Oscar Movies: Separate Tables

UA (Clifton Productions)

Oscar Nominations: 7

Picture, produced by Harold Hecht
Screenplay (Adapted): Terrence Rattign, John Gay
Cinematography (b/w): Charles Lang, Jr.
Actor: David Niven
Actress: Deborah Kerr
Supporting Actress: Wendy Hiller
Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture: David Raksin

Oscar Awards: 2

Supporting Actress

Oscar Context

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

The Cinematography Oscar went to Sam Levitt for “The Defiant Ones,” and the Adapted Screenplay to Alan Jay Lerner for “Gigi.” The Scoring Oscar honored vet composer Dimitri Tiomkin for “The Old Man and the Sea.”