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365 Days of Oscar: The Hills Were Alive With the Sound of Oscar

Fifty-eight years ago today, the 38th Academy Awards were held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. They were hosted by Bob Hope, and were the first Oscars to be broadcast live in color. Lynda Bird Johnson, daughter of President Lyndon B. Johnson, attended the ceremony, escorted by actor George Hamilton.

The most successful films of the year were The Sound of Music and Doctor Zhivago, each with ten nominations and five wins, with the former winning Best Picture. They were both big deals: adjusting for inflation, both films are in the top 10 commercially successful films ever made. The Sound of Music was the first Best Picture winner without a screenwriting nomination since Hamlet, and would be the last until Titanic. Othello became the third film (of four to date) to receive four acting nominations without one for Best Picture. William Wyler received the last of his record twelve Best Director nominations for The Collector.

The ceremony was unsuccessful at starting a rivalry between Julie Christie and Julie Andrews, the two British contenders for Best Actress (Christie won; Andrews had won the year before for Mary Poppins). It also contained what was described as a “moving” film from Patricia Neal, then recovering from a severe, near-fatal, stroke. 

This article is part of a special year-long series of anecdotes, reflections and thoughts about the Academy Awards.