32nd Academy Awards


32nd Academy Awards

Infobox Academy Awards | name = 32nd
poster =
date = April 4, 1960
site = RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, California
host = Bob Hope
producer = Arthur Freed
director = Alan Handley
network = NBC
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).

Winners

Pictures

*Best Picture: "Ben-Hur" - Sam Zimbalist (producer)
*Best Foreign Language Film: "Orfeu Negro", France

Best Director

*William Wyler for "Ben-Hur"

Acting

*Best Actor: Charlton Heston in "Ben-Hur"
*Best Supporting Actor: Hugh Griffith in "Ben-Hur"
*Best Actress: Simone Signoret in "Room at the Top"
*Best Supporting Actress: Shelley Winters in "The Diary of Anne Frank"

Writing

*Best Story and Screenplay: "Pillow Talk" by Russell Rouse, Clarence Greene, Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin
*Best Adapted Screenplay: "Room at the Top" by Neil Paterson

Music

*Best Original Song: "High Hopes" from "A Hole in the Head"
*Best Scoring of a Comedy or Dramatic Picture: "Ben-Hur" by Miklos Rozsa
*Best Scoring of a Musical Picture: "Porgy and Bess" by Andre Previn and Ken Darby

Honorary Oscar

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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