During the 29th Academy Awards, the regular competitive category of Best Foreign Language Film was introduced, instead of only being recognized as a Special Achievement Award or as a Best Picture nominee (as in 1938). The first winner in this new category was Federico Fellini's La Strada with Anthony Quinn and a second nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Its win would help spur an interest in foreign-language films. Another Fellini film, Nights of Cabiria would win the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar in the following year.
This was also the first year that all of the five Best Picture nominees were in color. It was also the first Oscar telecast to be videotaped for later broadcast, especially for those network affiliates that didn't want to broadcast the event live.
All of the major awards winners were large-scale epics – Mike Todd's Around the World in 80 Days, The King and I, Anastasia, George Stevens' Giant, Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (the highest-grossing film of the year), King Vidor's War and Peace and William Wyler's Friendly Persuasion. And the trend toward blockbusters and colorful spectaculars was established for years to come, with The Bridge on the River Kwai, Gigi, and Ben-Hur being subsequent Best Picture champions.
The Best Original Story category had two interesting quirks this year. First, the Oscar for Best Original Story for The Brave One was awarded to Robert Rich, a pseudonym of Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted at the time and thus unable to receive credit under his own name. Second, Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman withdrew their names from consideration in this category for their work on High Society, as the nomination had been intended for the musical starring Grace Kelly, while Bernds and Ullman had instead written a Bowery Boys film of the same name. In fact, the nomination was a double mistake, as High Society was based on the play and film The Philadelphia Story and probably would not have qualified as an original story anyway.
James Dean became the only actor to receive a second posthumous – and consecutive – nomination for acting.
Ingrid Bergman was not present to collect her award for Best Actress: Cary Grant accepted it on her behalf. She did, however, list the nominees for Best Director via a pre-recorded segment from a rooftop in Paris. The winner was announced by host Jerry Lewis.
This was the second time since the introduction of the Supporting Actor and Actress awards that Best Picture, Best Director, and all four acting Oscars were given to different films. This would not happen again until the 78th Academy Awards. Around the World in 80 Days became the sixth film to win Best Picture without any acting nominations.
|29th Academy Awards|
|Date||March 27, 1957|
|Site||RKO Pantages Theatre|
NBC Century Theatre
New York City, New York
|Hosted by||Jerry Lewis|
|Produced by||Valentine Davies|
|Directed by||Bill Bennington|
|Best Picture||Around the World in 80 Days|
|Most awards||Around the World in 80 Days and The King and I (5)|
|Most nominations||Giant (10)|
|TV in the United States|
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
|Best Motion Picture||Best Director|
|Best Actor||Best Actress|
|Best Supporting Actor||Best Supporting Actress|
|Best Screenplay - Original||Best Screenplay - Adapted|
|Best Story||Best Foreign Language Film|
|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 Music Score 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||Best Special Effects|
These films had multiple nominations:
The following films received multiple awards.