Oscar Movies: Defiant Ones, The

Oscar Nominations: 9

Picture, produced by Stanley Kramer
Director: Stanley Kramer
Actor: Tony Curtis
Actor: Sidney Poitier
Supporting Actor: Theodore Bikel
Supporting Actress: Cara Williams
Story and Screenplay (Original): Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith
Cinematography (b/w): Sam Leavitt
Editing: Frederick Knudson

Oscar Awards: 2

Story and Screenplay
Cinematography

Oscar Context

In 1958, Stanley Kramer's excellent interracial drama “The Defiant Ones” (arguably his greatest directorial achievement) competed with four other films for the Best Picture: The old-fashioned melodrama “Separate Tables,” the musical “Auntie Mame,” the screen version of Tennessee Williams's “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and Minnelli's musical “Gigi,” which swept most of the Oscars (including Best Director).

David Niven won Best Actor for “Separate Tables,” and Susan Hayward Best Actress for “I Want to Live!” Having been nominated once before (as Best Actress for “Pygmalion”), Wendy Hiller won the Supporting Actress Oscar. Burl Ives, who was not nominated for “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” received a nomination and won for playing another patriarch, in “The Big Country.” The feeling in the industry was that Ives won the Supporting Actor for both films. As noted, “Gigi” swept most of the technical Oscars, including editing.

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