25th Academy Awards
DateMarch 19, 1953
SiteRKO Pantages Theatre
Hollywood, California
NBC International Theatre
New York City, New York
Hosted byBob Hope (Hollywood)
Conrad Nagel (emcee)
Fredric March (New York City)[1]
Best PictureThe Greatest Show on Earth
Most awardsThe Bad and the Beautiful (5)
Most nominationsHigh Noon, Moulin Rouge, and The Quiet Man (7)
TV in the United States

The 25th Academy Awards were held on March 19, 1953 at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, and the NBC International Theatre in New York City, to honor the films of 1952. It was the first Oscars ceremony to be televised,[1] the first ceremony to be held in Hollywood and New York simultaneously, and the only year in which the New York ceremonies were held in the NBC International Theatre on Columbus Circle, which was shortly thereafter demolished and replaced by the New York Coliseum.[2][3]

This ceremony was the first to be broadcast on television; the Academy, long resistant of television, paid NBC $100,000 to televise the event.[4][5]

The year saw a major upset when the heavily favored High Noon lost Best Picture to Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth, eventually considered among the worst films to have won the award.[6][7] Today, it ranks #94 on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the 95 films to win Best Picture, ahead of only The Broadway Melody.[8]

Although it only received two nominations, Singin' in the Rain went on to be named as the greatest American musical film of all time and in the 2007 American Film Institute updated list as the fifth greatest American film of all time, while High Noon ranked twenty-seventh on the same list.

The Bad and the Beautiful won five Oscars, the most wins ever for a film not nominated for Best Picture. It was also the second—and, to date, last—Academy Awards in which a film not nominated for Best Picture received the most awards of the evening, excluding years where there were ties for the most wins.

Until Spotlight won only Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay at the 88th Academy Awards, this was the last year in which the Best Picture winner won just two total Oscars. It was also the second of three years to date in which two films not nominated for Best Picture received more nominations than the winner (The Bad and the Beautiful and Hans Christian Andersen, both with six). This occurred again at the 79th Academy Awards.

Shirley Booth was the last person born in the 19th century to win an Oscar in a Leading Role, and the first woman in her 50s to win Best Actress, at the age of 54 (the second woman in her 50s to win, Julianne Moore, was also 54 when she won at the 87th Academy Awards).

John Ford's fourth win for Best Director set a record for the most wins in this category that remains unmatched to this day.

For the first time since the introduction of Supporting Actor and Actress awards in 1936, Best Picture, Best Director, and all four acting Oscars were awarded to six different films. This has happened only three times since, at the 29th Academy Awards for 1956, the 78th for 2005, and the 85th for 2012.


Cecil B. DeMille; Best Picture winner
John Ford; Best Director winner
Gary Cooper; Best Actor winner
Shirley Booth; Best Actress winner
Anthony Quinn; Best Supporting Actor winner
Gloria Grahame; Best Supporting Actress winner
Cedric Gibbons; Best Art Direction, Black-and-White co-winner
Elmo Williams; Best Film Editing co-winner

Nominees were announced on February 9, 1953. Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.[9]

Best Motion Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Screenplay Best Story and Screenplay
Best Story Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short Subject Best Live Action Short Subject, One-Reel
Best Live Action Short Subject, Two-Reel Best Short Subject - Cartoons
Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture Best Scoring of a Musical Picture
Best Song Best Sound Recording
Best Art Direction, Black-and-White Best Art Direction, Color
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White Best Cinematography, Color
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White Best Costume Design, Color
Best Film Editing

Academy Honorary Awards

Best Foreign Language Film

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Films with multiple nominations and awards

Films that received multiple nominations
Nominations Film
7 High Noon
Moulin Rouge
The Quiet Man
6 The Bad and the Beautiful
Hans Christian Andersen
5 The Greatest Show on Earth
Viva Zapata!
With a Song in My Heart
4 My Cousin Rachel
Sudden Fear
3 Come Back, Little Sheba
2 The Big Sky
Breaking the Sound Barrier
Devil Take Us
Five Fingers
The Lavender Hill Mob
The Merry Widow
Singin' in the Rain
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Films that received multiple awards
Awards Film
5 The Bad and the Beautiful
4 High Noon
2 The Greatest Show on Earth
Moulin Rouge
The Quiet Man

Presenters and performers


Name Role
Ronald Reagan Announcer for the 25th Academy Awards
Charles Brackett (AMPAS president) Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony
Ginger Rogers Presenter of the award for Best Costume Design
Jean Hersholt Presenter of the Documentary Awards
Frank Capra Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing
Joan Fontaine
James Stewart
Presenters of the Art Direction Awards
Claire Trevor Presenter of the award for Best Sound Recording
Ray Milland
Jane Wyman
Presenters of the Short Subject Awards
Teresa Wright Presenter of the awards for Best Cinematography
Walt Disney Presenter of the Music Awards
Charles Brackett
Olivia de Havilland
Presenters of the award for Best Director
Dore Schary Presenter of the Writing Awards
Greer Garson Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Edmund Gwenn Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Janet Gaynor Presenter of the award for Best Actor
Fredric March Presenter of the award for Best Actress
Mary Pickford Presenter of the award for Best Motion Picture
Loretta Young Presenter of the award for Best Special Effects
Luise Rainer Presenter of the Honorary Foreign Language Film Award
Charles Brackett Presenter of the Honorary Awards to Joseph M. Schenck and Harold Lloyd
Anne Baxter Presenter of the Scientific & Technical Awards
Charles Brackett Presenter of the Honorary Award to Bob Hope and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to Cecil B. DeMille


Name Role Performed
Adolph Deutsch Musical arranger and conductor Orchestral
Bob Hope
Marilyn Maxwell
Performers “Am I in Love?” from Son of Paleface
Billy Daniels Performer “Because You’re Mine” from Because You're Mine
Tex Ritter Performer “High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’)” from High Noon
Celeste Holm Performer “Thumbelina” from Hans Christian Andersen
Peggy Lee
Johnny Mercer
Performers “Zing a Little Zong” from Just for You
Academy Awards Orchestra Performers "There's No Business Like Show Business" (orchestral) during the closing credits


The 25th Academy Awards ceremony was the first to be broadcast on television:[1]

For the first time in history, a television audience estimated at 40,000,000 persons[10] will watch the movie industry's biggest show. It will mark the TV debut for scores of the biggest names in moviedom.

The telecast was prompted by the need to finance the bi-coastal ceremony. When three of the film studios refused to provide their customary financial support, the RCA Victor Division of the Radio Corporation of America agreed to pay AMPAS $100,000 (one source reported $250,000[11]) as a sponsorship fee. NBC telecast the bicoastal ceremony over its 64-station television network and on its 174-station radio system.[5] The Armed Forces Radio Service recorded the proceedings for later broadcast.[5]

The show was broadcast from 10:30 p.m. to 12:15 a.m. EST (7:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. PST),[12][13][14] switching back and forth from host Bob Hope on the West Coast to Conrad Nagel on the East Coast. The late start was made to accommodate those nominees who were performing that night on the Broadway stage.[14]

The technology used for television at the time meant that Bob Hope had to wear a blue dress shirt with his formal dinner jacket;[15] the traditional white shirt would have been too bright.

See also

References and footnotes

  1. ^ a b c Bacon, James (March 19, 1953). "TV Will Carry Film Awards Show Tonight". The Fresno Bee. Associated Press.
  2. ^ International Theatre Archived 2009-08-17 at the Wayback Machine, from cinematreasures.org
  3. ^ The convention center was subsequently demolished when the Time Warner Center was built.
  4. ^ Wallechinsky, David; Wallace, Irving (1975). The People's Almanac. Garden City, New York: Doubleday & Company, Inc. p. 839. ISBN 0-385-04060-1.
  5. ^ a b c Pryor, Thomas M. (March 20, 1953). "Movie 'Oscar' Won by 'Greatest Show'". The New York Times. Vol. 102, no. 34754. p. 25.
  6. ^ "'Chicago' and 'Oliver!' Among "Worst" Oscar Winners". Imdb.com. Archived from the original on June 10, 2013. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  7. ^ "The worst Oscar winners!". Rediff.com movies. March 1, 2005. Archived from the original on February 14, 2012. Retrieved July 28, 2012.
  8. ^ "All 95 Best Picture Winners, Ranked by Tomatometer".
  9. ^ "The 25th Academy Awards (1953) Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2011.
  10. ^ The actual audience was 34 million, according to "The Oscars". Time. March 30, 1953. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008.
  11. ^ The sponsorship fee was $250,000, per "The Oscars". Time. March 30, 1953. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008.
  12. ^ "Of Local Origin". The New York Times. Vol. 102, no. 34753. March 19, 1953. p. 34.
  13. ^ Wiley, Mason; Bona, Damien (1996). Inside Oscar: the unofficial history of the Academy Awards (10. anniversary rev. ed., with new chapters on the winners, heartbreaks, and behind-the-scenes surprises ed.). New York, NY: Ballantine Books. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-345-40053-6.
  14. ^ a b Doherty, Thomas (March 26, 2022). ""TV – That's Where Movies Go When They Die": Rewatching the First Televised Oscars". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved December 21, 2023.
  15. ^ "The Oscars". Time. March 30, 1953. Archived from the original on December 22, 2008.