The 27th Academy Awards honored the best films released in 1954. The Best Picture winner, On the Waterfront, was produced by Sam Spiegel and directed by Elia Kazan. It had twelve nominations and eight wins, matching two other films, Gone with the Wind (1939) and From Here to Eternity (1953), though those each had thirteen nominations.
On the Waterfront was the third film to receive five acting nominations, and the first to receive three in the Best Supporting Actor category. A "rematch" occurred in the category of Best Actor between Marlon Brando and Humphrey Bogart following Bogart's upset victory three years earlier. In a surprise win (Bing Crosby was the favored nominee), Brando received his first Oscar for his performance in On the Waterfront, which is now seen as one of the greatest Best Actor wins in Oscar history. The win was a culmination of four consecutive Best Actor nominations for Brando (starting with A Streetcar Named Desire in 1951), a record that remains unmatched to this day.
Grace Kelly won Best Actress for The Country Girl in an even bigger upset. Judy Garland, who was heavily favored to win Best Actress for the movie A Star Is Born, could not attend the ceremony as she had only recently given birth to her third child. Cameras were set up in her room so she could express her thanks in the likely case of her winning. Groucho Marx later sent her a telegram expressing that her loss was "the biggest robbery since Brink's".
Dorothy Dandridge became the first African American actress to receive a nomination for Best Actress.
Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.
Academy Honorary Awards
- Bausch and Lomb Optical "for their contributions to the advancement of the motion picture industry".
- Kemp R. Niver "for the development of the Renovare Process which has made possible the restoration of the Library of Congress Paper Film Collection".
- Greta Garbo "for her unforgettable screen performances".
- Danny Kaye "for his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people".
- Jon Whiteley "for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers".
- Vincent Winter "for his outstanding juvenile performance in The Little Kidnappers".
Best Foreign Language Film
Presenters and performers
- Grace Kelly (Presenter: Documentary Awards)
- Donna Reed (Presenter: Best Supporting Actor)
- Lee J. Cobb (Presenter: Best Special Effects)
- Dorothy Dandridge (Presenter: Best Film Editing)
- Nina Foch and Jane Wyman (Presenters: Costume Design Awards)
- Dan O'Herlihy and Jan Sterling (Presenters: Art Direction Awards)
- Humphrey Bogart (Presenter: Best Cinematography, Black-and-White)
- Katy Jurado (Presenter: Best Cinematography, Color)
- Jean Marie Ingels (Presenter: Best Foreign Language Film)
- Charles Brackett (Presenter: Honorary Awards)
- Merle Oberon (Presenter: Honorary Awards — Juvenile Performances)
- Lauren Bacall (Presenter: Scientific and Technical Awards)
- Marlon Brando (Presenter: Best Director)
- Audrey Hepburn, Karl Malden, and Claire Trevor (Presenters: Writing Awards)
- Bing Crosby (Presenter: Music Awards)
- Frank Sinatra (Presenter: Best Supporting Actress)
- William Holden (Presenter: Best Actress)
- Bette Davis (Presenter: Best Actor)
- Edmond O'Brien, Eva Marie Saint, and Rod Steiger (Presenters: Short Subjects Awards)
- Tom Tully (Presenter: Best Sound Recording)
- Buddy Adler (Presenter: Best Picture)
- David Rose (musical director)
- Rosemary Clooney ("The Man That Got Away" from A Star Is Born)
- Johnny Desmond and Muzzy Marcellino ("The High and the Mighty" from The High and the Mighty)
- Peggy King ("Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" from White Christmas)
- Dean Martin ("Three Coins in the Fountain" from Three Coins in the Fountain)
- Tony Martin ("Hold My Hand" from Susan Slept Here)
Multiple nominations and awards
These films had multiple nominations:
The following films received multiple awards.
- 12th Golden Globe Awards
- 1954 in film
- 6th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 7th Primetime Emmy Awards
- 8th British Academy Film Awards
- 9th Tony Awards
- Premiere. "100 Greatest Performances of All Time: 24-1". Archived from the original on 31 January 2009. Retrieved 2008-12-23.
- The Biographicon. "Judy Garland – Biography". Archived from the original on 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2009-09-06.
- "The 27th Academy Awards (1955) Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-20.