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Oscar Archeology: Torch Song (1953)

The Eternal Female – an unforgettable story of love, music, bullying, and racism, with the star of “Sudden Fear” and for the FIRST TIME you’ll see her in triumphant color by TECHNICOLOR!

What else do you need to know?  In case you’re wondering who’s that leggy ebony lady in the preview photo above, “The star of Sudden Fear” is Joan Crawford. This was 8 years after Crawford won her Oscar for Mildred Pierce, and looks like she’s already warming up for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane 9 years later.  Torch Song received an Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for Marjorie Rambeau.

Best Actress In A Supporting Role, 1953

  • Grace Kelly in Mogambo
  • Geraldine Page in Hondo
  • Marjorie Rambeau in Torch Song
  • Donna Reed in From Here to Eternity  (WINNER)
  • Thelma Ritter in Pickup On South Street

Between 1951 and 1954, Thelma Ritter was nominated for an Oscar in 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954 — All About Eve, With a Song in My Heart, The Mating Season, and Pickup On South Street.

Now watch the ghastly clip after the cut which you will never ever be able to unwatch.

1953 Cinema Snapshots

International films in 1953:

  • Tokyo Story – Yasujiro Ozu
  • The Wages of Fear – Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Ugetsu – Kenji Mizoguchi
  • Mr. Hulot’s Holiday – Jacques Tati
  • I Vitelloni – Federico Fellini
  • The Earrings of Madame de… – Max Ophüls
  • The Golden Coach – Jean Renoir

Meanwhile, in Hollywood:

  • Shane – George Stevens
  • From Here to Eternity – Fred Zinnemann
  • The Band Wagon – Vincente Minnelli
  • Roman Holiday – William Wyler
  • The Big Heat – Fritz Lang,
  • Pickup on South Street Fuller, Samuel
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Hawks, Howard
  • Stalag 17 -Wilder, Billy

Best Picture nominees
From Here to Eternity: Buddy Adler
Julius Caesar: John Houseman
The Robe: Frank Ross
Roman Holiday: William Wyler
Shane: George Stevens

Best Foreign Language Film? Did not exist.

Top box-office
$87.4 – Peter Pan
$36.0 – The Robe
$30.5 – From Here to Eternity
$23.8 – House of Wax
$20.0 – Shane
$12.0 – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
$5.0 – Roman Holiday
$5.0 – The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
$1.4 – Escape from Fort Bravo
$1.4 – War Arrow
$1.2 – The Farmer Takes a Wife
$1.0 – Robot Monster

And in the midst of all that, there was this: