
The Country Girl
Best Actor
James Mason
A Star is Born
Best Actor
Dan O'Herlihy
Robinson Crusoe
Best Actress
Grace Kelly
The Country Girl
Best Actress
Dorothy Dandridge
Carmen Jones
Best Actress
Judy Garland
A Star is Born
Best Actress
Audrey Hepburn
Sabrina
Best Actress
Jane Wyman
Magnificent Obsession

27th Academy Awards

As you've seen the 27th Academy Awards brought us a cornucopia of films, each one with it's own merits. From Bogart and Crosby to Gardner and Garland and so many in between. Such famous and well loved films as "On the Waterfront", "The Cain Mutiny", "Three Coins in a Fountain", and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea", oh, and who could forget "White Christmas", certainly a memorable year.

"On the Waterfront", a low budget film shot entirely in Hoboken, NJ, won eight awards and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" won two, quite a difference between these two films.

The ceremony was held on March 15 with Bob Hope as host. It was a good year for movies. Why not join in. If you haven't seen the Academy Award winners from the 27th Academy Awards, treat yourself, and please, leave a comment letting me know what you think about these wonderful movies!

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

White Christmas

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

More by this Author


Comments 22 comments

Jools99 profile image

Jools99 3 years ago from North-East UK

Another great article in this series Mary. I have not seen On The Waterfront for a long time but this article gave me a longing to see it again. Streetcar Named Desire is worth seeing for both Leigh and Brando and I used to imagine being a fly on the wall on that set!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great movies. I loved On the Waterfront....Brando at his best. As always, Mary, I enjoyed the look back in time. Thanks for another wonderful hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Glad I could nudge you to re-watch a good movie. I would imagine the set of "Streetcar Named Desire" got a bit tense at times ;)

Thanks Bill, I think "On the Waterfront" is a true classic and piece of Americana. You're welcome btw.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

There is so much realism in ‘On the Waterfront,’ filled with famous one-liners that so many of us have thought about at least once in our lifetimes. Such as, “I coulda been a contender!”

I think Grace Kelly’s role in ‘The Country Girl’ was her best. And I loved ‘A star is Born’ with Judy Garland and James Mason.

This is such an interesting new installment in your fascinating series, Mary.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Genna, I had a lot of good material to work with in this year!


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

I love your history of the Academy Awards and of your hubs concerning the Academy Awards,which have been so very interesting.

Wow, it was indeed a fabulous year for really great movies.

You're right about "On the Waterfron" as it really does have a message.

Keep up the great and interesting series you have here!

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper


bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. It was another great year at the movies. On the Waterfront, The Caine Mutiny, Barefoot Contessa, all classics. I also enjoyed 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Another great addition to your wonderful series. VU, shared, etc...


wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

I love White Christmas. Wish not so much for a white christmas here in Alabama, but great movies such as those mentioned.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 3 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Mary,

Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and Judy Garland are three of the finest to me...of the three movies, I have yet to check out Sabrina. Thanks for this wealth of information on some of the best movies ever.

Voted UP and UABI. Excellent series...Hugs, Maria


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for this edition.


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Great stuff here and you know more than I do on these topics thanks for sharing such knowledge.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Bogart certainly deserved all the awards he could get! You have a real know how and who about movies!! Thanks for sharing, Mary, and these movies are going around!


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

Brilliant as always Mary.

Eddy.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thank you Faith. As long as you keep reading, I'll keep writing ;) Glad you are enjoying this series. Thanks for the vote and share.

Bill, always happy to see you here. So many good movies to remember! Thanks for the vote and share.

WND, no white Christmas in Alabama ;) We don't always have a white one here either (upstate NY). Thanks for the votes.

Mhatter, I'm always happy to see you here.

DDE, sharing my knowledge is fun and I'm glad you like reading it.

Michelle, it was a really good year! Thank you for always being here.

Thanks Eddy. Glad you stopped by.


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

I saw every film you mentioned, Mary, and enjoyed A Star is Born, The Barefoot Contessa, Streetcar Named Desire, and On the Waterfront the most. Have you noticed that lately the theater trailers for upcoming films not only emphasize the inclusion of Academy Award WINNERS in the advertised film, but also Academy Award NOMINEES. Clever marketing!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

drbj, I wonder if Hollywood hires Madison Avenue to help with their marketing ;)


hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Surprisingly, this island boy has never seen "On the Waterfront" in its entirety. After reading your hub and watching one of the key scenes, I want to find a copy of that movie somewhere so I can watch it in one sitting. Of course, Caine Mutiny was another outstanding movie. Thanks for continuing to write compelling pieces in this wonderful niche. Aloha, Mary!

Joe


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

You are most welcome HawaiiO! You should definitely watch "On the Waterfront" it is, unfortunately, a taste of America. Glad you like my niche, but I don't know what's going to happen when I get out of the sixties ;)


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

I really need to see On the Waterfront, especially since I grew up in a fishing village. There was no problem then, but there sure is now the way the lobstermen are being treated by middlemen. as usual, great synopsis about a lot of great movies.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for stopping by aviannovice. It is sometimes hard to imagine how cruel man can be when greed takes over.


Steve Lensman profile image

Steve Lensman 3 years ago from London, England

"You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it." Marlon Brando in On the Waterfront. A famous quote from one of the great films of the 50's. Brando's method acting was a game-changer, aspiring young actors would try and copy his style, they worshipped him.

Great hub as usual Mary, an interesting year, I was surprised A Star is Born didn't pick up a Best Picture nomination and I would have given Judy the Oscar, she deserved it, not just for the film but for her body of work too.

Voted Up and Interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I think you're right Steve, Brando was much more than a contender! You never know which way the Academy is going to go, I guess that's what makes it interesting. Thanks for stopping by and for the votes.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working