|26th Academy Awards|
|Date||March 25, 1954|
|Site||RKO Pantages Theatre|
NBC Century Theatre
New York City, New York
|Hosted by||Donald O'Connor (Los Angeles)|
Fredric March (New York City)
|Best Picture||From Here to Eternity|
|Most awards||From Here to Eternity (8)|
|Most nominations||From Here to Eternity (13)|
|TV in the United States|
The second national telecast of the Awards show drew an estimated 43 million viewers. Shirley Booth, appearing in a play in Philadelphia, presented the Best Actor award through a live broadcast cut-in, and privately received the winner's name over the telephone from co-host Donald O'Connor. (Actor Fredric March co-hosted from New York City.) Gary Cooper filmed his presentation of the Best Actress award in advance on a set in Mexico, with O'Connor announcing the winner's name.
All the major winners in this year were black-and-white films. The big winner was Fred Zinnemann's From Here to Eternity, with 13 nominations and eight awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Academy Award for Best Director, Best Screenplay (Daniel Taradash), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White (Burnett Guffey), Best Sound Recording, and Best Film Editing. All five of its major actors and actresses were nominated, with secondary players Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra taking home Oscars. The film was based on James Jones' controversial, best-selling novel about Army life on a Hawaiian (Oahu) military base just before the Pearl Harbor attack and World War II, illustrating the conflict between an individualistic private (Montgomery Clift) and rigid institutional authority (exemplified by the Army). Its achievement of eight awards matched the then record held by Gone with the Wind (1939). The record was tied again the following year by On the Waterfront (1954). Walt Disney won four awards, which set the record for the most Oscars won in the same year.
William Holden's speech for Best Actor for his role in Stalag 17 was simply "Thank You", making it one of the shortest speeches ever; the TV broadcast had a strict cutoff time which forced Holden's quick remarks. The frustrated Holden personally paid for advertisements in the Hollywood trade publications to thank everyone he wanted to on Oscar night. He also remarked that he felt that either Burt Lancaster or Montgomery Clift should have won the Best Actor Oscar for From Here to Eternity instead of him.
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
Academy Honorary Awards
- Pete Smith – "For his witty and pungent observations on the American scene in his series of 'Pete Smith Specialties'".
- Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation – "In recognition of their imagination, showmanship and foresight in introducing the revolutionary process known as CinemaScope".
- Joseph I. Breen – "For his conscientious, open-minded and dignified management of the Motion Picture Production Code".
- Bell and Howell Company – "For their pioneering and basic achievements in the advancement of the motion picture industry".
- The War of the Worlds for Best Special Effects.
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Academy Award of Merit
Presenters and performers
- Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding – Presenters of the Documentary Awards
- Jack Webb – Presenter of the award for Best Sound Recording
- Keefe Brasselle and Marilyn Erskine – Presenters of the Short Subject Awards
- Esther Williams – Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing
- Gene Tierney – Presenter of the awards for Costume Design
- Gower Champion and Marge Champion – Presenters of the award for Art Direction
- Lex Barker and Lana Turner – Presenters of the awards for Cinematography
- Kirk Douglas – Presenter of the Writing awards
- Irene Dunne – Presenter of the award for Best Director
- Walter Brennan – Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
- Mercedes McCambridge – Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
- Arthur Freed – Presenter of the Music awards
- Gary Cooper – Presenter of the award for Best Actress
- Shirley Booth – Presenter of the award for Best Actor
- Cecil B. DeMille – Presenter of the award for Best Motion Picture
- Merle Oberon – Presenter of the award for Best Special Effects
- Charles Brackett – Presenter of the Honorary Awards
- Tyrone Power – Presenter of the Scientific & Technical Awards
- David O. Selznick – Presenter of the Irving G. Thalberg Award
- André Previn – Conductor the Academy Awards orchestra
- Mitzi Gaynor and Donald O'Connor – Performers of "The Moon Is Blue" from The Moon Is Blue
- Connie Russell – Performer of "Sadie Thompson's Song (Blue Pacific Blues)" from Miss Sadie Thompson
- Ann Blyth – Performer of "Secret Love" from Calamity Jane
- Dean Martin – Performer of "That's Amore" from The Caddy
Multiple nominations and awards
These films had multiple nominations:
The following films received multiple awards.
- 11th Golden Globe Awards
- 1953 in film
- 5th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 6th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 7th British Academy Film Awards
- 8th Tony Awards
- "The 26th Academy Awards (1954) Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved May 31, 2015.