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The 20th Academy Awards Ceremony in 1948

Updated on November 11, 2014
tillsontitan profile image

Mary has been a movie fan since she was a little girl. She watched movies every night of the week on Million Dollar Theater..


Academy Awards Background

I have been writing about the Academy Awards; the 9th, 12th, 14th and 15th, and now I've settled on the 20th Academy Awards Ceremony. The Awards in 1948 were unique in that they spread the Awards around (according to Wikipedia) with no film winning more than three Academy Awards. This was not to happen again until 2005!

The Awards were held in March at the Shrine Civic Auditorium and like all the Awards before them, the films were from the previous year, 1947. While some have said there was no host for this Academy Awards Ceremony others say Agnes Morehead and Dick Powell co-hosted the Awards, the first time a women was ever host. The stage of the auditorium was decorated like a large birthday cake with Oscar statuettes set up as candles.

Two of the five movies nominated for Best Picture were British films that earned six Oscars between them. A new category was introduced this year, an award for Best Costume Design Award for color and B/W feature films.

Predictions for Oscar winners were horribly wrong this year so it was decided to no longer predict winners but to wait until they were announced.

Two years after the end of the War people were going to the movies and paying forty cents admission! Now that we've learned how the prices have changed in the last sixty-five years, lets take a look at the Awards of 1948.

Gentleman's Agreement

Gentleman's Agreement, Dorothy McGuire and Gregory Peck
Gentleman's Agreement, Dorothy McGuire and Gregory Peck | Source

Gentleman's Agreement

Sticking to the three Oscars per picture I mentioned earlier, "Gentleman's Agreement" won Best Motion Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actor. Covering a story on antisemitism, a reporter played by Gregory Peck, goes under cover as a Jew. It was a very controversial film at the time, causing several Hollywood Executives to ask Zanuck not to make the film as it might stir up trouble. Strangely enough, this movie went on to be the highest grossing film for 20th Century Fox in 1947. According to Wikipedia, "In recognition for producing Gentleman's Agreement, the Hollywood chapter of B'nai B'rith International honored Darryl Zanuck as its "Man of the Year" for 1948."

The "Gentleman's Agreement" is an unspoken agreement whereby anti-Jewish sentiments are taken for granted. A very dramatic film with the entanglement of a divorced woman and a Jewish friend. Certainly one to look into.

Gentleman's Agreement

Other Films of 1947

  • The Fugitive
  • Buck Privates Come Home
  • Angel and the Badman
  • The Egg and I
  • Song of Scheherazade
  • Out of the Past
  • The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
  • Dark Passage
  • The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

The Farmer's Daughter

This movie won Loretta Young an Oscar for Best Actress. Loretta Young was my mother's favorite actress so I saw a lot of Loretta Young movies growing up. "The Farmer's Daughter" tells about a simple, Swedish-American, farmer's daughter who decides to leave home to become a nurse. Little does she expect the life she falls into. Washington is certainly not Wisconsin and our farmer's daughter finds politics and of course, romance in her new life.

After having her money stolen, Katrin takes a temporary job as a maid to build up her money again. Amidst a budding romance with her boss, the Congressman, and her affinity for his mother, Katrin takes some night classes. As a result of her honest and outspoken personality she winds up running for Congress. Of course the twists and turns of dishonest politics effect Katrin and you know about the romance bewteen her and her Congressman. As with all happy films, there is a happy ending.

If you haven't seen this one, it is certainly entertaining and Loretta Young, Joseph Cotton, and Ethel Barrymore seem to be very at home with their characters. Just a little side note, actor James Arness made his debut in this film. Four hundred and fifty extras were used in the political rally scene and in 1963 a television show called The Farmer's Daughter, based on this film and starring Inger Stevens ran for three years.

Farmer's Daughter

Other 1948 Academy Awards

Sidney Sheldon
Best Original Screenplay
The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
Alfred Newman
Best Musical Score
Mother Wore Tights
Bryon & Shingleton
Best Art Direction, Black & White
Great Expectations
Lyon & Parrish
Best Film Editing
Body and Soul

Miracle on 34th Street

Ronald Colman won the Oscar for Best Actor and Miracle on 34th Street's Edmund Gwenn won Best Supporting Actor. While I have nothing against Ronald Colman or the film he was in, "A Double Life", I was much more enchanted with "Miracle on 34th Street" as millions of viewers have been too. As a matter of fact, "Miracle on 34th Street" also won Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Story so why wouldn't I want to write about it? Every year at Christmas time millions of new fans are added to the followers of this delightful film.

Along with the wonderful performance by Mr. Gwenn, who makes you really believe he is Santa, you have John Payne, Maureen O'Hara, and a very young Natalie Wood.

The movie centers around the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. It seems Kris Kringle is upset that drunks are playing Santa Claus and gets himself hired as the Macy's Santa Claus. Things begin to heat up when Kris's honesty is out of line with Macy's policy. He sends buyers to other stores when he thinks they can do better elsewhere.

The secondary or maybe primary story is Maureen O'Hara's character and her relationship with her daughter and would be suitor. Seems Doris has taught her daughter Susan not to believe in fairy tales and is upset when Susan begins to believe in Kris and Santa Claus.

There is so much more to this whimsical film. Kris is tried for insanity and the courtroom scenes are not to be missed. Doris breaks up with her boyfriend, Susan wants a house of her own and so on. If you've somehow missed this Christmas staple, now might be a good time to catch up.

Miracle on 34th Street

Double Life

Black Narcissus

More 1947 Oscar Winners

Double Life

Okay, so I said I wasn't going to write about "Double Life" but after all, it did win Best Actor and Best Dramatic or Comedy Score. This is a true 'film noir' (stylish Hollywood crime drama). A stage actor drives his wife away with his unpredictable temper. Though they continue to act together on stage, portraying a murder further undermines his sanity. He winds up killing his mistress.

Black Narcissus

This movie won Best Art Direction, Color and Best Cinematography, Color. This is a dark film about a convent in the Himalayas where, apparently, all of the nuns are crazy. Scenes from the original movie were edited out here in the States at the request of the Catholic Legion of Decency. I have to admit I haven't seen this one but may look into it though I'm not sure about a movie that involves nuns, sexuality, and seduction.

The Bishop's Wife

This one puts me back on safer ground. Another Christmas classic and with a trio like David Niven, Cary Grant and Loretta Young how can it be anything but entertaining and pleasing to watch even though it only won an Oscar for Best Sound Recording.

Wikipedia states, "a story about an angel who helps a bishop with his problems." The bishop is trying to raise funds to build a new chapel and has somehow lost sight of the important things in his life, like his wife. Cary Grant's angel is charming and devilish. You won't be sorry you watched this light-hearted film.

I could go on writing more about these movies or the others from 1947, but I think there is enough food for thought here. I hope you've enjoyed this journey back to the year 1947 and the 1948 Oscars. Thank you for visiting.

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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Well I have to admit Leslie, most of my 'vast knowledge' comes from having seen all these movies many times...I still find them the best. Turner Classic Movies is the most used channel on our TV! Ah, and majestic you say, but what evil lurks ;) Thanks friend for the vote and share!!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Well I have to admit Leslie, most of my 'vast knowledge' comes from having seen all these movies many times...I still find them the best. Turner Classic Movies is the most used channel on our TV! Ah, and majestic you say, but what evil lurks ;) Thanks friend for the vote and share!!

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 

      6 years ago

      Wow! I'm impressed with your vast knowledge and attention to detail!

      Brings back memories...the classics!

      Love Miracle on 34th Street, of course...don't hear a lot about Gentleman's Agreement..

      i'll have to google it..

      nice to see you looking so majestic, my friend - it looks marvelous on you!

      up and sharing on..

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      I have to disagree Maria...I'm enjoying writing them MORE than you're enjoying reading them, but I'm sure glad you're enjoying them too! Thanks for the votes but more important thanks for the hugs!!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      6 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      LOL, my first thought was ... gotta check out Black Narcissus.

      I absolutely love Miracle on 34th Street, have to watch that each and every season.

      I can see that you are enjoying researching and writing these as much as we are reading them, Mary. Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You are welcome DDE and thank you for stopping by.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      6 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      An interesting insight here thanks

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thank you so much Vinaya, your following is so important to me.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      6 years ago from Nepal


      I'm loving your hubs on Academy Awards.

      Your research is enviable.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Its not about the awards WND its about the great movies. I'm glad you're reading and hope you find some good movies to zoom in on!

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      6 years ago from Alabama

      Wow, you got a great thing going here!

      I never was interested in the Oscars/academy awards and here I am reading yours!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Who couldn't love Gregory Peck and Loretta Young? Probably the epitome of actors and actresses in the 40's! Thanks for reading and voting drbj!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      1947 was certainly a banner year for films. My favorites of those that won Oscars were "Gentleman's Agreement" and "The Farmer's Daughter." Gregory Peck and Loretta Young were outstanding in their respective roles. Thanks for the memorable deja vu, m'dear. And "Miracle on 34th Street" is still popular.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Thanks Eddy, I have to admit its as much fun as it is work! Blessings.

      We all remember drive-ins (well some of us anyway) Martie. Never heard of a bioscope! Glad you loved the videos too!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      tillsontitan, this is a perfect summary of the 20th academy award ceremony. You've provoked many of my childhood memories, when I was a child sitting on a blanket in front of my father's car, watching a movie on a large field screen. Those were the days of drive-ins and bioscopes. Just saw the meaning of the latter: "A South African movie theater".

      Love the videos :)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      6 years ago from Wales

      Wow another awesome hub my friend. You put so much hard work into each hub and it sure shows too.

      Have a great day my friend.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      That is the compliment to end all compliments Mhatter! Thank you so much. I am glad you are enjoying and so happy to see you here.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      This series should come with a warning; "Warning - You will get hooked!" Good job. Thank you.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Yes Carol, December is a great time to review the classics as well as all the Christmas classics like the two I've mentioned here. Thanks so much for the vote and pin.

      Steve you didn't see the top two but did see Black Narcissus...that's interesting. You can be biased, it was a great movie. Thanks so much for your support and the votes.

      bdegiulio it makes me feel good when someone enjoys this series I'm having so much fun doing! I hope I help you form a great list ;)

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Mary, you have a great series going here, keep them coming. I've seen a few of these, not all of them, so something to look forward to. Great job.

    • Steve Lensman profile image

      Steve Lensman 

      6 years ago from Manchester, England

      There's a few films here I haven't seen, Gentleman's Agreement and The Farmer's Daughter to name two. 1947 wasn't one of my favourite movie years but I do own Black Narcissus on Blu-ray, one of my favourite films of the 40's, incredible use of colour, amazing movie.

      David Lean's Great Expectations is another top fave, released in 1946 in the UK, I'm not biased. :)

      Good work Mary. Voted Up and Interesting.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I gotta say I do love these old movies and try to catch some of t he reruns. We always search out old movies during the month of december. ..Boy was life different way back then. Voting up and pinning.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      Not a problem PaisleeGal, I'm so glad to have you here!

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 

      6 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Sorry I must have missed that one ... I will check on that out soon.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      The hub I wrote about 1940 Academy Awards is actually about the movies of 1939. I'm considering doing one for the 50s and one for the 60s.

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 

      6 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Mary ... don't stop the series ... please continue ... More classics were made in 1939 than any year ... or so I've heard .. I vote you do that year :)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      You're welcome Sheri, glad you stopped by.

      Bill, I'm not going to spell it ;) but I do have to see it. I was going to stop this series but maybe I'll continue since so many on HP seem to enjoy it.

      SilverGenes you are too kind. Thanks for reading and being a faithful movie follower ;)

      PaisleeGal, as I said I haven't seen "Black" but guess I will have to. I think I saw Double Life but it might be time to see it again.

      Xstatic, I am having the time of my life with these hubs. They're not "evergreen", won't make me a fortune, they are "exclusive titles" and I just love writing them! The Bishop's Wife was a great movie and I cry every time I see it! I agree, the 1947 version of Miracle is the best. There is one before it though that I haven't seen.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      I guess every year is a good year in movies for major fans like you and me Mary. I actually own a VCR copy or The Bishop's Wife as it had some of my favorite stars in it, and a VCR or Miracle as well. The original is the best.

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 

      6 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Another good recap of the Oscars. There where some good ones that year for sure. You should see the Black Narcissus. It's dark but interesting. There's really only one nun that's crazy. But the rest of the nuns start to act weird, supposedly because the place they are occupying. It was originally something other than a convent. The acting is quite good and the scenery is beautiful too. Can see why it got the Oscars it did.

      Have not seen The Double Life. But all the rest are suburb films with good stories. Surprised Peck did not win though for his Gentleman's Agreement performance.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Now, if only I could time-travel... but this is the next best thing. Loretta Young was one of my mother's favourites, too. You have added more to my list of movies to watch with this excellent hub! I echo everyone else's sentiments... yes, please keep them coming!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've seen a few of them including the Black Narcissist. That's a hard word to spell by the way. :) Anyway, keep these coming, Mary. I am thoroughly enjoying it.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      6 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      I love Miracle On 34th st. My family and I watch it every Christmas season. The others I have not seen but will check them out. Thanks!


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