1959 Oscars 31st Academy Awards

1959 Oscars 31st Academy Awards

Winners Announced: April 6, 1959
Held at: Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, California
Host: Jerry Lewis, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, Bob Hope, David Niven and Laurence Olivier
Eligibility Year: 1958

  • Gigi earned 9 nominations, winning all nine.
  • Cuts were made to make the ceremony shorter, which ended up 20 minutes too short.
    Jerry Lewis ad-libbed for most of the end of the show.

1959 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Motion Picture:
Gigi – Arthur Freed, producer (WINNER)
Auntie Mame – Jack L. Warner, producer
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Lawrence Weingarten, producer
The Defiant Ones – Stanley Kramer, producer
Separate Tables – Harold Hecht, producer

Best Director:
Vincente Minnelli – Gigi (WINNER)
Richard Brooks – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
Stanley Kramer – The Defiant Ones
Robert Wise – I Want to Live!
Mark Robson – The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

Best Actor:
David Niven – Separate Tables as Major David Angus Pollock (WINNER)
Tony Curtis – The Defiant Ones as John “Joker” Jackson
Paul Newman – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as Brick Pollitt
Sidney Poitier – The Defiant Ones as Noah Cullen
Spencer Tracy – The Old Man and the Sea as The Old Man

Best Actress:
Susan Hayward – I Want to Live! as Barbara Graham (WINNER)
Deborah Kerr – Separate Tables as Sibyl Railton-Bell
Shirley MacLaine – Some Came Running as Ginny Moorehead
Rosalind Russell – Auntie Mame as Mame Dennis
Elizabeth Taylor – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof as Margaret “Maggie the Cat” Pollitt

Best Supporting Actor:
Burl Ives – The Big Country as Rufus Hannassey (WINNER)
Theodore Bikel – The Defiant Ones as Sheriff Max Muller
Lee J. Cobb – The Brothers Karamazov as Fyodor Karamazov
Arthur Kennedy – Some Came Running as Frank Hirsh
Gig Young – Teacher’s Pet as Dr. Hugo Pine

Best Supporting Actress:
Wendy Hiller – Separate Tables as Pat Cooper (WINNER)
Peggy Cass – Auntie Mame as Agnes Gooch
Martha Hyer – Some Came Running as Gwen French
Maureen Stapleton – Lonelyhearts as Fay Doyle
Cara Williams – The Defiant Ones as Billy’s mother

Best Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
The Defiant Ones – Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith (WINNER)
The Goddess – Paddy Chayefsky
Houseboat – Melville Shavelson and Jack Rose
The Sheepman – William Bowers and James Edward Grant
Teacher’s Pet – Fay Kanin and Michael Kanin

Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium:
Gigi – Alan Jay Lerner from Gigi by Colette (WINNER)
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – Richard Brooks and James Poe from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
The Horse’s Mouth – Alec Guinness from The Horse’s Mouth by Joyce Cary
I Want to Live! – Don Mankiewicz and Nelson Gidding from writings by Ed Montgomery and Barbara Graham
Separate Tables – John Gay and Terence Rattigan from Separate Tables by Terence Rattigan

Best Foreign Language Film:
My Uncle (France) (WINNER)
Arms and the Man (Germany)
Big Deal on Madonna Street (Italy)
The Road a Year Long (Yugoslavia)
La venganza (Spain)

Best Documentary Feature:
White Wilderness – Ben Sharpsteen (WINNER)
Antarctic Crossing
The Hidden World
Psychiatric Nursing

Best Documentary Short Subject:
Ama Girls – Ben Sharpsteen (WINNER)
Employees Only
Journey into Spring
The Living Stone

Best Live Action Short Subject:
Grand Canyon – Walt Disney (WINNER)
Journey into Spring – Ian Ferguson
The Kiss – John Hayes
Snows of Aorangi – New Zealand Screen Board
T Is for Tumbleweed – James A. Lebenthal

Best Short Subject – Cartoons:
Knighty Knight Bugs – John W. Burton (WINNER)
Paul Bunyan – Walt Disney
Sidney’s Family Tree – William M. Weiss

Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
The Old Man and the Sea – Dimitri Tiomkin (WINNER)
The Big Country – Jerome Moross
Separate Tables – David Raksin
White Wilderness – Oliver Wallace
The Young Lions – Hugo Friedhofer

Best Scoring of a Musical Picture:
Gigi – André Previn (WINNER)
The Bolshoi Ballet – Yuri Faier and G. Rozhdestvensky
Damn Yankees! – Ray Heindorf
Mardi Gras – Lionel Newman
South Pacific – Alfred Newman and Ken Darby

Best Song:
“Gigi” from Gigi – Music by Frederick Loewe; Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner (WINNER)
“Almost In Your Arms (Love Song from Houseboat)” from Houseboat – Music and Lyrics by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
“A Certain Smile” from A Certain Smile – Music by Sammy Fain; Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster
“To Love and Be Loved” from Some Came Running – Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
“A Very Precious Love” from Marjorie Morningstar – Music by Sammy Fain; Lyrics by Paul Francis Webster

Best Sound:

South Pacific – Fred Hynes (WINNER)
I Want to Live! – Gordon E. Sawyer
A Time to Love and a Time to Die – Leslie I. Carey
Vertigo – George Dutton
The Young Lions – Carlton W. Faulkner

Best Art Direction:
Gigi – Art Direction: William A. Horning (posthumous award) and E. Preston Ames; Set Decoration: Henry Grace and F. Keogh Gleason (WINNER)
Auntie Mame – Art Direction: Malcolm Bert; Set Decoration: George James Hopkins
Bell, Book and Candle – Art Direction: Cary Odell; Set Decoration: Louis Diage
A Certain Smile – Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler and John DeCuir; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott and Paul S. Fox
Vertigo – Art Direction: Hal Pereira and Henry Bumstead; Set Decoration: Samuel M. Comer and Frank R. McKelvy

Best Costume Design:
Gigi – Cecil Beaton (WINNER)
Bell, Book and Candle – Jean Louis
The Buccaneer – Ralph Jester, Edith Head and John Jensen
A Certain Smile – Charles LeMaire and Mary Wills
Some Came Running – Walter Plunkett

Best Cinematography, Black-and-White:
The Defiant Ones – Sam Leavitt (WINNER)
Desire Under the Elms – Daniel L. Fapp
I Want to Live! – Lionel Lindon
Separate Tables – Charles Lang
The Young Lions – Joseph MacDonald

Best Cinematography, Color:
Gigi – Joseph Ruttenberg (WINNER)
Auntie Mame – Harry Stradling, Sr.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof – William Daniels
The Old Man and the Sea – James Wong Howe
South Pacific – Leon Shamroy

Best Film Editing:
Gigi – Adrienne Fazan (WINNER)
Auntie Mame – William Ziegler
Cowboy – William Lyon and Al Clark
The Defiant Ones – Frederic Knudtson
I Want to Live! – William Hornbeck

Best Special Effects:
tom thumb – Tom Howard (WINNER)
Torpedo Run – Visual Effects: A. Arnold Gillespie; Audible Effects: Harold Humbrock

Academy Honorary Award:
Maurice Chevalier “for his contributions to the world of entertainment for more than half a century.”

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award:
Jack L. Warner

Oscar® and Academy Awards® and Oscar® design mark are the trademarks and service marks and the Oscar© statuette the copyrighted property, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Pop Culture Madness is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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