1948 Oscars 20th Academy Awards

1948 Oscars 20th Academy Awards

  • Winners Announced: March 20, 1948
  • Venue: Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, California
  • Hosts: Agnes Moorehead and Dick Powell
  • Eligibility Year: Films released in 1947

Major Wins:

  • Gentleman’s Agreement nabbed the Best Picture award, a film that tackled the issue of anti-Semitism in America.
  • Ronald Colman won Best Actor for A Double Life, and Loretta Young scored Best Actress for The Farmer’s Daughter.

Directing & Screenplay:

  • Elia Kazan was awarded Best Director for Gentleman’s Agreement, while George Seaton took home Best Screenplay for Miracle on 34th Street.

Additional Info:

  • Celeste Holm snagged Best Supporting Actress for her role in Gentleman’s Agreement.
  • Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle in Miracle on 34th Street charmed his way to a Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
  • This was the first year the Oscars were televised locally in Los Angeles, a precursor to the global telecasts we have today.
  • The “Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award” was introduced this year, named after the Danish actor and humanitarian.
  • Black Narcissus had Jack Cardiff win for Best Cinematography, a category usually dominated by American cinematographers.
  • No film received more than three awards at the 20th Academy Awards.
  • James Baskett received an Academy Honorary Award for his portrayal of Uncle Remus in Song of the South, which made him the first African-American man and the first Walt Disney star to win an Academy Award for acting

1948 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Motion Picture:
Gentleman’s Agreement – Darryl F. Zanuck for 20th Century Fox (WINNER)
The Bishop’s Wife – Samuel Goldwyn for RKO Radio Pictures
Crossfire – Adrian Scott for RKO Radio Pictures
Great Expectations – Ronald Neame for Universal Studios and General Film Distributors, Ltd.
Miracle on 34th Street – William Perlberg for 20th Century Fox – Miracle on 34th Street
Best Director:
Elia Kazan – Gentleman’s Agreement (WINNER)
Henry Koster – The Bishop’s Wife
Edward Dmytryk – Crossfire
George Cukor – A Double Life
David Lean – Great Expectations
Best Actor:
Ronald Colman – A Double Life as Anthony John (WINNER)
John Garfield – Body and Soul as Charlie Davis
Gregory Peck – Gentleman’s Agreement as Philip Schuyler Green
William Powell – Life with Father as Clarence Day, Sr.
Michael Redgrave – Mourning Becomes Electra as Orin Mannon
Best Actress:
Loretta Young – The Farmer’s Daughter as Katie Holstrom (WINNER)
Joan Crawford – Possessed as Louise Howell
Susan Hayward – Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman as Angie Evans
Dorothy McGuire – Gentleman’s Agreement as Kathy Lacey
Rosalind Russell – Mourning Becomes Electra as Lavinia Mannon
Best Supporting Actor:
Edmund Gwenn – Miracle on 34th Street as Kris Kringle (WINNER)
Charles Bickford – The Farmer’s Daughter as Joseph Clancy
Thomas Gomez – Ride the Pink Horse as Pancho
Robert Ryan – Crossfire as Montgomery
Richard Widmark – Kiss of Death as Tommy Udo
Best Supporting Actress:
Celeste Holm – Gentleman’s Agreement as Anne Dettrey (WINNER)
Ethel Barrymore – The Paradine Case as Lady Sophie Horfield
Gloria Grahame – Crossfire as Ginny Tremaine
Marjorie Main – The Egg and I as Ma Kettle
Anne Revere – Gentleman’s Agreement as Mrs Green
Best Original Screenplay:
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer – Sidney Sheldon (WINNER)
Body and Soul – Abraham Polonsky
A Double Life – Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin
Monsieur Verdoux – Charlie Chaplin
Shoeshine – Sergio Amidei, Adolfo Franci, Cesare Giulio Viola and Cesare Zavattini
Best Screenplay:
Miracle on 34th Street – George Seaton from a story by Valentine Davies (WINNER)
Boomerang! – Richard Murphy from a Reader’s Digest article by Anthony Abbot
Crossfire – John Paxton from The Brick Foxhole by Richard Brooks
Gentleman’s Agreement – Moss Hart from Gentleman’s Agreement by Laura Z. Hobson
Great Expectations – David Lean, Ronald Neame and Anthony Havelock-Allan from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Best Motion Picture Story:
Miracle on 34th Street – Valentine Davies (WINNER)
A Cage of Nightingales – Georges Chaperot and René Wheeler
It Happened on Fifth Avenue – Herbert Clyde Lewis and Frederick Stephani
Kiss of Death – Eleazar Lipsky
Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman – Dorothy Parker and Frank Cavett
Best Short Subject – Cartoons:
Tweetie Pie – Edward Selzer (WINNER)
Chip an’ Dale – Walt Disney
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Mouse – Fred Quimby
Pluto’s Blue Note – Walt Disney
Tubby the Tuba – George Pal
Best Documentary Feature:
Design for Death (WINNER)
Journey into Medicine
The World Is Rich
Best Documentary Short Subject:
First Steps (WINNER)
Passport to Nowhere
School in the Mailbox
Best Live Action Short Subject, One-Reel:
Goodbye, Miss Turlock – Herbert Moulton (WINNER)
Brooklyn, U.S.A. – Thomas Mead
Moon Rockets – Jerry Fairbanks
Now You See It – Pete Smith
So You Want to Be in Pictures – Gordon Hollingshead
Best Live Action Short Subject, Two-Reel:
Climbing the Matterhorn – Irving Allen (WINNER)
Champagne for Two – Harry Grey
Fight of the Wild Stallions – Thomas Mead
Give Us the Earth – Herbert Morgan
A Voice Is Born: The Story of Niklos Gafni – Ben Blake
Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
A Double Life – Miklós Rózsa (WINNER)
The Bishop’s Wife – Hugo Friedhofer
Captain from Castile – Alfred Newman
Forever Amber – David Raksin
Life with Father – Max Steiner
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture:
Mother Wore Tights – Alfred Newman (WINNER)
Fiesta – Johnny Green
My Wild Irish Rose – Ray Heindorf and Max Steiner
Road to Rio – Robert Emmett Dolan
Song of the South – Daniele Amfitheatrof, Paul J. Smith and Charles Wolcott
Best Original Song:
“Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from Song of the South – Music by Allie Wrubel; Lyrics by Ray Gilbert (WINNER)
“A Gal in Calico” from The Time, the Place and the Girl – Music by Arthur Schwartz; Lyrics by Leo Robin
“I Wish I Didn’t Love You So” from The Perils of Pauline – Music and Lyrics by Frank Loesser
“Pass That Peace Pipe” from Good News – Music and Lyrics by Ralph Blane, Hugh Martin and Roger Edens
“You Do” from Mother Wore Tights – Music by Josef Myrow; Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Best Sound Recording:
The Bishop’s Wife – Gordon E. Sawyer (WINNER)
Green Dolphin Street – Douglas Shearer
T-Men – Jack Whitney
Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Black-and-White:
Great Expectations – Art Direction: John Bryan; Set Decoration: Wilfred Shingleton (WINNER)
The Foxes of Harrow – Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler and Maurice Ransford; Set Decoration: Thomas Little and Paul S. Fox
Best Art Direction – Set Decoration, Color:
Black Narcissus – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Alfred Junge (WINNER)
Life with Father – Art Direction: Robert M. Haas; Set Decoration: George James Hopkins
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White:
Great Expectations – Guy Green (WINNER)
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir – Charles Lang
Green Dolphin Street – George J. Folsey
Best Cinematography, Color:
Black Narcissus – Jack Cardiff (WINNER)
Life with Father – Peverell Marley and William V. Skall
Mother Wore Tights – Harry Jackson
Best Film Editing:
Body and Soul – Francis D. Lyon and Robert Parrish (WINNER)
The Bishop’s Wife – Monica Collingwood
Gentleman’s Agreement – Harmon Jones
Green Dolphin Street – George White
Odd Man Out – Fergus McDonell
Best Special Effects:
Green Dolphin Street – A. Arnold Gillespie and Warren Newcombe; Special Audible Effects: Douglas Shearer and Michael Steinore (WINNER)
Unconquered – Farciot Edouart, Devereux Jennings, Gordon Jennings, Wallace Kelley and Paul Lerpae; Special Audible Effects: George Dutton
Academy Honorary Awards:
James Baskett “for his able and heart-warming characterization of Uncle Remus, friend and story teller to the children of the world in Walt Disney’s Song of the South.” Bill and Coo “in which artistry and patience blended in a novel and entertaining use of the medium of motion pictures.” Colonel William N. Selig, Albert E. Smith, Thomas Armat and George K. Spoor members of “the small group of pioneers whose belief in a new medium, and whose contributions to its development, blazed the trail along which the motion picture has progressed, in their lifetime, from obscurity to world-wide acclaim.”
Best Foreign Language Film:
Shoeshine (Italy)
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