Best actor 1951

Best actor 1951 DEFAULT


The following is the average ranking of Oscar nominees by the Twitter followers of And the Runner-Up Is. Followers ranked the nominees of the above-the-line categories for the 24th Academy Awards, which rewarded the films of 1951.

Results are tallied using a positional voting system, where the nominees receive points based on their rank position on each submission and the nominee with the most points overall wins

Bold = the actual Academy Award winner


  1. A Streetcar Named Desire
  2. A Place in the Sun
  3. An American in Paris
  4. Quo Vadis
  5. Decision Before Dawn




  1. Marlon Brando – A Streetcar Named Desire
  2. Montgomery Clift – A Place in the Sun
  3. Humphrey Bogart – The African Queen
  4. Fredric March – Death of a Salesman
  5. Arthur Kennedy – Bright Victory


  1. Vivien Leigh – A Streetcar Named Desire
  2. Katharine Hepburn – The African Queen
  3. Shelley Winters – A Place in the Sun
  4. Eleanor Parker – Detective Story
  5. Jane Wyman – The Blue Veil


  1. Karl Malden – A Streetcar Named Desire 
  2. Peter Ustinov – Quo Vadis
  3. Kevin McCarthy – Death of a Salesman
  4. Gig Young – Come Fill the Cup
  5. Leo Genn – Quo Vadis


  1. Kim Hunter – A Streetcar Named Desire
  2. Thelma Ritter – The Mating Season
  3. Lee Grant – Detective Story
  4. Mildred Dunnock – Death of a Salesman
  5. Joan Blondell – The Blue Veil






23rd Annual Academy Awards Nominations (1951)

Awards & Festivals:Academy Awards:1950s:23rd:Nominations

  • Date of Ceremony: Thursday, March 29, 1951
  • For films released in: 1950

Here is a complete list of nominations for the 23rd Annual Academy Awards.

And the nominees are:

Best Motion Picture

  • All About Eve
    20th Century-Fox
  • Born Yesterday
  • Father of the Bride
  • King Solomon's Mines
  • Sunset Blvd.

Best Directing

  • All About Eve
    Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • The Asphalt Jungle
    John Huston
  • Born Yesterday
    George Cukor
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Billy Wilder
  • The Third Man
    Carol Reed

Best Actor

  • Cyrano de Bergerac
    Jose Ferrer
  • Father of the Bride
    Spencer Tracy
  • Harvey
    James Stewart
  • The Magnificent Yankee
    Louis Calhern
  • Sunset Blvd.
    William Holden

Best Actress

  • All About Eve
    Anne Baxter
  • All About Eve
    Bette Davis
  • Born Yesterday
    Judy Holliday
  • Caged
    Eleanor Parker
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Gloria Swanson

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  • All About Eve
    George Sanders
  • The Asphalt Jungle
    Sam Jaffe
  • Broken Arrow
    Jeff Chandler
  • Mister 880
    Edmund Gwenn
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Erich von Stroheim

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • All About Eve
    Celeste Holm
  • All About Eve
    Thelma Ritter
  • Caged
    Hope Emerson
  • Harvey
    Josephine Hull
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Nancy Olson

Best Art Direction (Black-and-White)

  • All About Eve
    Lyle Wheeler , George W. Davis , Thomas Little and Walter M. Scott
  • The Red Danube
    Cedric Gibbons , Hans Peters , Edwin B. Willis and Hugh Hunt
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Hans Dreier , John Meehan , Sam Comer and Ray Moyer

Best Art Direction (Color)

  • Annie Get Your Gun
    Cedric Gibbons , Paul Groesse , Edwin B. Willis and Richard A. Pefferle
  • Destination Moon
    Ernst Fegte and George Sawley
  • Samson and Delilah
    Hans Dreier , Walter Tyler , Sam Comer and Ray Moyer

Best Cinematography (Black-and-White)

  • All About Eve
    Milton Krasner
  • The Asphalt Jungle
    Harold Rosson
  • The Furies
    Victor Milner
  • Sunset Blvd.
    John F. Seitz
  • The Third Man
    Robert Krasker

Best Cinematography (Color)

  • Annie Get Your Gun
    Charles Rosher
  • Broken Arrow
    Ernest Palmer
  • The Flame and the Arrow
    Ernest Haller
  • King Solomon's Mines
    Robert Surtees
  • Samson and Delilah
    George Barnes

Best Costume Design (Black-and-White)

  • All About Eve
    Edith Head and Charles LeMaire
  • Born Yesterday
    Jean Louis
  • The Magnificent Yankee
    Walter Plunkett

Best Costume Design (Color)

  • The Black Rose
    Michael Whittaker
  • Samson and Delilah
    Edith Head, Dorothy Jeakins, Elois Jenssen, Gile Steele and Gwen Wakeling
  • That Forsyte Woman
    Walter Plunkett and Valles

Best Documentary (Feature)

  • The Titan: Story of Michelangelo
    Robert Snyder
  • With These Hands
    Jack Arnold and Lee Goodman

Best Documentary (Short Subject)

  • The Fight: Science against Cancer
    Guy Glover
  • The Stairs
    Film Documents, Inc.
  • Why Korea?
    Edmund Reek

Best Film Editing

  • All About Eve
    Barbara McLean
  • Annie Get Your Gun
    James E. Newcom
  • King Solomon's Mines
    Ralph E. Winters and Conrad A. Nervig
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Arthur Schmidt and Doane Harrison
  • The Third Man
    Oswald Hafenrichter

Best Music (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture)

  • All About Eve
    Alfred Newman
  • The Flame and the Arrow
    Max Steiner
  • No Sad Songs for Me
    George Duning
  • Samson and Delilah
    Victor Young
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Franz Waxman

Best Music (Scoring of a Musical Picture)

  • Annie Get Your Gun
    Adolph Deutsch and Roger Edens
  • Cinderella
    Oliver Wallace and Paul J. Smith
  • I'll Get By
    Lionel Newman
  • Three Little Words
    Andre Previn
  • The West Point Story
    Ray Heindorf

Best Music (Song)

  • Captain Carey, U.S.A. "Mona Lisa"
    Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
  • Cinderella "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo"
    Mack David , Al Hoffman and Jerry Livingston
  • Singing Guns "Mule Train"
    Fred Glickman , Hy Heath and Johnny Lange
  • The Toast of New Orleans "Be My Love"
    Nicholas Brodszky and Sammy Cahn
  • Wabash Avenue "Wilhelmina"
    Josef Myrow and Mack Gordon

Best Short Subject (Cartoon)

  • Gerald McBoing-Boing
    Stephen Bosustow
  • Jerry's Cousin
    Fred Quimby
  • Trouble Indemnity
    Stephen Bosustow

Best Short Subject (One-reel)

  • Blaze Busters
    Robert Youngson
  • Grandad of Races
    Gordon Hollingshead
  • Wrong Way Butch
    Pete Smith

Best Short Subject (Two-reel)

  • Grandma Moses
    Falcon Films, Inc.
  • In Beaver Valley
    Walt Disney
  • My Country 'Tis of Thee
    Gordon Hollingshead

Best Sound Recording

  • All About Eve
    20th Century-Fox Studio Sound Department and Thomas T. Moulton
  • Cinderella
    Walt Disney Studio Sound Department and C.O. Slyfield
  • Louisa
    Universal-International Studio Sound Department and Leslie I. Carey
  • Our Very Own
    Samuel Goldwyn Studio Sound Department and Gordon Sawyer
  • Trio
    Pinewood Studios Sound Department and Cyril Crowhurst

Best Special Effects

  • Destination Moon
    George Pal Productions
  • Samson and Delilah
    Cecil B. DeMille Productions

Best Writing (Screenplay)

  • All About Eve
    Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  • The Asphalt Jungle
    Ben Maddow and John Huston
  • Born Yesterday
    Albert Mannheimer
  • Broken Arrow
    Albert Maltz
  • Father of the Bride
    Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett

Best Writing (Story and Screenplay)

  • Adam's Rib
    Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin
  • Caged
    Virginia Kellogg and Bernard C. Schoenfeld
  • The Men
    Carl Foreman
  • No Way Out
    Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Lesser Samuels
  • Sunset Blvd.
    Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr.

Best Writing (Motion Picture Story)

  • Bitter Rice
    Giuseppe De Santis and Carlo Lizzani
  • The Gunfighter
    William Bowers and Andre de Toth
  • Mystery Street
    Leonard Spigelgass
  • Panic in the Streets
    Edna Anhalt and Edward Anhalt
  • When Willie Comes Marching Home
    Sy Gomberg
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For this Oscar flashback, we’re throwing it back 70 years to the night of March 29, 1951. The affable Fred Astaire hosted for his first and only time, helming one of the most memorable ceremonies in Academy history. Two now-iconic films battled in a number of categories, with one setting Academy records that hold today. There were surprising wins in the acting categories, with Broadway being well-represented on the night that honors film. It was an especially great year for women, with two grande dames of film facing off for their now-legendary portrayals of aging actresses, and the Best Actress category being one of the best in the history of the Academy. One can almost hear Bette Davis saying, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.”

On a night in which three of the four acting winners triumphed for roles they had also played on Broadway, it’s rather fitting that a drama centering around theatre life won the big prize. “All About Eve” is one of the most acclaimed films ever, receiving a record-setting 14 nominations – a record matched by “Titanic” in 1998 and “La La Land” in 2017, but not yet beaten. Besides Best Picture, the film won Joseph L. Mankiewicz his SECOND consecutive pair of Oscars for directing and writing, having won the previous year for “A Letter to Three Wives” (although that film failed to win Best Picture). Seventy years later, he remains the only person to have won for Best Director and Best Screenplay two years in a row. The film also won an acting award and for costume design (more on these in a minute), as well as Best Sound – which was presented by Marilyn Monroe, who had a small but memorable role in the film. This would be her only appearance at an Academy Awards ceremony.

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Ironically, “All About Eve’s” biggest competitor was another film about an aging actress – the fabulous silent film star Norma Desmond, as played by Gloria Swanson. “Sunset Boulevard” came into the night with a hefty number of nominations as well – 11 to “Eve’s” 14. “Eve” walked away with six wins, whereas “Sunset” came away with only three, including, unsurprisingly, Best Writing for Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder and D.M. Marshman, Jr. Its other two wins were for Best Art Direction (Black and White) and Best Music. What is surprising is the lack of acting wins.

“Sunset Boulevard” is one of only 15 films with nominations in each of the four acting categories, and was the second film in Academy history (after “My Man Godfrey in 1936) to lose in all four categories. This has happened only one time since, when “American Hustle” lost all of its acting nominations in 2014. “All About Eve” was the second film in Oscar history to garner an outstanding five acting nominations (after “Mrs. Miniver” in 1943), and remains the only film to achieve four female acting nominations. Between these two legendary films, largely known for the outstanding acting, there were nine acting nominations – and only one win.

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The competition was truly epic in the Best Actress category. Many believe “Eve” costars Davis (a two-time winner on her ninth out of 11 nominations) and Anne Baxter (a previous Best Supporting Actress winner) cancelled each other out, with the thought that Davis would have been a shoo-in if Baxter had been placed in the supporting category. But then there’s Swanson, whose epic comeback in “Sunset Boulevard” resulted in her third Oscar nomination – with her other two having been in 1929 and 1930. So, two legendary actresses playing legendary actresses, along with an actress playing an ingenue who stole a role from one of the aging actresses, were all competing against one another. And the Oscar went to . . . comedienne Judy Holliday, winning on her sole nomination for reprising her acclaimed Broadway role of Billie Dawn in Best Picture nominee “Born Yesterday,” and was the only win out of five nominations for that film. Eleanor Parker rounded out the category for “Caged,” earning her first of three career nominations.

In the Best Actor category, Jose Ferrer won for the role that had won him a Tony on Broadway, “Cyrano de Bergerac,” making him the first Hispanic actor to win an Academy Award. He was against some stiff competition, including two former winners in this category, James Stewart for “Harvey” and Spencer Tracy for “Father of the Bride” – both of which would become iconic roles for these men. William Holden received his first career nomination out of three for his role in “Sunset Boulevard.” He also has the distinction of starring in two of the Best Picture nominees, with the other being “Born Yesterday.” Although he failed to win at this ceremony, he would win three years later for “Stalag 17.” The final nominee in this category was Louis Calhern, who earned his sole nomination for his role as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., in “The Magnificent Yankee.”

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In the supporting categories, George Sanders was the sole acting victory for “All About Eve,” winning for his portrayal of sardonic theater critic Addison DeWitt. Out of the five nominees in this category, four received their sole Oscar nomination – Sanders, Jeff Chandler for “Broken Arrow,” Sam Jaffe for “The Asphalt Jungle” and Erich von Stroheim for “Sunset Boulevard.” Edmund Gwenn (“Mister 880”) had won a supporting award three years before for his role as Kris Kringle in “Miracle on 34th Street.” Josephine Hull took home Supporting Actress for “Harvey,” winning for the role she had originated on Broadway. She beat out “All About Eve” co-stars Thelma Ritter (her first of six nominations with no wins) and Celeste Holm (who had won three years before for “Gentleman’s Agreement”). Nancy Olson and Hope Emerson each received their sole career nominations, for “Sunset Boulevard” and “Caged” respectively.

A big winner for the night, and another female legend, was costume designer Edith Head, who holds the record for most Oscars won by a woman with eight (out of an astounding 35 nominations). Head received at least one nomination every year between 1949 (the inaugural year for this award) and 1967, with separate awards being given for black and white films and color films during this time. In 1951, she won in both categories, for “All About Eve” (black and white) and “Samson and Delilah” (color). She had also won the previous year and would win again in 1952.

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The other Best Picture nominees were the comedy “Father of the Bride,” which failed to win any of its three nominations, and “King Solomon’s Mines,” which won its other two nominations in Best Cinematography, Color, and Best Film Editing. Two films that were surprisingly snubbed in this category were the now-classic films “The Third Man,” which did receive three nominations, including Best Director, and won for Best Cinematography, Black-and-White; and “The Asphalt Jungle” (another film featuring a young Marilyn Monroe), which lost all four nominations, including three big ones – Best Actor, Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay.

Another beloved film from that year received three nominations. Walt Disney‘s “Cinderella” received bids for Scoring of a Musical and Sound Recording, as well as for Best Song, “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo,” which lost to the iconic Nat King Cole song “Mona Lisa” from “Captain Carey, U.S.A.”

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The Life and Sad Ending of José Ferrer - Best Actor 1951 Oscars

The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.

HUMPHREY BOGART in "The African Queen", Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire", Montgomery Clift in "A Place in the Sun", Arthur Kennedy in "Bright Victory", Fredric March in "Death of a Salesman"
VIVIEN LEIGH in "A Streetcar Named Desire", Katharine Hepburn in "The African Queen", Eleanor Parker in "Detective Story", Shelley Winters in "A Place in the Sun", Jane Wyman in "The Blue Veil"
Supporting Actor:
KARL MALDEN in "A Streetcar Named Desire", Leo Genn in "Quo Vadis", Kevin McCarthy in "Death of a Salesman", Peter Ustinov in "Quo Vadis", Gig Young in "Come Fill the Cup"
Supporting Actress:
KIM HUNTER in "A Streetcar Named Desire", Joan Blondell in "The Blue Veil", Mildred Dunnock in "Death of a Salesman", Lee Grant in "Detective Story", Thelma Ritter in "The Mating Season"
GEORGE STEVENS for "A Place in the Sun", John Huston for "The African Queen", Elia Kazan for "A Streetcar Named Desire", Vincente Minnelli for "An American in Paris", William Wyler for "Detective Story"

Marking the decline of the old Hollywood studio system, this was the first year in which the Best Picture Oscar was given to the film's producers rather than to the studio that released the film.

Director Vincente Minnelli's An American in Paris, a lavish, Technicolor, Gershwin-scored musical, was a major surprise winner of the Best Picture Award in 1951. (The Arthur Freed-produced film with eight nominations won a total of six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Story and Screenplay - Alan Jay Lerner, Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction, Best Color Costume Design, and Best Score for a Musical Picture. In addition, it was presented with the Thalberg Award for producer Arthur Freed, and an Honorary Oscar was presented to virtuoso Gene Kelly.

The film was about an ex-GI painter who remained in Paris following the war, and became enmeshed in a romantic triangle between a rich American patroness (Nina Foch) and a lovely 19 year-old French dancer (Leslie Caron). It was the first musical to win the Best Picture award since The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and Broadway Melody (1928-9), the first color film to win an Oscar since Gone With The Wind (1939), and one of only a few Best Picture winners that received no acting nominations.

The Best Picture film winner marked a major upset. It was up against stiff competition from two black and white melodramas (which had a total of nineteen nominations between them, 12 and 7 respectively):

  • director Elia Kazan's film adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play about a neurotic Southern belle who visits her sister and brother-in-law in New Orleans - A Streetcar Named Desire (with twelve nominations and four wins)
  • director George Stevens' film based on Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy, A Place in the Sun (with seven nominations and six wins - Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best B/W Cinematography, Best Dramatic Score, Best Film Editing, and Best B/W Costume Design), about an ambitious factory worker (Montgomery Clift) who aspires to a more glamorous life with a gorgeous debutante (Elizabeth Taylor), but is threatened by a lower-class co-worker's (Shelley Winter) pregnancy and a false accusation of murder

The remaining nominees included the most expensive film of its time - MGM's big budget epic version of Henryk Siekiewicz's classic novel and director Mervyn LeRoy's film Quo Vadis (with a total of eight nominations and no wins) about Nero's Christian persecution and starring Deborah Kerr and Robert Taylor, and 20th Century Fox's and director Anatole Litvak's WWII thriller Decision Before Dawn (with a weak total of two nominations and no wins). Quo Vadis had the dubious distinction of not winning in any of the categories in which it was nominated. It was thought that the two front-runners Streetcar and A Place in the Sun split the vote, thereby handing the victory to the MGM musical.

The Best Director category included five major film directors:

The entire acting ensemble in A Streetcar Named Desire (most of whom had performed in the Broadway stage cast) was nominated for Best Actor/Actress and Best Supporting Actor/Actress awards (Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden, and Kim Hunter), and three of the four succeeded and were presented with awards. [It was the first film ever to win three Acting Oscars.]

Twenty-seven year-old front-runner Marlon Brando (with his first of eight career nominations) was competing for Best Actor for his second film performance (he had debuted a year earlier in The Men) as the animalistically-brutish, abusive Stanley Kowalski (Kim Hunter's wife and Vivien Leigh's brother-in-law). Method actor Brando lost the hotly-contested contest to long-deserving Humphrey Bogart (with his second of three career nominations - and his sole career Oscar win) for his role as gin-loving, earthy skipper Charlie Allnut in director John Huston's The African Queen (with four nominations and one win - Bogart's Best Actor honor). Many interpreted Bogart's win as a payback award, and as a "career" Oscar (since he had been passed over for major film nominations or wins - including his many un-nominated roles in The Maltese Falcon (1941), To Have and Have Not (1944), The Big Sleep (1946), and The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)). [Bogart's first nomination was for Casablanca (1943), and he would be nominated one more time for playing paranoid Captain Queeg in The Caine Mutiny (1954). Interestingly, Brando and Bogart were both nominated again in 1954, but this time, Brando won the Oscar for On the Waterfront (1954).] Bogart's win in 1951 was an upset, since it denied the predicted clean-sweep for the cast of A Streetcar Named Desire, and a much-deserved Oscar for Brando.

The other Best Actor nominees in the competitive category included:

  • Montgomery Clift (with his second of four unsuccessful nominations) as doomed George Eastman - a poor boy who falls in love with rich girl Elizabeth Taylor, but is threatened by dowdy factory co-worker Shelley Winters and her pregnancy in A Place in the Sun
  • Fredric March (with his fifth and last Oscar nomination - he had won twice before in 1931-2 and 1946) as aging, unsuccessful salesman Willy Loman in director Laslo Benedek's film adaptation of Arthur Miller's play Death of a Salesman (with five nominations and no wins)
  • Arthur Kennedy (with his second of five unsuccessful career nominations) as Larry Nevins - a veteran made blind in WWII combat in director Mark Robson's Bright Victory (with two nominations and no wins)

The Best Actress race was another formidable race between Leigh and Hepburn:

  • Katharine Hepburn (with her fifth out of a career total of twelve nominations) was nominated for her performance in The African Queen as prim spinster/missionary Rose Sayer (Bogart's boat companion aboard a 30-foot river steamboat in German East Africa during World War I)
  • Vivien Leigh's Oscar-winning role as the fragile, genteel, tarnished, desperate, and aging Southern belle Blanche DuBois who is mentally and physically abused by her brother-in-law inA Streetcar Named Desire. [It was Leigh's fifth film, second Oscar win, and first nomination after her Oscar-winning performance in Gone With The Wind (1939). The other best-known films she appeared in since 1939 included - Waterloo Bridge (1940), That Hamilton Woman (1941), Caesar and Cleopatra (1946), Anna Karenina (1947), The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1961), and Ship of Fools (1965). Both of Leigh's two Oscar wins were for playing Southern belles.]

The other nominees were: Eleanor Parker (with her second consecutive nomination out of a career total of three unsuccessful nominations) as Mary McLeod (detective Kirk Douglas' wife with a secret past) in Detective Story, Shelley Winters (with her first of four career nominations) as pregnant factory worker Alice Tripp in A Place in the Sun, and past Oscar-winner Jane Wyman (with her third of four career nominations) as self-sacrificing nanny-nursemaid Louise in director Curtis Bernhardt's The Blue Veil (with two nominations and no wins).

Karl Malden (with his first career nomination and sole Oscar win) won the Best Supporting Actor award in 1951 for his reprised role (from Broadway) as Harold (Mitch) Mitchell - a mother-dominated bachelor, Brando's card-playing buddy, and Blanche du Bois' would-be suitor who eventually abandons her in A Streetcar Named Desire. The other Best Supporting Actor nominees included:

  • Leo Genn (with his sole career nomination) as Roman nobleman Petronius in Quo Vadis
  • Kevin McCarthy (with his sole career nomination) as Willy Loman's son Biff in Death of a Salesman
  • Peter Ustinov (with his first of three career nominations) as mad Roman emperor Nero in Quo Vadis
  • Gig Young (with his first of three career nominations) as wealthy alcoholic Boyd Copeland in director Gordon Douglas' Come Fill the Cup (the film's sole nomination)

Kim Hunter (with her sole career nomination and sole Oscar win) won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her reprised Broadway performance as Stella Kowalski (Marlon Brando's wife and Vivien Leigh's younger sister) in A Streetcar Named Desire. The remaining four nominees in the category included:

  • Joan Blondell - in her long career - received her sole Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her role as aging musical actress Annie in The Blue Veil
  • Mildred Dunnock (with her first of two unsuccessful career nominations) as Linda (Willy Loman's wife) in Death of a Salesman
  • Lee Grant (with her first of four career nominations - for her debut film role) as an eccentric shoplifter in Detective Story
  • Thelma Ritter (with her second of six unsuccessful nominations) as mother-in-law/servant Ellen McNulty in director Mitchell Liesen's The Mating Season (the film's sole nomination)

The Best Foreign picture (receiving an Honorary Award) was director Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon - it was also the first post-war Japanese film to be shown widely in the West and to attract attention, and it made Kurosawa's favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, a world famous star. Virtuoso dancer, film actor, singer, director and choreographer Gene Kelly received an Honorary Academy Award "in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film."

Oscar Snubs and Omissions:

Decision Before Dawn was a minor film (and nominated for only two Oscars), but since it was supported by Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck, it appeared on the Best Picture ballot. A number of films should have been nominated for Best Picture in its place, but weren't. Independent studio United Artists couldn't muster enough support to get its popular and entertaining classic film The African Queen nominated for Best Picture, although their strong film candidate was nominated for Best Director (John Huston), Best Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Best Actress (Katharine Hepburn), and Best Screenplay (James Agee and John Huston). Christian Nyby's and the Howard Hawks'-produced The Thing (From Another World) was completely un-nominated.

Director Alfred Hitchcock's and Warner Bros.' superb psychological suspense thriller Strangers on a Train went un-nominated in all categories except Best Black and White Cinematography. Robert Walker was snubbed for his great performance as gay, psycho-pathic killer Bruno Antony, who murdered tennis pro Guy Haines' (Farley Granger) estranged wife Miriam and then demanded, through blackmail, the reciprocal murder of his own tyrannical father.

One of the finest science-fiction films of all time, Robert Wise's The Day the Earth Stood Still, missed out on the nominations - although its message of peace brought by an interplanetary traveller named Klaatu (Michael Rennie) was a welcome relief.

There were at least three worthy Best Actor candidates that weren't in the list of nominees:

  • Kirk Douglas as belligerent, self-obsessed unscrupulous, big-city newspaper reporter Charles "Chuck" Tatum stuck in Albuquerque and looking for his 'ace in the hole' big story in director/co-writer Billy Wilder's scathing Ace in the Hole/The Big Carnival (with only one nomination for Best Original Screenplay)
  • Kirk Douglas (again) as obsessive Detective James McLeod in William Wyler's Detective Story
  • British actor Alastair Sim as miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in the most definitive version of Dickens' story - A Christmas Carol (with no nominations)

Actor 1951 best






A Streetcar Named Desire
A Place in the Sun
An American in Paris
Quo Vadis
David and Bathsheba
Death of a Salesman
The African Queen
Detective Story
The Great Caruso


An American in Paris
A Place in the Sun
A Streetcar Named Desire
The African Queen
The Great Caruso
Here Comes the Groom
Nature’s Half Acre
Seven Days to Noon
The Two Mouseketeers
When Worlds Collide
World of Kids
Best Picture winner
Best Picture nominee
Nominations are listed for all films receiving 3 or more


An American in Paris – Arthur Freed
Decision before Dawn – Anatole Litvak, Frank McCarthy
A Place in the Sun – George Stevens
Quo Vadis – Sam Zimbalist
A Streetcar Named Desire – Charles K. Feldman


The African Queen – John Huston
An American in Paris – Vincente Minnelli
Detective Story – William Wyler
A Place in the Sun – George Stevens
A Streetcar Named Desire – Elia Kazan


Humphrey Bogart – The African Queen
Marlon Brando – A Streetcar Named Desire
Montgomery Clift – A Place in the Sun
Arthur Kennedy – Bright Victory
Fredric March – Death of a Salesman


Katharine Hepburn – The African Queen
Vivien Leigh – A Streetcar Named Desire
Eleanor Parker – Detective Story
Shelley Winters – A Place in the Sun
Jane Wyman – The Blue Veil


Leo Genn – Quo Vadis
Kevin McCarthy – Death of a Salesman
Karl Malden – A Streetcar Named Desire
Peter Ustinov – Quo Vadis
Gig Young – Come Fill the Cup


Joan Blondell – The Blue Veil
Mildred Dunnock – Death of a Salesman
Lee Grant – Detective Story
Kim Hunter – A Streetcar Named Desire
Thelma Ritter – The Mating Season

WRITING (Motion Picture Story)

Bullfighter and the Lady – Budd Boetticher, Ray Nazarro
The Frogmen – Oscar Millard
Here Comes the Groom – Robert Riskin, Liam O’Brien
Seven Days to Noon – Paul Dehn, James Bernard
Teresa – Alfred Hayes, Stewart Stern

WRITING (Screenplay)

The African Queen – James Agee, John Huston
Detective Story – Philip Yordan, Robert Wyler
La Ronde – Max Ophuls, Jacques Natanson
A Place in the Sun – Michael Wilson, Harry Brown
A Streetcar Named Desire – Tennessee Williams

WRITING (Story and Screenplay)

An American in Paris – Alan Jay Lerner
The Big Carnival – Billy Wilder, Lesser Samuels, Walter Newman
David and Bathsheba – Philip Dunne
Go for Broke! – Robert Pirosh
The Well – Clarence Greene, Russell Rouse

MUSIC (Song)

“In The Cool, Cool, Cool Of The Evening” – Here Comes the Groom – Music by Hoagy Carmichael; Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
“A Kiss To Build A Dream On” – The Strip – Music, Lyrics by Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, Oscar Hammerstein II
“Never” – Golden Girl – Music by Lionel Newman; Lyrics by Eliot Daniel
“Too Late Now” – Royal Wedding – Music by Burton Lane; Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
“Wonder Why” – Rich, Young and Pretty – Music by Nicholas Brodszky; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn

MUSIC (Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture)

David and Bathsheba – Alfred Newman
Death of a Salesman – Alex North
A Place in the Sun – Franz Waxman
Quo Vadis – Miklos Rozsa
A Streetcar Named Desire – Alex North

MUSIC (Scoring of a Musical Picture)

Alice in Wonderland – Oliver Wallace
An American in Paris – Johnny Green, Saul Chaplin
The Great Caruso – Peter Herman Adler, Johnny Green
On the Riviera – Alfred Newman
Show Boat – Adolph Deutsch, Conrad Salinger


An American in Paris – Adrienne Fazan
Decision before Dawn – Dorothy Spencer
A Place in the Sun – William Hornbeck
Quo Vadis – Ralph E. Winters
The Well – Chester Schaeffer

CINEMATOGRAPHY (Black-and-White)

Death of a Salesman – Frank Planer
The Frogmen – Norbert Brodine
A Place in the Sun – William C. Mellor
Strangers on a Train – Robert Burks
A Streetcar Named Desire – Harry Stradling


An American in Paris – Alfred Gilks; Ballet Photography by John Alton
David and Bathsheba – Leon Shamroy
Quo Vadis – Robert Surtees, William V. Skall
Show Boat – Charles Rosher
When Worlds Collide – John F. Seitz, W. Howard Greene

ART DIRECTION (Black-and-White)

Fourteen Hours – Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Leland Fuller; Set Decoration: Thomas Little, Fred J. Rode
House on Telegraph Hill – Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, John DeCuir; Set Decoration: Thomas Little, Paul S. Fox
La Ronde – D’Eaubonne
A Streetcar Named Desire – Art Direction: Richard Day; Set Decoration: George James Hopkins
Too Young to Kiss – Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Paul Groesse; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Jack D. Moore


An American in Paris – Art Direction: Cedric Gibbons, Preston Ames; Set Decoration: Edwin B. Willis, Keogh Gleason
David and Bathsheba – Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, George Davis; Set Decoration: Thomas Little, Paul S. Fox
On the Riviera – Art Direction: Lyle Wheeler, Leland Fuller; Musical Settings: Joseph C. Wright; Set Decoration: Thomas Little, Walter M. Scott
Quo Vadis – Art Direction: William A. Horning, Cedric Gibbons, Edward Carfagno; Set Decoration: Hugh Hunt
Tales of Hoffmann – Hein Heckroth

COSTUME DESIGN (Black-and-White)

Kind Lady – Walter Plunkett, Gile Steele
The Model and the Marriage Broker – Charles LeMaire, Renie
The Mudlark – Edward Stevenson, Margaret Furse
A Place in the Sun – Edith Head
A Streetcar Named Desire – Lucinda Ballard


An American in Paris – Orry-Kelly, Walter Plunkett, Irene Sharaff
David and Bathsheba – Charles LeMaire, Edward Stevenson
The Great Caruso – Helen Rose, Gile Steele
Quo Vadis – Herschel McCoy
Tales of Hoffmann – Hein Heckroth


Bright Victory – Universal-International Studio Sound Department, Leslie I. Carey, Sound Director
The Great Caruso – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Sound Department, Douglas Shearer, Sound Director
I Want You – Samuel Goldwyn Studio Sound Department, Gordon Sawyer, Sound Director
A Streetcar Named Desire – Warner Bros. Studio Sound Department, Col. Nathan Levinson, Sound Director
Two Tickets to Broadway – RKO Radio Studio Sound Department, John O. Aalberg, Sound Director


When Worlds Collide – Paramount


To Rashomon – voted by the Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States during 1951.


I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. – Bryan Foy
Kon-Tiki – Olle Nordemar

DOCUMENTARY (Short Subject)

Benjy – ‘Made by Fred Zinnemann with the cooperation of Paramount Pictures Corporation for the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital’
One Who Came Back – Owen Crump (Film sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans, in cooperation with the United States Department of Defense and the Association of Motion Picture Producers)
The Seeing Eye – Gordon Hollingshead


Lambert, the Sheepish Lion – Walt Disney
Rooty Toot Toot – Stephen Bosustow
The Two Mouseketeers – Fred Quimby


Ridin’ the Rails – Jack Eaton
The Story of Time – Robert G. Leffingwell
World of Kids – Robert Youngson


Balzac – Les Films du Compass
Danger under the Sea – Tom Mead
Nature’s Half Acre – Walt Disney


To Gene Kelly in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.


Arthur Freed


To GORDON JENNINGS, S. L. STANCLIFFE and the PARAMOUNT STUDIO SPECIAL PHOTOGRAPHIC and ENGINEERING DEPARTMENTS for the design, construction and application of a servo-operated recording and repeating device. [Special Photographic]
To OLIN L. DUPY of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio for the design, construction and application of a motion picture reproducing system. [Special Photographic]
To RADIO CORPORATION OF AMERICA, VICTOR DIVISION, for pioneering direct positive recording with anticipatory noise reduction. [Sound]


To RICHARD M. HAFF, FRANK P. HERRNFELD, GARLAND C. MISENER and the ANSCO FILM DIVISION OF GENERAL ANILINE AND FILM CORPORATION for the development of the Ansco color scene tester. [Laboratory]
To FRED PONEDEL, RALPH AYRES and GEORGE BROWN of Warner Bros. Studio for an air-driven water motor to provide flow, wake and white water for marine sequences in motion pictures. [Stage Operations]
To GLEN ROBINSON and the METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIO CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT for the development of a new music wire and cable cutter. [Stage Operations]
To JACK GAYLORD and the METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER STUDIO CONSTRUCTION DEPARTMENT for the development of balsa falling snow. [Stage Operations]
To CARLOS RIVAS of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio for the development of an automatic magnetic film splicer. [Editorial]

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