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"West Side Story" Wins 10 Oscars including Best Picture

Apr. 10, 1962 - “West Side Story” overwhelmed all opposition last night to become the best picture of 1961 and win 9 other Oscars at the 34th annual presentation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Partly obscured by the sweeping victory of “West Side Story” was the election of Sophia Loren as best actress of the year for her performance in “Two Women.” Her victory was the first time a major Oscar was won by a foreign actress in a foreign-language film. The best actor Oscar went to Maximilian Schell for his performance in “Judgment at Nuremberg.” What might have been an awkward situation was avoided when George C. Scott, who was nominated for supporting actor in “The Hustler,” did not win. Mr. Scott, as a protest to excessive advertising by Oscar contenders, had asked that his name be withdrawn after he was nominated. His action provided a source of humor last night for Bob Hope, master of ceremonies.


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