- 32nd Academy Awards
Infobox Academy Awards | name = 32nd
April 4, 1960
RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, California
duration = 1 hour, 40 minutes
last = 31st
next = 33rd
The 32nd Academy Awards honored film achievements of 1959 on
4 April 1960. MGM's (producer Sam Zimbalist) and director William Wyler's three and a half-hour long epic drama "Ben Hur" (with a spectacular sea battle and eleven minute chariot race choreographed by Yakima Canutt) broke the previous year's all-time record of "Gigi" (1958). It was the most-honored motion picture in Academy Awards history up to that time and for many years - until 1997, with its record-breaking eleven Oscars from twelve nominations. And it was the most expensive film of its time, budgeted at $15 million.
"Ben-Hur" was a re-make of MGM's own 1926 silent film of the same name. Both films were based on or inspired by General
Lew Wallace's novel (first published in 1880) about the rise of Christianity. Ironically, the famed director Cecil B. DeMille, who had made 'Ben-Hur-like' films throughout his lifetime - without the same awards success as the 1959 winner, died the same year (on January 21, 1959).
*Best Picture: "Ben-Hur" -
*Best Foreign Language Film: "
Orfeu Negro", France
William Wylerfor "Ben-Hur"
Charlton Hestonin "Ben-Hur"
*Best Supporting Actor:
Hugh Griffithin "Ben-Hur"
Simone Signoretin "Room at the Top"
*Best Supporting Actress:
Shelley Wintersin "The Diary of Anne Frank"
*Best Original Song: "
High Hopes" from " A Hole in the Head"
*Best Scoring of a Comedy or Dramatic Picture: "Ben-Hur" by
*Best Scoring of a Musical Picture: "
Porgy and Bess" by Andre Previnand Ken Darby
An Honorary Oscar, a bittersweet recognition, was awarded to the under-appreciated
Buster Keaton, one of the silent screen's greatest comedic characters, who was known as 'The Great Stone Face.' His award was for "his unique talents which brought immortal comedies to the screen", such as " Sherlock, Jr." (1924), " The Navigator" (1924), "The General" (1927), " Steamboat Bill, Jr." (1928), and " The Cameraman" (1928).
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