62nd Academy Awards

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62nd Academy Awards
Official poster promoting the 62nd Academy Awards in 1990.
Official poster
Date March 26, 1990
Site Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Hosted by Billy Crystal[1]
Produced by Gil Cates[2]
Directed by Jeff Margolis[3]
Best Picture Driving Miss Daisy
Most awards Driving Miss Daisy (4)
Most nominations Driving Miss Daisy (9)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 37 minutes[4]
Ratings 40.24 million
27.82% (Nielsen ratings)[5]

The 62nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honored the best films of 1989 and took place on March 26, 1990, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion 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 23 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Gil Cates and directed by Jeff Margolis. Actor Billy Crystal hosted the show for the first time.[1] Three weeks earlier in a ceremony held at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California on March 3, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by hosts Richard Dysart and Diane Ladd.[6]

Driving Miss Daisy won four awards including Best Picture and Best Actress for Jessica Tandy, the oldest person at the time to win a competitive acting Oscar.[7] Other winners included Glory with three awards, Born on the Fourth of July, The Little Mermaid, and My Left Foot with two, and The Abyss, Balance, Batman, Cinema Paradiso, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, Dead Poets Society, Henry V, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, The Johnstown Flood, and Work Experience with one. The telecast garnered more than 40 million viewers in the United States.

Winners and nominees[edit]

The nominees for the 62nd Academy Awards were announced on February 14, 1990, at 5:38 a.m. PST (13:38 UTC) at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Karl Malden, president of the Academy, and the actress Geena Davis.[8] Driving Miss Daisy received the most nominations with nine total; Born on the Fourth of July came in second with eight.[9] Winners were announced during the awards ceremony on March 26, 1990.[10] Driving Miss Daisy became the third film to win Best Picture without a Best Director nomination.[11] At age 80, Jessica Tandy became the oldest winner of competitive acting Oscar at the time.[12] Kenneth Branagh was the fifth person nominated for Best Lead Actor and Best Director for the same film.[13]


A picture of a man wearing a blue suit over a light blue shirt.
Oliver Stone, Best Director winner
A smiling man with grey hair wearing a black collared shirt.
Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Actor winner
A photograph of an elderly woman seen from the side standing next an elderly man wearing a tuxedo. She is wearing a white dress and an earring.
Jessica Tandy (left), Best Actress winner
A photo of an African-American male in his fifties. He is wearing a blue shirt.
Denzel Washington, Best Supporting Actor winner
A picture of a curly-haired woman wearing a dress with various purple and green prints. She is holding a golden statuette.
Brenda Fricker, Best Supporting Actress winner
A photo of an Italian male who is seen with his hands clasped together. He is wearing glasses, a black coat, an white collared shirt with stripes
Giuseppe Tornatore, Best Foreign Language film winner
Photo of a male with balding white hair. He is wearing a black jacket.
Alan Menken, Best Original Score winner and Best Original Song co-winner
A photo of Ben Burtt in July 2013.
Ben Burtt, Best Sound Effects Editing co-winner
A black and white photo of an older man wearing a winter coat.
Freddie Francis, Best Cinematography winner

Winners are listed first and indicated with a double-dagger (double-dagger).[14]

Academy Honorary Award[edit]

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award[edit]

Films with multiple nominations and multiple awards[edit]

Presenters and performers[edit]

The following individuals presented awards or performed musical numbers.[17][18]

Presenters (in order of appearance)[edit]

Name(s) Role
O'Donnell, CharlieCharlie O'Donnell Announcer for the 62nd annual Academy Awards
Malden, KarlKarl Malden (AMPAS President) Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony
Davis, GeenaGeena Davis Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Close, GlennGlenn Close
Mel Gibson
Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction
Schwarzenegger, ArnoldArnold Schwarzenegger Introducer of presenter Kim Basinger
Basinger, KimKim Basinger Presenter of the film Dead Poets Society on the Best Picture segment
Roberts, JuliaJulia Roberts Introducer of the performance of "I Love to See You Smile"
Martin, SteveSteve Martin Presenter of the award for Best Original Score
Branagh, KennethKenneth Branagh
Elizabeth McGovern
Presenters of award for Best Makeup
Lemmon, JackJack Lemmon
Natalya Negoda
Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film
Kline, KevinKevin Kline Presenter of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Bridges, BeauBeau Bridges
Jeff Bridges
Presenters of the film Field of Dreams on the Best Picture segment
Candy, JohnJohn Candy
Rick Moranis
Presenters of the award for Best Live Action Short Film
Hannah, DarylDaryl Hannah Introducer of the performances of Best Song nominees "Kiss the Girl" and "Under the Sea"
Bugs Bunny, Bugs Bunny Presenter of the awards for Best Animated Short Film
Matthau, WalterWalter Matthau Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to Howard W. Koch
Lange, JessicaJessica Lange Presenter of the film Driving Miss Daisy on the Best Picture segment
Freeman, MorganMorgan Freeman
Jessica Tandy
Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing
Goodman, JohnJohn Goodman Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "The Girl Who Used to Be Me"
Selleck, TomTom Selleck Introducer of Isabelle Huppert
Huppert, IsabelleIsabelle Huppert Presenter of the segment of the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement and Gordon E. Sawyer Award
Brown, BryanBryan Brown
Rachel Ward
Presenters of the awards for Best Sound and Best Sound Editing
Griffith, MelanieMelanie Griffith
Tom Hanks
Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography
Peck, GregoryGregory Peck Presenter of the award for Best Actress
Bergen, CandiceCandice Bergen Presenter of the award for Best Costume Design
Aykroyd, DanDan Aykroyd
Chevy Chase
Presenters of the award for Best Visual Effects
Valenti, JackJack Valenti Introducer of presenters George Lucas and Steven Spielberg
Lucas, GeorgeGeorge Lucas
Steven Spielberg
Presenters of the Honorary Academy Award to Akira Kurosawa
Washington, DenzelDenzel Washington Introducer of the performance of Best Song nominee "After All"
Abdul, PaulaPaula Abdul
Dudley Moore
Presenters of the award for Best Original Song
Glover, DannyDanny Glover Presenter of the film Born on the Fourth of July Best Picture segment
Aleandro, NormaNorma Aleandro
Charlton Heston
Presenters of the awards for Best Documentary Short Subject and Best Documentary Feature
Fonda, JaneJane Fonda Presenter of the awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
Huston, AnjelicaAnjelica Huston Presenter of the film My Left Foot on the Best Picture segment
De Niro, RobertRobert De Niro
Martin Scorsese
Presenters of the award for Best Director
Foster, JodieJodie Foster Presenter of the award for Best Actor
Pfeiffer, MichelleMichelle Pfeiffer Introducer of the performance of "Over the Rainbow"
Beatty, WarrenWarren Beatty
Jack Nicholson
Presenters of the award for Best Picture

Performers (in order of appearance)[edit]

Name(s) Role Performed
Conti, BillBill Conti Musical Arranger Orchestral
Crystal, BillyBilly Crystal Host Opening number:
My Left Foot (to the tune of "Me and My Shadow")
Field of Dreams (to the tune of "Tangerine" from The Fleet's In)
Dead Poets Society (to the tune of "Mutual Admiration Society")
Driving Miss Daisy (to the tune of "Walkin' My Baby Back Home" from Happy Hunting)
Born on the Fourth of July (to the tune of "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen)[19]
Newman, RandyRandy Newman Performers "I Love to See You Smile" from Parenthood
Holder, GeoffreyGeoffrey Holder Performer "Kiss the Girl" and "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid
Austin, PattiPatti Austin Performer "The Girl Who Used to Be Me" from Shirley Valentine
Ingram, JamesJames Ingram
Melissa Manchester
Performers "After All" from Chances Are
Ross, DianaDiana Ross Performer "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz

Ceremony information[edit]

A picture of a man in his early sixties who is wearing a navy blue blazer and an unbuttoned light blue shirt.
Billy Crystal hosted the 62nd Academy Awards.

After the negative reception received from the preceding year's ceremony, AMPAS created an Awards Presentation Review Committee to evaluate and determine why the telecast earned such a negative reaction from the media and the entertainment industry.[20][21] The committee later determined that Carr's biggest mistake was allowing the questionable opening number to run for 12 minutes. Producer and former Directors Guild of America president Gilbert Cates, who headed the committee, said that Carr would have not received such harsh criticism if the number had been much shorter.[21] Newly elected AMPAS president Karl Malden also commented on the last year's telecast, "Some of the people in the Academy felt the show got a little out of control."[2]

In September 1989, Cates was chosen as producer of the 1990 telecast.[22] Malden explained the decision to hire him saying, "Cates, a veteran film and TV director known for his tasteful work in both media will attempt to rectify the damage the last Oscar show did to the Academy's reputation."[2] The following January, actor and comedian Billy Crystal was chosen as host of the ceremony.[23] "We are extremely pleased to have Billy host the show," Cates said in a press release justifying his choice. "His unique talents and his ability to handle the unexpected will be important assets this year."[24]

Cates christened the show with the theme "Around the World in 3 1/2 Hours" commenting that it would "a party thrown around the world".[25] He also explained, "The world is changing, and hopefully the awards show is changing, matching the changes in the world."[2] In tandem with the program's theme, several presenters announced the winners from various international locales such as Buenos Aires, London, Moscow, and Sydney, Australia.[26]

Several other people participated in the production of the ceremony. Documentary filmmaker Chuck Workman assembled a montage saluting "100 Years at the Movies" that was shown at the beginning of the telecast.[27] Film composer and musician Bill Conti served as musical director for the ceremony.[28] Dancer and singer Paula Abdul supervised the Best Song nominee performances and a dance number featuring the Best Costume Design nominees.[29] Singer Diana Ross performed the Oscar-winning song Over the Rainbow in a tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.[30]

Box office performance of nominees[edit]

At the time of the nominations announcement on February 14, the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees at the US box office was $244 million with an average of $48.9 million.[31] Dead Poets Society was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $95.8 million in the domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by Field of Dreams ($64.4 million), Born on the Fourth of July ($48.6 million), Driving Miss Daisy ($35.6 million) and My Left Foot ($2.1 million).[31]

Of the 50 grossing movies of the year, 43 nominations went to 14 films on the list. Only Parenthood (8th), Dead Poets Society (9th), When Harry Met Sally... (10th), Field of Dreams (17th), Born on the Fourth of July (25th), Driving Miss Daisy (36th) and Sex, Lies, and Videotape (45th) were nominated for Best Picture, acting, directing, or screenwriting. The other top 50 box office hits that earned nomination were Batman (1st), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (2nd), Lethal Weapon 2 (3rd), Back to the Future II (6th), The Little Mermaid (12th), The Abyss (22nd), and Black Rain (27th).[32]

Critical reviews[edit]

The show received a mixed reception from media publications. Some media outlets were more critical of the show. Film critic Janet Maslin of The New York Times gave an average review of Crystal but lamented, "The effort to make this year's Academy Awards show an international media miracle led to nothing but headaches."[25] The Washington Post television critic Tom Shales bemoaned, "while Crystal's opening monologue seemed to hit the right notes, he hit fewer and fewer as the evening wore on; his interjected quips between awards were mostly uninspired." He also criticized the dance numbers and numerous "Around the World" cutaways calling it pointless.[33] Howard Rosenberg of the Los Angeles Times quipped that the broadcast was "a conventional telecast that was arguably an extension of an industry calcified by convention." He gave positive remarks toward Crystal but felt that "The Oscarcast was an old kid on the block."[34]

Other media outlets received the broadcast more positively. USA Today television critic Matt Roush lauded "To the glib and savvy Billy Crystal, who kept things as lively and funny as he could all night long. What a chore, too." He concluded that, "Hollywood no doubt went to bed happy (maybe early), because for a change Oscar didn't embarrass himself."[35] Mike Drew of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel remarked, "While too "inside" and not as funny as Hollywood thinks he is, Crystal was an efficient host."[36] Film critic Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "It was encouraging that director Gilbert Cates took the opportunity to emphasize films instead of chorus girls." She also extolled Crystal's performance acknowledging that his "nimble opening number set a Johnny Carson comic tone."[37]

Ratings and reception[edit]

The American telecast on ABC drew in an average of 40.24 million people over its length, which was a 5% decrease from the previous year's ceremony.[38] An estimated 69.31 million total viewers watched all or part of the awards.[39] The show also drew lower Nielsen ratings compared to the previous ceremony with 27.82% of households watching over a 49.42 share.[40]

In July 1990, the ceremony presentation received 12 nominations at the 42nd Primetime Emmys.[41] Two months later, the ceremony won one of those nominations for Outstanding Art Direction for a Variety or Music or Programming (Roy Christopher and Greg Richman).[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Billy Crystal to Host '90 Oscar Telecast". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). December 30, 1989. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 768
  3. ^ "62nd Annual Academy Awards". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  4. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 780
  5. ^ Gorman, Bill (March 8, 2010). "Academy Awards Averages 41.3 Million Viewers; Most Since 2005". TV by the Numbers. Tribune Publishing. Archived from the original on March 10, 2010. Retrieved March 12, 2010. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ Cieply, Michael (March 27, 1990). "'Driving Miss Daisy,' Tandy Win Top Oscars : Academy Awards: Day-Lewis is named best actor. Stone is best director for 'Fourth of July.'". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  8. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 764
  9. ^ "'Miss Daisy' in the Driver's Seat : Movie Is Nominated for 9 Oscars". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). February 15, 1990. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  10. ^ "The Winners". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Company). March 27, 1990. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  11. ^ Hughes, Mark (February 23, 2013). "Ten Facts You Should Know About The Oscars". Forbes (Forbes, Inc.). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ Kehr, Dave (March 27, 1990). "`Miss Daisy,` Jessica Tandy Win Top Oscars". Chicago Tribune (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  13. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 1163
  14. ^ "The 62nd Academy Awards (1990) Nominees and Winners". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. AMPAS. Retrieved October 17, 2011. 
  15. ^ Thomas, Kevin (March 26, 1990). "Akira Kurosawa Earns Oscar for Life's Work : Film: The legendary director of 'Ran' and 'Rashomon' will receive an honorary Oscar tonight for lifetime achievement.". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  16. ^ Snow, Shauna (December 12, 1989). "Kudos". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 770
  18. ^ "Calendar Goes To the OSCARS : If You Watch, They Will Appear". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). March 25, 1990. Retrieved September 7, 2013. 
  19. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 772
  20. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 750
  21. ^ a b Hofler, Robert (March 1, 2010). "Snow Job". Los Angeles (Emmis Communications). Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  22. ^ Ryan, Desmond (September 24, 1989). "New Producer Is Chosen To Plan The 1990 Oscar Presentation". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Network). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Billy Crystal to be Host of Oscar Ceremonies". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). January 2, 1990. Retrieved August 19, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Billy Crystal Will Host Oscar Ceremonies". Deseret News (Deseret News Publishing Company). January 1, 1990. Retrieved January 22, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b Maslin, Janet (March 28, 1990). "New Host and New Technology, But a Familiar Oscar Show". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved March 17, 2010. 
  26. ^ Ryan, Desmond (March 11, 1990). "Moscow To Take Part In The Oscar Ceremony". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Network). Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  27. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 771
  28. ^ "Composer Conti Will Conduct at 62nd Academy Awards". Deseret News (Deseret News Publishing Company). Retrieved February 2, 2014. 
  29. ^ "Abdul to Choreograph Academy Awards". Middlesboro Daily News. January 11, 1990. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  30. ^ Wiley & Bona 1996, p. 777
  31. ^ a b "1989 Academy Award Nominations and Winner for Best Picture". Box Office Mojo (Amazon.com). Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  32. ^ "1989 Box Office Grosses (as of February 13, 1990)". Box Office Mojo (Amazon.com). Retrieved February 14, 2014. 
  33. ^ Shales, Tom. "On the Air: Billy Crystal And the Night That Wouldn't End". The Washington Post (The Washington Post Company). p. C1. 
  34. ^ Rosenberg, Howard (March 27, 1990). "TV Review: Another Dose of Business as Usual". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  35. ^ Roush, Matt (March 27, 1990). "Crystal sparkles on safe and stately show". USA Today (Gannett Company). p. 4D. 
  36. ^ Drew, Mike (March 28, 1990). "Oscar show slow, but not bad". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Journal Communications). p. 4. 
  37. ^ Rickey, Carrie (March 28, 1990). "An Oscar Telecast with Taste". The Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia Media Network). Retrieved June 1, 2014. 
  38. ^ Johnson, Greg (March 18, 1999). "Call It the Glamour Bowl". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved August 26, 2013. 
  39. ^ "Oscars Push ABC to Win Ratings Race". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). April 3, 1990. Retrieved June 6, 2014. 
  40. ^ "ABC gets an Oscar boost". USA Today (Gannett Company). April 4, 1990. p. 3D. 
  41. ^ "Primetime Emmy Award database". Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS). Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  42. ^ Lipton, Lauren. "'The Simpsons' Named Best Animated Series in Early Awards". Los Angeles Times (Tribune Publishing). Retrieved May 21, 2014. 


External links[edit]

Official websites
Other resources