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.[2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

The English Patient won nine awards including Best Picture.[5] 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.[6] The English Patient received the most nominations with twelve; Fargo and Shine came in second with seven apiece.[7]

The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 24, 1997.[8] Best Actress winner Frances McDormand was the first person to win for a role in a film directed by his or her spouse.[9] Best Original Musical or Comedy Score winner Rachel Portman became the first female winner for composing a musical score.[9]


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[10]

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]

Presenters and performers[edit]

The following individuals, in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.[13]


Name(s) Role
Thomas, RandyRandy Thomas Announcer for the 69th annual Academy Awards
Hiller, ArthurArthur Hiller (AMPAS president) Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony
Sorvino, MiraMira Sorvino Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Bullock, SandraSandra Bullock Presenter of the award for Best Art Direction
Martin, SteveSteve Martin Presenter of the film Jerry Maguire on the Best Picture segment
Binoche, JulietteJuliette Binoche Presenter of the award for Best Costume Design
Beavis, Beavis
Presenters of the award Best Sound Editing
Love, CourtneyCourtney Love Presenter of the award for Best Makeup
Ryder, WinonaWinona Ryder Presenter of the "Togetherness and the Movies" montage
Spacey, KevinKevin Spacey Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Danes, ClaireClaire Danes Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "That Thing You Do"
Hunter, HollyHolly Hunter Presenter of the film Fargo on the Best Picture segment
Farley, ChrisChris Farley
David Spade
Presenters of the award for Best Live Action Short Film and Best Animated Short Film
Andrews, JulieJulie Andrews Presenter of the Honorary Academy Award to Michael Kidd
Hunt, HelenHelen Hunt Presenter of the segment of the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement
Jones, Tommy LeeTommy Lee Jones
Will Smith
Presenters of the award Best Documentary Short Subject and Best Documentary Feature
Carrey, JimJim Carrey Presenter of the awards for Best Visual Effects
O'Donnell, ChrisChris O'Donnell Presenters of the award for Best Sound
Kidman, NicoleNicole Kidman Presenter of the Best Film editing montage and dance number
Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing
Reynolds, DebbieDebbie Reynolds Presenter of the awards for Best Original Musical or Comedy Score
Hines, GregoryGregory Hines Presenter of the award for Best Original Dramatic Score
Close, GlennGlenn Close Presenter of the film Shine on the Best Picture segment
Introducer of the musical performance by David Helfgott
Robbins, TimTim Robbins Presenter of the award for Best Cinematography
Hayek, SalmaSalma Hayek Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "For the First Time"
Douglas, MichaelMichael Douglas Presenter of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to Saul Zaentz
Weaver, SigourneySigourney Weaver Presenter of the film The English Patient on the Best Picture segment
Thomas, Kristin ScottKristin Scott Thomas
Jack Valenti
Presenter of the award Best Foreign Language Film
Lopez, JenniferJennifer Lopez Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "Because You Loved Me"
Bassett, AngelaAngela Bassett Presenter of the In Memoriam tribute
Hawn, GoldieGoldie Hawn
Diane Keaton
Bette Midler
Presenters of the award for Best Original Song
Branagh, KennethKenneth Branagh Presenter of the "Shakespeare and the Movies" montage
Foster, JodieJodie Foster Presenter of the award for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay
MacDowell, AndieAndie MacDowell Presenter of the film Secrets and Lies on the Best Picture segment
Cage, NicolasNicolas Cage Presenter of the award for Best Actress
Sarandon, SusanSusan Sarandon Presenter of the award for Best Actor
Gibson, MelMel Gibson Presenter of the award for Best Director
Pacino, AlAl Pacino Presenter of the award for Best Picture


Name(s) Role Performed
Conti, BillBill Conti Musical Arrangers Orchestral
Crystal, BillyBilly Crystal Host Opening number
Secrets & Lies (to the tune of The Brady Bunch theme song)
The English Patient (parody of "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady)
Jerry Maguire (to the tune of "Victory March")
Shine (to the tune of "Flight of the Bumblebee")
Fargo (to the tune of "My Kind of Town" from Robin and the 7 Hoods))[14]
Madonna Madonna Performer "You Must Love Me" from Evita
The Wonders, The Wonders Performers "That Thing You Do" from That Thing You Do
Dion, CelineCeline Dion Performer "I Finally Found Someone" from The Mirror Has Two Faces
Flatley, MichaelMichael Flatley Performers Best Film Editing montage
Loggins, KennyKenny Loggins Performers "For the First Time" from One Fine Day
Dion, CelineCeline Dion Performer "Because You Loved Me" from Up Close & Personal

Ceremony information[edit]

After taking a year off, Gil Cates was selected by AMPAS in November 1996 to oversee production of the ceremony for the seventh time.[15] Immediately, he chose actor and comedian Billy Crystal to host the 1997 telecast. Cates explained his choice of Crystal as host saying, "Billy is quick and agile and bright, and he plays the unexpected events of the live telecast like a Stradivarius. He's become the standard against which all other hosting performances are measured."[16] Crystal expressed his excitement on hosting the ceremony for the fifth time joking, "Once Barry Scheck turned it down, I had a feeling they'd come to me." Furthermore he set up a website with the address www.whyistheshowsolong.com asking the public to send in jokes that would eventually be used during the gala.[17]

As with previous ceremonies he produced, Cates centered the show around a theme. This year, he christened the show with the theme "Togetherness of Moviegoing" commenting, "The thing that's kind of wonderful about movies is that you watch them with other people. The only other areas where you do that, when you think about it, are religion and sports." He concluded by noting that the movie theater is "a wonderful place where you come together to laugh, to cry."[18] In tandem with the theme, actress Winona Ryder presented a montage featuring film clips from Matinee, Casablanca, and A Streetcar Named Desire depicting audiences inside a movie theater.

Natalie Cole was initially scheduled to sing the nominated song "I Finally Found Someone" from The Mirror Has Two Faces on the show after its songwriter and original performer Barbra Streisand declined to do so. However, after Cole contracted the flu, she withdrew for her performance duties and was eventually replaced by Celine Dion who also sang "Because You Loved Me" later ub the broadcast.

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.[19] 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).[19]

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.[20] 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).[20]

In Memoriam[edit]

The annual In Memoriam tribute, presented by actress Angela Bassett, honored the following people:[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The 69th Annual Academy Awards (1997) Overview
  2. ^ Hindes, Andrew (December 19, 1996). "Horvitz set to direct Oscar telecast". Variety (PMC). Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  3. ^ Sinclair, Tom (November 29, 1996). "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (Time Warner). Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Sci-Tech awards given out". Variety (PMC). March 2, 1997. Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Bates, James (March 25, 1997). "An 'English' Epic". Los Angelest Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Oscar watch". Variety (PMC). February 4, 1997. Retrieved November 1, 2013. 
  7. ^ Bates, James; Puig, Claudia (February 12, 1997). "Independents Day for Oscars". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). Retrieved July 22, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Nominees & Winners for the 71st Academy Awards". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved January 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Bona 2002, p. 393
  10. ^ "The 69th Academy Awards (1997) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Retrieved 2011-10-23. 
  11. ^ Hindes, Andrew (January 16, 1997). "Academy to honor Kidd". Variety (PMC). Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  12. ^ Hindes, Andrew (January 15, 1997). "Thalberg honor goes to Zaentz". Variety (PMC). Retrieved July 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Bona 2002, p. 102
  14. ^ Bona 2002, p. 109
  15. ^ Williams, Jeannie (November 19, 1996). "Crystal takes on role of Oscar host again". USA Today (Gannett Company). 
  16. ^ Marcus, Errico (November 18, 1996). "Billy Crystal to Host Oscars...Again". E! (NBCUniversal). Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  17. ^ Snead, Elisabeth. "Crystal out to Net jokes for Oscar show". USA Today (Gannett Company). Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  18. ^ Bowles, Jennifer (March 21, 1997). "Oscar show to celebrate communion of moviegoing". Deseret News (Deseret News Publishing Company). Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  19. ^ a b "1996 Academy Award Nominations and Winner for Best Picture". Box Office Mojo (Amazon.com). Retrieved October 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "1996 Domestic Grosses". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved July 24, 2013. 
  21. ^ Bona 2002, p. 115