32nd Academy Awards

The 32nd Academy Awards honored film achievements of 1959 on 4 April 1960.

MGM's (producer Sam Zimbalist) and director William Wyler's three and a half-hour long epic drama Ben-Hur (with a spectacular sea battle and eleven minute chariot race choreographed by Yakima Canutt) broke the previous year's all-time record of Gigi (1958). It was the most-honored motion picture in Academy Awards history up to that time and for many years - until 1997, with its record-breaking eleven Oscars from twelve nominations. And it was the most expensive film of its time, budgeted at $15 million.

Ben-Hur was a re-make of MGM's own 1926 silent film of the same name. Both films were based on or inspired by General Lew Wallace's novel (first published in 1880) about the rise of Christianity.

The 1959 Academy Award Winners

Picture: Ben-Hur
Actor: Charlton Heston (Ben-Hur)
Actress: Simone Signoret (Room at the Top)
Supporting Actor: Hugh Griffith (Ben-Hur)
Supporting Actress: Shelley Winters (The Diary of Anne Frank)
Director: William Wyler (Ben-Hur)
Adapted Screenplay: Neil Paterson (Room at the Top)
Original Screenplay: Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene, story; Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin, screenplay (Pillow Talk)
Song: "High Hopes" (A Hole in the Head)
Score: Ben-Hur (Dramatic or Comedy) / Porgy and Bess (Musical)
Cinematography: The Diary of Anne Frank (Black and White) / Ben-Hur (Color)
Costume Design: Some Like It Hot (Black and White) / Ben-Hur (Color)
Art / Set Decoration: The Diary of Anne Frank (Black and White) / Ben-Hur (Color)
Film Editing: Ben-Hur
Foreign Language Film: Black Orpheus (France)
Sound: Ben-Hur
Special Effects: Ben-Hur
Short Films: Moonbird (Cartoons) / The Golden Fish (Live Action)
Documentaries: Glass (Short) / Serengeti Shall Not Die (Feature)

The thirty-second Academy Awards ceremony was held on Monday, April 4, 1960 at the RKO Pantages Theatre. Ben-Hur won eleven Oscars, breaking the newly set record of nine awards made by Gigi during the 1958 Awards ceremony. Bob Hope hosted the ceremony.