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The 26th Academy Awards honored the best in films of 1953.

The second national telecast of the Awards show draws an estimated 43,000,000 viewers. Shirley Booth, appearing in a play in Philadelphia, presents the Best Actor award through a live broadcast cut-in, and privately receives 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 of the big winners in this year of 1953 were black-and-white films. The big winner was Fred Zinnemann's eight-Oscar winning From Here to Eternity (with thirteen nominations and eight awards including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Daniel Taradash), Best Cinematography (Burnett Guffey), Best Sound, and Best Film Editing). All five of its major actors and actresses were nominated, with secondary players Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra taking home the Oscars.

The candid film was based on James Jones' controversial, best-selling novel about Army life on a Hawaiian (Oahu) military base just prior to the Pearl Harbormarker attack and World War II, to illustrate the conflict between an individualistic private (Montgomery Clift) and rigid institutional authority (exemplified by the Army). Its achievement of eight awards matched the all-time record held by Gone with the Wind (1939). The record would be tied again the following year by On the Waterfront (1954).


Walt Disney achieved a milestone in the 1954 awards ceremony - as the individual with the most Oscar wins in a single year. He won the award in four awards categories: Best Cartoon Short Subject: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom (1953), Best Documentary Short Subject: The Alaskan Eskimo (1953), Best Documentary Feature: The Living Desert (1953), and Best Two-ReelShort Subject: Bear Country (1953).



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