The 26th Academy Awards: 1954

26th Academy Awards in Los Angeles


Background to the Academy Awards in 1954

The year is 1954, and the Academy Awards are for films made in 1953. For Americans, it was the year Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated President of the United States. Charlie Chaplin left the United States after being accused of being a Communist, and the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series.

Blackisting in Hollywood continued. Reynold Humphries said, "A lost generation was created". Meaning many talented directors and other film professionals that were blacklisted never recovered their stance in Hollywood. As the big studios lost their best actors, they also lost some of their ability to make great films and their ability to stay on top.

This was the second year the Awards were telecast on television on NBC and as we know certainly not the last. Strangely enough all the major winners in this year's Academy Awards were black and white films. It makes one stop and think since this was a year when color was widely used in theaters. The Awards were hosted by Donald O'Connor and Frederick March. The reason for two hosts was that the Awards were broadcast from two coasts. Donald O'Connor was in Los Angeles at the RKO and Frederick March was in New York City at the NBC Century Theatre.

Now let's look at the films that won Oscars in 1954.

Beach Scene from "From Here to Eternity"


From Here to Eternity on Blu Ray

From Here to Eternity

Based on the best selling novel by James Jones, "From Here to Eternity" received thirteen nominations and won eight Awards which tied it with "Gone With the Wind". During the voting "From Here to Eternity" recieved 675 points, a number that has not been met or topped yet!

There were a lot of changes made to this movie before it even began filming. Joan Crawford was chosen for the starring female role but didn't like the costumes and wanted her own cameraman, not getting what she wanted, she quit. In her place, actress Deborah Kerr. Eli Wallach was originally slated for the role of Maggio but he dropped out and Frank Sinatra wanted and got the part. Rumor has it his connections with the Mafia helped him land the part. It doesn't matter, he gave a stellar performance! The movie was filmed entirely at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. Everything in this movie leads up to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

This is the story of two men, Sergeant Warden, played by Burt Lancaster and Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt, played by Montgomery Clift. Prewitt wants to be in the Army but on his own terms. Warden is a tough Sergeant but cares about his men. Warden also winds up having an affair with the Captain's wife. Anyone who has even heard of this movie knows about the scene on the beach between Kerr and Lancaster. One of the sexiest scenes ever filmed. There is however, so much more to this movie. The personality conflicts and developments throughout the movie keep you glued to your seat.

There's Prewitt's decision to quit boxing and his Lieutenant's decision not to let him. He wants Prewitt to box so he can win the the boxing championship and when Prewitt refuses, the Lieutenant makes his life miserable, no, beyond miserable, a living hell and the tensions and fights that arise from this run throughout the movie. Donna Reed plays Alma Lorene Burke, Prewitt's romantic interest. Then there's Maggio, but I won't spoil it for you.

Rather than attempt to tell you more, see the movie. Check out why it won the Best Picture Award, Best Director, Best Writing and Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography (Black and White), Best Film Editing, and Best Sound (Recording), you won't be disappointed.

From Here to Eternity Taps

Stalag 17

I have to admit this is one of the first war movies I watched that I liked. (Sgt. York and To Hell and Back were the others.) What could possibly make life in a prisoner of war camp exciting and interesting? How about an informant?

When two prisoners try to escape through a tunnel dug by the prisoners, they are met by guards and shot. Everyone suspects Sefton (played by William Holden) as being the spy for the Germans. Sefton is antisocial and barters with the Germans for things like eggs and other luxuries. At one point Sefton says the spy may not even be an American prisoner but a German posing as an American prisoner. When the men decide it is Sefton he is badly beaten and cast out from the rest of the prisoners. I'll leave it to you to see how this is resolved.

The humor in this movie is provided by a character named Animal, played by Robert Strauss. His obsessive infatuation with Betty Grable leads to many light moments. Though the humorous television show "Hogan's Heroes" was said to be based on this movie, the only humor in "Stalag 17" is Animal. There is no comradery with any of the captors with any of the Germans.

As far as war movies go, this is a great one!

Stalag 17

Other Award Nominees

Nominated For
Julius Caesar
Best Actor
Marlon Brando
The Robe
Best Actor
Richard Burton
Best Supporting Actor
Jack Palance
Best Supporting Actress
Grace Kelly
Torch Song
Best Supporting Actress
Marjorie Rambeau
The Cruel Sea
Best Screenplay
Above and Beyond
Best Story
Call Me Madam
Best Musical Score
Calamity Jane
Best Musical Score


Roman Holiday

You can't do much better than Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, the stars of this movie. As a matter of fact Ms. Hepburn won a Best Actress Award for this one. Playing a Princess who sneaks out and tries to see Rome on her own. Joe Bradley, an American newspaper reporter working and living in Rome, finds her sleeping on a park bench and has no idea who she really is.

Movies being movies, its not hard to figure out what happens. Joe finds out who Ann (Audrey Hepburn) is and decides to show her Rome and try to get an exclusive interview at the same time. His photographer joins them taking photos for his interview. Can you guess what happens? You know love is in the air in Rome. This is an entertaining love story your should at least take a peek at since I won't give away the ending.

Interesting Facts About Roman Holiday

  • It was Audrey Hepburn's first American Film.
  • William Wyler wanted Jeanne Simmons to play the role of Ann and Cary Grant was supposed to play Joe.
  • According to, "The original writer, Dalton Trumbo, was blacklisted as one of the legendary Hollywood Ten, and therefore could not receive credit for the screenplay, even when it won the Academy Award for Best Screenplay."
  • This is the first American film to be filmed entirely in Italy.

Roman Holiday

Other Movies from 1953

Animated Peter Pan - Walt Disney did it again!
The Robe
War of the Worlds
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
The House of Wax
How to Marry a Millionaire
The Big Heat
These are just a few. I'm sure if you look through these movies you're bound to find one you remember as a favorite!

I hope this short peak at the Awards will entice you to see more of the movies listed. If you like the Academy Awards some of my other writings are listed at the end of this hub.

Thank you for reading and please leave a comment, I love hearing what you think.

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

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

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Comments 36 comments

wetnosedogs profile image

wetnosedogs 3 years ago from Alabama

So Sinatra was connected with the Mafia? I heard that once before, but guess I didn't think much of it.

Audrey Hepburn is great in anything she does. She just one of those that is always enjoyable to see.

Thanks for this great hub.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Supposedly, WND, Hoover had proof, but with what we now know about Hoover....Yes Hepburn was a class act!

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a great list of movies...and I have always loved Audrey Hepburn....oh, those were the days my friend.

I guess you know how I feel about this series so I'll stop now with a "good job" and a virtual pat on the back. :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Bill, loving the pat on the back (smiling face). Thanks for always reading!

bdegiulio profile image

bdegiulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

Hi Mary. Another great year at the movies. i have been wanting to see Roman Holiday ever since we become addicted to Italy. Sadly we still have not seen it. From Here to Eternity, Shane, Stalag 17; all great movies that we thoroughly enjoyed.

Another great job Mary. Voted up, shared, pinned ,etc....

Vickiw 3 years ago

Hi Mary, outstanding and entertaining recap of that year! Like others, I really enjoy Audrey Hepburn!

Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 3 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Hi Mary,

Unlike others, I read this hub with tears in my eyes. 3 of the movies - From here to eternity, Roman Holiday and Stalag 17 were telecast by Pakistan Television in late 70s when I was a child (YOB 1967). My late father used to render the running translation of the movies back then after providing a brief overview. He used to dramatize and at the same time simplify things for us to enable us understand the movies better. He died in 1988 at a rather young age. I still remember his love for Hollywood movies. He had seen all of them on big screens many years earlier.

I distinctly recall Roman Holiday was telecast in the company of 'Summer Holiday' and 'Come September'. Along with these, came a good movie for us kids starring Gregory Peck - 'Mackenna's Gold' on the big screen. the contrasting roles by GP had amazed me. And of course, ladies, doesn't matter how beautiful, didn't matter to us back then.

I specially liked Stalag 17, which I would have never understood on my own. I liked William Holden immensely. If I remember correctly, he appeared in only 5 movies and won an Oscar. This was perhaps his only movie with main role (and of course no female role, which didn't bother us lol).

You may have understood my love of 50s and 60s now. Yes, it is because of my father. I miss him and because of his untimely death, I missed revisiting 50s and 60s over and over again.

Thanks for writing a hub on one of the best decades again.

DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

The black and white photos does take one back in time and I always enjoy reading such hubs from you

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Hi Mary (Till),

I believe this one is my favorite year so far with "From Here To Eternity" and "Roman Holiday" and I have always really loved Audrey Hepburn. She has always been one of my favorites to watch.

Thanks for this great series here. It has been fascinating to read what movies were chosen as the best of the best for each year, and it brings those movies back into our memories. Memories are good!

Voted up +++ and sharing

God bless, Faith Reaper

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

bdegiulio what amazed me was that "Roman Holiday" was the first film made entirely on location! Glad you enjoyed this year's wins and totally appreciate your votes and shares!

Thank you Vicki. Its always good to see you here!

Suhail and my dog, thank you for sharing your memories. I am glad I can help bring back a happy time for you. I'm glad you have such happy memories of your Dad. No one can ever take a loving father's place.

DDE I always enjoy having you read my hubs! Thank you.

Faith, I'm having as much fun doing this as you are reading it. It is great to remember...along with the movies come other memories. Thanks for the votes and share. God bless.

MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 3 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

One of my favorite films of 1954 was Hitchcock's 'Rear Window' - not exactly a one set film (like his 'Lifeboat'), but I think (if I remember correctly, the only time you see other locations besides Jimmy Stewart's apartment is through his binoculars, as he sits in his apartment . . . a masterpiece of building suspense and tension.

Also 'The Caine Mutiny' was 1954 - it might be Bogart's finest performance and another, always, striking performance by Fred MacMurray.

And, not an American film, but one of the top classics of all time, Kurosawa's 'Seven Samurai' was 1954 . . . compelling characters you never forget and stunning images.

And the glorious Judy Holliday had a couple of films in 1954.

But perhaps the most notable, yet little known, films of 1954 was the very first screen appearance of James Bond, 007 in a British tv production (released to theaters) of 'Casino Royale' . . . this is a great trivia question, 'who was the first James Bond in films?' . . . just about everyone will say 'Sean Connery' because, of course, he was the first of that line of Roger Moore, Pierce Brosnan, etc - but in fact American actor Barry Nelson was the very first on-camera James Bond.

Now, if there's anyone bigger, with a longer run and more films than James Bond it has to be, 'Gojira' . . . better know to us as 'Godzilla', also making his first appearence in 1954.

(. . . and, you mentioned Dalton Trumbo's blacklisting - that whole blacklisting episode in Hollywood ended a few years later when Kirk Douglas boldly defied the fear-mongers and refused to let Trumbo use an alias and for the first time in years audiences saw 'Dalton Trumbo' on the big screen as screenwriter for 'Spartacus'.)

PaisleeGal profile image

PaisleeGal 3 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Mary .. another great recap of the Oscars ... I will miss these when you finish. Since you've got this movie thing going I'm just wondering if you've ever done one about the Hollywood Blacklist drama?

Voted up. Thanks much for the walk down memory lane.

MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 3 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

. . . and me! I forgot, I am a 1954 production myself - so, do I get an award?

xstatic profile image

xstatic 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

It was a very good year, as the song says, and this is another great hub about my favorite pastime, movies. From Here to Eternity is one of my all time favorites. I have read the book twice too. I can't imagine Joan Crawford in the Deborah Kerr role, and Sinatra was a great Maggio. Rear Window was a great one too.

Shane was an excellent western even if Alan Ladd had to stand on a box.

Thanks again for this series Mary!

MickeySr profile image

MickeySr 3 years ago from Hershey, Pa.

. . . yes xstatic, I forgot about 'Shane', very good . . . Jean Arthur was always good and Jack Palance really left his mark.

Suzie HQ profile image

Suzie HQ 3 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

Hi Mary,

What another epic in your series which has some of my all time favorites in movies and actors. The cult sexy scene of From here to Eternity with two sexpots, Calamity Jane is one musical I must have seen over 50 times, The Robe I adore with Richard's sexy voice, Shane another favorite in my family and as for Roman Holiday and Ms Hepburn . . . both tops in my book! Yes I think this has to be my favorite Academy year you have done!

Bring more on in your always stylish way, voted up, useful, interesting , awesome and shared!! Bravo . . . and the winner goes to . . . . You!

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Hmm, Mickey, voyeurism...okay, I'll let that one go. Definitely "Rear Window" was one of Hitchock's best. It was easy to film as it was filmed entirely at Paramount Studios. I'd have to watch the movie again to see about the "other locations". I totally agree about "The Caine Mutiny" my favorite line has to be "The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots." I have to agree "The Seven Samurai" was itself, a compelling film that was especially interesting to an American.

Thanks for the background info on James Bond, I didn't know any of that.

I took my younger brother to see "Godzilla" at the movies and remember it well!

I had heard about Kirk Douglas's sense of honor and I guess defiance, and totally applaud him for it. That might have been what broke the back of the Blacklisting. Oh, btw, I didn't realize what a youngster you are Mickey ;)

Paislee Gal I have included information about the Blacklist in another Academy Award hub but never devoted one to it. That might be something to think about when I run out of Academy Awards but they are up to the 85th I believe. Thanks for the vote.

So glad you keep coming back xstatic. I can remember wanting to strangle that darling little boy at the end of Shane! It made me cry but when he kept calling Shane, it was irritating. I didn't know about the box for Alan Ladd but apparently a lot of actors back then used them.

Oh Suzie, I have to agree it was a good year for movies. As Mickey pointed out there were others that didn't get nominated or get awards. Thank you so very much for the votes and share! I am a winner having folks like you reading my hubs.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

Hi mary, I loved all these films, back in those days they made films to last, not like churned out rubbish of today that we forget five minutes after watching! lol! really enjoyed this, thanks!

hawaiianodysseus profile image

hawaiianodysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

Great movies, to be sure! But I just want to add my two cents about Shane! I remember my dad telling our family that Alan Ladd was really short--like maybe 5'4" to 5'6"--but he had such a charismatic screen presence. So what they did was, out of camera shot, have him stand on constructed platforms in order to appear taller. Good job, as usual, Mary! Thanks for sharing this wonderful niche! Aloha!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I know Nell, every now and then they hit a good movie now but most of them are made for the $$$$$. Have a great weekend.

Joe, I had no idea about Alan Ladd, I guess we can always learn something! Have a great weekend.

Vellur profile image

Vellur 3 years ago from Dubai

A great list of movies and an interesting read. Voted up.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Vellur.

aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

The only movie that I saw out of this batch was Calamity Jane. Great write-up!

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks for reading and your comment avian voice.

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Til...Bless your heart for all the research done, in order to bring us these fabulous hubs on the annual Academy Awards. It is one show I do not miss every year. I like all the excitement and Celeb Hullabaloo.....the fashions, the beautiful people. Ya just don't run into "Ultra-Gorgeous," from head-to-toe humans, at my local food market!

Can't believe these movies were soooo long ago. Oh hell, who am I kidding? But we were just little tykes in '54, gf!.......Great job.....UP+++

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I know what you mean Effer, jeans are the norm, not satin and lace. Hard to believe sometimes that I was ever a LITTLE anything :)' but I guess I was when I was seven.

Genna East profile image

Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hi Mary;

When I began reading this newest installment in your remarkable series, I was reminded of the play and film, “Same Time Next Year.” We are whisked away through events over the years in a way that literally takes us there in much the same way.

I never knew that Joan Crawford was slated to play Deborah Kerr’s role in “From Here to Eternity.” It’s funny, but every time we hear of a role that was slated for one person, yet played so well by another, we think, “I can’t imagine anyone else portraying that character.” Maggio was a turning point in Sinatra’s career.

Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck together on screen {sigh} two of my favorite actors from days past.

Excellent job, Mary! :-)

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I know Genna, I really can't see Crawford in that role either. We tend to associate the person who plays the role with the role. Thanks so much for reading and leaving such a great comment.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 3 years ago

Hi Tillsontitan,

I've been gone, by now I'm BACK!

I just loved this Hub on the 1954 Academy Awards...I was a little kid, but I loved the Magic and the Glamour, and of course wanted to grow up to be a Movie Star.

I have to agree with the other comments on Joan Crawford, and add, she always seemed like a Cold Woman, couldn't picture her in "From Here to Eternity". I love Black and White Pictures, they seem to make a statement.

Wonderful Hub!

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I'm so glad you're back Tim! Even more glad you read my hub. The older movies are always the best. I bet you would've made a great movie star.

midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Ah! Just mentioned Sinatra too! Classic pictures. You have lots of knowledge about these films!! Sharing, Mary.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Michelle. I've been watching them for years ;)

drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

Another great Awards review, Mary, this time of the films that won in '54. Loved 'From Here to Eternity,' 'Mogambo,' 'Shane,' and 'Stalag 17.' Hard to forget that sexy-waves-crashing-around-them beach scene in 'Eternity.' And Strauss was a hoot in 'Stalag.' Thanks for this very enjoyable deja vu.

tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

I seem to be getting closer to films more people have seen drbj. These were certainly good ones and so memorable. You are so welcome and I hope to see you again.

Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

Your hubs always make me curious about some of these older movies. It's interesting to glimpse in to the past, and see how things were back then.

This was shared by HubPages on Google Plus, that's how I noticed it.

Have a great day!

~ Kathryn

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tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Thanks Kathryn, I had no idea HubPages shared things on Google Plus. You put a smile on my face after a tough night! Hope you have a great day and weekend.

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    Mary Craig (tillsontitan)938 Followers
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    Mary has been a movie fan since she was a little girl. She watched movies every night of the week on Million Dollar Theater..

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