69th Academy Awards

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69th Academy Awards
69th Academy Awards.jpg
Official poster
Date March 24, 1997
Site Shrine Auditorium
Los Angeles, California
Host Billy Crystal
Producer Gil Cates
Director Louis J. Horvitz
Best Picture The English Patient
Most awards The English Patient (9)
Most nominations The English Patient (12)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 38 minutes [1]
Ratings 40.83 million
 < 68th Academy Awards 70th > 

The 69th Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) took place on March 24, 1997, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles beginning at 6:00 p.m. PST / 9:00 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, AMPAS presented Academy Awards (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 24 categories honoring films released in 1996. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Gil Cates and directed by Louis J. Horvitz. Actor Billy Crystal hosted the show for the fifth time. He first presided over the 62nd ceremony held in 1990 and had last hosted the 65th ceremony held in 1993.[2] Three weeks earlier, in a ceremony held at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on March 1, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Helen Hunt.[3]

The English Patient won nine awards including Best Picture.[4] Other winners included Fargo with two awards, and Breathing Lessons: The Life and Work of Mark O'Brien, Dear Diary, Emma, Evita, The Ghost and the Darkness, Independence Day, Jerry Maguire, Kolya, The Nutty Professor, Quest, Shine, Sling Blade, and When We Were Kings with one. The telecast garnered almost 41 million viewers in the United States.

Winners and nominees[edit]

The nominees for the 69th Academy Awards were announced on February 11, 1997 at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Robert Rehme, president of the Academy, and actress Mira Sorvino.[5] The English Patient received the most nominations with twelve; Fargo and Shine came in second with seven apiece.[6]

The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 24, 1997.[7] Best Actress winner Frances McDormand was the first person to win for a role in a film directed by his or her spouse.[8] Best Original Musical or Comedy Score winner Rachel Portman became the first female winner for composing a musical score.[8]


Geoffrey Rush, Best Actor winner
Frances McDormand, Best Actress winner
Cuba Gooding, Jr., Best Supporting Actor winner
Juliette Binoche, Best Supporting Actress winner
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Best Original Screenplay winners
Billy Bob Thornton, Best Adapted Screenplay winner
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Best Original Song winner
Rick Baker, Best Makeup winner

Winners are listed first and highlighted with boldface[9]

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film Best Original Song
Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short
Best Live Action Short Best Animated Short
Best Original Dramatic Score Best Original Musical or Comedy Score
Best Sound Editing Best Sound Mixing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Makeup Best Costume Design
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects

Academy Honorary Award[edit]

Irving G. Thalberg Award[edit]

Scientific and Technical Award[edit]

Multiple nominations and awards[edit]

In Memoriam[edit]

The annual In Memoriam tribute, presented by actress Angela Bassett, honored the following people:[12]

Ceremony information[edit]

Box office performance of nominees[edit]

At the time of the nominations announcement on February 11, the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees at the US box office was $209 million, with an average of $41.9 million per film.[13] Jerry Maguire was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $121.5 million in domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by The English Patient ($42.3 million), Shine ($16.1million), Fargo ($24 million), and finally Secrets & Lies ($5.9 million).[13]

Of the top 50 grossing movies of the year, 37 nominations went to 17 films on the list. Only Jerry Maguire (9th), Primal Fear (27th), and The English Patient (35th) were nominated for directing, acting, screenwriting, or Best Picture. The other top 50 box office hits that earned nominations were Independence Day (1st), Twister (2nd), The Rock (4th), The Nutty Professor (7th), The Birdcage (8th), Eraser(13th), The Hunchback of Norte Dame (14th), Star Trek: First Contact (15th), Sleepers (29th), Dragonheart (30th), The Preacher's Wife (32nd), Evita (36th), The Ghost and the Darkness (39th), and Daylight (48th).

News and recap[edit]

Shortly before the ceremony, two light aircraft flew over the auditorium streaming banners behind them. The first read "Columbia Studios Sucks — Larry Flynt", as the subject of the Oscar-nominated film The People vs. Larry Flynt protested against not being invited.[14] Eventually the agent of Woody Harrelson, whose portrayal of Flynt was nominated for Best Actor, gave his seat so the publisher could attend.[15] The second banner read "Disney uses sweatshops — 30 cents an hour in Haiti", criticizing Walt Disney Studios about the conditions under which some of its movie merchandise are allegedly produced.[14]

The Awards marked one of the greatest upsets in Oscar history as most had predicted Lauren Bacall would win Best Supporting Actress for The Mirror Has Two Faces. Instead, the Oscar went to Juliette Binoche for The English Patient. Binoche herself even acknowledged surprise, saying she felt Bacall deserved the award during her acceptance speech.[16]

It was the first time ever that a singer sang twice during the Academy Awards. Because Natalie Cole had the flu, Céline Dion not only sang her own song "Because You Loved Me", but also Barbra Streisand's song "I Finally Found Someone", after only a few hours to rehearse.

Madonna had won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her portrayal of Eva Perón in Evita,[17] but was not nominated for the Oscar. Despite the snub, she attended the Oscars and sang "You Must Love Me" from Evita. Immeidately afterwards host Billy Crystal said "In case you missed it, that ws class."[citation needed]

The ceremony attracted 40.83 million viewers, the lowest audience without dipping below the 40 million mark (later surpassed by the 40.54m who watched in 2002).

Presenters and performers[edit]

The following individuals, in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.[18]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ The 69th Annual Academy Awards (1997) Overview
  2. ^ Sinclair, Tom (November 29, 1996). "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (Time Warner). Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Sci-Tech awards given out". Variety (PMC). March 2, 1997. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ Bates, James (March 25, 1997). "An 'English' Epic". Los Angelest Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Oscar watch". Variety (PMC). February 4, 1997. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  6. ^ Bates, James; Puig, Claudia (February 12, 1997). "Independents Day for Oscars". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Nominees & Winners for the 71st Academy Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Bona 2002, p. 393
  9. ^ "The 69th Academy Awards (1997) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  10. ^ Hindes, Andrew (January 16, 1997). "Academy to honor Kidd". Variety (PMC). Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  11. ^ Hindes, Andrew (January 15, 1997). "Thalberg honor goes to Zaentz". Variety (PMC). Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ Bona 2002, p. 115
  13. ^ a b "1996 Academy Award Nominations and Winner for Best Picture". Box Office Mojo (Amazon.com). Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b "Gooding, Binoche Win for Supporting Roles - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. 1997-03-25. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  15. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/special/oscars/l97os037.htm
  16. ^ AMPAS. "Juliette Binoche winning Best Supporting Actress". Retrieved 15 January 2013. 
  17. ^ "Golden Globes for 'English Patient' and Madonna". New York Times. 21 January 1997. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  18. ^ Bona 2002, p. 102
  19. ^ Bona 2002, p. 109