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The 32nd Academy Awards - 1960

Updated on February 26, 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..

Charlton Heston as Ben Hur

No one could have played Ben Hur like Charlton Heston!
No one could have played Ben Hur like Charlton Heston! | Source

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.

Ben Hur

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

This Replica of an ancient Roman trireme is one of the original ships used in the movie "Ben Hur."
This Replica of an ancient Roman trireme is one of the original ships used in the movie "Ben Hur." | Source

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

This is a reconstruction of the bookcase that hid the entrance to the attic where the Frank's and the Van Daans were hiding.
This is a reconstruction of the bookcase that hid the entrance to the attic where the Frank's and the Van Daans were hiding. | Source

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?

See results

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.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

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


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    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much cmoney.

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 

      5 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Shared this HUB on Pinterest.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      They're out there cmoney!

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 

      5 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Ben-Hur AND The Ten Commandments on Blu-ray? That would be awesome!!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Glimmer. I am always glad when I hit on someone's favorite movie.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Claudia Mitchell 

      5 years ago

      Some Like it Hot is one of the all-time great movies and one of my favorites. I could watch it again and again. In fact, I may just pull out my dvd and watch it tonight. Interesting that of the Best Movies section, I have only seen Ben Hur and Diary of Anne Frank.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      What? You don't remember Ben-Hur? Oh dear Lyricwriter, get thee to a a DVD rental!! Seriously, thank you for the praise it is deeply appreciated and I am always so glad to see you here.

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      5 years ago from West Virginia

      Til, voted up, useful, awesome, interesting, and shared via Facebook. I love this ongoing series of yours!! You do such a great job with your research Mary. Always interesting facts and remarkable names of the past. I can't recall any of these movies other then "Some Like It Hot." Such a talented cast. Another golden article for the collection, well done Mary. Best wishes.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Glad you enjoyed mylendaelliott. Certainly good movies and nice to know what was going on just before you were born!

    • mylindaelliott profile image


      5 years ago from Louisiana

      This is great movie information from the year before I was born. I have seen three of them though.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Gee Frank I wonder if I can get a cut from the movie rentals ;)

      Deb, the MTV Movie Awards are chosen by the public and I think they're the only ones. Hopefully someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

      You're welcome Michelle. Some TV stations run Ben-Hur on Good Friday here too.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Love Ben Hur! They show it on every Good Friday here! Thanks for sharing!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, Mary it is interesting how the public really picks the award winners. Is there a list to that effect?

    • Frank Atanacio profile image

      Frank Atanacio 

      5 years ago from Shelton

      Til I always find myself enjoying these types of your hubs they're just so entertaining.. and now I have to rent some of the movies... again LOL thanks for the share

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      How true Genna, this was a year to really pick from great movies. No one could watch The Diary of Anne Frank and not be moved. Audrey Hepburn was certainly a class act and showed it very well in The Nun's Story. Glad you enjoyed. You are most welcome!

      drbj, I too think Charlton Heston was unbelievably handsome. I can't even count how many times I've seen these movies. Believe it or not, growing up Marilyn Monroe was a favorite of mine. Thanks you for the Avatar congrats!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      5 years ago from south Florida

      They don't make films like this any more, Mary. You did an exceptional job reviewing these 1960 movies. Ben Hur was and is in a class by itself as is Diary of Anne Frank and Some Like it Hot. I copied the latter when it was shown on cable one night so I can watch it again and again.

      I had forgotten how unbelievably handsome Charlton Heston was. Thanks for the great pic. And congrats, m'dear, on winning the best Avatar award from Hubpages - they know class when they see it.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Mary;

      First of all, I want to congratulate you on your Hubber Award! Excellent news, my friend. :-)

      What a rich and diverse year for the Academy Awards. 'The Nun’s Story, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Room at the Top.’ I loved them all, but ‘The Nun’s Story’ was my favorite. I think this was Hepburn’s finest role. Anne Frank was so compelling and tragic; it brought me to tears that stayed with me for hours after watching the film.

      As always, I just love this series, Mary. Thank you. :-)

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks so much DDE!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The Best Avatar how lovely and all the best in writing on HP.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks Eddy. Always nice to know your efforts are worth it.

      And thank you Writer Fox!

      Bill always so good to see you and read your comments. Thanks for the vote and share.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      I'm with you Mary, Ben Hur is one of my all-time favorite movies. it was another great year at the movies. Looking forward to the next installment. Great job. Voted up, shared, etc....

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 

      5 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      As Bob Hope would say, "Thanks for the Memories." Enjoyed and voted up!

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      Another wonderful hub Mary; your obvious hard work always pays off. have a great day.


    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thank you so much ChitrangadaSharan for the lovely compliment and the Congratulations!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 

      5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Well presented and a very interesting hub about 32st Academy Awards-1960. As usual, again an interesting hub from you.

      Congratulations for the well deserved Hubbie award for best avatar!

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Thanks for the lovely comment DDE. Glad you enjoyed Ben Hur.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The 32st Academy Awards - 1960 I watched Ben Hur was three hours and really enjoyed an old movie, great hub as always you just know how to enlighten our memories.

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Me too Nell. Ben Hur was a classic that won't be beat!

      Thanks WND, I love doing it.

      Ah Maria, how wonderful I have left such an impression that you think of me when you see old movies...old and Mary...just kidding. I do so appreciate you and your comments! I did not know about the Avatar Award yet but thank you for telling me. All my love and best thoughts to you dear friend.

      Faith thank YOU....for enjoying my tagline and my hub and for your congrats on my Best Avatar. The best of all of course, is your hugs. Right back at you girl.

      You're probably right teaches, without animation today a film isn't very entertaining to the young. Thank you for the congrats.

      Thanks Lin, what will I do next year ;)

      prasetio so glad you enjoyed this hub!

      Thanks Vinaya, I am really thrilled knowing the awards are given by votes.

      Joe for you to lump me in with you and Bill is truly a great honor. I have no doubt I intrude in my writing, I can't tell a story without putting myself in the telling but I think you are right, it is the way I'd tell a loved one or a friend. You are so perceptive and man I'm happy to strum your chords anytime! Let's not rush the Huckelberry friend meeting but who knows you may hit NY or I may hit Washington! Aloha and many blessings.

      Many of us lived in the theater Mhatter! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      5 years ago from San Francisco

      196o... I lived in the Grand Theater. thank you

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 

      5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Hi, Mary!

      Congratulations on your well-deserved award! (Although I voted for you in another category.)

      So, now we're getting to an Oscar year in which I saw most of the movies that either won or were nominated. As you can imagine, the nostalgic chords are being strummed big time!

      What I really love is the way your unique writer's voice lights up the article! I've long been a fan of authors who intrude into the story...why?...because that's what we would do in person were we to relay an account of something to a loved one or friend. In your way of writing, Bill's way, and my way, we tread mud all over the place, and when we're done, there's no mistakin' that we've been around! I like that "art by footprints" style! : )

      Anyway, congratulations on sticking it out, especially when it seems like the whole world's gone mad and life itself appears to have taken a sabbatical. To me, that's what makes you a winner...big time!

      Aloha, my dear Mary, and I'll see you soon at the rendezvous point where Andy Williams sings, "...waitin' 'round the Huckleberry friend..."


    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      5 years ago from Nepal


      Congrats fort Best HubPages Avatar award second time in a row.

    • prasetio30 profile image


      5 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice review of the 32st Academy Awards. I love everything here and good presentation as well. It sound back to the past. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Voted up :-)


    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Yay Tills for Best Avatar Hubbie Award for 2013 (and 2012)!!!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      5 years ago

      I still consider Ben Hur the classic of the era. I was just a child when it game out, but I enjoyed it. Now, I guess kids would want more animation. Congrats on your Hub Award!

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      5 years ago from southern USA

      Dear Mary,

      What can I say, you have written of another wonderful year for the movies of 1960 awards! That is certainly a great tag line there, and glad Bill reminded you to include it...awesome!

      CONGRATS once again on Best Avatar in the Hubbies! I voted for you. So well deserved.

      Hugs and love to you and yours from southern USA,

      Faith Reaper

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Mary,

      I love your tag perfect for you.

      You have done a superb job on the year 1960. I think of you whenever I turn on have left a memorable impression on me and guided me to some greats.

      Congratulations on the well deserved Best Avatar in the Hubbies.

      Love, Maria

    • wetnosedogs profile image


      5 years ago from Alabama

      These are all superb movies that you mention.

      You have a great knack at this.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      I loved the film Ben Hur, I could sit and watch it again and again, this is great mary, love all the info, and the facts. The films were classics, and didn't they make just better films back then? voted up and shared, nell

    • tillsontitan profile imageAUTHOR

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Oops, going to add right now. What would I do without you?

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Where is your tagline young lady???? :)

      Loved this installment of the series. I was twelve in dad and I stood in line for quite some time for tickets to see Ben Hur...I remember that day clearly. Thanks for the memories and excellent job as always.


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