1964 Oscars 36th Academy Awards

1964 Oscars 36th Academy Awards

Winners Announced: April 13, 1964
Held at: Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, California
Host: Jack Lemmon
Eligibility Year: 1963

Cinematic Highlights and Achievements

  • Tom Jones Galore: The British comedy Tom Jones snagged four Oscars, including Best Picture, and was nominated in six other categories.
  • First Best Actress Win for a Child Actor: At age 16, Patty Duke won Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Miracle Worker.
  • British Invasion: A British actor, Sidney Poitier, won Best Actor for Lilies of the Field, becoming the first Black man to win the award.
  • Disney’s Double Win: The Sword in the Stone gave Disney its sixth Best Animated Feature win, while Mary Poppins took home Best Original Song for “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”


  • Beatles Connection: Despite the British Invasion in the music scene, led by the Beatles, the Oscars that year were more traditionally American in their award selections.
  • Shortest Acceptance Speech: Patty Duke set a record for the shortest Oscar acceptance speech ever: a simple “Thank you.”
  • The Great Escape: Despite its commercial success and ensemble cast, The Great Escape didn’t receive a single nomination.
  • Poitier’s Milestone: Sidney Poitier’s win was more than an Oscar; it was a powerful moment in the civil rights movement.
  • Best Picture winner Tom Jones was the only film in history to garner three Best Supporting Actress nominations.
  • Cleopatra (9 nominations) and Tom Jones (10 nominations) each won 4 Oscars.
  • Sidney Poitier was the first Black actor to win Best Actor.
  • Take our 1964 Quiz!

1964 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Picture:
Tom Jones – Tony Richardson (WINNER)
America America – Elia Kazan
Cleopatra – Walter Wanger
How the West Was Won – Bernard Smith
Lilies of the Field – Ralph Nelson
Best Director:
Tony Richardson – Tom Jones (WINNER)
Federico Fellini – 8½
Elia Kazan – America America
Otto Preminger – The Cardinal
Martin Ritt – Hud
Best Actor:
Sidney Poitier – Lilies of the Field (WINNER)
Albert Finney – Tom Jones
Richard Harris – This Sporting Life
Rex Harrison – Cleopatra
Paul Newman – Hud
Best Actress:
Patricia Neal – Hud (WINNER)
Leslie Caron – The L-Shaped Room
Shirley MacLaine – Irma la Douce
Rachel Roberts – This Sporting Life
Natalie Wood – Love with the Proper Stranger
Best Supporting Actor:
Melvyn Douglas – Hud (WINNER)
Nick Adams – Twilight of Honor
Bobby Darin – Captain Newman, M.D.
Hugh Griffith – Tom Jones
John Huston – The Cardinal
Best Supporting Actress:
Margaret Rutherford – The V.I.P.s (WINNER)
Diane Cilento – Tom Jones
Edith Evans – Tom Jones
Joyce Redman – Tom Jones
Lilia Skala – Lilies of the Field
Best Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
How the West Was Won – James R. Webb (WINNER)
8½ – Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli and Brunello Rondi
America America – Elia Kazan
The Four Days of Naples – Screenplay by Carlo Bernari, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa and Nanni Loy; Story by Pasquale Festa Campanile, Massimo Franciosa, Nanni Loy and Vasco Pratolini
Love with the Proper Stranger – Arnold Schulman
Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium:
Tom Jones – John Osborne based on the novel The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding (WINNER)
Captain Newman, M.D. – Richard L. Breen, Phoebe Ephron and Henry Ephron based on the novel by Leo Rosten
Hud – Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank Jr. based on the novel Horseman, Pass By by Larry McMurtry
Lilies of the Field – James Poe based on the novel by William E. Barrett
Sundays and Cybele – Antoine Tudal and Serge Bourguignon based on the novel Les Dimanches de Ville d’Avray by Bernard Eschassériaux
Best Foreign Language Film:
8½ (Italy) (WINNER)
Knife in the Water (Poland)
The Red Lanterns (Greece)
Los Tarantos (Spain)
Twin Sisters of Kyoto (Japan)
Best Song:
“Call Me Irresponsible” from Papa’s Delicate Condition – Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn (WINNER)
“Charade” from Charade – Music by Henry Mancini; Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
“It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” from It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Music by Ernest Gold; Lyrics by Mack David
“More” from Mondo Cane – Music by Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero; Lyrics by Norman Newell
“So Little Time” from 55 Days at Peking – Music by Dimitri Tiomkin; Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
Best Documentary Feature:
Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel with the World (WINNER)
Le Maillon et la Chaine
The Yanks Are Coming
Terminus (nomination revoked)
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Chagall (WINNER)
The Five Cities of June
The Spirit of America
Thirty Million Letters
To Live Again
Best Live Action Short Subject:
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (WINNER)
The Concert
Home-Made Car
Six-Sided Triangle
That’s Me
Best Short Subject – Cartoons:
The Critic (WINNER)
Automania 2000
The Game
My Financial Career
Best Music Score – Substantially Original:
Tom Jones – John Addison (WINNER)
55 Days at Peking – Dimitri Tiomkin
Cleopatra – Alex North
How the West Was Won – Alfred Newman and Ken Darby
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Ernest Gold
Best Scoring of Music – Adaptation or Treatment:
Irma la Douce – André Previn (WINNER)
Bye Bye Birdie – Johnny Green
A New Kind of Love – Leith Stevens
Sundays and Cybele – Maurice Jarre
The Sword in the Stone – George Bruns
Best Sound Effects:
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Walter Elliott (WINNER)
A Gathering of Eagles – Robert Bratton
Best Sound:
How the West Was Won – Franklin Milton (WINNER)
Bye Bye Birdie – Charles Rice
Captain Newman, M.D. – Waldon O. Watson
Cleopatra – James Corcoran and Fred Hynes
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Gordon E. Sawyer
Best Art Direction, Black-and-White:
America America – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Gene Callahan (WINNER)
8½ – Art Direction and Set Decoration: Piero Gherardi
Hud – Art Direction: Hal Pereira and Tambi Larsen; Set Decoration: Samuel M. Comer and Robert R. Benton
Love with the Proper Stranger – Art Direction: Hal Pereira and Roland Anderson; Set Decoration: Samuel M. Comer and Grace Gregory
Twilight of Honor – Art Direction: George Davis and Paul Groesse; Set Decoration: Henry Grace and Hugh Hunt
Best Art Direction, Color:
Cleopatra – Art Direction: John DeCuir, Jack Martin Smith, Hilyard M. Brown, Herman A. Blumenthal, Elven Webb, Maurice Pelling and Boris Juraga; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott, Paul S. Fox and Ray Moyer (WINNER)
The Cardinal – Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler; Set Decoration: Gene Callahan
Come Blow Your Horn – Art Direction: Hal Pereira and Roland Anderson; Set Decoration: Samuel M. Comer and James W. Payne
How the West Was Won – Art Direction: George Davis, William Ferrari (posthumous nomination) and Addison Hehr; Set Decoration: Henry Grace, Don Greenwood Jr. and Jack Mills
Tom Jones – Art Direction: Ralph W. Brinton, Ted Marshall and Jocelyn Herbert; Set Decoration: Josie MacAvin
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White:
Hud – James Wong Howe (WINNER)
The Balcony – George J. Folsey
The Caretakers – Lucien Ballard
Lilies of the Field – Ernest Haller
Love with the Proper Stranger – Milton Krasner
Best Cinematography, Color:
Cleopatra – Leon Shamroy (WINNER)
The Cardinal – Leon Shamroy
How the West Was Won – William Daniels, Milton Krasner, Charles Lang and Joseph LaShelle
Irma la Douce – Joseph LaShelle
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Ernest Laszlo
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White:
8½ – Piero Gherardi (WINNER)
Love with the Proper Stranger – Edith Head
The Stripper – Travilla
Toys in the Attic – Bill Thomas
Wives and Lovers – Edith Head
Best Costume Design, Color:
Cleopatra – Irene Sharaff, Vittorio Nino Novarese and Renié (WINNER)
The Cardinal – Donald Brooks
How the West Was Won – Walter Plunkett
The Leopard – Piero Tosi
A New Kind of Love – Edith Head
Best Film Editing:
How the West Was Won – Harold F. Kress (WINNER)
Cleopatra – Dorothy Spencer
The Cardinal – Louis R. Loeffler
The Great Escape – Ferris Webster
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World – Frederic Knudtson (posthumous nomination), Robert C. Jones and Gene Fowler Jr.
Best Special Effects:
Cleopatra – Emil Kosa Jr. (WINNER)
The Birds – Ub Iwerks
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award:
Sam Spiegel
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