45th Academy Awards

The 45th Academy Awards were presented Tuesday, March 27, 1973, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, California, honoring the best films of 1972. The ceremonies were presided over by Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston, and Rock Hudson.

45th Academy Awards
45th Academy Awards.jpg
DateMarch 27, 1973
SiteDorothy Chandler Pavilion
Los Angeles, California
Hosted byCarol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston and Rock Hudson
Produced byHoward W. Koch
Directed byMarty Pasetta
Best PictureThe Godfather
Most awardsCabaret (8)
Most nominationsCabaret and The Godfather (10)
TV in the United States
Duration2 hours, 38 minutes

The ceremony was marked by Marlon Brando's boycott of the Oscars and his sending of Sacheen Littlefeather to explain why he couldn't show up to collect his Best Actor award for The Godfather, and by Charlie Chaplin's only competitive Oscar win for Best Original Dramatic Score for his 20-year-old film Limelight, which was eligible because it did not screen in Los Angeles until 1972.[1][2] Chaplin had received honorary Academy Awards in 1929 and 1972.

Cabaret, Bob Fosse's adaptation of the Broadway stage musical, set a record for the most Oscars won without winning Best Picture. Best Picture winner The Godfather received only three Academy Awards.

This year was the first time that two African American women received nominations for Best Actress.[3]

This was also the first year when all the Oscar winners were brought out on stage at the end of the ceremony.[4] The show drew a television audience of 85 million viewers.[5][6]

Winners and nomineesEdit

Bob Fosse, Best Director winner
Marlon Brando, Best Actor winner
Liza Minnelli, Best Actress winner
Joel Grey, Best Supporting Actor winner
Eileen Heckart, Best Supporting Actress winner
Francis Ford Coppola, Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium co-winner
Richard Williams, Best Animated Short Film winner
Charlie Chaplin, Best Original Score (Dramatic) co-winner
Ralph Burns, Best Score (Adaptation and Original Song) winner


Nominees were announced on February 12, 1973. Winners are listed first in boldface.[7][8]

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Produced or Published Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Best Foreign Language Film Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary Short Subject Best Live Action Short Subject
Best Animated Short Subject Best Original Dramatic Score
Best Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score Best Song Original for the Picture
Best Costume Design Best Sound
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing

Honorary Academy AwardsEdit

Special Achievement AwardEdit

Academy Honorary AwardEdit

Films with multiple nominations and awardsEdit

Eligibility controversiesEdit

It was initially announced, on February 12, 1973, that The Godfather received 11 nominations, more than any other film that year.[9][10] This was reduced to 10 nominations (tied with Cabaret for the most) after a new vote by the Academy's music branch, following a controversy over whether Nino Rota's score for The Godfather was eligible for the nomination it received.[11][12] For the re-balloting, members of the music branch chose from six films: The Godfather and the five films that had been on the shortlist for best original dramatic score but did not get nominated. John Addison's score for Sleuth won this new vote, and thus replaced Rota's score on the official list of nominees.[13] The controversy arose, according to Academy President Daniel Taradash, because the love theme in The Godfather had previously been used by Rota in Fortunella, an Italian movie from several years earlier.[14]

The nominations in the category of Best Original Song were not announced in February with the rest of the nominations, reportedly because of "a mixup in balloting".[15] It was later reported that the Academy had been considering whether Curtis Mayfield's song "Freddie's Dead" from the film Super Fly should be eligible. The song was ruled ineligible for a nomination because its lyrics were not sung in the film. (The song was released as a single with lyrics, but the version in the film was an instrumental.) Academy governor John Green was quoted as saying: "Times have changed. In the old days, Hollywood made 30 or 40 musicals a year, and there were plenty of songs to choose from. Now there are hardly any, and most of the eligible songs are themes. Both the lyric and the music must be heard on the sound track to be eligible."[16]

Presenters and performersEdit

The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers. Notably, Charlton Heston was late for his role presenting the voting rules, reportedly due to a flat tire. Clint Eastwood, who was slated to present for Best Picture, was asked to fill in. Heston's written dialogue leaned heavily on his role in the movie The Ten Commandments, leading Eastwood to quip “Come on, flip the card, man. This isn’t my bag.” Eastwood also famously said on filling in at the last minute, "...They pick the guy who hasn’t said but three lines in 12 movies to substitute for him [Heston]”. Heston arrived part of the way through the bit, allowing Eastwood to escape.[17]


Name Role
Hank Simms Announcer for the 45th Academy Awards
Daniel Taradash (AMPAS President) Giver of opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony
Clint Eastwood
Charlton Heston
Explainers of the voting rules to the public
Eddie Albert
Edward Albert
Presenters of the award for Best Sound
Merle Oberon Presenter of the Special Achievement Award for Best Visual Effects
Bea Arthur
Peter Boyle
Presenters of the Short Subjects Awards
Robert Duvall
Cloris Leachman
Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Elke Sommer
Jack Valenti
Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film
John Gavin
Katharine Ross
Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing
James Coburn
Diana Ross
Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Richard Walsh Presenter of the Honorary Award to Charles S. Boren
Robert Wagner
Natalie Wood
Presenters of the Documentary Awards
Marisa Berenson
Michael Caine
Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design
Greer Garson
Laurence Harvey
Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction
Dyan Cannon
Burt Reynolds
Presenters of the Music Awards
Candice Bergen
Billy Dee Williams
Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography
Sonny & Cher Presenters of the award for Best Song Original for the Picture
Charlton Heston Presenter of the Honorary Award to Edward G. Robinson
Frank Sinatra Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Jack Lemmon Presenter of the Writing Awards
Julie Andrews
George Stevens
Presenters of the award for Best Director
Roger Moore
Liv Ullmann
Presenters of the award for Best Actor
Sacheen Littlefeather Declined Marlon Brando's Academy Award on his behalf
Gene Hackman
Raquel Welch
Presenters of the award for Best Actress
Clint Eastwood Presenter of the award for Best Picture
John Wayne Introducer of the performance of "You Ought to Be in Pictures"


Name Role Performed
John Williams Musical arranger and conductor Orchestral
Angela Lansbury Performer "Make a Little Magic"
Disney characters Performers A musical salute to Walt Disney Productions' 50th anniversary
Michael Jackson Performer "Ben" from Ben
Springfield Revival Performer "Come Follow, Follow Me" from The Little Ark
Glen Campbell
The Mike Curb Congregation
Performer "Marmalade, Molasses & Honey" from The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
Connie Stevens Performer "The Morning After" from The Poseidon Adventure
Diahann Carroll Performer "Strange Are the Ways of Love" from The Stepmother
Academy Awards Chorus Performers "You Oughta Be in Pictures"

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Bruce Russell (March 28, 1973). "Cabaret shades Godfather". Leader-Post. Regina, Sask. Reuters. Retrieved June 9, 2013 – via Google News Archive. The film, withdrawn from U.S. movie theatres in the bitter controversy over Chaplin's political views and private life, qualified by being released for the first time in Los Angeles last year.
  2. ^ Bret Wood. "Limelight". TCM. Archived from the original on April 20, 2013. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
  3. ^ Bruce Russell (February 13, 1973). "'Godfather' Gets 11 Oscar Nominations". Toledo Blade. Reuter. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  4. ^ John Wayne and the Academy Award Winners: 1973 Oscars on YouTube
  5. ^ Robinson, Melia (February 27, 2014). "The unbelievable story of Why Marlon Brando rejected his 1973 Oscar for 'The Godfather'". Business Insider. Retrieved June 1, 2020.
  6. ^ Marlon Brando, Dick Cavett (June 12, 1973). Marlon Brando on Rejecting His Oscar for 'The Godfather' (video). The Dick Cavett Show (television). United States. Event occurs at 0:49. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Official Academy Awards Database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 25, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2011. Select "1972" in the "Award Year(s)" drop-down menu and press "Search".
  8. ^ "The 45th Academy Awards (1973) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  9. ^ Bruce Russell (February 13, 1973). "'Godfather' Gets 11 Oscar Nominations". Toledo Blade. Reuter. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  10. ^ "Oscar Nominations Offer Few Oddities". The Milwaukee Journal. February 13, 1973. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  11. ^ "The Godfather loses one count". The Star-Phoenix. AP. March 3, 1973. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  12. ^ "The Godfather". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. Archived from the original on July 17, 2014. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  13. ^ "100 Years of Paramount: Academy Awards". Paramount Pictures. Archived from the original on June 4, 2013. Retrieved June 16, 2013. The Godfather score, composed by Nino Rota, was originally announced as one of the five official nominees. It was later pointed out that portions of the score and the main theme were composed by Rota for his score to the 1958 Italian film, Fortunella. The Music Branch was given this information and re-balloted to determine the fifth nomination. The list of six films they were to choose from were the remaining five of the top ten preliminary listings, plus The Godfather score. The results of the re-balloting was that the fifth nomination became Sleuth, composed by John Addison.
  14. ^ "Godfather, Superfly music out of Oscars". The Montreal Gazette. AP. March 7, 1973. Archived from the original on November 21, 2018. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  15. ^ "Oscar Nominations Offer Few Oddities". The Milwaukee Journal. February 13, 1973. Retrieved June 16, 2013. Because of a mixup in balloting, the nominations for best song won't be announced until March 5.
  16. ^ "'Godfather', 'Super Fly' Music Not Nominated For Oscar". The Toledo Blade. AP. March 7, 1973. Retrieved June 16, 2013.
  17. ^ "The Most Memorable Moments in Oscar Hosting History". Time. Retrieved May 13, 2020.