51st Academy Awards
The 51st Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored films released in 1978 and took place on April 9, 1979, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles beginning at 7:00 p.m. PST / 10:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 22 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Jack Haley Jr. and directed by Marty Pasetta. Comedian and talk show host Johnny Carson hosted the show for the first time. Three days earlier in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California, on April 6, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Gregory Peck and Christopher Reeve.
|51st Academy Awards|
|Date||April 9, 1979|
|Site||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Hosted by||Johnny Carson|
|Produced by||Jack Haley Jr.|
|Directed by||Marty Pasetta|
|Best Picture||The Deer Hunter|
|Most awards||The Deer Hunter (5)|
|Most nominations||The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait (9)|
|TV in the United States|
|Duration||3 hours, 25 minutes|
34.6 (Nielsen ratings)
The Deer Hunter won five awards including Best Picture. Other winners included Coming Home with three awards, Midnight Express with two awards, and The Buddy Holly Story, California Suite, Days of Heaven, Death on the Nile, The Flight of the Gossamer Condor, Get Out Your Handkerchiefs, Heaven Can Wait, Scared Straight!, Special Delivery, Superman, Teenage Father and Thank God It's Friday with one.
The ceremony, held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles, California, was hosted by late night talk host Johnny Carson for the first time. Jack Elliott and Allyn Ferguson served as musical directors for the telecast. Singers Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performed a medley called "Oscar's Only Human" which was composed of movie songs that were not nominated for Best Original Song. Initially the Academy's music branch protested that the segment be dropped from the ceremony, but it was kept intact after Haley threatened to leave his position as producer and pull Carson from emcee duties.
It was also remembered for being the final public appearance of Oscar-winning actor John Wayne, where he was given a standing ovation before presenting the award for Best Picture. On June 11, two months after the ceremony, he died from complications from stomach cancer at age 72. This was also the final public appearance for Jack Haley, presenter of the Best Costume Design with his Wizard of Oz co-star Ray Bolger as well as the father of the producer, as he died on June 6 of that year.
Winners and nomineesEdit
The nominees for the 51st Academy Awards were announced on February 20, 1979 by Academy president Howard W. Koch an actress Susan Blakely. The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait tied for the most nominations with nine each. The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on April 9. Best Director nominees Warren Beatty and Buck Henry became the second pair of directors nominated in that category for the same film; Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise had won for co-directing 1961's West Side Story. Furthermore, Beatty was the first person to earn acting, directing, producing, and screenwriting nominations for the same film (Orson Welles had previously been nominated for writing, directing, and starring in Citizen Kane, but though he also produced it and it was nominated for Best Picture, the studios, rather than the producers, were the official nominees of that category at the time). With Jon Voight and Jane Fonda's respective wins in the Best Actor and Best Actress categories, Coming Home was the fourth film to win both lead acting awards. Best Supporting Actress winner Maggie Smith became the only person to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar loser.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger ( ).
Academy Honorary AwardsEdit
- Laurence Olivier – For the full body of his work, for the unique achievements of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film."
- Walter Lantz – For fearlessly breaking boundaries in pursuit of his singular cinematic vision.
- King Vidor – For his incomparable achievements as a cinematic creator and innovator.
- Museum of Modern Art Department of Film – For the contribution it has made to the public's perception of movies as an art form.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian AwardEdit
Special Achievement AwardEdit
- Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings and Zoran Perisic for the visual effects of Superman.
Multiple nominations and awardsEdit
The following 14 films had multiple nominations:
The following three films received multiple awards.
Presenters and performersEdit
The following individuals (in order of appearance) presented awards or performed musical numbers:
|John Harlan||Announcer for the 51st Academy Awards|
|Howard W. Koch (AMPAS President)||Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony|
|Presenters of the Honorary Award to Walter Lantz|
|Danny Thomas||Explained the voting rules to the public|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Presenters of the Scientific and Technical Awards|
|Presenters of the Short Subject Awards|
David L. Wolper
|Presenters of the Documentary Awards|
|Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction|
|Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design|
|Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing|
|Steve Martin||Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects|
|Presenters of the award for Best Sound|
|Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography|
|Presenters of the award for Best Original Song|
|Paul Williams||Introducer to Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performance|
|Presenters of the Music Awards|
|Gregory Peck||Presenter of the Honorary Award to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film|
|Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Presenters of the Writing Awards|
|Audrey Hepburn||Presenter of the Honorary Award to King Vidor|
|Francis Ford Coppola
|Presenters of the award for Best Director|
|Cary Grant||Presenter of the Honorary Award to Laurence Olivier|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actress|
|Jack Valenti||Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actor|
|John Wayne||Presenter of the award for Best Picture|
|Jack Elliot||Musical arrangers||Orchestral|
|Olivia Newton-John||Performer||"Hopelessly Devoted to You" (from Grease)|
|Jane Olivor||Performers||"The Last Time I Felt Like This" (from Same Time, Next Year)|
|Donna Summer||Performer||"Last Dance" (from Thank God It's Friday)|
|Debby Boone||Performer||"When You're Loved" (from The Magic of Lassie)|
|Barry Manilow||Performer||"Ready to Take a Chance Again" (from Foul Play)|
|Sammy Davis Jr.||Performers||"Not Even Nominated (Oscar's Only Human)"|
|Academy Awards Orchestra||Performers||"That's Entertainment!" (instrumental)|
- Osborne 2013, p. 252
- "Top-10 Most Watched Academy Awards Broadcasts". Nielsen N.V. February 18, 2009. Archived from the original on January 27, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "New shows disappointing". Boca Raton News. April 20, 1979. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "War Film, Comedy Head List". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Cowles Publishing Company. April 6, 1979. p. 7. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Smith, Liz (October 8, 1978). "Frank won't sing without G notes". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "Past Scientific & Technical Awards Ceremonies". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- Siskel, Gene (April 10, 1979). "Oscars to Fonda, Voight, 'Hunter'". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Thomas, Bob (April 9, 1979). "Oscar Show-A Thankless Chore". Ludington Daily News. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- Osborne 2013, p. 413
- Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 560
- Pond 2005, p. 29
- Davis 1998, p. 320 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDavis1998 (help)
- Davis 1996, p. 323 harvnb error: no target: CITEREFDavis1996 (help)
- Smith, J.Y. (June 7, 1979). "Jack Haley Dies, Was Tin Man in 'The Wizard of Oz'". The Washington Post.
- Thomas, Bob (February 21, 1979). "1978 Oscar nominees announced". San Bernardino Sun. p. C1.
- "The Deer Hunter, Heaven Can Wait top honors Oscar nominees listed". The Globe and Mail. February 21, 1979. p. P11.
- Grant, Lee (February 21, 1979). "Two War Films on Oscar Ballot". Los Angeles Times. p. D1.
- Kinn & Piazza 2002, p. 215
- Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 1129
- Holden 1993, p. 619
- Holden 1993, p. 622
- "The 51st Academy Awards (1979) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved October 31, 2011.
- "Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved February 4, 2020.
- "Animator Walter Lantz, Creator of Woody Woodpecker, Is Dead". The Buffalo News. March 23, 1994. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
- Thomas, David (Winter 2011). "The Man Who Would Be King". DGA Quarterly. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
- Kinn & Piazza 2002, p. 217
- Schreger, Charles (February 10, 1979). "'Close Encounters' - Take Two". Los Angeles Times. p. B5.
- Franks 2005, p. 246
- Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 562
- Franks, Don (2005), Entertainment Awards: A Music, Cinema, Theatre and Broadcasting Guide, 1928 through 2003 (3rd ed.), Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, ISBN 978-1579123963
- Holden, Anthony (1993), Behind the Oscar: The Secret History of the Academy Awards, New York: Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-0671701291
- Kinn, Gail; Piazza, Jim (2002), The Academy Awards: The Complete Unofficial History, New York, United States: Workman Publishing Company, ISBN 978-1579123963
- Osborne, Robert (2013). 85 Years of the Oscar: The Complete History of the Academy Awards. New York, United States: Abbeville Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-7892-1142-2.
- Pond, Steve (2005), The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards, New York, United States: Faber and Faber, ISBN 0-571-21193-3
- Wiley, Mason; Bona, Damien (1996), Inside Oscar: The Unofficial History of the Academy Awards (5 ed.), New York, United States: Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-40053-4, OCLC 779680732