51st Academy Awards
|51st Academy Awards|
|Date||April 9, 1979|
|Site||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles|
|Producer||Jack Haley, Jr.|
|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 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.
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.
Winners and nominees
The nominees for the 51st Academy Awards were announced on February 20, 1979. 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 since Orson Welles to earn acting, directing, producing, and screenwriting nominations in the same year. 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 and highlighted in boldface.
Academy Honorary Awards
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Special Achievement Award
- Les Bowie, Colin Chilvers, Denys Coop, Roy Field, Derek Meddings, and Zoran Perisic
Multiple nominations and awards
The following 14 films had multiple nominations:
The following three films received multiple awards.
Presenters and performers
The following individuals (in order of appearance) presented awards or performed musical numbers:
|John HarlanJohn Harlan||Announcer for the 51st Academy Awards|
|Koch, Howard W.Howard W. Koch (AMPAS President)||Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony|
|Williams, RobinRobin Williams||Presenters of the Honorary Award to Walter Lantz|
|Woodpecker, WoodyWoody Woodpecker|
|Thomas, DannyDanny Thomas||Explained the voting rules to the public|
|Cannon, DyanDyan Cannon||Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Savalas, TellyTelly Savalas|
|Smith, MaggieMaggie Smith||Presenters of the Scientific and Technical Awards|
|Stapleton, MaureenMaureen Stapleton|
|Benson, RobbyRobby Benson||Presenters of the Short Subject Awards|
|Lynley, CarolCarol Lynley|
|Farrow, MiaMia Farrow||Presenters of the Documentary Awards|
|Wolper, David L.David L. Wolper|
|Jones, ShirleyShirley Jones||Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration|
|Schroeder, RickyRicky Schroeder|
|Bolger, RayRay Bolger||Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design|
|Haley, JackJack Haley|
|DeLuise, DomDom DeLuise||Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing|
|Perrine, ValerieValerie Perrine|
|Martin, SteveSteve Martin||Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects|
|Kidder, MargotMargot Kidder||Presenters of the Sound Awards|
|Reeve, ChristopherChristopher Reeve|
|Coburn, JamesJames Coburn||Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography|
|Novak, KimKim Novak|
|Keeler, RubyRuby Keeler||Presenters of the award for Best Original Song|
|Kristofferson, KrisKris Kristofferson|
|Williams, PaulPaul Williams||Introducer to Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performance|
|Martin, DeanDean Martin||Presenters of the Music Awards|
|Welch, RaquelRaquel Welch|
|Peck, GregoryGregory Peck||Presenter of the Honorary Award to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film|
|Brynner, YulYul Brynner||Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film|
|Wood, NatalieNatalie Wood|
|Burns, GeorgeGeorge Burns||Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Shields, BrookeBrooke Shields|
|Bacall, LaurenLauren Bacall||Presenters of the Writing Awards|
|Voight, JonJon Voight|
|Hepburn, AudreyAudrey Hepburn||Presenter of the Honorary Award to King Vidor|
|Coppola, Francis FordFrancis Ford Coppola||Presenters of the award for Best Director|
|MacGraw, AliAli MacGraw|
|Grant, CaryCary Grant||Presenter of the Honorary Award to Laurence Olivier|
|Dreyfuss, RichardRichard Dreyfuss||Presenters of the award for Best Actress|
|MacLaine, ShirleyShirley MacLaine|
|Valenti, JackJack Valenti||Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award|
|Rogers, GingerGinger Rogers||Presenters of the award for Best Actor|
|Ross, DianaDiana Ross|
|Wayne, JohnJohn Wayne||Presenter of the award for Best Picture|
|Elliot, JackJack Elliot||Musical arrangers||Orchestral|
|Ferguson, AllynAllyn Ferguson|
|Newton-John, OliviaOlivia Newton-John||Performer||"Hopelessly Devoted to You" (from Grease)|
|Olivor, JaneJane Olivor||Performers||"The Last Time I Felt Like This" (from Same Time, Next Year)|
|Mathis, JohnnyJohnny Mathis|
|Summer, DonnaDonna Summer||Performer||"Last Dance" (from Thank God It's Friday)|
|Boone, DebbyDebby Boone||Performer||"When You're Loved" (from The Magic of Lassie)|
|Manilow, BarryBarry Manilow||Performer||"Ready to Take a Chance Again" (from Foul Play)|
|Davis Jr., SammySammy Davis Jr.||Performers||"Not Even Nominated (Oscar's Only Human)"|
|Lawrence, SteveSteve Lawrence|
|Academy Awards Orchestra, Academy Awards Orchestra||Performers||"That's Entertainment!" (instrumental)|
- 21st Grammy Awards
- 31st Primetime Emmy Awards
- 32nd British Academy Film Awards
- 33rd Tony Awards
- 36th Golden Globe Awards
- List of submissions to the 51st Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film
- Osborne 2013, p. 252
- "Top-10 Most Watched Academy Awards Broadcasts". Nielsen N.V. February 18, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "New shows disappointing". Boca Raton News (South Florida Media Company). April 20, 1979. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "War Film, Comedy Head List". Spokane Daily Chronicle (Cowles Publishing Company). April 6, 1979. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Smith, Liz (October 8, 1978). "Frank won't sing without G notes". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "Past Scientific & Technical Awards Ceremonies". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Archived from the original on February 13, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
- Siskel, Gene (April 10, 1979). "Oscars to Fonda, Voight, 'Hunter'". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Thomas, Bob (April 9, 1979). "Oscar Show-A Thankless Chore". Ludington Daily News (Shoreline Media). Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- Osborne 2008, p. 413
- Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 560
- Pond 2005, p. 29
- Davis 1998, p. 320
- Davis 1996, p. 323
- "The Deer Hunter, Heaven Can Wait top honors Oscar nominees listed". The Globe and Mail (Phillip Crawley). February 21, 1979. p. P11.
- Grant, Lee (February 21, 1979). "Two War Films on Oscar Ballot". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). 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 plans special honors for 4-old timers". Eugene Register-Guard (Guard Publishing Co.). February 9, 1979. Retrieved August 25, 2015.
- "Olivier, Lantz to get Special Oscars". Beaver County Times (Calkins Media). February 13, 1979. Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Scott, Vernon (February 21, 1979). "'Heaven' and 'Deer Hunter' head list of Oscar hopefuls". Lodi News-Sentinel (Marty Weybret). Retrieved August 24, 2015.
- Kinn & Piazza 2002, p. 217
- Schreger, Charles (February 10, 1979). "'Close Encounters' - Take Two". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). 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 0-7892-1142-4.
- 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