The 32nd Academy Awards - 1960
Charlton Heston as Ben Hur
The only way to find the best actor would be to let everybody play Hamlet and let the best man win. - Humphrey Bogart
FAQs About Oscar
- Bob Hope hosted 18 Academy Awards shows.
- The Best Picture Award is usually read by a leading actor; "and the winner is".
- The youngest nominee for Best Actor was Jackie Cooper for "Skippie", he was 10.
- Gone With the Wind was the first color film to win an Academy Award (Oscar).
- Gone With the Wind was also the longest film at 222 minutes.
- In 1928 an Award was given for "Best Title Writer".
- The first Academy Award winner to boycott the Awards ceremony was writer, Dudley Nichols. He who won "Best Screenplay" in 1936 for "The Informer" and refused to attend because of the conflicts going on between the Academy and the Writer's Guild.
The Academy Awards - 1960
The stage is set with host Bob Hope at the RKO Pantages Theatre , in Hollywood, California. NBC again broadcast the Awards Ceremony on television on April 4, 1960. Remember there were only three channels to choose from back then so it's a safe bet there were a lot of viewers for this special show.
Two Honorary Awards were given at this ceremony; one to Buster Keaton for his immortal comedy on screen and one to Lee De Forest for bringing sound to motion pictures.
There are facts and fantasies about the Awards all over the Internet. Interestingly enough when you look for the 1960 Academy Awards some sites will give you the proper Awards for movies in 1959 and other sites will give you movies from 1960. Your safest bet is to look for the 32nd Academy Awards.
Hitchcock's film North by Northwest only received three minor nominations. Hard to believe of a film that has become such a classic and was the third highest grossing film for 1959. Vertigo was snubbed in 1958. I guess the Academy just didn't get Hitchcock! Actually there's a whole category for films that got snubbed by the Academy showing the Academy's choices are not always popular with the people. Hitchcock has had five nominations but no wins. Yet when you look at a list of the most popular movies of all times, you'll find Hitchcock movies.
The 32nd Academy Awards chose an epic film to win the most Awards to date. There is a wide range of subject matter in the nominated films and multiple nominations and awards.
Director Wyler on the Crucifixion Scene
I spent sleepless nights trying to find a way to deal with the figure of Christ. It was a frightening thing when all the great painters of twenty centuries have painted events you have to deal with, events in the life of the best-known man who ever lived. Everyone already has his own concept of him. I wanted to be reverent, and yet realistic. Crucifixion is a bloody, awful, horrible thing, and a man does not go through it with a benign expression on his face. I had to deal with that. It is a very challenging thing to do that and get no complaints from anybody.
—Wyler on the difficulty of shooting the crucifixion scene.
There is no doubt this is the best liked film at the 32nd Oscars. With a total of eleven Awards won, it is a record breaker at the ceremonies and in Academy history. It was also the third film to ever win Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. It is one of my favorite films, not only because it is spectacular but because of my favorite movie star, Charlton Heston.
Charlton Heston plays Ben-Hur, a wealthy prince and merchant in Jerusalem. Things aren't going to go well for Ben-Hur as we find when a tile falls from the roof while Ben Hur and his family are watching the parade honoring the new tribune. Ben-Hur is condemned to the galleys and his mother and sister are arrested. So begins this epic film of conversion, bravery, and pageantry with a religious background.
Heston wasn't the first choice for the role. It is said Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Rock Hudson, among others, turned down the role of Ben-Hur. While they may have been good in the role, I think it was meant for Heston.
One of the most famous scenes of all times is the chariot race between Ben-Hur and his childhood friend, now his enemy, Messala played by Stephen Boyd. There is speculation about Messala's sudden hatred of his boyhood friend. Some say Messala is a lover spurned, a lover whose feelings were unknown by his intended - Ben-Hur. Did that interpretation ever cross your mind? It was refuted but still the seed was planted. Could a novel written in 1880 include a gay love interest? Why not? Perhaps it was introduced in the 1925 silent film. Either way, it is something that can be left to your imagination as you watch Messala turn from best friend to enemy.
Ben-Hur's trials and tribulations are certainly nothing to sneeze at. From his love for the servant girl Miriam to his three years as a galley slave, from his love for his mother and sister to his hunt for them in a leper colony, a movie not to be missed.
If you haven't seen this great film, I do not want to give it away. Rent it, borrow it, see it. You won't be sorry.
Ship from Ben Hur
Jesus Gives Water to Ben-Hur
Other Movies Nominated for Best Picture
# of Awards Won
Anatomy of a Murder
James Stewart and Lee Remick
Room at the Top
Laurence Harvey and Simone Signoret
The Diary of Anne Frank
Millie Perkins and Joseph Schildkraut
The Nun's Story
Audrey Hepburn and Peter Finch
Bookcase in Amsterdam
The Diary of Anne Frank
Nominated for five Academy Awards this film won three, Best Supporting Actress, Best Art Direction, and Best Cinematography.
Who hasn't heard the story of Anne Frank? The brave Jewish girl who was forced to hide in an attic in Amsterdam, along with her family and another family in July 1942. The events are chronicled by the real life diary of Anne Frank, two years of living in an attic in a town occupied by the Nazis, to avoid capture, only to be captured and sent to their deaths in a concentration camp. The only one to survive out of the eight people in the attic was Otto Frank, Anne's father.
The tensions, joys, celebrations and fights shared in the attic are all noted by Anne. The film ends with Otto's reading the last line in his daughter's diary, "In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart," and reflects upon his daughter's unshakable optimism.
The movie starred Millie Perkins as Anne Frank and the Best Supporting Actress Award went to Shelley Winters, the mother of the other family staying in the attic. Richard Beymer of West Side Story fame played Peter, Shelley Winter's son and Anne's companion, who almost almost became Anne's love interest.
A touching film about a terrible time in our history. Anne's diaries were published in 1947.
Of the multitude who throughout history have spoken for human dignity in times of great suffering and loss, no voice is more compelling than that of Anne Frank. -John F. Kennedy, 1960
Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot
Some Like It Hot
Won Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Jack Lemmon, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium. Financially it was one of the biggest hits of the year.
Take a look at the stars, Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft, Pat O'Brien, and Joe E. Brown...need I say more? Actually, yes. After two jazz musicians witness the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre the desperate men take a job with an all women's band. They dress as women and board a train with their "band-mates" heading for Miami. Of course the lovely singer and ukulele player Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, played by Marilyn Monroe, complicates matters a bit for the boys. Then there's Joe E Brown's Osgood Fielding III who develops a liking to Jack Lemmon's character Daphne and adds more interest and laughs.
The actors' performances in this movie have been rated as dazzling and Jack Lemmon's nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Daphne says it all. If you like to laugh, this one's for you.
32nd Academy Awards
How many of this year's nominees have you see?
That's 1960's Academy Awards
Were there more movies in 1959 that didn't make the Academy Awards list? Certainly. What about "39 Steps" and "Al Capone"? That's not mentioning all the Award nominees that didn't win. Films like "The Last Angry Man" or "Anatomy of a Murder".
As in all years, the list goes on and on. Hollywood churns out movies every year, some more recognized than others. Whether they win Academy Awards or not the final decision is made by the people who watch them.
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