1959 is one of those years that I mentioned yesterday — what are you gonna do? I mean, Best Picture was Ben-Hur. Can you really not just give it Best Picture and Best Director? It’s an Epic with a capital E. Cast of thousands, grand spectacle of the theater — there was no way it wasn’t winning.
So, there really isn’t going to be much to talk about for this one, other than me suggesting which ones to see of the bunch. Before we get into that, let’s quickly run down the rest of the categories. Charlton Heston won Best Actor for Ben-Hur, Simone Signoret won Best Actress for Room at the Top, Hugh Griffith won Best Supporting Actor, also for Ben-Hur, and Shelley Winters won Best Supporting Actress for The Diary of Anne Frank. So, you can pretty much tell they just went for the sweep with Ben-Hur. It didn’t sweep, but, aside from All About Eve and Return of the King, and maybe Titanic, I think those are the top four Oscar nominated or winning films of all time. Fuck if I know which is which or if it’s both.
BEST DIRECTOR – 1959
And the nominees are…
Jack Clayton, Room at the Top
George Stevens, The Diary of Anne Frank
Billy Wilder, Some Like It Hot
William Wyler, Ben-Hur
Fred Zinnemann, The Nun’s Story