Best Movies Academy Award winners

1952 Academy Awards® Winners and History

1952
The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.

Actor:
GARY COOPER in "High Noon", Marlon Brando in "Viva Zapata!", Kirk Douglas in "The Bad and the Beautiful", Jose Ferrer in "Moulin Rouge", Alec Guinness in "The Lavender Hill Mob"
Actress:
SHIRLEY BOOTH in "Come Back, Little Sheba", Joan Crawford in "Sudden Fear", Bette Davis in "The Star", Julie Harris in "The Member of the Wedding", Susan Hayward in "With a Song in My Heart"
Supporting Actor:
ANTHONY QUINN in "Viva Zapata!", Richard Burton in "My Cousin Rachel", Arthur Hunnicutt in "The Big Sky", Victor McLaglen in "The Quiet Man", Jack Palance in "Sudden Fear"
Supporting Actress:
GLORIA GRAHAME in "The Bad and the Beautiful", Jean Hagen in "Singin' In The Rain", Colette Marchand in "Moulin Rouge", Terry Moore in "Come Back, Little Sheba", Thelma RItter in "With a Song in My Heart"
Director:
JOHN FORD for "The Quiet Man", Cecil B. DeMille for "The Greatest Show On Earth", John Huston for "Moulin Rouge", Joseph L. Mankiewicz for "Five Fingers", Fred Zinnemann for "High Noon"

This was the first year that the Academy Awards ceremony were televised (on March 19, 1953), on black and white NBC-TV, with Bob Hope as host (in Hollywood at the RKO Pantages Theater) and Conrad Nagel (in New York at the NBC International Theatre). It was the first ceremony to be held simultaneously in two locations. It resulted in the largest audience in commercial television history. Hollywood had to admit and succumb to the competing pressures from the burgeoning home entertainment medium. The show was telecast throughout the US and Canada.

The Best Picture Award was another surprise and is forever considered one of the Academy's worst choices for the top prize. 1952 has been considered one of the years in which the Academy blundered the greatest in its choice of Best Picture. The bloated, lumbering, melodramatic epic The Greatest Show on Earth was one of the Academy's biggest gaffes.

This year also marked the time in Oscar's history that all of the top six prizes (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress) went to six different films. This would occur again in 1956, and then 49 years later in 2005.

Instead of going to the favored, critically-acclaimed, definitive and popular western High Noon, the top Oscar - in a major upset - went to the "P.T. Barnum of Hollywood, " legendary director/producer Cecil B. De Mille's gaudy epic spectacular about the struggling Ringling Brothers-Barnum and Bailey Circus, The Greatest Show on Earth (with five nominations and two wins - Best Picture and Best Writing: Original Story). De Mille's cornball film chronicled the financial and personal problems (a romantic triangle) of the tough, three-ring circus manager (Charlton Heston in one of his earliest films), a beautiful, high-bar aerialist (Betty Hutton), a crippled trapeze artist/performer (Cornel Wilde), a clown (James Stewart), and others. This ponderous Best Picture is best known not for its acting (even though it was nominated and won for Best Original Story!) but for its spectacular train-wreck sequence.

The award, more than honoring the film, also saluted the film's producer, DeMille "the father (or founder) of Hollywood, " with his only Best Picture Oscar - and his sole Best Director nomination. [Apologetically, in recognition of his outstanding years of producing and directing, De Mille received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award instead.] He was known for making the first feature-length movie in Hollywood, The Squaw Man (1914), and many other larger than life, 'cast of thousands' films in his past (including The Ten Commandments (1923), The Sign of the Cross (1932), Cleopatra (1934), Samson and Delilah (1949), and a second version of The Ten Commandments (1956), his last...

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