Besides being a great year for music 1954 was also a year of innovation and record breaking, such as Roger Bannister being the first man to run a four minute mile, and the U.S. exploding a hydrogen bomb, hundreds of times more powerful than any previous weapon. The United Nations formally withdrew from Korea. Britain ends its 72-year military occupation of Egypt. In the field of commerce and science, American school children begin receiving the first mass polio immunisation shots. Nautilus, the first atomic submarine, is launched. RCA introduces the first colour television sets.
The first transistor radios go on sale. At the Academy Awards “On The Waterfront”wins the Oscar for Best Film, Best Director, Elia Kazan, Best Actor, Marlon Brando and Best Supporting Actress, Eva Marie Saint, Best Actress went to Grace Kelly for “The Country Girl” and Best Supporting Actor to Edmond O’Brien for “The Barefoot Contessa”. There are classic performances by Humphrey Bogart in “The Caine Mutiny”, and Judy Garland in “A Star Is Born”. The year’s biggest hit is “White Christmas” starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye, followed by “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rear Window”, starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, and “The Glenn Miller Story”, featuring James Stewart. Howard Hughes has gained total control of RKO for 23.5 million dollars, making him the first individual to totally own his own motion picture company. Other winning films were “Sabrina” for Audrey Hepburn, “Dial M For Murder” for Ray Milland, “Carmen Jones” for Dorothy Dandridge, “Seven Brides For Seven Brothers” for Jane Powell and Howard Keel, “Brigadoon” for Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse and “River Of No Return” for Marilyn Monroe. On Broadway the year’s musicals are led by “The Pajama Game”, “Fanny” and “Kismet”.